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Where to Find the Best Views in Crystal Cove

The stunning Newport Coast community of Crystal Cove is known for its sandy beaches, lush green parks, fabulous schools, and of course, breathtaking views. Crystal Cove’s beautiful Southern California beauty can be seen in its craggy bluffs and crashing waves, which provide the perfect backdrop to life in this sunny seaside destination. 

But where in the Crystal Cove area can you find the best views? Read on to learn more about the best places to observe this town’s stunning landscape.

Credit: CaliforniaBeaches.com

1.  Crystal Cove State Beach

With over three sprawling miles of waterfront access, this beautiful beach is the perfect place to splash in the water or relax on a beach chair, soaking up the sun. During high tide, it can be tricky to walk the full three-mile length of the beach, as it becomes divided up into several different access points. If you’re hoping to walk the length of the beach, plan to visit during low tide — you’ll have the added bonus of some beautiful and fascinating tide pools to explore! 

Navigate the beaches by strolling along the paved pathways that run along the bluff, providing access from one sandy point to another. From any of these access points, you’ll be able to take in incredible views of the surf and sand! Meet up with friends for dinner and drinks at the Beachcomber Cafe and Bootlegger Bar before enjoying a gorgeous sunset over the ocean.

Here are some of Crystal Cove Beach’s best spots to enjoy the views:

  • Pelican Point: A broad and sloping beach near the Historic District. A popular scuba diving spot, Pelican Point also boasts a paved bike path and dirt hiking trails leading up into the State Park.

  • Little Treasure Cove: Looking to whale watch? Stop by this northernmost point of Crystal Cove State Beach during low tide for easier walkability. A trail will lead you to an observation platform where you may be able to catch sight of some whales — but even if you don’t, you’ll still be able to enjoy a gorgeous sunset!

  • Reef Point: This area of the beach is a popular place to park due to the large day-use lot located at Reef Point Drive and Pacific Coast Highway. Reef Point is a popular swimming and surfing spot, and you’ll also be able to take in some awesome views from the nearby Bluff Top Trail.

2.  Crystal Cove State Park trails

The gorgeous 2,400-acre Crystal Cove State Park features some truly breathtaking backcountry wilderness where both locals and visitors love to hike and camp. If you’re interested in hiking, the state park offers 18 miles of hiking trails that allow you to take in some gorgeous and stunning views!

While the park offers trails for hikers of all skill levels, there are certain trails that will lead you to the best views Crystal Cove has to offer. You’ll want to choose a higher trail to fully enjoy the mountainous countryside, fascinating geological formations, and of course, the sparkling Pacific Ocean. A moderately difficult hike through the State Park begins at the Ranger Station and will take you across a long bridge to gorgeous Moro Canyon before leading up the mile-long Moro Canyon Trail, across the East Cut Across Trail, and up a steep mile-long climb to Moro Ridge. After following BFI for about 1.6 miles, you’ll be rewarded with some jaw-dropping ocean views! The entire trail is a loop that spans about five miles and typically takes around two hours to complete, so make sure to bring lots of water, snacks, and your camera.

3.  Mastro’s Ocean Club

This upscale and sophisticated seafood restaurant is known for not only its world-class service and delicious meals but also its gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean. Order some fresh and exquisite seafood dishes like Dungeness crab cocktail, bigeye tuna tartare, and a variety of unique sushi selections while enjoying stunning ocean views!

Mastro’s features live music during the evenings, creating a lovely ambiance as you relax with friends and family. With the option to sit in their outdoor dining area, you’ll have the time of your life enjoying Mastro’s iconic cuisine while watching the sunset.

4.  Resort at Pelican Hill

Located right along the jaw-dropping Pacific Coast, this fabulous seaside retreat offers plenty of opportunities for both relaxation and recreation. Pelican Hill is situated on over 500 acres of stunning coastal beauty, offering residential-style Villas and Bungalows for guests to relax in private. 

But it’s the views at the Resort at Pelican Hill that really make the trip! The resort itself overlooks several sprawling green golf courses and the glittering Pacific Ocean below. Whether you’re cooling down in the circular Coliseum Pool, being pampered at the Spa at Pelican Hill, dining at one of the Resort’s fabulous eateries, or playing a game of golf, you’ll be able to enjoy an absolutely world-class view.

The true centerpieces of Pelican Hill are the golf courses. Pelican Hill Golf Club is home to two stunning Tom Fazio-designed golf courses, Ocean North and Ocean South. Every inch of these world-class golf courses was designed to complement the coastal landscape, weaving through rugged and gorgeous terrain and looking out over beautiful panoramic views. The course designer has worked hard to make sure this is no typical day out at the golf course — it’s an immersive experience!

Image credit: Crystal Cove State Park

5.  Moro Campground

Both visitors and locals love spending the night in Crystal Cove State Park by reserving a campsite at the beautiful Moro Campground! Fifty-seven family campsites are available, each outfitted with picnic tables so you can enjoy a picnic meal while looking out over the glittering Pacific Ocean and pristine beaches. Twenty-seven of these campsites are designed for RV and trailer use, while the rest are great for soft-sided trailers, car camping, and tents. Restrooms and token-operated showers are also available onsite for your comfort.

Image credit: Crystal Cove State Park

6.  The Historic District

Crystal Cove’s stunning and unique Historic District encompasses 12.3 acres of coastal land, also part of the Crystal Cove State Park. Typically, when you think of a town’s historic district, shops and nationally recognized sites come to mind, but this Historic District is a little bit different. The area is entirely residential, made up of rustic coastal cottages that date back to the 1930s and 40s. These homes were constructed as part of a seaside colony dotting the banks of the Los Trancos Creek. This area remains historically significant because it is one of Southern California’s last remaining examples of early 20th century coastal development.

The beautiful Historic District cottages have been painstakingly restored and preserved by California State Parks and the Crystal Cove Conservancy. Today, many of the cottages are used for tourism purposes, educational and community programs, and even a restaurant! Of course, 21 of these cottages are also available for overnight rental, allowing you to wake up with absolutely stunning views of the pristine blue Pacific Ocean and the surrounding sandy beaches. Rental homes are available as studios, one or two-bedroom houses, and hostel-style dormitories. 

7.  The Beachcomber Cafe

Complete your stay in the Historic District by stopping by the iconic Beachcomber Cafe, a casual and relaxed eatery offering some of Crystal Cove’s best views! The Beachcomber boasts fabulous menus for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, featuring some favorites like blue crab-stuffed salmon, Maine lobster pasta, the Real Deal clam chowder, and a tasty lobster bisque served with creme fraiche. This is also a great place to grab drinks with friends and watch the sun go down. The Beachcomber serves up a variety of margaritas in fun flavors from Blackberry to Mango, and their cocktail selection is always a crowd-pleaser. Signature cocktails include the Beachcomber, a blend of cherry Cruzan rum, Svedka Colada, lemonade, and cranberry juice. There’s also the beachy Caribbean Passion, featuring banana rum, amaretto, passion fruit puree, pineapple juice, and agave lime. Through the Beachcomber’s website, you can even book a fire pit package to enjoy the gorgeous evening ocean views while roasting s’mores on the beach.

Right next door to the Beachcomber, the Bootlegger Bar is worth a visit. Located just steps away from the water, this bar makes for the perfect outing with friends after a long day soaking up the sun and surf! Try their delicious soups and salads, but the real focus here is on the handcrafted cocktails, decadent margaritas, local craft beers, and the Big Jars — including the Big Bad Bloody Mary, made with a housemade mix that features Deep Eddy vodka, crab claw, jumbo shrimp, and fresh vegetables that was voted “Best in OC” by the OC Register!

If you’re ready to enjoy these beautiful views and search for your own Crystal Cove luxury home, contact Robert White at Villa Real Estate today! With nearly 20 years of experience, Robert will be happy to help you navigate the world of Newport Coast real estate and find the Crystal Cove home of your dreams.

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