California/Disneyland to Beach
I am planning a trip to disneyland. We are staying at the Carousel Inn and Suites and for one of the days we want to go to the beach to swim. I had originally hoped we could go to Santa Monica but I see that Huntington Beach is closer. None of use are comfortable driving so we are looking for shuttle or bus services that would get us there. What do you suggest?
Please accept my apologies for the delayed response. I did not have access to my computer, and should have placed myself in "vacation" mode.
Huntington Beach is certainly closer "as the pixie flies", but it is somewhat harder to get to. HB is southwest of Disneyland, but all the freeways and roads run north/south and east/west. It is essentially like traveling along two sides of a right triangle.
Newport Beach is actually closer if you are driving or taking a bus, and I can highly recommend the Balboa Pier area. It's a beautiful beach, and there are shops and restaurants nearby for dining and relaxing. It's a 19 mile drive vs. a 23 mile drive to HB Pier. Not bad if you're driving, but it adds an extra 30 minutes or more if you are traveling by bus.
One option would be to use SuperShuttle or PrimeTime Shuttle, but that's going to be the expensive option, especially since you have to pay both ways. You can find them at supershuttle.com and primetimeshuttle.com.
Another option would be to rent a car, despite your discomfort with driving. I only mention it because the other options are expensive or time-consuming. Driving to Newport is only about 30 minutes if there is no traffic, HB is another 10 minutes. Driving directions: Take I-5 south to the 55 south, exiting at the end of the freeway. Continue on Newport Blvd. As you approach Pacific Coast Highway, you can turn right and go northwest to Huntington (about 3 miles), go straight. After you cross PCH, Newport Blvd turns into Balboa Blvd. Look for the signs that say "pier parking".
Taking the bus is cheap, but takes quite awhile. You would board OCTA bus 43 going south at the Disneyland bus area (right across the street from the Carousel). At Newport Blvd & 18th St in Costa Mesa, transfer to OCTA bus 71, which will take you right to the pier. Travel time is 90 min to 2 hours. To get back, just take the same route in reverse.