Crystal Cove State Park is Picture Perfect for Gift Giving!


Crystal Cove State Beach makes for fantastic Christmas card scenes. Each year a plein air contest is held in which artists show up and paint scenes suitable for placing on holiday cards. The best image gets selected and placed on the card that is sold to the public.It is part of an annual tradition in which volunteers come out to decorate a holiday tree on this sandy beach located between Newport Beach and Laguna Beach. The tree creates a festive, holiday atmosphere for tourists who stay at the old-fashioned cottages that have been renovated for the public to enjoy on beach vacations.


Pictured is a winning design for 2010.

The trend in giving holiday cards is diminishing thanks to Facebook and other social media. Sales of Christmas cards have declined each year since 2005 and the drop in sales has gone from nearly all the adult population buying cards in past years, to around 60% purchasing them now.

However, gift giving hasn’t dropped as significantly, and due to a really depressed economy for many of us, our family has agreed to not exchange gifts this year. Thus, the card will take the place of a gift, and we’ll be supporting the holiday card industry. We’re reflecting the trend, also, in supporting causes through purchase of holiday cards. I bought the card shown, mainly because I love the charming beach, appreciate the volunteers to work there, and love its old-fashioned appeal with traditions such as lighting a holiday tree on the beach.

Crystal Cove Alliance ( is a non-profit group providing a model for other state parks that need assistance in operations through volunteers. If you’re looking for some great gifts such as vintage beach signs, check out their online store, or you can call (949) 376-6200 x203 to ask about buying their annual Christmas cards.

And if you want to stay at these popular beach cottages, get ready to book your place up to a year ahead! However, there are cancellations so don’t be discouraged. You can make reservations at, and check out the same day cancellations on location at the State Park./p>

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