Crystal Cove State Park

Crystal Cove State Park is an unlikely place just off Pacific Coast Highway in the Newport Beach area. You can either walk the beach or stay above the ocean on the cliffs above, looking down from several vantage points. In either place you can take in the natural beauty of the California coastline, just minutes from elite shopping and high-end housing.

I was intrigued by the park after hearing that abandoned cottages peppered the beach. While the historic area is known primarily as the location where the movie, “Beaches” was filmed, I went for another kind of history. In the 1920s Japanese farmers leased land from The Irvine Company, which still owns the same land today. The farmers sold their produce on the side of the road in the surrounding area. However, with the dawn of World War II, the Japanese were packed up and shipped to internment camps. Their cottages still remain on Crystal Cove Beach, worn by sun, wind and sea.

One of the abandoned cottages once occupied by Japanese farmers.

Some of the beach is rocky, offering visitors a chance to climb closer to the surf – with caution.

Walking path above the coastline.

You can truly walk for miles.

Check outĀ theĀ Crystal Cove State Park brochure if you would like to learn more.