OC Day Tripper

By Ellen Bell

OC Day Tripper
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California Winter: Crystal Cove

This is why we live here.

For most of the year, we deal with a ridiculously high cost of living, merciless freeway traffic, earthquake fears and wildfire danger.

But days like these, 80 degrees on a February afternoon, make it all worth it.

There’s no better place to celebrate the riches of a California Winter day than to visit Crystal Cove State Park, ┬áthe perfect blend of So Cal’s present lifestyle mixed with the flavor of its past.


Once on board The Beachcomber shuttle bus, the lilting music of Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters takes you back in time to Crystal Cove’s Golden Age as a perennial summer vacation spot.


After a short ride to the beach, the transition is complete and you feel like you’ve travelled back to a simpler days.

Beginning in the 1920’s, people travelled the new Pacific Coast Highway to visit Crystal Cove beach. It soon became a popular destination to pitch tents or rent cottages. By the late 1930’s, The Irvine Company, which owed the land, limited the development in the area to the existing 46 cottages.

Summers at Crystal Cove were legendary, and generations of families enjoyed the little beach community.

The winter months are the perfect time to visit Crystal Cove. It’s a quieter time; the wait is shorter at The Beachcomber restaurant, the beach is free of crowds, and the sunsets are epic.

Just the perfect cell phone picture to send to your jealous friends back East.


Ellen Bell writes the “OC Day Tripper: Your OC Travel Guide to the Past and Present”







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