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Crystal Cove is a state park located in California, which takes up 3.2 miles of the Pacific coastline. The park includes inland chaparral canyon and the Crystal Cove Historic District of beach home. Crystal Cove is located in Newport Beach and is a stretch of coastal cliffs and a beachfront cove that is between the Pacific Ocean and Pacific Coast Highway, north of Laguna Beach

Crystal Cove was established in 1979 and is 3,936 acres. There are 3 miles of tide pools and beaches, along with a 1,400-acre marine Conservation Area and an underwater park, 2,400 canyon acres and 400 acres of bluffs. This makes it the park an ideal location for horseback riding and hiking. Mountain bikers also love to spend time at Crystal Cove, and scuba divers can take advantage of the facility for an underwater adventure

Crystal Cove has been used for recreation since the 1920s, and provides ample space for trailers and tent camping. By the 1930s, people started building cottages and cabins at the park and were living in these homes year-round. The area is owned by the Irvine Company, and in the late 1930s, the company limited further building on the cove and continue to ranch operations until 1979 when the land was sold to State of California to become a state park

Crystal Cove is listed in the National Register of Historical Places, and 46 cottages are on the property. twenty-two of the cottages have been renovated to meet the qualifications for visitation and public use. On the second Saturday of each month, a public tour I conducted at the Crystal Cove Historic District. The Visitor Center offers exhibits and audio-visual presentations that detail the culture and history of this attractive community

Visitors are also encouraged to visit the store that offers artifacts from Crystal Cove for the avid collector that wants to retain the memories of the visit to the Cove or attain a conversation piece for the home. Guests can also enjoy a meal at the Beachcomber, which is on the sand and offers a soothing environment next to the ocean surf. The restaurant offers great food, along with cocktails and a space to spend time with friends and loved ones in a breathtaking setting

Educators and parents can contact Crystal Cove to arrange a school trip for children to learn more about the historic Newport Beach area. A member of the park staff can visit the classroom, or you can work with the staff to bring the children to the park. In addition, Crystal Cove offers:


  • Walks and hikes, along with professional talks, led by trained docents

  • A wildlife gallery that features all the animals and plants that live in the Crystal Cove area. Creatures include the bobcat, the Pacific tree frog and the great horned lizard.

  • The tidepool gallery, which showcases the animals the thrive in the waters of Crystal Cove, like the beach hopper, the sea anemone and the chestnut cowrie.


To learn more about Crystal Cove as you plan your trip to California, or to get information about the Historic District and cottage restoration, visit www.crystalcovebeachcottages.org