_thern My wife and I are traveling the Ca Coastal Highway, south from SF. Attending the Angels game and staying near ballpark on Wed nite, but want a coastal stay next day south of LA - one nite. The Dana Point property looks gorgeous, but not on the beach (can you get down to it?) . My question is, can anyone guide me to a beach experience south of LA, or is the Dana Point location too beautiful to miss? I understand Laguna Beach is also beautiful and a fun place too.
As far as your question about getting down to the beach from the Dana Point property, I assume you are referring to 'by foot,' which the answer is yes. If you're wanting a beach experience, then you definitely want to stay at either Newport Coast Villas (Newport Coast/Corona del Mar), The Ritz-Carlton in Laguna Niguel, or the Laguna Cliffs (Dana Point property.) I have only stayed at the Newport Coast property, so can only speak to that (it's a great resort property and you can walk down to the beach (there is a pedestrian tunnel that goes under PCH), but the other two properties look magnificent as well. Be sure to specify ocean view, and I would even have a look at the room before accepting (as the definition of 'ocean view' can vary.)
All three beach resort towns (Newport Beach/Corona del Mar, Laguna Beach/Laguna Niguel and Dana Point are fun to kick around in, and span a coastline of about 30 miles of which driving can be slow in spots, due to signals and traffic. Because there is so much to do in each of these towns, I would pick one and focus on that spot, because you cannot take in all three beach towns in one day. Also ask yourself if you want to spend most of your time enjoying the resort and amenities or do you want to go to the beach and see the sights? If you want to enjoy the beach, scenery and get a little bit of town vibe, I would opt for the Newport Coast or Laguna Niguel property. More restaurant and shopping options in Newport and Laguna and prettier beaches/coastline (in my humble opinion).
Here's a photo of sunset from our balcony at Newport Coast Villas. The shot is looking toward the sunset, so it appears that we are farther away from the coastline than we are (we're actually less than 1/4 mile from the beach.)
I personally enjoy the offerings of Newport Coast and Corona del Mar, and Laguna Beach is a short drive south.
If you spend any time in Laguna Beach, may I recommend Heisler Park off of Cliff Drive. Very beautiful scenery. The center of Laguna Beach at PCH and Broadway (hwy 133) is lots of fun too, but can be crowded, however if you're going to be there in the middle of the week and with public school still in session, it should be enjoyable.
I have always wanted to stay in Dana Point, just to "discover" it for once and for all, but never have, probably because I enjoy Newport and Laguna so very much.
Whichever you decide (amongst these three properties), you can't go wrong. Enjoy your stay, and if you have any other questions feel free to ask away.
(Why you would want to see the Angels over the Dodgers is beyond me... , seriously, the Angels have a great stadium, and Anaheim is a fun place, so I'll forgive you for that. )
Here's another suggestion. Click on the 'Discussions' tab on the gray bar at the top of this screen. then where it says 'type text' in the 'filter' field, type 'Laguna' or 'Newport' or 'Dana Point.' There are a number of past discussions on these areas that may give you some additional insight.
The Dana Point property is one of my all-time favorite Marriotts--very distinctive with beautiful pools, views, etc. It is an easy walk to (but not back from) the beach, and there is a complimentary shuttle. Casual chic--very California with a real taste of the surfing history of the area.
Newport Coast is great for longer stays because of the kitchens, etc., and the outdoor resort amenities are more comprehensive, but not more aesthetically pleasing than at Dana Point.
I haven't looked up the past discussions, but I'm guessing there is lots of info there. The Ritz CArlton is actually on the beach, but for local character and visuals, you can't beat the Dana Point property. Room size does matter there, but so long as you have a view and not the smallest rooms (which, I think, are mostly on the top floor), you'll have no issues. There are weddings on the property every weekend, but I think they add more than they detract.
The public park right in front of the property, between it and the ocean, is a delightful place to walk, picnic, etc. Access to the beach is sort of through the park, depending on which path you take down the hill.
Enjoy--one of our favorite areas to visit. The last time we stayed at Dana Point, the staff was wonderful to us, though I vaguely remember one housekeeping hiccup over the course of the 5 nights or so.