Any good road trip through the North Coast of California and Southern Oregon makes a stop at Crescent Beach, a remote crescent-shaped bay. Crescent City has the roadside aquarium Ocean World and a few motels on the way to the redwoods.

Atmosphere: With a handful of average restaurants and motels lining Highway 101, Crescent Beach is more of a place for camping, fishing and appreciating the wilderness. Real isolation can be found in the back country trails and hard-to-reach beaches like nearby Endert’s Beach.

Parking and Entrance: Park along Highway 101 and step down a few rocks to get directly to Crescent Beach. For a more secluded area of the beach with better views, drive down Endert’s Beach Road and stop at one of the beach access points.

Nice Walks and Views: Walking along the beach is beautiful at sunset as the sunlight hits the trees. For a different look at the crescent-shaped bay and Battery Point Lighthouse, take Front Street west from the 101.

Activities for Toddlers: Beach Front Park on the bay has a really cool playground, great for toddlers who have been cooped up in car seats all day. Good luck passing up the quirky roadside aquarium Ocean World, as your kids will spot the giant seal statue from the road.

Bathrooms: Bathrooms are on the south end of the beach.

Perks for Parents: Crescent City, if nothing else, will help you break up the driving on your road trip. For hikers who want to venture down a cliff with older children, take the ½ mile trail to Endert’s Beach and search for agates or sand dollars.

Where to Stay with Kids: Stay at the inexpensive motel right on the beach, Crescent Beach Motel. Accommodations are all standard motels throughout Crescent City, so take this chance to stay close to the sand.

Baby-friendly Restaurants: Choose from gas station food or one of a few restaurants, highlighting local seafood. One pick for breakfast is the Good Harvest Café, where you can treat your child to some fresh-squeezed OJ.

What Else to Do: Go south to the Trees of Mystery in Klamath for a kitschy redwood experience even the kids will love.

Photo by freya.gefn