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Summer Spots For Some Outdoor Fun

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Are you looking for unique camping spots in Orange County? Best spots for hiking, biking, or having a old fashioned camp fire, or summer grilling. Here are some ideas for you:

1. Casper’s Wilderness Park
ocparks.com/parks/ronald
San Juan Capistrano, CA
P. 949) 923-2210 General
P. 800) 444-7275 Camping

Caspers Wilderness Park is an 8,000 acre protected wilderness preserve nestled among the river terraces and sandstone canyons of the western coastal Santa Ana Mountains. The park’s many fertile valleys are overtly complemented by specimen groves of native Coastal Live Oak and magnificent stands of California Sycamore. These areas are further accentuated by seasonal wildflower displays and running streams. Wildlife is abundant and can be readily viewed from any of the parks numerous trails. Caspers Wilderness Park also offers a Ranger-guide walk at a scheduled time on Sundays.

2. O’Neil Park
ocparks.com/parks/oniel
Trabuco Canyon, CA
P. 949) 923-2260 General
P. 800) 444-7275 Camping

O’Neill Regional Park’s 4,000 acres are situated in beautiful Trabuco and Live Oak Canyons. The park is heavily wooded with coast live oak and sycamore trees. The hillsides surrounding the park are filled with cactus, wild buckwheat, sagebrush and chaparral of scrub oak, buckthorn and mountain mahogany. Trabuco and Hickey Creeks also meander through the park, flowing in winter and early spring, dry in summer and fall. O’Neil Park is great due to It’s affordability and that you can bring dogs.

3. Bolsa Chica State Beach
http://www.parks.ca.gov/
Huntington Beach, CA
P. 714) 846-3460 General
P. 800) 444-7275 Camping

Located in Huntington Beach, Bolsa Chica State Beach is the perfect spot for biking, surfing, volleyball or wildlife watching. It is also a popular place for surf fishing for perch, corbina, croaker, cabezon and sand shark. Also popular is in the summer is bare-handed fishing for California grunion, a species that only spawns on sandy southern California beaches. The Park is located in Huntington Beach and extends three miles from Sunset Beach to Seapoint Avenue. A bike-way connects it with Huntington State Beach, seven miles south. Wildlife and bird watching are popular. Across the road from the beach is the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, operated by the California Department of Fish and Game.

4. South Carlsbad State Beach
http://www.parks.ca.gov/
South Carlsbad, CA
P. 760) 438-3143 General
P. 800) 444-7275 Camping

This San Diego beach features swimming, surfing, skin diving, fishing and picnicking. The large bluff-top campground is very popular, especially in summer. Stairs lead to the beach. South Carlsbad State Beach also offers year round camping. Reservations can be made at reserveamerica.com

5. Crystal Cove State Park
http://www.parks.ca.gov/
Laguna Beach, CA
P. 949) 494-3539 General
P. 800) 444-7275 Camping

Crystal Cove State Park’s rolling surf, wide sandy beaches, tidepools, gently sloping hills, and deeply wooded canyons and ridges provide a delightful contrast to its urban surroundings. Located off busy Pacific Coast Highway between Corona del Mar and Laguna Beach, Crystal Cove is one of Orange County’s largest remaining examples of open space and natural seashore. The park’s Mediterranean climate is characterized by moist, foggy summer mornings, with the fog burning off by midmorning to bring warm, sunny days and cool evenings. Crystal Cove State Park has 3.2 miles of beach and 2,400 acres of backcountry wilderness, which is popular for outdoor enthusiasts. The offshore waters are designated as an underwater park. Crystal Cove is used by mountain bikers inland and scuba and skin divers underwater. The beach is popular with swimmers and surfers. Visitors can explore tidepools and sandy coves. Crystal Cove offers sand and surf, rocky reefs, ridges and canyons – plus recreational opportunities – that appeal to everybody. State Park staff and docents conduct interpretive programs year-round including guided hikes, tidepool walks, and geology talks.

The great expanse upland, north and east of the Pacific Coast Highway is enjoyed by hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians who can follow hillside and canyon trails to primitive campsites that allow visitors to feel they are “away from it all,” despite being near one of the greatest population centers in the United States. Crystal Cove State Beach also offers Beach Cottage Rentals, reservations can be made at reserveamerica.com

6. Doheny State Beach
http://www.parks.ca.gov/
Dana Point, CA
P. 949) 496-6172 General
P. 800) 444-7275 Camping

Doheny State Beach is two parks in one – with camping in the southern area (with some campsites only steps away from the beach) and day use in the northern area, where there is a five-acre lawn with picnic facilities and volleyball courts. Surfing is popular, but is restricted to the north end of the beach. Surf fishing is also popular, along with biking, kayaking and paddleboarding.

Park and beach information courtesy of http://www.parks.ca.gov, http://www.ocparks.com and http://www.reserveamerica.com

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