Big Lagoon County Park, Humboldt County California
With its long sand spit separating the lagoon from the ocean, Big Lagoon is a beachcombing paradise, and if one is willing to walk far enough you can truly be alone.
The spit is a continuation of Agate Beach (starting at Patrick's Point State Park, two miles south), and offers up semi-precious agates, jade and moonstones as well as the usual shells and driftwood.
Boating: Big Lagoon is also a popular destination for sailing, windsurfing and kayaking -- just about all forms of boating. Nearly three miles long, the lagoon is large enough to get in some respectable sailing in protected waters. (No personal watercraft allowed, and speed limits prohibit waterskiing.)
Kayak Rentals: Try exploring the lagoon in a kayak. Kayak rentals are available through Kayak Zak's at the boat ramp daily Memorial through Labor Day weekend. All rentals come with a mini-lesson. Call for drop off in off-season.
Swimming: In shallow areas of the lagoon, particularly near the boat ramp, the water temperature is quite pleasant and many visitors enjoy swimming. With the dangerous Pacific surf pounding just 100 yards away, here one can splash around in safety.
Camping: Situated on a wooded peninsula, Big Lagoon County Park offers a rare treat for waterside camping. Several of the campsites are directly on the lagoon, and the shore is accessible to all campers for small boat launching, fishing and exploring. The campsites are pleasantly situated in a coastal Sitka spruce forest. There is a group camp suitable for family gatherings and outdoor parties.
25 tent sites - $18. There are no camping reservations--it's first-come, first-served.
Directions: 7 miles north of Trinidad. Take Hwy. 101 to Big Lagoon Park Road and follow the signs
at 12:15 PM