One of the best areas to explore the great outdoors in Southern California is definitely Orange County. While it may be known for the oceanfront mansions that it houses as well as its glamorous citizens and Disneyland, you will find some excellent spots in Orange County if you would like to get outside and trough it for a while.
It is an ideal place for camping, hiking, biking, fishing, and boating. These are some of the most popular areas in the county for outdoor life.
1. Bolsa Chica State Beach
(photo by respres)
This is an RV campground that’s located at the beautiful Huntington Beach. It’s a fantastic destination to enjoy be beach life. If you’d like to do some fishing then you can head over to the nearby Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve and try your luck.
2. Crystal Cove State Park
(photo by kycheng)
There are three different campgrounds in the park that can be reached by hiking. The park is 2,400 acres in size and the land is quite undeveloped. To reach the campgrounds you’ll need to climb uphill for about three miles and it’s a pretty good workout. The camping areas are situated inland, but you can also enjoy the beach as there’s just over three miles of wonderful coastline. The park also has cottages for rent if you’d rather not sleep under the stars.
3. San Clemente State Beach
(photo by cyclotourist)
This is another area that offers excellent camping and picnicking. The site overlooks the Pacific Ocean and the beach is just a hop skip and a jump away. There are also some Junior Ranger activities to enjoy as well as some interpretive programs. Information on these can be found at the visitor’s center.
4. Doheny State Beach
(photo credit: jasonholmberg)
This beach makes its home in Dana Point and it has a campground right at the coastline. In fact, it’s one of the only parks in the entire county that offers beachfront camping. There’s also an interesting aquarium located in the visitor’s center. It’s an ideal place to combine camping and surfing.
5. San Onofre State Beach
(photo by kansas_sebastian)
There are two different camping areas at this park. You can head inland to camp or you can pitch your tent on the magnificent bluffs. The beach is quite popular with surfers and an ideal place to spend the day.
As an added bonus, if you’d like to visit more than one of the state parks in Orange County or visit the same one numerous times, you can purchase a State Park Pass. These sell for about $80 and can be purchased at the parks as well as online.
6. Regional Parks
There are also some beautiful regional parks to visit in Orange County. These include:
Caspers Wilderness Park
(photo by ocparks)
This regional park is about 8,000 acres in size and has three separate campgrounds to choose from. It’s located in the magnificent Santa Ana Mountains.
O’Neill Regional Park
(photo by ocparks)
This park is situated in Live Oak and Trabuco Canyons. It’s heavily wooded and has some fine hiking areas in it. There’s also a campground that’s suitable for tent and RV camping.
Many residents of Orange County also like to head over to Catalina Island for their camping adventures. You can reach the island from Long Beach, Dana Point, and San Pedro. Just pack up your gear and hop on a boat and you’re on the way to a unique and memorable experience.
In fact, you don’t even have to pack your gear since you can rent camping equipment on the island. You’ll find half a dozen campgrounds on Catalina Island, including secluded sites for boaters. There are also hotel rooms available for those who would rather not rough it.