Laguna Beach is a stunning seaside resort city located in southern Orange County, California. It is known for its sunny year-round weather, culinary experiences, scenic beaches, and artist community. Laguna Beach is about an hour south of Los Angeles and an hour north of San Diego. Some homes have spectacular cliff top settings above some of the finest beaches in California. Outdoor enthusiasts can bike, snorkel, scuba dive, surf or hike the trails in nearby Laguna Coast Wilderness Park. An attraction destination for artists, there are year round events and festivals, such as the Festival of Arts/Pageant of the Masters and the Sawdust Art Festival. The Laguna Art Museum focuses on local and California artists. The village’s quaint streets and laid back atmosphere offer locals and visitors everything from shopping, dining, beaches and beautiful weather to enjoy this iconic American city.
Laguna Beach is surrounding by other well-known travel destination cities such as Huntington Beach, Dana Point, Long Beach, Newport Beach, and is a 45 minute boat ride from Catalina Island. With everything Laguna Beach has to offer and its neighboring cities, it’s a location where people dream to live and love to visit.
Top Ten Things to See in Laguna Beach
1. 2nd Smallest Church in the World
St. Francis By The Sea is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the second smallest Catholic Church in the world. The church was built in 1933 with rubble salvaged from the 1933 Long Beach earthquake, and has a total of 42 seats. The National Sick Cell Sets Museum (Last Rites) is housed in the choir loft.
2. Whaling Wall
Wyland, the world-famous marine artist, posted his first Whaling Wall on Pacific Coast Highway in Laguna Beach, not more than 100 yards from the very place he'd seen gray whales as a child in 1970. The mural was dedicated on July 9, 1981 by Mrs. John Wayne. Since then it was repainted in 1986 and then tiled in 1996. It is located at 509 South Coast Highway.
3. Heisler Park
Heisler Park offers spectacular views of the Laguna Beach coastline. Enjoy a half-mile walk along the paved path, relax with a picnic on the grass, or gather for a barbecue. In 2011, a sculpture incorporating two metal beams salvaged from World Trade Center debris was installed here. The Park is also home to "Monument Point," dedicated to service veterans.
4. Festival of Arts/Pageant of the Masters
Voted one of the top three festivals in the U.S., this festival has been a summer tradition for more than 80 years.
5. Hotel Laguna
Hotel Laguna was the first hotel built in Laguna Beach and the first substantial business building. It remains today one of the most well-known structures in the city and has a history that dates back to 1888. The structure as it now stands was built in 1930.
6. Laguna Art Museum
It is the oldest museum in the State of California. The museum is situated on one of the busiest streets of any coastal town, and is about 300 feet from the ocean, making it one of the most spectacular and impressive sites of any museum in the world.
7. The Laguna Playhouse
Celebrating more than 95 years in existence, The Laguna Playhouse is the oldest continually operating theater on the West Coast. Noted for its artistic excellence and wide-ranging performing arts programming, it has featured many talented performers on stage including Leslie Caron, Val Kilmer, Ed Asner, Hershey Felder, Linda Purl, Rita Rudner, Lee Rocker, ballerina Misty Copeland, Harrison Ford and Bette Davis.
8. The Greeter Memorials
Eiler Larsen became Laguna Beach "greeter" in the 1940s and continued the role until his death in 1975. While in his mid-thirties, with his flowing tresses and full beard, he was cast in the Pageant of the Master's "Last Supper" scene. Many have since tried to take up the role, but no one has filled his shoes. Take a selfie with him and post it on Instagram tagging @VisitLaguna and #MyLagunaBeach. Two statues in town memorialize him; they are located at 329 and 1200 South Coast Highway.
9. Welcome to Laguna
The famous gate that welcomes you to the city and reads: The Gate Hangs Well and Hinders None, Refresh and Rest, Then Travel On," was built in 1935. It still stands at the corner of Forest and Park avenues.
Discover a shipwreck 175 yards off Laguna Beach's coast at Cleo Street. The Foss 125, was a 432 ton, 130-foot steel barge that once ferried Coast Guard supplies along the shore. Built in 1943 at the Terminal Island shipyard by the Foss Launch & Tug Co. of Tacoma, Washington, it went down November 1958. A large amount of sea life now calls its ghostly hull home.