Take A Break From The Crowds And Visit This Underrated Southern California Beach

When we imagine a beach day, our default is to daydream about a relaxing lounge soothed by the melodic sound of waves crashing on the sand. But when you're in Southern California, it's rarely the chill day you expected. The reality is that going to the beach often involves the chaos of heinous traffic, jam-packed parking lots, and the hundreds of neighbors who will cram themselves just a few feet away from you with their umbrellas, picnics, and speakers. 

Several millions of people visiting the area will flock to popular California beaches like Huntington Beach, Santa Monica, and Carlsbad every year. We don't blame them, they are beautiful beaches surrounded by lively, bustling communities. But, if you're really looking for more of a kick-back SoCal experience, Salt Creek Beach in California's lesser-known beach town, Dana Point, is the place to be. This underrated spot features stunning shorelines and the chance for a low-key day spent seaside.

Why visitors love Salt Creek Beach

If you're not from the area, it's pretty unlikely that you've even heard of Salt Creek Beach. However, locals consider the spot an oasis of tranquility. Located on the northern tip of Dana Point, the beach is just under a mile long. The stretch of sand is nestled between steep oceanside bluffs. making for some photo-worthy scenery. Considered one of Orange County's cleanest beaches, the area is very well cared for.

Not only is it well groomed on the oceanfront, but the beach also offers a beautiful public space overlooking the ocean known as Salt Creek Beach Park. Here, you'll find a basketball court, picnic tables, grassy lawns, bathrooms, and water fountains — everything you could need while camping out for a day. Home to a number of tide pools as well as California's largest kelp forest, Salt Creek Beach is also a great place to learn about and spot marine wildlife.

Where Salt Creek Beach is located

Luckily for visitors, Dana Point is considered one of the sleepier beach towns in Southern California. So, you don't have to worry about encountering quite as many traffic jams as the rest of the region. In addition, Salt Creek Beach makes navigating the road and staying for the day even easier by providing visitors with abundant parking. You'll find a smaller parking lot just near the sand and a larger parking lot just above the beach off Pacific Coast Highway.

On average, the residents of Dana Point tend to be a more mature crowd. That said, if you venture out of Salt Creek Beach and into the surrounding neighborhood, you'll find a more low-key community offering a family-friendly atmosphere. However, if you decide you want to include additional activities in your day of relaxation, the city is known for its whale watching and sunset wine cruises.