Saturday, August 11, 2007

California's Doheny State Beach Offers Adventure for All

Doheny State Beach has all the makings of paradise, SoCal style. An endless lapis sky. Beach wider than the 101 Freeway. Waves of surfable breaks. Lots of volleyball nets and barbecue grills. Myriad tables and acres of lawn for picnics and playing catch. And after every magical sunset, cool soft sand on which to pitch your tent and descend into sleep.

The park is an hour's drive south of downtown L.A., just south of Dana Point Harbor, and straddles San Juan Creek. It takes its name from oilman Edward L. Doheny, who in 1931 donated 41 acres of prime real estate to the state.

Along with a buoy-bordered patch of the Pacific, the area id designated for surfing, volleyball, swimming, sunbathing, beachcombing, fishing, kayaking, kayak fishing, windsurfing, horseshoe tossing, bird-watching, scuba diving, biking, skating, picnicking, strolling, jogging and camping.

A campground with 122 spaces for tent and RV camping abuts the beach southeast of the creek, which reaches the ocean a couple of months a year but otherwise ends 100 yards or so short of it.

Each of the 122 campsites consists of a paved parking space, a fire ring with grill, a picnic table, a hedge of vegetation for privacy, and a dirt or sand area to pitch a tent, depending on whether you're on the beach or inland.
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