Laguna Beach is an Orange County beach town in Southern California and an arty locale. More laid back than some other beach towns, Laguna Beach has a slower pace and is less crowded. It has a wealth of natural beauty and many fun activities, making it a perfect place for a day trip. There’s something for everyone, which makes it an ideal spot for a day in the sun. Here’s what to do on a day trip to Laguna Beach.
Main Beach in Laguna Beach California
Your first stop should be the main beach in Laguna. The 1930s lifeguard stand will greet you. Laguna Beach boasts a white sand beach and stunning crystal-clear blue water set against a backdrop of mountains and palm trees. It’s a great place to take a walk on the shore, work on your tan, or enjoy the view. Swimming here is delightful, but you can go surfing, bodyboarding, or snorkeling if you want more water activities. There’s also beach volleyball and basketball. The main beach also has a boardwalk for walking, exercising, and dog walking.
You can head to a great spot at Crescent Bay Point Park to see Seal Rock. This large rock, about 120 yards offshore, is a refuge for seals and sea lions. This spot also offers panoramic views of Laguna Beach, especially to the south. There’s meter-less and permit-free parking on the streets and a free trolley to get to Sea Seal Rock.
Crescent Bay Point Park
Crescent Bay Point Park is a local park, home to the most fantastic view of Laguna Beach. You may have difficulty finding a parking spot, but there are usually a few spots on Crescent Bay Drive. You can also park along the Pacific Coast Highway, within walking distance from the park. There’s no access to the beach at this park, but its attraction is the spectacular view.
You can take in a stretch of multiple beaches on this stroll. Starting at Crescent Bay, your walk will lead you to Shaw’s Cove, Fisherman’s Cove, and Diver’s Cove, in that order. Shaw’s Cove and Fisherman’s Coves are the smallest beaches, and often, there are no people. All four of these beaches are sparsely populated, even at their busiest. These are great places to escape the Main Beach crowds and other more popular areas with tourists. If serenity, peace, and quiet are what you seek, this oceanside stroll will deliver.
Following the path of the oceanside stroll will lead you to Heisler Park. This popular park is just to the north of the main beach. It features a three-quarter-mile trail, which runs along the bluff. The trail has several stairways leading down to the beach, with one of the most beloved places to stop in Heisler Park at sunset point. You’ll find a gazebo where you can take in the spectacular view. There are also benches along the way to sit and scope out some fantastic views. Along the trail, you’ll also find public artwork to enjoy.
The Laguna Art Museum
Go to the Laguna Art Museum if you’re ready to break from the great outdoors. The Laguna Art Museum’s permanent collection consists of over 3,600 works of art from the nineteenth century to the present day. It also has special exhibits that display for short periods and are constantly changing. You’re sure to see marvelous artwork, no matter when you go. The Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach, open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Tuesday.
In addition to the main museum, Laguna Beach has over 100 art galleries. This area has drawn artists since the 1800s. Artists discovered Laguna Beach and became enamored of the light and landscape, so long before anything else, Laguna Beach was an artist’s colony. Check out Laguna Beach Art Galleries and Museums for a list of more art locales in the area.
Pacific Marine Mammal Center
Located in the middle of Laguna Canyon, the Pacific Marine Mammal Center is a treat for animal lovers of all ages. This center is devoted to providing medical care for injured and sick sea lions and seals by rehabilitating them and returning them to their home. Visitors see the doctors treating these majestic sea creatures, helping them on the journey back into the ocean. There is also a butterfly garden you can check out.
From March to July, up to 100 residents are being nursed back to health, but there are always seals and sea lions to see all year round. The center is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 20612 Laguna Canyon Road. Admission is free, but donations are gladly accepted to help the work done for these beautiful animals.
Hortense Miller Garden
You’ll find the beautiful Hortense Miller Garden on a hill above Laguna Beach. The garden spans two and a half acres and features 1,500 plant species. Guided tours are held at 10 a.m. on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and every other Tuesday and Thursday. Reservations are required and must be made in advance. While this isn’t something you can do at the spur of a moment, if you’re planning a day trip, it’s well worth making this one of your stops. The Hortense Miller Garden is at 22511 Allview Terrace.
Crystal Cove State Park
Crystal Cove State Park is between Laguna Beach and Corona Del Mar. It has just over three miles of pristine beach and over 2,000 acres of parkland. You can enter the park from the Crystal Cove Historic District. You’ll also find the Crystal Cove Beach cottages built throughout the 1920s. Step back in time to a place of great natural wonder and explore the historic district while you’re there.
There you have it; our Teak Master team’s ideas on what to do on a day trip to Laguna Beach. Wherever the day takes you, you’re sure to enjoy yourself in this beautiful area. Sun, sand, art, and more await you in Laguna Beach.