Laguna Beach. Home to arguably the best beaches and cutest beach-town California has to offer. With its plethora of swaying palm trees, white sand, warm turquoise water, delicious and assortment of eateries along PCH, Laguna Beach is the epitome of summer bliss and ultimate serenity. Here are some of the best spots in Laguna Beach!
Whether you are Southern California born and raised or a tourist, here are some tips to enjoying one of California’s most treasured beach towns from yours truly—a true beach bum and child of the ocean.
Whether you just want to lay out on the sand and improve your tan, stand-up paddle-board, catch a wave, have a full blown beach photo shoot, have a trendy meal, or post surf sesh treat—Laguna Beach offers a wide range of activities.
Laguna is almost ALWAYS busy, especially on a beautiful sunny day in the summer. If you are planning to go to any of the beaches along the coast, you might want to leave early in the morning or later in the early afternoon.
Parking is limited; your best bet at a parking spot is either street parking or parking up on a neighborhood hill. (Parking in the neighborhoods is free, just make sure there are no signs prohibiting parking in front of the houses.)
In addition, street parking usually requires payment, but it is very cheap (one dollar an hour). Some parking meters take cards, while others take quarters. Just make sure you have a good handful of quarters!
For example, my favorite beach, Brooks, has parking tucked right within the little cul-de-sac, but there are maybe six compact spots. (The parking spaces at Brooks only take quarters for payment. So once again, I emphasize that you ALWAYS have a plethora of quarters on hand). While parking can be hit or miss, overall, Brooks (pictured below) is my favorite because you can surf, bodyboard, swim, or tan in the soft sand. For the most part, the waves at Brooks are family friendly, just make sure to check the surf before you leave.
(Tip: In general, if you are going to surf, bodyboard, or swim at any beach, make sure to look out for the black ball. Depending where the black ball is placed on the beach, you can surf either to the most northern or southern point of the flag). This is definitely one of the spots in Laguna Beach you’ll have to check out!
All of the beaches along the coast in Laguna Beach are very photogenic. If you’re looking to just chill, tan, and then maybe have a little photo shoot- Victoria Beach and Thousands Steps are definitely Insta-worthy.
Both Victoria Beach (pictured above) and Thousands Steps (pictured below) have nice white sand and aesthetic scenery for Insta shoots. This is one of the best spots in Laguna Beach!
While Victoria and Thousand Steps are photogenic beaches, Brooks is the most photogenic and family friendly. Additionally, it is notably within walking distance to the refreshing post-beach treat, Banzai Bowls. After a good surf sesh or relaxing day soaking up the sun, Banzai Bowls is always the go-to treat.
(Pictured below is a snapshot from my Instagram story of my “Off the Wall” Banzai Bowl. Packed with granola, bananas, açaí, and kiwi. This is the regular size too!)
Another praiseworthy dessert place in Laguna is Gelato Paradiso, a hidden gem tucked away in an alleyway near Main Beach. The line is usually pretty long and can sometimes extend outside of the alleyway, but I promise you the gelato is well worth the wait. Gelato Paradiso offers many decadent gelato flavors and showcases their sorbettos (fruity and lighter flavors) in the summer. Did I mention their cones are freshly made? You can smell the fresh cones as soon as you enter the alleyway.
(Picture above is a screenshot of @telula14’s snapchat story)
After a long, sun-filled day at the beach, both locals and tourists will flock to watch the sunset. The best place to watch the sunset is on the rocks at Brooks or on the hill at Salt Creek.
There are many beaches to explore, many desserts to indulge in, and many chances to soak up the sun in Laguna Beach. From sunrise to sunset, Laguna’s beauty and blissful spirit are vividly seen and felt throughout the quaint beach-town; the suggested beaches and treats above are just a couple of tips from a local whose heart and soul belongs to the euphoric, lovely beach town that is Laguna Beach.