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BEST BEACH FOR: Families who want to feel more like castaways, without a ton of effort.
What a difference a headland makes. Cress Street Beach is separated from the south end of Brooks Street Beach by about 70 feet where the rocks jut into the water. And that simple, craggy outcropping changes the game – officially separating the downtown beaches from those that are a little further afield (and therefore less crowded).
Walking down the beach access steps, past the “Cress Clock,” you’ll find yourself on an isolated crescent of sand, punctuated with a large jutting monolith called “Halfway Rock” – a favorite for anyone wanting to play pirate. To the north sits the aforementioned headland; to the south, the beach traces the rocky bluffs. Visually, it’s tough to beat in all of Laguna Beach.
For a beach that is literally steps from more popular neighbors like Brooks and Thalia, Cress Street Beach feels incredibly isolated. It’s a major win for families – both because of the scenery and the fact that it’s mostly protected from the waves. Parking is also a little easier, as this isn’t a surf beach and doesn’t have too much retail competition.
People standing atop halfway rock, arms wide, screaming about being “the king of the world!”
Families who want to feel more like castaways, without a ton of effort.