My mom read about Strand Vista Park opening in Dana Point in the OC Register this weekend, so we headed on down to check it out! Such an AMAZING outing for the family! However, it was a little confusing to find information on how to find exactly where it is, so I am going to make it easy on you!
Coming from PCH in Dana Point, turn towards the beach at the light “Selva Road.” Click HERE for a general map of the area. Follow the street until you see a beach parking lot titled “Salt Creek Beach Park.” We were there around 4pm on a Saturday, and the gates were open and parking was free.
If you are interested in riding the funicular (new term for me – it is a cliff railway – an elevator type of thing that you can ride down to the beach), park as far as you can to the right. This was a huge hit with my daughter.
All along the top of the cliffs right off the parking lot is a pretty walking path above Strands Beach. There were then three separate sets of stairs (albeit a LOT of them!) to get down to the beautiful beach, or you can ride the funicular. The funicular is only open on weekends 7am – 5pm during the non-summer season.
We lucked out and no one was waiting to ride it when we got there, so it was a short wait. It easily fit our double jogger and probably holds probably about 10 – 12 people (without a double jogger that is!)
Once off the funicular at the bottom, there is a small ramp down to the sand, and a short boardwalk connecting to a nice concrete walkway lined with big rocks. It was a great path for walking with a jogger. We walked all the way down to the end, where the beach was flanked by a beautiful cove (and a public restroom – but we didn’t try it so I don’t know if it was open). I thought what an awesome spot this would be this summer for a beach day.
Emma had a ball running on the beach, and it was Morgan’s first time putting her little footsies in the sand. Of course, this ended up in a fistful of sand and pretty much sand everywhere!
Only in Southern California can you have a 3 1/2 year old running on the beach in shorts and a tee and a baby able to sit barefoot in the sand. I love Orange County!
If you go down the funicular with a stroller, make sure to watch the clock. We barely made the last ride up at 5pm. It would have been quite a trek up those stairs with our jogger. Phew! The beach was so incredibly beautiful, it is a must-visit.