As you travel the California coast in search of beaches begging you to bare your “sole”, Crystal Cove State Beach fits the bill for food, fun and foot happiness from your head to your toes. There’s no parking at the sandy beach so you can either walk through a tunnel and go down the hill, or ride the free Beachcomber bus that takes you from a state beach parking lot to The Beachcomber Cafe (thebeachcombercafe.com) on the sand. For those who have attended camps as a kid, the sunny, Orange County beach feels friendly and familiar, even though you’ve never been there. Wander over to the Bootleger Bar for a cocktail, bikini drink or brew. Dine on breakfast pancakes, lunch time salads and sandwiches, or dinner entrees such as fish, beef or chicken. You’re on island time in this mainland oasis of timelessness. Kick of your shoes and feel the smooth sand between your toes. You have arrived! (Though you missed the beach tree lighting ceremony, you can still see the beach Christmas tree and buy eclectic, beach-style holiday gifts.)
Other barefoot beaches and bars can be found in San Diego – Mission Beach & Pacific Beach, San Clemente, Huntington Beach, Seal Beach, Long Beach, Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Santa Monica, Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz–just a few of many.