Instead of Black Friday, choose to Opt Outside!


It’s the day after Thanksgiving and you’re looking to recover from a day stuffed with turkey and pie.  Instead of frantically shopping in stores, skip the stress and head outdoors!

Crystal Cove Conservancy works alongside our partners at Crystal Cove State Park to preserve and protect Crystal Cove’s 2,400 acres of backcountry, 3.2 miles of coastline, and 1,100-acre State Marine Conservation Area.  Thanks to our collaborative efforts, Crystal Cove State Park offers all kinds of adventures to help you get outside and make your Black Friday anything but dark.

Looking for something to do outside with your family on Thanksgiving weekend?  Check out these fun adventures!

Meandering through Moro Canyon

Start at the Moro Canyon Ranger Station and climb the No Dogs trail up to 550 feet.  As you walk, turn around and admire the spectacular seascape below.  Turn right down the Poles trail and descend into Moro Canyon.  Enjoy a painted patchwork of green, red and brown native shrubs on the surrounding hillsides.  Once at the bottom, make a right and head toward the coast along the Moro Canyon trail.  In this riparian corridor, be treated to a different suite of plants and animals than those found 500 feet above.  After crossing the bridge, make a final right to return to the parking lot.  In just 3 miles, you will be encapsulated by both the picturesque views and fascinating biodiversity contained within Crystal Cove State Park.

Crystal Cove State Park day use fee is $15/vehicle.  For directions and a hiking trail map, visit 

Spying on Sea Life

An adventure in Crystal Cove is always an opportunity to see marine mammals.  If you want to whale watch from shore, walk the trail atop the bluffs and take advantage of the pathways that branch toward the ocean.  These seaside vistas are perfect for scanning the sea for dolphins and whales.

Those wanting a closer look can visit our partners at Newport Whales, located in Newport Harbor, and get out on the water.  Watch California gray whales as they pass by on their annual migration or marvel at dolphin as they jovially leap from the water.  Whether by land or by sea, the thrill of seeing these animals in wild is sure to forge great holiday memories.

To book a whale watch trip with Newport Whales, visit  Prices vary.  Crystal Cove State Park day use fee is $15/vehicle.  For directions and a hiking trail map, visit

Searching for Sea Glass

Treat your senses to the salty air and the sound of surf while exploring the beach on a shoreline stroll.  Let the waves tickle your toes while you embark on a sea glass treasure hunt.  Make a game with family and friends by seeing who can discover the rarest of colors: red, blue, or black.  If your seaside saunter brings you past the Historic District, stop by the cottages and harken back to a golden age in California’s history.

Crystal Cove State Park day use fee is $15/vehicle.  For directions and a hiking trail map, visit 


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