BeachNuts Beach Guide for:
Salt Creek Beach Park
Salt Creek Beach Park is a gorgeous beach with plenty to offer to the experienced swimmer, body boarder and surfer. Located below the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Dana Point, the beach park consists of miles of white sand beach, unending ocean views, and some of Southern California's best surfing.
1.8miles (2km) in length, the beach is enclosed by cliffs at both ends -- Dana Strands to the South and Monarch Point to the North -- and is separated in the middle by Salt Creek Point. The beach is consists of very fine, white sand with a few ocky areas.
Salt Creek is known for its surf and attracts many surfers and plays host to surfing competitions throughout the summer. A small, offshore reef creates some of the best left swells along the entire coastline. Body Boarding is popular here although it isn't really allowed in some areas due to the heavy crowds of surfers.
Swimming here can be terrific though the break can cause problems for the inexperienced swimmer. The beach break can be powerful at this beach and swimmers are vulnerable due to the waves breaking very close to shore in shallow water.
Vacation Rentals in Dana Point...Go>
Things To Do & Highlights
Walk the miles of white, sandy beach
Unending Ocean Views
A wonderful grassy seven-acre park on the Bluff above the the beach, with benches, barbecue grills, picnic tables, & wheelchair-accessible restrooms. A great lookout providing views of gray whale migration routes, Catalina Island, and the coastline
Dana Point Harbor is the gateway to Doheny State Park, one of California's most popular beach facilities. The 62acre State Park offers camping, picnicking, swimming, surfing, bicycling, tide pool exploration and more.
Dana Point Harbor provides slips and mooring for over 2,500 boats along with over 50 specialty shops and restaurants.
Location & Hours
Dana Point is located midway between the cities of San Diego and Los Angeles in the southern portion of Orange County. This location provides access to four major airports within about one hour's drive. The San Diego Freeway runs through the City from north to south and Pacific Coast Highway provides intercity access to the beach communities of Orange County. The Orange County Transportation Authority provides public bus service to all of Orange County. Local train service is provided within five minutes of most residents via Amtrak (San Juan Capiatrano) and Metrolink (San Clemente).
Salt Creek Beach Park is located in southern Orange county between the communities of South Laguna and Dana Point. The park entrance is located at Pacific Coast Highway & Ritz Carlton Drive, approximately four miles north of the San Diego freeway.
Both upland and beach facilities can be reached from Ritz Carlton Dr. off Pacific Coast Highway. Parking and wheelchair-accessible restrooms are available at a large metered parking lot, open 6 AM-midnight, on Ritz Carlton Drive.
From the west side of the lot, a paved path leads to the beach and to the grassy seven-acre Bluff Park, which has benches, barbecue grills, picnic tables, and wheelchair-accessible restrooms.
Just south of Ritz Carlton Dr., a pedestrian gate, open 24 hours, leads through the Ritz Carlton Hotel grounds to a paved path along the bluff above Salt Creek Beach; the path, which skirts the southern perimeter of the grounds, has numerous benches and overlooks providing views of gray whale migration routes, Catalina Island, and the coastline.
At its northern end, the path joins a paved multi-use trail leading north along the shoreline past Bluff Park. Several stairways and paths lead from the multi-use trail to the beach, changing rooms, outdoor showers, restrooms, snack bar, fire pits, and a path along the seawall. Paths and trails lead north and east through a golf course and along Salt Creek, a scenic corridor featuring small parks and several miles of trails.
The southern entrance to Salt Creek Beach Park is off Selva Rd. and features picnic fables, barbecue grills, restores, and path and stairs to the beach. The parking lot is open 6 AM-midnight.
Contact: For beach information, contact the South Beaches Operation Office of Orange County Harbors, Beaches, and Parks at (714) 661-7013. Open Daily: 5:00a.m. - 12:00 midnight. Metered parking is $1.00 an hour. County day use passes are available. Fees Metered parking is $1.00 an hour. An annual County day use parking pass is available and valid at County parks and beaches is available.
Salt Creek Grille Restaurant (32802 Pacific Coast Highway, Dana Point, 949-661-7799). Three words: mesquite-grilled steaks. Round Table Pizza (32525 Golden Lantern , Dana Point, 949-496-9800). There's nothing quite like pizza and beer after a three-hour surf at Salt Creek. The Chart House (34442 Green Lantern, Dana Point, 949-492-1183) is fine dinning overlooking the harbor.