Part sleepy beach town and part thriving art colony, Laguna Beach is a perfect day trip destination. This Orange County beach town has a little everything for those who want a relaxing getaway and some fun in the California sun.
When the locals aren’t shooting the curl, working on their tan, or playing volleyball on the white sandy oceanside courts, they appreciate the arts by attending various art events. First Thursday Art Walks, the Sawdust Art Festival, and the Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters.
Things To Do In Laguna Beach
Laguna Beach Main Beach Park
When first arriving in Laguna Beach, travelers are greeted by the 1930’s lifeguard tower that watches over the sand activities at Main Beach. Besides basketball and volleyball, some of the top beach activities along the main beach include surfing, bodyboarding, and snorkeling.
Just north of Main Beach is the most popular park in Laguna Beach, Heisler Park. A 3/4 mile trail runs along the bluff with several stairways down to the beach. A popular place to stop is Sunset Point which features a gazebo with an amazing view. Along the trail, there are public artworks and comfy benches to sit down and enjoy the view.
Crescent Bay Point Park
Crescent Bay Point Park is a small local park with the most amazing view in Laguna Beach. Parking is limited to a few places on Crescent Bay Drive. You can park along PCH and walk down to the park. There is no beach access at the park; most people come here for the stunning view.
Laguna Art Museum
Artists have been drawn to this area of Southern California since the late 1800s, so it’s no wonder that Laguna Beach boasts well over 100 art galleries. If you only have time to visit one art gallery, the Laguna Art Museum is a good choice. The museum only featured California art and was originally established in 1918 as the Laguna Beach Art Association. 307 Cliff Dr, Laguna Beach, California. Website.
Treasure Island Park
Treasure Island Park is directly in front of the Montage Resort. Situated on a cliff, the park has numerous wooden benches where you can sit back and enjoy the amazing view. If you are feeling energetic, several stairways lead down to the beach. Treasure Island Park is located in South Laguna Beach adjacent to the Montage Hotel.
Aliso Beach Park
Aliso Beach is just south of Treasure Island Park and is the only beach in Laguna with fire rings. At the south end of the beach, you will find the Lost Pier Cafe. The casual eatery serves up breakfast, lunch, and dinner only steps to the sand. The waves here break almost on the beach because there is a fairly steep dropoff. Check with the lifeguard for current conditions. There is a large parking lot next to the beach. 31131 Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach.
1000 Steps Beach
South of Also Beach is 1000 Steps Beach. This beach gets its name from the length of the beach, not the stairs down to the beach. There are only about 200 steps. Along with a beautiful sandy beach, several saltwater pools can be reached via a sea cave at the south end of the beach. During high tide, the sea cave is not accessible. Parking for 1000 steps is along PCH, just past the hospital.
Laguna Beach Tide Pools
A fun activity in Laguna Beach is to explore one of the many tide pools to get an up-close look at one of Southern California’s most fascinating ecosystems. Good tide pooling areas can be found at Divers Cove, Crescent Bay, Thousand Steps, and the coves below Heisler Park. Laguna Beach’s tide pools are in a Protected Marine Area. Look and enjoy but never damage or remove any of the creatures found in the tide pools.
Hortense Miller Gardens
Situated on a hill overlooking Laguna Beach is the Hortense Miller Gardens. The gardens encompass 2 1/2 beautiful acres are home to 1,500 plant species. A docent lead tour is held at 10 am on Wednesdays, Saturdays and alternating Tuesdays and Thursdays. Reservations are required and must be several weeks in advance. Website.
Pacific Marine Mammal Center
The Pacific Marine Mammal Center is a must for the entire family. The center provides medical care for the sick and injured seals and sea lions to return them to the wild. Open daily 10 am to 4 pm. visitors can watch the doctors treat these magnificent sea creatures and witness their incredible journey back to the ocean. Admission is free.
Sawdust Art Festival
Situated in Laguna Canyon, the Sawdust Are Festival host both winter and summer events. Visitors enjoy a colorful overview of the Laguna art world with an intimate setting for local artists and artisans to showcase their wares alongside some more mass-produced pieces. Year-round art classes are offered on the festival grounds.
Festival of Arts/Pageant of the Masters
The first Festival of Arts was held in 1932. Today the festival includes amazing artworks, nightly live music, workshops, art tours, and special events. The festival grounds also feature the Pageant of Masters. The pageant re-creates classical and contemporary works of art, with real people posing to look exactly the original artwork.
Crystal Cove State Park
Situated between Laguna Beach and Corona Del Mar, Crystal Cove State Park features three miles of pristine beach plus over 2000 acres of park. The main point of entry is the Crystal Cove Historic District. Here you will find the Crystal Cove Beach cottages that were built during the 1920s.
Moro Campground Crystal Cove SP
The beautiful beachfront campground is just north of Laguna Beach. There is a huge day-use area with 17 covered shade ramadas with picnic tables, 2 group pavilions, and an outdoor nature center along with the bluff-top campground.
Hotels in Laguna
Hotels in Laguna Beach are mostly on the beachfront, stretching from the main beach all the way to South Laguna. The most famous is the Hotel Laguna, which was the first hotel in Laguna Beach and dated back nearly 100 years. For the ultimate stay in Laguna, you can look no further than the five stars Montage Resort & Spa.
Ride the free trolley
Getting around and finding a parking spot in Laguna Beach can be a challenge. The city of Laguna Beach provides locals and visitors free trolly busses to make it easy to visit all of the beaches and attractions. There is even an app you can download to let you know exactly where the trolly is at any given time—more Information.
Where is Laguna Beach
Laguna Beach draws travelers from both far and near its seven miles of beautiful coastline and famous art fairs. However, for most, the pristine beaches are the main draw. Laguna Beach is located approximately fifty miles south of Los Angeles, in the southern portion of Orange County.