The day started early, with fog covering most of the beach in a soft, eerie haze and muffling the sounds of people's voices and birds congregating around and among the rock pools. I had driven the short hour down to the beach from Los Angeles, and arrived just as the sun was coming up. As it rose, it took the mist with it, and the day warmed to perfection, with not a cloud in the sky, and a gentle breeze to keep you from melting into your beach chair. The relative seclusion of the cove, and the little cottages that dot it, made it feel like it was a private and exclusive stretch of seaside, but without the formality or attitude. The day ended with this amazing sunset. Sitting on the deck of the cove's only restaurant, I snapped this photo of some teenagers taking a last-minute dip in the Pacific.
Crystal Cove State Park is a short drive (no more than an hour without traffic) from Los Angeles and San Diego, and well worth the trip. A very casual restaurant sits on the beach, offering plenty of food and drinks to sate any appetite, and excellent views of the cove.