Salt Creek Beach Guide
Salt Creek Beach is in Dana Point, north of the harbor and south of Laguna Beach. It’s a long and sandy beach that is very popular with surfers. There are changing rooms, restrooms, outdoor showers, a snack bar, and firepits.
There is also a large grassy park called Bluff Park, which has picnic tables, restrooms and BBQ grills. Stairs lead to the beach below.
Conveniently, there is a large parking lot with pay machines. It costs about a dollar an hour. But the path down to the beach (between the Ritz Carlton Dana Point and Bluff Park) is long and you will have an uphill walk back to your car. You can get here from Ritz Carlton Drive off of Pacific Coast Highway (Highway 1).
At the bottom, with the beach spread out before you, there’s a steep path to the left that takes you up to the Ritz Carlton’s blufftop path, and you can walk through the hotel’s picturesque grounds with fabulous coastal views.
There are benches from which you can gaze at the sea and if you’re lucky, you may see some gray whales migrating at certain times of year. On a clear day you can even see Catalina Island.
North of Bluff park, the multi use trail goes along the coast, with steps or paths down to the beach.
The southern entrance to Salt Creek Beach Park is off of Selva Road. There is a large, free parking lot there. This is also called Strands Park. There is a walkway with cement picnic tables along the bluff, overlooking the ocean. At the far southern end, a long, winding path goes down to Strands Beach below.
At the far north end there are restrooms, and a funicular elevator takes people up and down to the beach for those who don’t want to brave the long stairway.
On the beach here, there are tide pools and sand. Dana Headlands can be seen off to the left, facing the sea.
Ritz Carlton Dana Point
The Ritz Carlton Dana Point is perched on the 150 foot high bluff overlooking the ocean, between Laguna Beach California and Dana Point
. The views are incredible. Most of the rooms have private patios or balconies with ocean views. Each room has luxurious bedding and marble bathrooms.
Other amenities include the Ritz Carlton Spa, which has twelve treatment rooms, an oceanfront fitness center, yoga classes, pilates classes, tennis courts, and two swimming pools and whirlpools. Salt Creek Beach is down below and the hotel offers free beach shuttle service. Body boards, beach umbrellas and chairs are available to guests also.
Additionally, Dana Point Harbor is a short drive away, with all its boating activities, restaurants and shops.
There’s no shortage of places to eat at this resort. The Sunset Lounge has ocean views and you can sit outdoors in the sun and smell the sea as you dine.
The Market Place has pastries, coffee and sandwiches. Restaurant 162′ offers dining on fresh seafood, but they also serve breakfast. Eno is a wine, cheese and chocolate tasting room. The Bar is oppen nightly until midnight, or till 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Lastly, the Dana Pool Cafe offers cocktail beverages and snacks at the pool, but is only open seasonally.