Best Beach - 2012
Bolsa Chica State Beach
It doesn't have the biggest waves or views unobstructed by the offshore oil industry or a location that makes you feel as though you've gotten away from it all, but what Bolsa Chica State Beach has going for it is one-stop shopping. You can camp, surf and fish here. And sunbathe and picnic and bird watch—anything you can do at your go-to Orange County beach. It's a great place for groms through gramps to learn to surf, as Bolsa Chica is known for long, steady, rolling sets. Fishers drop their poles for perch, corbina, croaker, cabezon and sand shark, while during the summer, you can fish bare-handed for California grunion. Bicyclists can ride on the path between the sand and the parking lot for miles, as it connects with Huntington State Beach 7 miles south. Those who prefer to hoof it on the sand have 3 miles' worth at their feet, from Sunset Beach to Seapoint Avenue. On the other side of PCH is the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve. Plus, the amazing sunsets and the lights of Long Beach give you something pretty to look at while snuggling up next to the fire rings—while they're still around. . . .