Welcome to Laguna Beach
Vivid community of artists and bohemian dreamers tucked inside a more secluded portion of the southern coast
The laid-back beach town of Laguna Beach resides just north of San Clemente, with the majority of its northern border demarcated by the edge of Crystal Cove State Park
. An unconventional treasure of the southern coast, Laguna Beach’s gorgeous landscape is a picturesque setting for its hip art scene. The city is also topographically unique, boasting remarkable azure tidepools, hidden coves, rugged bluffs, sea caves, and stunning flora decorating the hills.
Officially incorporated as a city in 1927, Laguna Beach has garnered prestige for its artists’ enclave since the very beginning. Creative types helped fuel the growth of the town, which is rich with a colorful bohemian spirit. Laguna Beach has also remained relatively untouched by more extensive urban developments, thanks to its surrounding hills and preservation spaces.
The residential real estate in Laguna Beach tends to run around 1-3 million dollars, but it isn’t hard to find lavish multimillion-dollar estates and mansions whose decadent amenities and unbeatable coastal panoramic views. Among architectural styles, there’s great variance, and many homes were built before the mid-20th century. Choose from charming, inland Craftsman bungalows, sleek new-builds with contemporary floor plans and glass paneling, quiet beach townhomes, mid-century cottages, and a host of other styles spanning the century.
What to Love
- Easygoing atmosphere and beach mentality
- Thriving arts community of eclectic personalities
- Some of the best stretches of beach along Southern California’s coast
People & Lifestyle
Laguna Beach's small population of around 26,000 comprises creatives, retirees, and young families craving a coastal getaway set apart from urban city centers. With limited highway access—except for the encompassed Pacific Coast Highway—residents are free from heavy traffic and sprawling commercial development, which is just the way this colorful city likes it.
Dining, Entertainment & Shopping
While Laguna Beach might not be overly populated with an abundance of commercial areas or shopping malls, it’s packed with sophisticated local boutiques, art galleries, niche restaurants, and specialty stores. In Laguna Beach's downtown village, shoppers can browse everything from casual luxury apparel at stores like Simple Laguna
all the way to one-of-a-kind gifts and jewelry at merchants like Buy Hand
Foodies won’t have to step outside the city’s boundaries to find a wide variety of cuisines to choose from. Nick’s Laguna Beach
, for example, dishes out classic California comfort fare that brings the freshness of the coast to the menu. For Mexican-inspired, Southern California cuisine, diners will want to dine in at Las Brisas
. Known for their spectacular ocean views and outdoor patio, Las Brisas is a must-try even for the ambiance alone.
Craving a little elegance? Selanne Steak Tavern
has you covered inside their chandelier- bedecked venue, repurposed from a historic home dating back to 1934. Known as an elite private experience, Selanne is the place to go for a truly sumptuous dining occasion.
Things to Do
Engaging with the arts is a supremely magical experience in Laguna Beach, and apart from its craft guilds
and many galleries, the city also plays host to several inspiring events. Every year, the Sawdust Art Festival
runs for nine weeks in the summer months and brings more than 200,000 visitors. Named for the saw-covered pathways inside this artists’ work-sell space, the festival is dedicated to art education and the establishment of local artists. Their winter event, Winter Fantasy, features non-locals and Laguna Beach residents and displays works of over 180 different artists.
One of the most memorable facets of the Festival of the Arts
event, the Pageant of the Masters
is an impressive display of art brought to life. Tableaux vivants are living pictures that grace the stage at night during the event in which real people pose to recreate famous works of art.
Along with its many ways to enjoy the artistic community, Laguna Beach is brimming with natural resources for recreation. At the adjacent Crystal Cove State Park
, 3.2 miles of pristine beach, 2,400 acres of backcountry, and more than 15 miles of trails that are open for hiking, biking, and equestrian outings all wait for residents to explore. A smaller, hip alternative, the beachfront expanse of Heisler Park
offers gardens, sculptures, tide pools, and a grassy lawn perfect for picnics or wedding celebrations.
Laguna Beach is home to several excellent schools. Top educational opportunities include:
- University Academy, K-8, highly-rated public elementary school
- Rising Leaders Academy, K-10, highly-rated public school
- Laguna Beach High School, 9-12, highly-rated public high school