The shoreline is wide, sandy, and ideal for long walks or short jogs. There are also two little restaurants on the beach that serve lunch and dinner. And there’s no better view of the Catalina Islands than from this beach.
Pacific Ocean Beach is located in San Juan Capistrano, about an hour’s drive from Los Angeles. Directions – From I-5, take the Ortega exit at San Juan Capistrano. Then follow the signs for Highway 74 toward San Juan Capistrano and Dana Point. (You will pass through Dana Point on your way to San Juan.) Continue driving south until you see the signs for Pacific Coast Highway (PCH). Take these signs and continue south until you see Pacific Ocean Beach Park on your right-hand side (at Via Lido). Drive into the park until you see the parking lot at end of the road. There are bathrooms there as well as picnic tables and grills.
Take advantage of the great weather in SoCal by coming down to this beach for a picnic or cookout with friends! The beach is easy to access as it’s within walking distance from Pacific Coast Highway.
The cliffs of San Juan Capistrano are home to a beach that is practically hidden from the rest of the world. A trail leads down to a beautiful cove with crystal clear water, white sand, and a rocky cliff-top backdrop.
On a recent visit to San Juan Capistrano, we traveled down Ortega Highway to the ocean-side town of O’Neill Regional Park. This is one of our favorite places to go on a nice day. There are amazing sunsets and beach walks, and it’s just far enough away from the touristy areas that you feel like you’re in an authentic Orange County coastal community.
The 1000 Steps Beach Trail is named for a set of stairs that descend from the highway to the beach. The stairs were built in 1935 by the local Lions Club, and they were part of an early highway system designed to connect residents with the beach.
1000 Steps Beach gets its name from the large number of stairs that lead down to the sand. However, there is no surf here because it’s located on the Santa Ana River estuary rather than ocean water. Even so, it has surprisingly good waves for such a small beach! If you can get past the initial shallow water, then there are some good rides in store for you.
On weekdays, this place has some mellow surfers who aren’t out to impress anyone with their skills. That’s fine if you’re just looking for an easy day out with friends and family.