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Old 07-25-2012, 12:54 PM   #1
Earning My Ears
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Southern California Beaches

On our trip to California we want to spend a couple of days at the beach. We will in be in southern California for our trip to Disney.

What are some nice beaches? I LOVE shelling. It's my understanding that southern Cali doesn't have the best shelling conditions. Especially the more crowded beaches. Can anyone recommend a beach that has at least some shelling?

We were also contemplating visiting Catalina Island. The boat prices to go over seem a little expensive. Does anyone know of a company that offers reasonable rates? Or should we expect to pay over $100 for a family of four to get there and back?

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Old 07-27-2012, 01:23 AM   #2
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Is it anyone's birthday when you go to Catalina?

In California the waves are real. This is why people surf there and what limits the shells by quickly grinding them up and keeps reefs rocky. You can find some shells but not many along California. I've never been to a beach with more than a shells here and none I would say could support shelling.

Would your family be interested in tide pools you can find some off Palo Verdes?

There are lots of other beaches that are nice. Hunington and New Port beaches that are both close to DLR are, clean, less crowded and have nice sand to lounge and play on.
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Old 08-02-2012, 09:58 AM   #3
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Skiing has it right about the shelling. There really isn't anywhere that I have seen that is good for that. There are a few different beaches to consider though.

My personal favorite is Seal Beach near the pier area. Along main street there is a small shop that sells shell art among other things. Pay them a visit and ask for the best place to do some shelling. The seal beach pier area is very rustic and while it is north of DLR, it is still in Orange County so it isn't far. The southern portion of seal beach is very ordinary but as you travel south you will encounter a small beach community called sunset beach. There are some very expensive beach front homes in sunset and some of them belong to "the stars".

Travel further south and you will get to the northern area of Huntington Beach. Across PCH from that beach is a tidelands pool that is great for bird watching. There are a few trails through that area. It makes for a nice stroll. Continuing north, as you come closer to the pier, you will reach an area known as "dog beach". This is where people can take their dog onto the beach to swim in the surf. It can be fun to sit and watch, but you had better be a dog lover if you want to "enjoy" that area.

The Huntington Beach pier area is much more commercialized. It is very nice and the main street area is much larger and more developed than the Seal Beach area. There are plenty of bike rentals and other such things during the summer season.

Past Huntington pier you get to another of the State Parks beaches. These are well kept and nice beaches, but there isn't much else there. It is a beach.

Continuing further south you reach Newport Beach. I haven't been down there for awhile. The pier area is very nice though. Further south is Balboa, Balboa Island and the balboa ferry. Fun little area. Continuing south you move towards Corona Del Mar and Laguna. All of this is still in Orange County, but it stretches for several miles. The southern most OC beach area is Dana Point.

Each of these I mention has it's own atmosphere and is worth looking into. This stretch of beach area is some of the best anywhere.

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Old 08-02-2012, 10:01 PM   #4

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Laguna is a very nice beach area. Lots of shops around also.
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Old 08-03-2012, 01:59 PM   #5
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Depending on how far south you want to go Mission Beach in San Diego is really nice
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Old 08-03-2012, 04:15 PM   #6
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Shelling is pretty poor on the Pacific beaches because of the waves. I prefer Laguna Beach or Crystal Cove in OC. In Los Angeles, I like Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach.
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Old 08-06-2012, 01:22 PM   #7
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Thanks for the suggestions.

We used to live in Florida and my grandparents are from Atlantic Canada. I know the pacific doesn't really compare but it isn't impossible. We went to Nuevo Vallarta last year and I found some beautiful shells there. They were harder to come by.

After some research we found Silver Strand State Beach by San Diego. Listed in some top 10 shelling lists for North America. It's worth a shot and seems to have the most promising conditions for the area.

Thanks for the input.
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Old 08-10-2012, 05:07 PM   #8
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I was in San Diego for a conference back in 2005 and some of us took a half-day trip out to Coronado Beach. It was beautiful! I highly recommend it if you are in that area. We went late morning and I could not believe all the sand dollars on that beach. Not just pieces either, whole sand dollars. In fact, there were so many that a little boy was picking them up and handing them to me when he saw I was collecting them! I think his mom had decided he had enough already so he getting them for me!

I'm planning a trip back to the area next summer with my family and that's one of the places I want to take them. My daughter can't wait to see all the sand dollars on the beach. Hopefully it's still that way!
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Old 08-28-2012, 08:21 PM   #9
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