December 6th, 2013, 10:03 AM #1
Laguna Beach or Huntington Beach?
Taking the family out to Disneyland next week, and I wanted to take the kids to see a beach/ocean for their first time in their lives. It looks like Laguna Beach and Huntington Beach are both fairly close to the Anaheim area. Anyone have any recommendations on which one is more family friendly? I'll be there on a weekday, during the morning & lunch time hours.
Or if there is another beach around there that I'm missing, then I'm open to other suggestions too.
Thanks in advance!
December 6th, 2013, 10:16 AM #2
I have lived in Orange County my whole life and spend a lot of time at the beach. Between those 2, Laguna hands down... It's not even a conversation! It's beautiful down there. But, you're also missing some great stretches of beach between HB and Laguna. Newport is good, but Balboa is our favorite beach. Balboa is right next to Newport, just pass the newport pier and keep going you'll hit balboa. There's also a fun zone next the harbor with games and a few rides. You can rent little motor boats to cruise the harbor. Beautiful houses line the sand and back by the harbor. You can take a ferry across to balboa island which my daughter likes. You'll be able to get to Newport and Balboa a lot faster than Laguna. Laguna is farther south from these 2.
Not a huge fan of HB. It's great if you are a surfer, but there's not any natural beauty there. Just oil rigs, bros, and buildings... I know HB is popular and spent a ton of time there in High School I dated a girl who lived there. I'm just not a fan... It's my last choice for a nice beach day with the family...
You can't touch Laguna's natural beauty. We love it there. But Balboa is a fun place to bring kids. Those are my top choices for beaches. San Clemente is really cool too but that's way down from D land...
Hit me up if you need specific directions on where the best spots are in Laguna, NB, or Balboa...
Last edited by goodguy; December 6th, 2013 at 10:29 AM.
December 6th, 2013, 10:46 AM #3
What ^ said.
HB is so...
Okay...that wasn't fair. But Laguna is just nicer IMO.
December 6th, 2013, 10:57 AM #4
Laguna is not that close to Disneyland. You would either have to drive down through a canyon (nice) or along PCH (much nicer with amazing panoramic views of the ocean). If you go at certain times of the day or on the weekends traffic can be a nightmare. But you're going to run into traffic (and parking) issues wherever you go.
Given the choice between only those two places, I would agree with everyone who chose Laguna. Just budget some time and patience to get there and back.
Last edited by not-mike; December 6th, 2013 at 11:01 AM.
December 6th, 2013, 11:01 AM #5
Laguna is a bit far, from disney it might be as fast to hop on 91 and head out to hermosa/manhattan/redondo. Not that these beaches are superior but they would be options time wise for comparison.
December 6th, 2013, 11:10 AM #6
That's why i say balboa... much easier to get to from d land than laguna.
Originally Posted by not-mike
If you go this time of year on a week day parking and traffic are minimal. weekend is even pretty chill compared to summer months.
December 6th, 2013, 11:10 AM #7
Laguna for sure!!! It is very pretty and still has raw coastline. The water is just about the clearest you can get here in So. Cal. Traffic during the week on PCH isn't really that bad at all. I just went down to Laguna (from Long Beach) this past Sunday to visit the beach the wifey and I got married on last September and I breezed right through. Summer time traffic is hellacious going through Corona Del Mar into Laguna.
Have fun at Disneyland, I have an Annual Pass and am a Disneyland junkie, going to get my fix tonight after work.
Enjoy your trip good!!!
December 6th, 2013, 12:01 PM #8
Laguna has a beautiful coastline. The local shops and culture are amazing. Most SoCal beach cities have traffic issues during the summer and weekends. All the cliffs and hills can add a bit of stress to the driving/parking situation if you're not to used to the area. Might not seem as bad with your timing though. If you can take the time and want to get lost, in a good way, of exploring and discovering a vibrant and gorgeous coastline and community...this is the spot.
I love Balboa. Flat island/peninsula outcropping from Newport, just south of HB. There are some good eats and fun shops smack middle of the peninsula. A little further out and you can walk the pier and let the kids cruise the Fun Zone arcades and rides. Take a ride on the ferry just for gits and shiggles, or better yet, rent a Duffy boat for an hour and cruise the harbor. Duffy Electric Boat Rentals of Newport Beach, CA - (949) 645-6812 - Rentals, Sales, and Service (Groupon ALWAYS has 30%-50% discounts for this). If you want a day of fun walking around the beach and harbor, Balboa has everything you could want all in a flat little island.
HB is classic surf city beach. Main street has some trendy shops/eats/bars and there are some damn nice hotels. If you have time constraints, and need to see the ocean/beach with maybe a bite to eat and a souvenir, but then go before the hours drag on, HB could be a nice one stop area to get that done.
December 6th, 2013, 12:54 PM #9
i live in HB, in the downtown area. i love it, but if i were on vacation, i'd probably choose newport/balboa and laguna over it as well.
i think HB is best for but certainly not exclusive to people in their 20s what with all the bars downtown.
honestly, i only take my daughter into town during the week and off season, avoiding it almost entirely during the summer and busy weekends when all the out of towners come in and the teenagers are out of school. i also come down by myself (while she's in school) to run errands a lot. i was just on main street 2 separate times this past week to get my haircut and go to the post office (which i love since it's in an old builing from 1935). free parking was pretty easy to find.
a typical beach day for us consists of biking down to the beach and hanging out down there. then we stop by duke's for taco tuesday (i get a margarita and she gets milk) and then we bike home. pretty simple but good time. they do have a street fair every tuesday evening that is family oriented as well.
i used to have a disney pass last year, before my daughter started school. with no traffic, usually on the way home, it was a 30 minute drive from the park to the coast. getting to disney usually took us 45 minutes with mild traffic.
don't worry about too many bros ruining your time if you come to HB this time of year. they don't really infect the place as badly until it gets warm.
December 6th, 2013, 01:23 PM #10
Thanks for all the responses... sounds like I'll hit up Balboa and Laguna! Glad I came here to ask, I had never even heard of Balboa Beach (not at all familiar with the LA area).
Karma to all of you!