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Orange County Beaches

Huntington Beach

The city's moniker, Surf City USA®, pretty much says it all. From surfwear shops and local wave-rider hangouts to suntanned surfers in search of that perfect wave, you can't help but dive into this beach town's infectious surf culture.

The local waves make Huntington Beach a hub of surf activity in Orange County. In fact, the U.S. Open of surfing is held here each summer, making it the center of the surfing universe for several days every July. Jump in on the action with a surf lesson or watch locals from the safety of the beach or the pier.

If you can tear yourself away from the warm sand, head up Main Street, the city's downtown, featuring the Surfing Walk of Fame, the International Surfing Museum, the Surfers' Hall of Fame, beachwear shops, casual dining and nightlife hotspots.

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Newport Beach

Newport Beach is filled with miles of sandy beaches, the largest small craft yacht harbor in the United States, championship golf courses and a variety of aquatic recreational activities, from kayaking in the Newport Back Bay to relaxing on a chartered harbor cruise.

Balboa Peninsula, a small community nestled inside Newport Harbor, features coastal cottages, quaint shops, and ice cream stands. Peninsula Park is home to Balboa Pier and Balboa Pavilion, a historical landmark with a restaurant and ballroom and ferry service to Catalina Island.

This sophisticated beach city also offers upscale shopping at Fashion Island, as well as diverse restaurants.

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Laguna Beach

This seaside community was discovered by a group of landscape painters in the 1920s and quickly became a destination of choice for the artistically inclined. With posh hillside mansions and trendy shopping areas and a rugged coastline of cliffs leading to secluded sandy beaches, it's a great place to discover hidden gems and relax in a low-key setting.

Each summer, Laguna Canyon hosts the famous Pageant of the Masters tableaux vivant (living pictures), the Festival of Arts, the Sawdust Art Festival and the Art-a-Fair Festival. Other creative treats include the Laguna Dance Festival in October and the monthly First Thursdays Art Walk.

Laguna is the perfect location to explore on foot. Boutiques, art galleries and sidewalk cafés line the downtown streets. Historic Main Beach features a vintage lifeguard tower overlooking an idyllic shore with volleyball nets, basketball courts and a meandering boardwalk.

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San Clemente

San Clemente’s charming ambiance and Spanish-style architecture evoke images of the Mediterranean. Drive or take the train in and enjoy the leisurely pace, pristine beaches, friendly sidewalk cafés and family activities, such as an annual sand castle contest.

Visitors can enjoy 20 acres of sandy beaches, a 1,200-foot-long fishing pier, and friendly sidewalk cafes. Shop for antiques, custom jewelry, designer perfumes and unique gifts along the quaint streets in this "Spanish Village by the Sea."

Each year, nearly one million visitors head to San Clemente's world-renowned surf breaks. Trestles is one of the most popular surf areas, where even a one-mile trail doesn’t deter surfers and spectators heading for its challenging waves.

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