If you are longing for a close getaway that feels worlds away, then a weekend escape to Capistrano Beach in Orange County will fulfill those desires easily. Bordered by San Clemente to the South, and Laguna Beach to the North, this tiny beach town has a slower pace, and a laid back vibe. Capistrano Beach is easy enough to get to, has places to stay for almost any budget, and there are so many things to do, including just relaxing on the beach. (More tips after the jump.)
In an area of Orange County where the PCH Highway runs almost parallel to the 5 Freeway, Capistrano Beach is a breeze to find. Here’s a bit of advice: Before any road trip, always remember to do a complete check on your automobile from top to bottom, making sure all is well. When packing, if you aren’t quite sure what to take, I recommend consulting The Lucky Guide to Mastering Style by Kim France. These folks have put together fantastic outfits for many travel adventures.
One of my favorite places to stay at the beach is The Capistrano Surfside Inn. This place rents condos with a fully stocked kitchen and BBQ’s on every balcony. It is right across from Doheny State Beach, and there is a bridge across the highway making it easy to get to.
Just to the north is the Dana Point Harbor Inn which sits right on the ocean, and is close to shops and dining. Further north towards Laguna Beach is the Best Western Laguna Brisas Spa. This place was great because I was able to park my car in their garage and take the Laguna Beach Trolly for free all over town. The morning we left, I walked to Blue Bird Beach and watched a man catching lobsters in a metal cage.
There is plenty to do, or not to do, while staying in Capistrano Beach. Take boat and whale watching tours at Dana Point Harbor or enjoy many other water sports like jet skiing, sailing, or my personal favorite, just sitting on the beach for hours. This town is very bike-friendly so bring them or rent some. Some hotels even have bikes that the guests are welcome to use.
In nearby Laguna Beach, there is the Sawdust Festival (June 24 – August 28) that attracts thousands of visitors per year, and offers a free shuttle service. For some culture, step into one of the many art galleries that dominate this little town, and soak up some curious beauty.