Top 7 Beaches Near Disneyland
1. Huntington Beach
- Distance from Disneyland: 19.5 miles (28 min)
- Route: CA-22 W and State Rte 39 S
- Best For: Surfing, beach volleyball, bonfires, family picnics
- Pros: Perfect surf with miles of sandy beaches, vibrant beach culture, lively events year-round, extensive options for shopping, dining, nightlife
- Cons: Very crowded during summertime peak season
Known as “Surf City USA,” Huntington Beach is a dream destination for wave seekers with its endless stretch of golden sand and rolling surf the state is known for. As the closest major beach town to Disneyland, it offers a big beach atmosphere and activities without a lengthy drive.
Families, couples, and solo travelers alike find their perfect spot along this active shoreline dotted with surfers, beach volleyball games, bonfires, and more. Its world-famous pier, surf shops, and vibrant cultural events solidify Huntington Beach as a quintessential SoCal beach community built on surf culture. Annual events like the U.S. Open of Surfing bring free concerts, competitions, and celebrations to town.
2. Newport Beach
A Ferris Wheel rises over Balboa Village | Image © Visit Newport Beach
- Distance from Disneyland: 18.7 miles (23 min)
- Route: I-5 S and CA-55 S
- Best For: Luxury dining, high-end shopping, harbor cruises
- Pros: Upscale, relaxed vibe with pristine beaches, beautiful harborfront homes and vibrant boating culture, world-class shopping and dining options
- Cons: Pricey parking, amenities, restaurants
Newport Beach is a smaller city than Huntington Beach, but it’s actually closer to Disneyland than its larger neighbor, as per Google Maps. The city is known for its luxurious harborside mansions and trendy coastal neighborhoods. A short drive from Disneyland, Newport Beach offers visitors a relaxed yet upscale setting for beach activities, boutique shopping, harborfront dining, and sunset cruises.
Observe the magnificent yachts docked in the harbor or head inland to explore top local attractions like Fashion Island outdoor mall or the historic Balboa Pavilion and Fun Zone. With its understated elegance and coastal charm, Newport Beach offers a glimpse of the glamorous California lifestyle.
3. Laguna Beach
- Distance from Disneyland: 24.8 miles (32 mins)
- Route: I-5 S and CA-133 S
- Best For: Art lovers, hiking, scenic views
- Pros: Beautiful secluded coves and beaches, lush coastal landscapes and trails, funky arts community and galleries
- Cons: Limited parking at most beach access points
Laguna Beach offers more than just sun and sand; it’s a vibrant arts community set amid gorgeous natural landscapes. Known for its secluded coves, hilltop parks, and artistic spirit, Laguna Beach has an alternative vibe that sets it apart from other Orange County beach towns.
Outdoor lovers are drawn to the area’s extensive coastal hiking trails, secluded beaches, and breathtaking ocean vistas. The downtown village exudes funky, eclectic charm with art galleries, boutiques, and bistros at every turn. Laguna Beach offers inspiration and adventure in equal measure just outside Disneyland’s gates.
4. Seal Beach
- Distance from Disneyland: 19 miles (25 min)
- Route: CA-22 W
- Best For: Quiet relaxation, small-town charm
- Pros: A spacious beach with less crowds, family-friendly waves and atmosphere, cute Main Street shops and eateries
- Cons: Limited dining and amenities
Seal Beach stands out as a more peaceful, local alternative to buzzing beach towns like Huntington Beach. Just minutes from Disneyland, its relatively untouched sands offer room to spread out and relax in the quintessential California sun.
Beyond the mellow shoreline, a walk to Seal Beach’s picture-perfect Main Street reveals charming shops, friendly cafes, and a close-knit community spirit. Visitors remark on the town’s quaint allure and neighborly ambiance, a refreshing change of pace from Southern California’s sprawling beaches and cities.
Note: Seal Beach in Orange County is not to be confused with the La Jolla / San Diego area beaches (roughly 90-100 miles away from Disneyland) which offer prime viewing of seals and sea lions in a natural habitat.
5. Long Beach
- Distance from Disneyland: 25.6 miles (32 min)
- Route: CA-91 W
- Best For: Cultural attractions, aquarium, diverse cuisine
- Pros: Urban vibe, lots of activities like the Queen Mary, Aquarium of the Pacific, museums, shops, restaurants
- Cons: Urban environment may not appeal to those seeking natural beach beauty
Long Beach offers a unique blend of urban energy and seaside tranquility. Known for hosting the historic Queen Mary and the engaging Aquarium of the Pacific, it’s a destination where cultural attractions beautifully converge with oceanfront views.
The vibrant downtown area buzzes with a variety of dining options, lively bars, and distinctive shops. The beachfront itself is expansive and versatile, featuring bike paths, water sports facilities, and ample space for relaxation and adventure. This diversity makes Long Beach an appealing choice for those looking to combine the excitement of a city with the laid-back atmosphere of a beachside retreat.
6. Dana Point
- Distance from Disneyland: 33.6 miles (42 min)
- Route: I-5 S
- Best For: Whale watching, family fun, harbor activities
- Pros: Beautiful natural harbor, kid-friendly beach with gentle surf
- Cons: Parking can be challenging
Dana Point’s standout feature is its natural harbor and marina area, perfect for leisurely walks admiring yachts or embarking on a whale-watching adventure. Families flock to Dana Point beaches for their calm waves, vast stretches of sand, and beachside parks with playgrounds and volleyball.
Stroll down the harbor’s dockside promenade with its chic boutiques and restaurants. Rent kayaks or stand-up paddleboards, or book a harbor sail. With picturesque beaches and harbor access blended beautifully, Dana Point entices Disneyland guests seeking oceanside charm.
7. San Clemente State Beach
- Distance from Disneyland: 38.2 miles (48 min)
- Route: I-5 S
- Best For: Surfing culture, beach trails, charming pier
- Pros: Beautiful sandy beach, cute downtown village with shops and cafes
- Cons: Limited dining options directly near the shore
In between Los Angeles and San Diego, San Clemente State Beach has an authentic surf town vibe somewhat off the beaten path. Longboard surfers dot the waves, while beachgoers enjoy sandy stretches with trails perfect for walking, jogging, or biking.
The beach’s namesake town just inland charms visitors with Spanish architecture, boutiques, cafes, and weekly farmers markets. Located at the southern end of Orange County, San Clemente makes for an easy detour for road trippers or those venturing between Disneyland and San Diego.
Other Disneyland Resources
Here are some resources to help you understand the rich history and context of Disneyland Resort or to plan your future Disneyland vacation:
Conclusion: The Perfect Blend of Disney Fun and Beach Serenity
A vacation combining Disneyland and California’s beautiful beaches offers the ultimate Southern California experience. Enjoy the high-energy world of Disney by day and then relax on golden sands and tranquil waters in the evenings.
The beaches near Disneyland provide options for every interest and age range. Seek out the vibrant surf culture of Huntington Beach or soak up the sophisticated luxury of Newport Beach. Families flock to Seal Beach’s gentle waves while outdoor adventurers hike the coves of artistic Laguna Beach.
With the exceptional Disneyland travel experts at The Vacationeer helping to effortlessly weave theme park magic and beach bliss into one itinerary, you’re ready for an unforgettable vacation. Their complimentary service makes planning a stress-free, magical experience.