1,000 Steps Beach#4 in Best Things To Do in Laguna Beach
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If you're the kind of beachgoer who craves seclusion over crowded shores, head straight to 1,000 Steps Beach. Situated in South Laguna, a little more than 4 miles south of the center of town, 1,000 Steps Beach takes some effort to reach. The entrance is not your traditional beach entrance where you simply park your car and walk right onto the sand. The beach is located in a residential neighborhood and visitors have to walk down more than 200 steps to get there. Once you descend, you'll see the scenery is more than worth the extra effort. The posterior end of the beach is flanked by jagged, verdant cliffs that prop up the million-dollar homes in this affluent community. Expect to get up close and personal with California palm trees as you relax on this piece of paradise.
Along with dreamy Southern California scenery, the beach also features restrooms, tide pools and sea caves that are accessible during low tide. One sea cave actually leads to another beach, Totuava Beach, a very secluded cove beach that also has another sea cave access point from Table Rock Beach. Should you venture there, it's extremely important to pay close attention to tides, otherwise you run the risk of getting stuck on the beach or getting injured or drowning trying to get out.
Because of this beach's tricky access, recent visitors say the beach isn't all that crowded. Travelers do say that the effort to get here certainly paid off; calling the setting absolutely stunning. Others note that while the steps down aren't challenging, they can certainly be taxing going back up, especially after spending hours in the sun. 1,000 Steps Beach has no set hours and there is no fee to enter. For more information, visit the Laguna Beach tourism board's website.
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#1 Crystal Cove State Park
Crystal Cove State Park is one of the largest beaches you'll find in the greater Laguna Beach area. The shore measures 3.2 miles long, affording plenty of space for both lounging in the sand as well as long walks. The reason for this is that unlike all the other beaches in Laguna Beach, the beach at Crystal Cove State Park isn't in an enclosed cove. Rather, the beach is backed by seemingly endless bluffs that give way to 2,400 acres of backcountry woodland.
This section of the park features 15-plus miles of hiking trails that take visitors inland into the park's canyon and up and down pathways that afford beautiful views of the ocean. A good introduction to Crystal Cove's backcountry is the Moro Canyon trail. The trail is 3 miles out and back, but if you cut along the connected East Cut Across Trail down Moro Ridge, you'll eventually hit the coast following the Moro Ridge trail. It's important to know that no matter where you hike in the park, you may encounter wildlife, including snakes and bobcats. Stay on marked trails, don't mess with the environment and remain alert.
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