Artsy beachfront city with boutique shops and restaurants
Laguna Beach is a gorgeous city in Orange County known for its unique coastal landscape of coves, sea caves, and bluffs. Laguna Beach has seven miles of coastline and more than 20,000 acres of protected natural scenery. It’s also a vibrant artist commune with more than 70 galleries and many art-focused events throughout the year.
Laguna Beach’s diverse real estate includes stunning mansions perched atop sea cliffs, charming coastal cottages, and quiet private neighborhoods with beautiful ocean-view single-family homes. Distinct areas and neighborhoods within Laguna Beach include family-focused North Laguna, lively South Laguna, and the highly-desirable gated communities of Three Arch Bay and Emerald Bay.
Dozens of great beaches
Beautiful ocean views
Many art events
Boutique shops and restaurants
Laguna Beach is an affluent city with a bohemian lifestyle centered on its beaches and outstanding art scene. Most homes are within a short distance of at least some of the 30-plus beaches covering the coastline. The surrounding hillsides and open space provide plentiful outdoor recreation opportunities away from the beach, including world-class mountain biking trails. This laid-back and enchanting city tends to attract residents for the long-term, with most reluctant to ever leave its unique atmosphere behind.
In 2018, Yelp ranked Laguna Beach as the number one city for local shopping. More than 100 unique retailers line its main commercial strip along the South Pacific Coast Highway. Standout boutiques include artisanal accessories and home goods at Amenah and Vertigo Home, high-end European women’s fashion at Simple, handcrafted surfboards at Thalia Surf, and Pearl St. General’s curated selection of gourmet foodstuffs, wines, and craft beers. The collaborative workspace Sourced hosts regular pop-up markets showcasing the work of local artists and designers.
Tommy Bahamas combines beach-centric shopping with a bar and grill serving delicious surf ‘n’ turf dishes and craft cocktails. Other dining highlights include Top Chef contender Amar Santana’s globally influenced seafood at Broadway and hip al fresco dining on the sand at The Deck. Las Brisas serves delicious Mexican-style food and great margaritas with a waterfront patio offering outstanding ocean views. Las Brisas’ four-course Sunday brunch is a must-try.
Laguna Beach’s oceanfront is divided into dozens of distinct beaches, from the unspoiled coastline of Crystal Cove State Park and scuba diving hotspot of Crescent Bay Point Park in the north to Aliso Beach in the south. Several gated communities along the coastline offer their residents exclusive access to private beaches.
Laguna Beach is also a hub of art and culture with many galleries dotted throughout the city. Laguna Art Museum is the flagship institution, showcasing the works of local artists since its founding in 1918. The Laguna Playhouse is another longtime bastion of local arts and culture. Opened in 1920, it’s one of the West Coast’s longest continuously operating theaters. Performances here include Broadway musicals and shows from big-name touring comedians.
Laguna Beach attracts more than six million visitors every year, and its annual festivals are a major attraction. The Pageant of the Masters is one of the most popular events, with unique live-action recreations of famous artworks. Around 140 Orange County artists participate in the Laguna Beach Art Show, which runs concurrently with the Pageant of the Masters during the summer months. Hundreds of artists and craft vendors also participate in the Sawdust Art Festival and Laguna Art-a-Fair. Laguna Dance Festival brings some of the world’s best dance groups to the city’s galleries and stages each year for intimate live performances. Other events include Laguna Beach Music Festival, with world-class classical music performances.
Laguna Beach’s parks and open space include the hilltop Alta Laguna Park, which has tennis courts, a baseball field, and a basketball court. Alta Laguna Park’s most famous attraction is the Top of the World scenic lookout, which provides a mesmerizing view over the ocean and the surrounding hillsides. There are also several trailheads and access to the rugged 4,500-acre expanse of Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park.
Schools within Laguna Beach are operated by the Laguna Beach Unified School District. Highlights include:
Top of the World Elementary School, Public, K-5
El Morro Elementary School, Public, K-5
Thurston Middle School, Public, 6-8
Laguna Beach High School, Public, 9-12