Heisler Park’s Picnic Beach

Maruska —  June 14, 2017

Heisler Park in Laguna BeachPicturesque cliffs and aquamarine waters have made Heisler Park a popular wedding and photo site. But this Laguna Beach landmark is also a family-friendly and accessible spot to take the kiddos for a beachside picnic or to dip their toes in the water.

For a quick beach outing without too much hassle, drive down PCH and grab a burger and fries from Husky Boy, or a health-conscious coffee and pastry from Urth Caffe – the two eateries basically bookmark the entrances to Heisler Park – and take it to the grassy knoll to enjoy. You don’t even have to get wet or sandy!

If you’re up for a real day at the beach with the kids, head down from the grassy area on the sandy, but not-too-steep ramp to Picnic Beach.  You can explore tide pools, search for seashells, and splash in the cool but relatively shallow water (Always be careful, though, the currents can be strong.)

Tide pooling at Heisler Park

Highlights

  • Plentiful picnic tables atop the bluffs offer a place to enjoy a view of the waves without getting sand in your food
  • Large grassy area to play, picnic, or enjoy the sun without getting sandy
  • Walking distance to eateries like the iconic Husky Boy burger joint and the trendy new Urth Caffé
  • Charcoal grills are available for barbecuing, but they are quickly occupied by large parties on sunny weekends
  • Nicer-than-average beach bathrooms
  • Pristine, aqua-blue water and dramatic coastal views
  • Divers Cove, a very short walk to the right (when facing the ocean), is a popular spot for scuba divers and snorkelers.
  • At low tide, you can walk along the tide pools and look for starfish, sea anemone and hermit crabs.

Heisler Park - Waves

Know before you go

  • Metered parking available on the street, first come/first serve basis
  • Four-hour parking limit
  • Arrive before 10 a.m. on weekends to avoid having to hunt for a parking space.
  • Consider taking the free Laguna Beach Summer Trolley which drops you off right in front of the beach entrance. They easiest place to park is probably at the Laguna Wilderness Park (#17 in map below) or the Laguna College of Art (#16 in map below). They do charge between $7 to $10 to park, but it might be worth it.
  • A stroller-friendly (and wheelchair accessible) paved ramp leads down to the beach. It’s easier to access than many of Laguna’s other beautiful beaches.
  • Showers are available to wash the sand off (but it’s a good idea to bring an extra towel to wipe off dry sand before piling back into the car)
  • Lifeguards are on duty seasonally

Summer-Trolley-Map

Cost

$2.50 per hour for metered parking. Maximum 4 hours.

Tidepooling Heisler Park

Address

Beach parking is on Cliff Drive. From PCH, you can turn on Beverly (where Husky Boy stands) or Myrtle, or Cliff (where Urth Caffe is situated). The pathway that leads to the beach is situated in front of the Myrtle-Cliff intersection.

Husky Boy 802 N. Pacific Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Urth Caffé 308 N. Pacific Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Pathway to Heisler Park

When

Daily, 5 a.m. to 1 a.m.

Heisler Park - Picnic Beach Laguna Beach

 

~Christine, blog contributor

About the Author
Christine is a writer, communications strategist, mom and OC native who absolutely does not like cheese in a can but does occasionally feel like a zombie.

Amy’s Farm

Maruska —  June 13, 2017

Amy's Farm

Amy’s Farm in Ontario is well worth the drive! We were able to meet beautiful animals that you can pet and feed, take a fun guided tour of the farm, and even milk a cow.

The tour encourages children to taste and smell herbs from their garden and pet goats, horses, and even a giant grandma cow! There is a small playground with a seesaw, swings, and treehouse that children can play on. You can also purchase fresh produce from their small store that is based on the honor system…yes, the honor system!

The volunteer tour guides are cheerful and great at explaining the farm to children in a way that is both entertaining and educational. Make time to visit Amy’s Farm right away!

What to Expect:

Restrooms – They had 4 portable restrooms that were what you would expect. There is a hand washing station with soap for after restroom visits and animal petting. No paper towels, but they encourage shaking your hands dry the good ol’ fashioned way!

Tours – Amy’s Farm offers age appropriate tours for all visitors. Tour pricing is currently $8 per person and is about 1 ½ hours long. They accept cash, checks, and credit/debit cards. Worth taking the tour!

Lunch – There are shaded picnic tables for use as well as a grassy field the kids can play on. We ended up going out for lunch afterwards.

Park at Amy's Farm

What to Bring:

Baby wipes – Even with the hand washing station, you may want to have wipes handy for immediately after touching animals or if your kids are picky about clean hands.

Hats and sunglasses – It was a very sunny day when we visited, and hats and sunglasses were helpful to protect little faces from the sun.

Tissues – I had a little allergic reaction to the dust/dirt. Walking the paths, kids kick up some dirt at times, and I had some sneezes and runny noses to wipe.

Closed toe shoes

Amy's Farm Sign

Where:

Amy’s Farm
7698 Eucalyptus Ave.
Ontario, CA 91762
844-426-9732

www.amysfarm.com/
info@amysfarm.com

When:

Monday- Friday: 9am-2pm
Saturday: 9am-5pm
Closed on Sundays

Photo Apr 15, 12 17 34 PM

Trisha
Blog Contributor

About the Author
Trisha is a homeschooling mom of 3 little ones. Trisha and her husband run Juice Box Media, a videography business that serves the LA/OC area. They both love exploring new places with their family and friends!

Turtle Rock Nature Center

Click on Image to Enlarge

The Turtle Rock Nature Center is another hidden gem in Orange County. First take the kids to explore the nature center and then go for a walk along their beautiful woodsy trails. This place is just beautiful, lots of fun and free. Your kids will love it and so will you.

What to expect:

  • You can first spend some time inside the nature center that has fun and educational games and displays.
  • Afterwards walk the trails which are beautiful and wind through different Southern Californian habitats. You can see all kinds of plants and animals, such as crayfish, turtles, ducks, hummingbirds, rabbits, squirrels, and lots of lizards.
  • Along the path there is a small creek that ends in a beautiful pond that attracts ducks, and lots of other insects. We even saw several red fish in it.
  • Make sure to find the super fun labyrinth. The kids and I always run after each other and see who reaches the end first. I know it is a silly game, but I love hearing my kids laughing while I am running after them.
  • Next to the labyrinth, you can find one of those clocks that uses the position of the sun to tell time. Your shade will tell you what time it is.
  • They recently added three new activities, a tree stump tic-tac-toe, a giant checkerboard and a jump touch station. You can borrow the checker pieces and the tic-tac-toe tokens from the office.
  • Take a picnic with you and stop at the Turtle Rock Community Park just outside the nature center. There are two terrific playgrounds and lots of grassy areas.

Tips:

  • Make sure to grab the scavenger hunt sheet before leaving the nature center. My kids still love searching for bugs and other nature items while walking the trails.
  • Wear comfortable shoes.
  • Most of the trail is in the shade, so you can also visit on a hot day.
  • The trail is paved, so feel free to bring a stroller.
  • The trail is fairly short so this place is perfect for toddlers. My son used to hate getting out of his stroller, but when I took him here, he actually didn’t mind walking while exploring nature. So this place is perfect if you have a little one that loves sitting in a stroller.

Address/Hours:

Click over to get all the details.