Crystal Cove

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Grab your jogger, load up the kiddos and take a walk back in time!  If you are looking for a fun outing, we love visiting Crystal Cove and looking at the refurbished vintage beach cottages.  To get there, park in the public lot at the “Los Trancos” light off PCH. In the peak months and weekends it is $10/day to park, but most times we have been there during the week, and the parking is free.  From the parking lot, there is a shuttle that runs down to the beach through the Beachcomber Restaurant for $1/pp or you can take the walking path down under the freeway. The kids can explore the beach and adjacent tide pools, and you can walk along the beach and check out the cottages. Make sure to take the road (or wooden staircase) up top where it says “check in” and you can enjoy the view from a huge wooden deck and get more information on renting the cottages.  My family has stayed down in the cottages many times, and it is amazing.  You feel like you are in another world.  Visit for more information.

{2 images above from – Featuring lots of fabulous Southern California Day Trips!}


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  1. 1
    IMAHOUSE says:

    Wow. I need to move to the beach. There’s your whole day, right there. You don’t need to plan one thing, except maybe extra SPF. Wish I was there!

  2. 2
    Sarah says:

    We tried to get some reservations to stay in these cottages and got nowhere. The reservations system is extremely competitive. I never thought of just going for a day trip. Thanks for the idea!

  3. 3
    Jen says:

    I know, the reservation system is near impossible, but sooo worth it if you get a cottage!!! Reservations open at 8AM PST 6 months prior to the month booking (Aug 1st for Feb, etc.) You have to be logged into the site on the 1st around 7:50am (PST), and then just click "Reserve Now" over and over again until 8:00AM when they open. We have gotten lucky a couple of times, and my parents have as well. They are amazing, it’s like being in another world! In the meantime, go for the day and eat at the Beachcomber Restaurant, such a fun day trip!

  4. 4
    Ravi Pratap says:


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