Laguna Beach

One of staycationscalifornia’s favorite places is Laguna Beach.

Laguna sits between Newport Beach and Dana Point in Orange County , California. This small community with a population of about 25,000 as of 2010 features pristine beaches, shops, galleries,  and coves.

Laguna Street signBoard walk low
There are parts of Laguna Beach’s coastline that rival Hawaii with the palm trees and crystal blue water.  In fact in all of the places I have visited in California,  I think it is the closest thing to Hawaii as far as scenery.

House by CDM
Up against a backdrop of beautiful hillside homes, this quaint town is known for its eclectic artist community.

This can be evidenced by the many galleries scattered throughout the town with the most notable being the Wyland Gallery on Pacific Coast Highway.

Wyland first got notoriety by painting large murals on the sides of buildings and then became well known for his ocean life paintings. There is a mural on the side of the building at his gallery in Laguna that I am not totally sure but this might have been one of his firsts.

Wyland signWyland wall 2Wyland wall
Inside the gallery it’s amazing with the colorful ocean themed paintings and sculptures.

Wyland gallery entrance
Wyland is also an accomplished photographer and I admit I was quite envious when I saw that he captured two whales breaching in what looked like Hawaiian waters.

You can also order coffee and hang out on the balcony of the building while viewing the scenic Laguna coast.   It is a casual place and I highly recommend checking it out. http://www.wylandgalleries.com

View from Wyland gallery

Being famous for it’s artist community and galleries, it is no wonder that the town hosts the annual,  “ Festival of the Arts”  This art exhibition showcases local talent and artists.

Throughout the festival they also present a nightly running of the Pageant of the Masters. The production displays famous works of art with real people standing in as the figures in the painting or sculptures.   When the light comes on to the scene, they all stand still for at least two minutes until the curtain closes.  You will swear that you were looking at a real painting.   It is something you have to see to believe.

Continuing the artistic theme,  the nearby Sawdust Festival also displays local artists and their crafts  in a more casual setting .

Anyway, back to the beach. The main beach in Laguna is appropriately called…Main Beach.   Main Beach is in the center of town and just down the road from the Pageant of the Masters.   It can get quite busy on the weekends and summer but if you explore a little you might find one of the less crowed beaches nearby.

Lifeguard towerMain beach from above
Main Beachmain street looking north

Up the hill from Main Beach are the galleries, restaurants and quaint little shops, but beware of parking, it can be limited in the summer months. There are many other coves and beaches nestled in between PCH, but again you have to be resilient to find parking on a summer day.

There are amazing rock formations beyond the surf  where you will see birds of all kinds.  The rocks add interest to this part of the coast as they contrast nicely against the cool blue ocean.

Birds on rockLaguna Rocks on main beach

Laguna rocks

There are many fine restaurants and hotels in Laguna, check this site out: http://www.lagunabeachinfo.com/

Highly recommended by staycationscalifornia.com. For a day, weekend or even a week.  Also, take a short trip to neighboring Newport and Corona Del Mar and watch the boats come into the Newport Harbor.

Laguna Newport harbor sail boat

VIDEO:Laguna Beach Main Beach

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2 Replies to “Laguna Beach”

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    to him. Pretty sure he’s going to have a very good read.
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