We started our day at the beaches at Dana Point, where we've been before. It's the coastal community closest to San Juan Capistrano, and features a large beautiful marina, a "baby beach," the Ocean Institute, and a Marine Wildlife Refuge. We started our visit by giving Kona a little walk. There are no dogs allowed on the beach, but we strolled around the park and out to the actual point and the refuge, where dogs are also not allowed. So we took turns walking out to the beach while Kona waited patiently.
The refuge consists of a high cliff with what seems to be a typical California rocky beach with tide pools where various marine life hang out: birds, crabs, lots of kelp, a few harbor seals. I gather that at times there are whales and porpoises visible from the shore.
We caught sight of a stealthy green heron.
A variety of sea kelp washed up on shore.
Looking north at the refuge from our waiting place on the jetty.
The Ocean Institute is a popular place for school trips and educates visitors about the local marine life and marine/shipping history. It has two tall ships, one is the Pilgrim, which in the picture below is filled with children eating their lunch and being watched over by two docent types in period costume.
On our way out of town, heading north, we stopped and looked back at the bay, protected by the long jetty breakwater. The marina is so large I couldn't get it all in one photo.
The next town north along the Pacific Coastal Highway is Laguna Beach. We stopped for a walk and this time Kona was allowed on the beach, with a leash. It's mostly a classic surf and sand beach.
The other end of the beach was a rocky shore much like the one at Dana Point, but I thought the tide pools were even prettier.
We drove further north through the opulent communities of Emerald Bay, Crystal Cove and Newport Beach, and reached our final destination of the Huntington State Park Dog Beach. A rollicking good time was had by all. Yeah!!!