California Beaches


Salt Creek Beach, Dana Point, CA

Salt Creek Beach
33333 S. Pacific Coast Hwy.
Dana Point, CA 92629
(949)923-2280 or (949)923-2283

Dana Point, Calif.-- Salt Creek Beach is known for its easy access location, tunnel accessing the beach that's decorated with paintings, and hilltop resort, Ritz Carlton- Laguna Niguel, perched visibly above the beach coves that comprise this Orange County operated beach.

You can contact and find out the price and procedure for weddings. The beach wedding occupancy is listed at 500 people. Like so many public beaches and parks, the wedding prices are a mere fraction of the expense at the 5 Diamond Resort next to the beach.

Truly a family-friendly beach, this "Leave it to Beaver" beach location is somewhat a teenage hangout during the summer months. A concessionaire has served burgers, french fries and sodas to kids as he's watched them grow up, returning as adults years later. It's just that kind of place where youngsters and families look for each other and say hello. Classmates from local nearby cities -- Dana Point, Mission Viejo, San Juan Capistrano and Laguna Niguel-- arrange to meet, surf, sunbathe and socialize in the rights of summer.

The beach runs approx. a mile and is named for Salt Creek flowing from the local canyons to a ravine. It marks the northerly boundary of Salt Creek Beach.

Orange County Parks Department calls the area under the agency's auspices "Salt Creek Park", though most think of it as a beach. However, a hill with lush grass lawns on the edge of a housing complex is a public park, thus the beach does include a park. 18 acres of public beaches, a nicely landscaped parking facility on top of the hill, rock promontories, and sheer cliffs with a luxury five diamond resort all provide affordable entertainment close to expensive accommodations. Designed to blend with the natural features, grading and landscaping keep the cliff area undisturbed.

Getting to the beach isn't too tricky, though the traffic goes at 50 miles per hour along Pacific Coast Highway where you turn into the beach so you must be aware or you cold easily miss the parking lot.

Well maintained with pristine sand, aqua-colored waters, tidepools and a snackbar and restroom facilities make the fee parking worth the money (take cash for the machines!)

Salt Creek Beach is a joy, but nearly became a wealthy housing development if not for the efforts of citizens such as William Merritt Wilcoxen. As you wander down a paved path from the parking facilities, a plaque commemorates his efforts to save the beach during 1969 to 1972. Laguna Niguel Corporation, then AVCO Community Developers, acquired beach property in 1968. They wanted to make it a luxury residential community. "Save Salt Creek" succeeded in saving a modest parcel of land that faces expensive mansions, and on the other, the 393-room luxury Ritz-Carlton resort.

On February 2, 1971, the Orange County Board of Supervisors signed an agreement for a $2.6 million land purchase and construction of beach park which was completed in 1976.

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