New life for Orange County beach bungalows

Relive beach cottage life on the Southern California coast

Call them the little beach cottages that could. At Southern California's Crystal Cove State Park, 13 recently restored vintage bungalows were set to open to the public in June 2006, ― and reservations are already in high demand.

Dating back to the 1930s, the cottages are the last remnants of a bohemian summer coastal community, where families slept just feet from the surf, woke to the cries of seagulls, and played ukuleles by the light of bonfires. When the state purchased this land 27 years ago, the plan was to convert the existing structures into a luxury beach resort. But an alliance of nonprofit organizations and Laguna Beach residents rallied to keep Crystal Cove the way it had been. Which, amazingly enough, is exactly what happened.

Info: Crystal Cove Beach Cottages (13 units from $165). Book seven months ahead at www.reserveamerica.com or 800/?444-7275.