Retro Crystal Cove

What could be better than a gorgeous Southern California beach…. until you toss in a few historic beach cottages, an on-the-sand restaurant, cocktail bar, museum, and gift shop! It’s all discretely tucked away at Crystal Cove State Park, along Pacific Coast Highway (better known as PCH) south of Corona del Mar, north of Laguna Beach. I’d driven by the turn-off many times and never saw it, didn’t realize it was there. My oldest daughter, Angelika, mentioned it to me one day, saying she just knew her sister and I would love it. Ah-ha! Cameras in hand, Kat and I were on it!

If you’re driving along PCH, keep your eyes peeled for Ruby’s Shake Shack (great burgers and shakes, by the way!). It sits cliffside directly above. Parking is very limited there, and only for customers, but a shopping center further south has ample parking and allows great exercise as you walk back along PCH, offering this spectacular view, and stairway down to the beach.

Otherwise, you need to watch for the signs for Crystal Cove State Park and park there. You’ll find a separate driveway for the refurbished vintage rental cottages (wouldn’t that be a blast?!), so keep going to the main parking lot. Once you arrive, either via the stairs or parking lot, you’ll find the quaint community. If you get there at the right hours (check the schedule), you’ll be able to self-tour the museum and cottages. A few pictures are in this gallery (click on any picture to view gallery full size):

Continuing down to the beach, you’ll pass the cocktail bar and the restaurant. You’ll find picnic tables there. Kat and I wandered further down the beach, as you’ll see in the gallery below. Several cottages are still in the ‘yet to be refurbished’ stage, most likely awaiting more money from the state or fundraisers. The beach is spectacularly beautiful, especially as the sun sets into the Pacific. ~SueBee (photos by SueBee and Kat)

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Categories: Nostalgia, Photography, Seaside


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2 Comments on “Retro Crystal Cove”

  1. Dec 16, 2013 at 12:19 pm #

    Looks like a great spot!

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