Laguna Beach is a beautiful, energetic yet laid back beach town in Southern California with diverse views and scenery, which means it has something for everyone from art lovers and surfers to eco-tourists and beach goers. Surrounded by rolling hills on one side, and the Pacific Ocean, including numerous coves and steep, rocky bluffs, on the other side, Laguna Beach was one of our favorite places in Southern California.
Laguna Beach also hosts several annual beach volleyball competitions, attracting top players from around the world, as well as one of the longest running major surf competitions in the world. Many people also hike, bike, and photograph or paint the hills surrounding Laguna Beach, and the city’s unique landscapes have inspired numerous famous works of art, including many
Laguna Beach is an hour and 20 minutes from LAX airport, 1 hour from Disneyland, 20 minutes from Newport Beach, a 1 hour ferry ride, or 15 minute helicopter ride from Catalina Island, 40 minutes from Irvine, and right next to Crystal Cove State Park.
Where to Stay
Casa Laguna Hotel & Spa
Monarch Beach Resort
Montage Beach Resort
The Retreat in Laguna
Where to Eat
Click here to read my review of our favorite place to eat in Laguna Beach, The Cliff! If you’re looking for a beautiful spot to watch the ocean waves crash over Victoria Beach, enjoy the sunset, check out local artisans, enjoy fresh caught seafood and handcrafted cocktails, The Cliff is the best place to do it!
Other great places to eat in the area include:
Another Kind Café
Lost Pier Café
Mary Wood Grill
Royal Thai Cuisine
Seven 7 Seven
Terra Laguna Beach & Wine Bar
Tommy Bahama Laguna Beach
What to Do
Bike or Hike the Hills
Explore Public Art Exhibits Throughout Town
Explore Tide Pools
Saturday Morning Farmer’s Market
Shopping Local Boutiques
Swim in the Ocean
Visit Heisler Park
Visit Laguna Art Museum
Walk Victoria Beach
Yoga on the Beach
Festival of Arts (July 5th – August 31st, 2019)
Laguna Beach Music Festival (February 2019)
Laguna Dance Festival (2019 Dates TBD)
Laguna Plein Air Painting Invitational (October 2019)
Pageant of the Masters (July 7th – August 31st, 2019)
Sawdust Arts & Craft Festival (2019 Dates TBD)
Parking was plentiful and inexpensive ($1.50 – $4) in Laguna Beach, and most restaurants had valet parking. From September to June the Forest/Laguna Canyon Lot has free day parking, so you don’t need to worry about going over the city’s 3 hour parking limits.
Day Trips from Laguna Beach
There are so many great places to visit in Southern California that’s impossible to list all of them. Below are some of my favorite places to visit, but I recommend figuring out what you’d like to do (e.g. surfing, wine tasting, beach combing, shopping, etc.), and search for nearby places or experiences. This will help you find the perfect add-ons to your Southern California adventure! Be sure to check back frequently as I create more complete travel guides for the following cities:
Catalina Island (1 hour ferry ride, or 15 minute helicopter ride)
What are your favorite things to do in Laguna Beach? Is there anything you’d like to see me add to my travel guide series? Let me know in the comments below!
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