Things to do in Laguna beach Things to do in Laguna beach

20 Best Places to Explore in Laguna Beach For Every Tourist

In Orange County in Southern California, Laguna Beach is a beautiful paradise known for its beaches, canyons, caves, art galleries, and parks.

Orange County in Southern California attracts several tourists each year with its mesmerizing beauty, and the luxurious resorts are the perfect place to stay and soak in its scenic beauty. The summer season is the perfect time to enjoy the beautiful landscape and their yearly festivals.

And if you are looking for a guide that will help you explore this beautiful haven, then you have stumbled upon just the right article for you!

From skimboarding and surfing to enjoying art festivals and exploring different cultural experiences, there are various things to explore in Laguna Beach.

List of Places to Visit in Laguna Beach

We can tell that exploring Laguna Beach may sometimes confuse people as it has many places to visit. So, to make your work easier, here is a list of things to do at Laguna Beach so that you may not miss out on visiting some beautiful places.

1. Victoria Beach

Victoria Beach, situated in Laguna Beach, Southern California, is a beautiful sandy beach and is one of the places to visit in Laguna Beach.

Skimboarding is a board sport and Victoria Beach is the perfect place to hone your skills.

Things to do in Beach
Image by Lynn Voyages / Unsplash / Copyrights 2021

Things to do:

Victoria Beach is the best spot for skimboarding, surfing, or playing volleyball. The positive aspect of Victoria Beach is that it has something to offer to everyone. One can play volleyball, swim, surf, skimboard, or laze around.

Things to see:

The main attraction of Victoria Beach is the Pirate Tower- a lighthouse-structured tower where one can click amazing photos of the view.

It is to be enjoyed with bare eyes and to be forever cherished in memories.

2. Treasure Island Beach

Treasure Island Beach in Laguna Beach is located in Southern California.

Things to Do:

Other than swimming in the clean water of Treasure Island Beach, this beach also offers some fun activities like trekking on the rocks, skin diving, scuba diving, and tide pooling, among various other adventure sports.

And if you are not interested in doing any activities, you can sit on the beach and adorn the beautiful nature.

3. Table Rock Beach

Table Rock Beach situated in Laguna Beach is a part of the beautiful Laguna Beach coastline.

Things to Do:

Table Rock Beach is the preferable beach among skimboarders. You can also climb over the rocks at the south end of Table Rock Beach, which entrances another beauty known as Secret Cove Beach.

It’s advisable not to swim if you are not a good swimmer. Other than swimming, one can enjoy the view of the massive sea waves crashing on the rocks.

Table Rock Beach
Source: Shutterstock

4. Main Beach

Main Beach is one of the largest beaches in Laguna Beach and is located in the heart of Laguna Beach town.

Main Beach is surrounded by restaurants, hotels, and other beaches and has a white lifeguard tower in the middle of the beach.

Things to Do:

One would not feel bored or sit idle on the Main Beach as there are various fun activities to do such as playing basketball, volleyball, or just making sandcastles and forts. There is also a separate playing area for children. However, surfing is not allowed on Main Beach during the summer months.

On the north side of Main Beach is Heisler Park, which has several tide pools. The South end of Main Beach has several beaches, too, starting with Sleepy Hollow Beach first.

Main Beach has the facility of using restrooms or shower areas to clean themselves after enjoying the beach.

5. Aliso Beach

Aliso Beach in Laguna Beach, Southern California, is one of the popular beaches in Orange County. It also has a parking space in front of the beach and is one of the places that one should visit in Laguna Beach.

Things to Do:

Aliso Beach is the only beach amongst Laguna beaches that has fire pits and is the most known beach among skimboarders. Also, the world championship of skimboarding known as The VIC is held every summer in Aliso Beach.

Things to See:

Swimming is not preferable in Aliso Beach as the water is not clean and clear. Although watching skimboarders playing with rough waves is a visual treat to the eyes.

There are restrooms, washrooms, and a separate playing area for children in Aliso Beach too.

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Source: Shutterstock

6. Crescent Bay Beach

Crescent Bay Beach is situated on the north side of Laguna Beach, Southern California.

Things to See:

The beach has rocky areas on both the North and South sides.

The north side of the beach has a huge rock known as Seal Rock which gets its name because seals and sea lions are visible there.

Things to Do:

Although swimming is not allowed, this beach is mostly popular for skimboarding, scuba diving, and body surfing. There are several tide pools as well.

Fishing is not allowed at this beach. Collecting shells or disturbing marine life is strictly prohibited.

7. Huntington Beach

In Laguna Beach, Orange County, Southern California, Huntington Beach is the perfect place to relax during holidays and is considered one of the best places to do in Laguna Beach.

Things to Do:

Due to its favorable weather, various activities like kayaking, biking, and bird watching can be enjoyed.

Although this beach is mostly known for surfing, surfing is just an activity on this beach. It is more like an emotion for the local people.

Besides these activities, public markets, restaurants, and cafes are also available to offer fine dining with an ocean view.

Art and culture are an integral part of the local lifestyle. Laguna Beach boasts of rich heritage.

8. Heisler Park

In Orange County, Laguna Beach, Southern California, Heisler Park was named after Howard G. Heisler, who purchased the property in 1905.

Things to See:

Within the Heisler Park is The Veterans Monument which was built to salute the people who gave their lives for the country’s freedom. It is also dedicated to the dead soldiers who fought to protect their country.

Heisler Park is a sea-facing park that leads to beaches such as Picnic Beach, Rockpile Beach, Diver’s Cove, and Main Beach.

Art is an inevitable part of local life. It is everywhere, and this beautiful Heisler Park includes art sculptures, walking paths, picnic tables, park benches, and so on.

On visiting Heisler Park, one can enjoy or observe the art sculptures.

And lastly, Heisler Park is a must place to visit for nature lovers.

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Source: Shutterstock

9. Treasure Island Park

Treasure Island Park in Laguna Beach, Southern California, is one of the best places to visit in Laguna Beach.

Treasure Island Park got its name from the movie Treasure Island which was videotaped in 1934 in the same place.

Things to See:

Treasure Island Park has several tide pools. One can also witness several artists capturing the breathtaking view.

Unlike Victoria Beach, parking is much easier in Treasure Island Park, where they have the facility of underground parking.

10. Pacific Marine Mammal Center

Visiting the Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Beach, Southern California. The sole purpose of the Pacific Marine Mammal Center is to rescue, rehabilitate, and release wounded marine animals.

The Pacific Marine Mammal Center was first established in 1975. Till now, they have released 23,000 marine mammals, which include species like California sea lions, northern elephant seals, Pacific harbor seals, northern fur seals, and southern sea otters.

The Pacific Marine Mammal Center has also worked with other institutions to provide insightful knowledge about protecting marine life and its natural habitat. They were the ones to discover that a harmful chemical named domoic acid is the cause of illness in many California sea lions.

At Pacific Marine Mammal Center, there is a place where visitors can observe how the animals are treated.

It provides valuable information about marine mammals and how they should be protected.

11. Crystal Cove State Park

Crystal Cove State Park is situated on the Northern side of Laguna Beach.

Crystal Cove State Park is one of the largest beaches in Laguna Beach. It has several tide pools and an underwater park, canyons, and various birds and reptiles.

Crystal Cove State Park has a rich history. This place was sold to James Irvine, a financier from San Francisco, in 1864. With time, his business started to fall, and after his death, his business was taken over by his son James Irvine2 in 1894, who named the company The Irvine Company. 

Cottages and houses were slowly built in this area to develop the area, which later came to be known as Crystal Cove State Park.

Things to Do:

Crystal Cove State Park offers various activities such as mountain biking, scuba diving, and skin diving. This place is also popular for horse riding and trekking.

Things to See:

Crystal Cove State Park is also the best place for viewing different types of birds such as Turkey Vultures, Ring-Billed Gulls, House Sparrows, and so on.

It is also known for viewing different reptiles such as the Silvery Legless Lizard, Pacific Tree Frog, Gopher Snake, Red Diamond Rattlesnake, and California King Snake.

So, if you are an animal lover and love nature, then Crystal Cove State Park is the perfect place for holidays.

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Source: Shutterstock

12. Sawdust Art Festival

Witnessing the art and culture of Southern California is another exciting thing to do in Laguna Beach, and the Sawdust Art Festival provides the perfect experience for one.

The sawdust art festival in Laguna Beach is held every year from the end of June to the End of August where local artists and California artists arrange this festival.

However, the Sawdust Art Festival also hosts Winter Fantasy Art Air every year from mid-November to December, where people not residing in local areas can participate.

How Did This Festival Start?

A group of Bohemian artists was not satisfied with the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts held in 1965.

So they decided to host their first separate festival on the Peacock lot near Park Avenue, which was then named The Rejects Festival.

As their first exhibition was not so successful, they thought of hosting another festival on Laguna Canyon Road in 1968, which became a big hit.

So, in this way, the famous Sawdust Art Festival in Laguna Beach became so familiar that nearly 200,000 visitors came to enjoy this festival every year.

This festival hosts paintings, sculptures, photographs, ceramics, furniture, clothing, and textile products of local artists.

One can pick various items or enjoy delicious foods while looking at the classic stuff made by the residents of Laguna Beach.

Nature’s Canvas: Art and Beauty in Laguna Beach

Rachel Sanchez, the Founder of Travel Bug Rachel, shows how Laguna Beach blends art and nature for an enriched visitor experience:

“Laguna Beach isn’t just a destination; it’s a canvas where nature and art converge to paint an unforgettable masterpiece.

The symbiotic relationship between the natural wonders and artistic expressions in Laguna Beach creates a harmonious symphony for all who visit.

The coastline serves [as] an ever-changing gallery, where the azure waves and golden sands provide the perfect backdrop for the vibrant tapestry of artistic creations.

The annual art festivals, such as the renowned Festival of Arts and the Sawdust Art Festival, transform the beach into an open-air museum.

Visitors can meander through these exhibitions, feeling the ocean breeze as they absorb the creativity inspired by the stunning natural surroundings.

[In essence], Laguna Beach is a testament to the fact that art and nature are not mutually exclusive but [rather] interconnected facets of a richer, more immersive travel encounter.

Visitors leave not just with memories of artistic marvels [but] with a profound appreciation for the seamless integration of human creativity into the fabric of nature.”

Rachel Sanchez
Rachel Sanchez

13. Laguna Art Museum

The Laguna Art Museum is known as the Laguna Beach Art Association or Laguna Beach Museum of Art and is one of the famous Laguna Beach museums.

How Did It Start?

In 1918 an exhibition was held where the best arts were displayed. Later on, with a fundraising campaign, a building was built by the Los Angeles architect Myron Hunt in 1929. This building was solely used to display the best works of California artists.

And this is how the Laguna Art Museum became popular, featuring fine art, showcasing the best artworks from the 19th century till the present day.

The purpose of the Laguna Art Museum is to provide knowledge about California art so that people across the world get to know about the art and its culture.

This museum only consists of California art, and now, they have more than 3,500 artworks.

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Source: Shutterstock

14. Laguna Beach Trolley

Laguna Beach Trolley is a free transport service in Laguna Beach, California, that runs on Canyon Route, Coastal Route, and Summer Breeze Route.

One can avail of the Summer Breeze trolley services that ply from the free peripheral parking lot at Brandman University in Irvine to Art Festivals and Downtown every Saturday and Sunday. The scheduled time is 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. This service runs at an interval of every 30 minutes.

One can avail of the Canyon Route trolley services that ply from LCAD and Act 5 peripheral parking lots to Summer Art Festivals and Downtown every day, and the scheduled time of the service is 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. This service runs at an interval of every 20 minutes.

One can also avail of the Coastal Route trolley services that ply from North Laguna/ Heisler Park to the Downtown area, South Laguna/ Mission Hospital, and Ritz Carlton in Dana Point every day scheduled timing for that service is 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. This service runs at an interval of every 30 minutes too.

For the convenience of passengers, Laguna Beach Trolley Services has come up with an app known as the Trolley Tracker app that lets you know the exact time when your trolley will come.

Next time you visit Laguna Beach, make sure to utilize their services to get to know the craze behind riding in the Laguna Beach Trolley.

15. Laguna Playhouse

Laguna Playhouse is a live theatre situated in Laguna Beach, California. It’s one of the best theatres in Orange County that offers various forms of plays such as comedies, dramas, stand-up comedy, and so on.

It is one of the oldest theatres founded in 1920, just two years after the Laguna Art Museum was founded.

The Youth Theatre of Laguna Playhouse also offers educational programs and acting classes to youth and children.

It is one of the most popular theatres where people worldwide come to see their talents and skills.

16. Whale Watching tours

Every year many people visit Dana Point and Newport Beach which offer whale watching.

Captain Dave’s Dana Point Dolphin and Whale Watching Safari in Dana Point offers two types of trips. One trip is made on an inflatable boat, and the other is done on a boat with a capsule-shaped area for viewing underwater marine life.

Another place is Newport Coastal Adventure in Newport Beach which offers an inflatable fast boating experience too.

Every year many people come to see Gray whales that migrate from Alaska to Mexico and then to the California coast. This particular species of whale is visible during the winter months, from December to April. Other than Gray whales, blue whales can also be seen from May to October.

Other marine mammals that can be seen throughout the year are dolphins, orcas, and humpback whales.

Every person shares a positive review about this place. They even talk about the knowledgeable and meaningful conversations they have with people working out there.

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Source: Shutterstock

17. Laguna Coast Wilderness Park

Laguna Coast Wilderness Park is one of the remaining undeveloped coastal canyons in Southern California. Laguna Coast Wilderness Park is a 7,000-acre area in the San Joaquin Hills in Laguna Beach.

Laguna Coast Wilderness Park includes Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, Crystal Cove State Park, and The City of Irvine Open Space.

Things to See:

Laguna Coast Wilderness Park is the only place with natural lakes in Orange County. It is also home to many animals such as the California Gnatcatcher, Orange-Throated Whiptail, Mule Deer, Long-tailed Weasel, Bobcat, Red-tailed Hawk, and so on.

Laguna Coast Wilderness Park has 40 miles of biking and hiking trails that offer visitors beautiful landscapes such as Oak and Sycamore Woodlands, Willow Woodlands, Maritime Chaparral, and many more.

The park has Nix Nature Center, where one can get insightful knowledge, and audio lectures about different plants and animals found in the park.

Things to Do:

Laguna Coast Wilderness Park also offers various types of fun activities, such as mountain biking, horse riding, trekking, and many more. This place offers an amazing spectacular view and is a place to visit.

18. Crescent Bay Point Park

Laguna Beach is known for its beaches and museums, and Crescent Bay Point Park is one of the favorite destinations of Laguna Beach.

Crescent Bay Point Park is much smaller than Heisler Park, but still, its jaw-dropping view makes this place famous.

There are places where you can view marine mammals from far away during migration. There are several tide pools, picnic tables, and benches so that people can enjoy the beautiful scenery. However, swimming is not advisable due to strong currents.

19. Pageant of the Masters

Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach, California, is a yearly festival hosted by the Festival of Arts.

How Did This Festival Start?

In the second Festival of Arts, which was conducted in 1933, artist Lolita Perine insisted the residents dress in the exact costume of the play, which was known as the Spirit of the Masters Pageant.

But in 1934, Roy Ropp was dissatisfied with the product because of its low quality. So he was given the responsibility of conducting the Pageant, and with the help of his wife Mari, he produced a good quality product in 1935, which is now known as Pageant of the Masters.

The uniqueness of this 90-minute duration event is that it is known for its Living Pictures. The artists recreate classical and modern plays. They have to wear exact costumes and apply makeup to look identical to the characters of the original play.

20. Tide Pools

Laguna Beach, Southern California, is known for its scenic beauty, greenery, canyons, cliffs, beaches, arts, museums, and many more.

beaches such as Thousand Steps Beach, Crystal Cove State Park, Rockpile Beach, Shaw’s Cove, and Crescent Bay Beach are known for their tide pools revealed during low tide. People visit these beaches to explore the tide pools and enjoy their moments.

Laguna Beach Adventures: Paddleboarding and Kite Flying Delights

Olly Gaspar, the Adventure Travel Publisher and Photographer at WeSeekTravel explains how Laguna Beach’s outdoor experience differs for activity enthusiasts:

Standup Paddleboarding

This is something relatively new to Laguna Beach, but it’s one of the most fun outdoor activities you can do. They have great instructors and lifeguards, in case you’re as bad at it as I was, who [are there to] guide you throughout the whole process.

It takes about 1-2 hours to learn, and then you’re good to go just for the price of $150-180, including rent.

I’d say the biggest difference here, from other beaches, is [the fact] that you don’t just have PB equipment to rent but these classes as well; it’s [a good] opportunity to make some friends too.

The water is always predictable [around the shore], so this is the perfect place.

Kites

There are kite flying opportunities for kids at Laguna Beach [too], and sometimes art students set up stalls for you to paint your kites [as well].

I think this is something I’ve only ever seen in Australia [so to have] access to it in Cali is a big deal. Plus this is almost free; kites cost about $5 in the area [which] is nothing.

The wind here is never too strong or too dull, so there’s always time to fly some kites.

Olly Gaspar
Olly Gaspar

Closing Thoughts

Laguna Beach offers many exciting places to visit, and the list is endless. Travel in a Laguna beach trolley or lay down lazily on the beach. This place is never gonna disappoint you.

Also, you can visit the yearly Sawdust Art festival or get some knowledge about marine life. The more you get to know about the Laguna Beach historical society, its culture, and its art, the more you gonna love it.

So, here is a list of things to explore in Laguna Beach that will surely make you immediately crave to visit this beautiful place.

Guest Author: Saket Kumar

Laguna Beach Staggering Facts
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