Salt Creek is located below the Ritz Carlton Hotel in South Orange County and has been a favorite surfing spot since the 1960s. Today along with surfers you can find guests from two five-star resorts the Ritz-Carlton and St. Regis.
Hotel guest can be shuttled to the beach on electric golf carts or can walk down the paved trail down to the sand. Along with out of town visitors Salt Creek attracts a mix of families, sunbathers.& surfers.
At one time, you were able to drive your car down a dirt road and park next to the beach. Part of the original beach road is still visible from the snack bar to the lifeguard tower on the point. Back in the fifty’s and sixty’s families would park their cars along the beach while visiting Salt Creek.
When construction of Dana Point Harbor began in the late 60s road access to Salt Creek ended. Today if you want to visit the beach you must park in a large parking lot next to Pacific Coast Highway and hike down the steep road to the beach.
Salt Creek Beach has changing rooms, showers, restrooms and a seasonal snack bar. A path along the seawall connects Salt Creek to Strand Breach to the South and Monarch Beach to the North.
A good spot to watch the surfers is next to the lifeguard tower on the point. During the summer months, you can escape the crowd by walking south around the point to Strand beach.
There is a small grass area with picnic benches and also a nice stretch of sandy beach to enjoy. Keep an eye out for critters pictured below. They hang out at the beach during the day. Salt Creek is a great place spend the day and has been a favorite beach for locals for many years.
Salt Creek Beach has about one mile of wide sandy beach and is adjacent Monarch Bay Beach which has a private beach club near the sand. Surrounded by multi-million dollar homes, Monarch Beach Golf Links and the Ritz Carlton Hotel Salt Creek is located in one of the most affluent areas of Orange County.
During the summer the Salt Creek Beach is packed with hundreds of sun worshipers, off-season Salt Creek is a much more casual destination perfect for a walk along the beach.
Bluff Park at Salt Creek Beach is a great place to have a picnic or relax and enjoy the view. House directly behind the park cost several million dollars each. You can enjoy the same view for a few dollars parking fee. Tables are available at Bluff Park on a first come first serve basis.
Salt Creek snack bar is open during the summer and holidays. You can not drive down to the beach anymore unless you are handicapped. If you have a handicap placard affixed to the windshield or a license plate you are allowed to drop off, but can not park at the bottom of the road.
Salt Creek Beach is located at Pacific Coast Highway & Ritz Carlton Drive, approximately six miles from the San Diego freeway on Crown Valley Parkway.
All vehicle parking is metered. Payment can be made by cash or credit card and is self-service. Salt Creek Beach is open 5 am to 12 midnight. 33333 S. Pacific Coast Hwy. Dana Point, CA 92629 (949) 923-2280
Free parking is available on Camino Del Avion between Niguel Road and Crown Valley Parkway. From there you can hike or bike down to the beach along the Salt Creek trail. On the way to the beach its all down the hill, return trip is quite a climb.