Laguna Beach panoramic view on a sunny day

Things to do in  Laguna Beach

Not just for reality shows

Along the shores and in the canyons of Orange County is Laguna Beach, one of Southern California's most scenic beach destinations. It features a picturesque downtown, secluded beaches, and dramatic overlooks to make for a magical retreat. As it’s home to an artist colony, Laguna Beach also draws thousands to its annual Pageant of the Masters and Sawdust Art festivals. Things to do in Laguna Beach include tide pooling at the historic Crystal Cove State Park, strolling through Heisler Park, taking a whale-watching tour, kayaking, and learning to surf.

All about Laguna Beach

When to visit

While Laguna Beach has temperate, sunny weather all year, the most popular time to visit is summer, when water temperatures are pleasant. At this time of year, you can also see the city’s creative community come to life at Laguna Beach’s signature summer arts festivals. If you’d like the city more to yourself, spring and early fall see far fewer visitors.

Getting around

The nearest airport to Laguna Beach is John Wayne Airport (SNA), about 16 miles northeast of the city. Although shuttles are available and Laguna Beach is generally walkable, having a car will allow you to fully explore the area and see destinations such as Crystal Cove State Park and Balboa Island in Newport Beach. While ride-sharing services are available, the only public transportation is a free trolley with a limited but helpful circuit.

Traveler tips

Much of Laguna Beach’s beauty can be attributed to its verdant and dramatic coastal overlooks that brim with local succulents, yuccas, grasses, and other flora. Be sure to take advantage of this at Heisler Park and behind the Montage Laguna Beach resort. One beach over to the south is Victoria Beach, which features a unique pirate tower.

Local Currency
US Dollar ($)
Time Zone
PST (UTC -8)
Country Code

People Also Ask

What is Laguna Beach known for?

Laguna Beach is a scenic beach destination in Orange County known for dramatic coastal vistas, a local artist colony, and secluded cove beaches. It also hosts two summer art festivals—the Pageant of the Masters and the Sawdust Art—and offers surfing, kayaking, whale watching, and tide pooling.

Is Laguna Beach worth visiting?

Yes, Laguna Beach is worth visiting on any Southern California trip. Its rugged but verdant coastline makes for stunning vistas and secluded beaches. Just about anyone will delight in a visit, whether they enjoy lounging on the beach, getting active in the water, shopping, or exploring the art scene.

Is Laguna Beach or Newport Beach better?

Laguna Beach and Newport Beach are adjacent cities on a spectacular slice of the Orange County coastline. Both feature luxury resorts, affluent residents, cliff-edged beaches, and plenty of water activities. Laguna Beach has a centralized and walkable downtown area, giving Laguna Beach a welcoming, accessible, and vibrant feel that Newport Beach doesn’t have.

Where should I stop in Laguna Beach?

Your trip to Laguna Beach should include a trip to Heisler Park for a magnificent coastline view. Pick up scoops at Gelato Paradiso before strolling along the boardwalk and taking a self-guided walking tour of downtown. Cap it off with sunset views at Crystal Cove State Park.

What are the best outdoor activities in Laguna Beach?

Laguna Beach is an outdoor adventurer's playground. See the city’s dramatic vistas and verdant hills on one of its many hiking trails, or hang ten at top surf spots such as Aliso Beach and Sleepy Hollow. Meanwhile, whale watching, kayaking, and tide pooling showcase the wonders of the deep.

What are the top attractions to visit in Laguna Beach?

Top choices to visit in Laguna Beach include Heisler Park, Victoria Beach, and Crystal Cove State Park. In the summer, make sure to check out the Pageant of the Masters and the Sawdust Art festivals.

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