Ruby’s Crystal Cove Shake Shack
7703 E. Coast Hwy., Crystal Cove
An OC classic, Ruby's has been serving up the best burgers, to-die-for milkshakes, and killer clam chowder since the early 1980's when Doug Cavanaugh and Ralph Kosmides opened their first location on Balboa Pier. Several southern California locations followed, including this Crystal Cove shake shack location, which is a local favorite for grabbing a burger and fries after a day at the beach.
7976 E. Coast Hwy., Crystal Cove
Wife-and-husband team Michele and Santos Graham have an eye for an industrial aesthetic, stocking items that lend a lived-in, sort of wabi sabi vibe mixed in with beautiful textiles and home accent pieces. There's also an assortment of classic beach clothing, including St. James striped shirts and CP Shades linen tunics.
The Resort at Pelican Hill
22701 Pelican Hill Rd., Crystal Cove
This 504-acre property features ocean views from practically every room and restaurant. There are several ways to stay here: For a romantic getaway, check into one of the resort-style rooms or private bungalows (stand-alone suites with ocean-view balconies); for a longer stay, families will appreciate the private three- and four-bedroom villas where everyone shares a living room and kitchen. Villa guests have access to a private pool, restaurant, and fitness center. To add to the thoroughly considered accommodations, the concierge will set up a picnic, beach chairs, towels, and everything needed (ride included) for a day spent at Crystal Cove.
15 Crystal Cove, Crystal Cove
Located right in the sand of Crystal Cove Beach, this authentic seafood restaurant has been a coveted spot for locals and visitors since it opened back in 2006 largely thanks to its beachside cottage setting and nostalgic 1950's California vibe. To get there calls for a bit of a hike from the parking lot to the beach, but it's worth it once you get to the underpass tunnel, which is decorated with local children's art. When you arrive, the to-die-for ahi tuna tacos are the thing to order. Bonus: there's a pretty great bar—the Bootleg Bar—attached.
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