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21 Best Things to Do in Laguna Beach, California

21 Best Things to Do in Laguna Beach, California

If you plan on visiting Laguna Beach in Orange County, California, anytime soon, you’re in for a real treat. Laguna Beach has a fun and casual vibe while maintaining some seriously elegant areas of luxury and sophistication.

Laguna Beach is a coastal town that offers dozens of gorgeous beaches, vineyards, wineries, oceanside parks, interesting tours, wildlife viewing, luxury hotels, fine dining, kid-friendly activities, and more. Here are the all-time best things to do in Laguna Beach, California:

TL;DR

Here is a quick list of the best things to do in Laguna Beach:

  • Most significant landmark – Laguna Beach Pirate Tower at Victoria Beach
  • Park to visit – Heisler Park
  • Free activity – Laguna Beach
  • Activities for kids – Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
  • Activities for adults – Laguna Art Museum
  • Place to eat – Nick’s Laguna Beach
  • Nightlife – Anchor Line Bar
  • Place to stayMontage Laguna Beach

Things to Do in Laguna Beach, CA

1. Take a whale-watching tour and cruise

whale-watching

Go on an unforgettable excursion on the coast of Orange County, California, searching for various whale species. Learn about native California marine life from experienced marine biologists while enjoying the sights from an impressive sixty-five-foot-long boat.

This boat is sleek, modern, and comfortable. It is a smooth and relaxing ride, even if you encounter swells and waves.

Depending on the time of your visit, you might see humpback whales, minke whales, blue whales, grey whales, and finback whales. Even though you won’t be searching for seals, sea lions, or dolphins, the odds are that you’ll see these incredible creatures, too. T

he guides have even pointed out the occasional eleven-foot-long Mola mola sunfish. While in town, check out these other awesome things to do in Newport Beach.

You can book your tour here.

See Related: Day Trips from San Francisco, California

2. Visit Laguna Canyon Winery

Laguna Canyon Winery
Image source: TripAdvisor

Address: 2133 Laguna Canyon Rd, Laguna Beach, CA 92651, United States

The Laguna Canyon Winery combines the best wine that Orange County has to offer with a Rock n’ Roll tasting room. It’s the first urban winery in Orange County.

The Laguna Canyon Winery tasting room is unique and fun; it always plays rock n’ roll, exclusively from the 80s, on massive 156-inch TV screens.

The automatic wine-tasting machines will immediately stand out in the tasting room. You choose the wine you try on your own time and at your own pace.

This gives you complete control and lets you make your own decisions. You can easily see where all their grapes are crushed and the processes used to turn them into delicious glasses of wine.

Their grapes are handpicked in the morning and thoughtfully sourced from nearby high-quality Napa and Sonoma Valley vineyards. Their red wines have won over thirty awards and received seventeen awards.

See Related: Things to Do in Richmond, California

3. Enjoy a Laguna Beach kayak tour with California sea lions

kayak tour

This ninety-minute tour unveils an area of Laguna Beach you’ve likely never seen before. You’ll witness incredible views of the coast, places cars and passersby usually miss, while on the lookout for California sea lions. You’ll likely catch glimpses of Pacific harbor seals, northern elephant seals, northern fur seals, dolphins, kelp forests, and more.

Don’t worry; even if you aren’t familiar with the tandem kayaks used, you’ll be given a quick lesson, complete with paddling techniques and safety instructions. After this, you’ll paddle out into the water past the surf zone and then paddle north to Seal Rock on the north side of Laguna Beach.

You are always accompanied by kind, friendly, and knowledgeable guides who narrate the trip, point out the wildlife you may not otherwise see, keep you safe, and show you the gorgeous hidden coves on the coast.

You can book your kayak tour here.

See Related: Things to Do in Ramona, California

4. Visit Crescent Bay Point Park

Crescent Bay Point Park
Image by Ken Lund used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Address: Crescent Bay Dr, Laguna Beach, CA 92651, United States

Crescent Bay Point Park is teeming with abundant wildlife and beautiful 270-degree coast views, ocean views, and Bird Rock. Many people bring their dogs here to enjoy the park.

On top of the knoll is the park, which is grassy and well-shaded by old-growth trees and nice walking paths. Picnicking is a common practice here. You’ll also see public art throughout the park, adding a nice personality and splendor to the area.

Down below sits Crescent Bay Point Beach. It is a steep walk, but it is rewarding to see the beach up close while listening to the waves and marine life.

You’ll conveniently find the Crescent Bay Inn near Crescent Bay Point Park. It’s an upscale hotel with oceanfront views and very good ratings. Get your room here.

See Related: Best Restaurants in Dana Point, California

5. Explore Beautiful Heisler Park

Beautiful Heisler Park
Image by cultivar413 used under CC BY 2.0

Address: Cliff Dr, Laguna Beach, CA 92651, United States

Heisler Park is a must-see place in Laguna. This park is stunning, clean, well-maintained, and filled with seemingly endless experiences. The grounds contain tropical plants, flowers, trees, and other colorful foliage. Bird of paradise blooms, palm trees, aloe plants, and fragrant roses are healthy and abundant here.

There are plenty of benches, picnic tables, tidy trash cans, clean restrooms, curvy wooden boardwalks, pathways, and whimsical metal sculptures to enjoy. There is an especially beautiful pavilion that is perfect for watching the coast. Walking down to the beach, you’ll find many tidal pools and glimpses of marine life, such as dolphins, seals, and sea lions.

Consider walking over to Las Brisas restaurant; it’s just a short walk (less than a minute) from the Heisler Park Gazebo. Las Brisas has fantastic cliffside views of the ocean and serves up tantalizing Mexican seafood.

The Laguna Art Museum and gift shop is next to Las Brisas. The art galleries feature fine art and local artists. Over 3,500 pieces of permanent California art are displayed here. We’ll cover the Laguna Art Museum in more detail below.

Just across the road (Pacific Coast Highway) are even more galleries full of fine art. Laguna Coast Pottery, Sandstone Art Gallery, Quorum Gallery, Lu Martin Galleries, Adam Neeley Fine Art Jewelry, Essence Gallery, Marianne Kolb, JoAnne Artman Gallery, and Meg Gallery all offer up beautiful art to view and purchase. They each constantly add new pieces from talented California artists.

See Related: Things to Do in Cambria, California

6. Stroll Down Laguna Beach Park (Main Beach Park)

Laguna Beach Park Night View
Image by Kevin.Daniels used under CC BY 3.0

This fun park and beach have great carefree vibes and many fun activities. Enjoy the sand volleyball courts, children’s playgrounds, half basketball courts, grassy picnic areas, well-maintained picnic tables, clean public restrooms, public showers, and generous benches for sitting and enjoying the scenery.

It is connected with Heisler Park (mentioned above) and is conveniently located on South Coast Highway. Access to the park and adjoining beach is easy, making it ideal for everyone.

The beach is a place where adventurous surfers and relaxed sunbathers meet. The old historic lifeguard stand acts as a sort of landmark and a focal point for the beach.

The tidal pools are especially beautiful and hotspots for scuba diving and snorkeling. Parents of small children love to play in the water here; the rocks are generally not slippery, and it is easy to access the tidal pools.

North Laguna Beach gives you great views of Bird Rock and easy access to the Inn at Laguna Beach. At the same time, South Laguna Beach offers easy access to a menagerie of delicious Southern California-style restaurants and fine dining.

See Related: Best Beaches in Minnesota to Visit

7. Check out the Laguna Art Museum

Laguna Art Museum
Image by Patrick Pelster used under CC BY 3.0

Address: 307 Cliff Dr, Laguna Beach, CA 92651, United States

This museum offers something for all ages. From docent-guided tours, an expansive range of art to captivate any audience, fun events, and artist workshops, you’re sure to find something you love here. Children of all ages are welcome here, and the museum is accessible to people of all abilities.

They accommodate strollers and wheelchairs with ease. The displayed art ranges from the 19th century to the present day. You can see their list of artists here.

See Related: Things to Do in Murphys, California

8. Take a hike in Crystal Cove State Park

Crystal Cove State Park
Image by Don Ramey Logan used under CC-BY-SA 3.0

Address: 8471 Pacific Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, CA 92651, United States

Crystal Cove State Park is a massive 2,400-acre park right on the coast. It mostly runs between Highway 1 (The Pacific Coast Highway) and California State Route 73. It sits behind the following beaches, coves, cliffs, and coastal areas:

  • Crystal Cove Beach
  • Reef Point
  • Muddy Canyon
  • Moro Canyon
  • Irvine Cove Beach
  • Emerald Point
  • Emerald Bay Beach and Emerald Canyon
  • Crescent Bay Beach
  • Crescent Bay Point Park
  • Shaws Cove
  • Fishermans Cove and Fishermans Cave
  • Laguna Beach Marina Life Refuge
  • Diver’s Cove
  • Heisler Park
  • Main Beach / Main Beach Park
  • Laguna Canyon
  • Laguna Beach

From its vantage point, it allows visitors to see all of the above-listed oceanfront parks, tide pools, and beaches, as well as splendid views of the California Coast and the Pacific Ocean. There are over 18 miles of hiking trails to enjoy and explore. These hiking trails range from easy to strenuous, with trails that range from nearly flat to up to 1,000 feet in elevation.

To the north of Crystal Cove State Park, you’ll find Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Nix Nature Center, and Barbara’s Lake. After checking out the inland side, take the tunnel under the Pacific Coast Highway to explore the beaches and coast.

Crystal Cove State Park and its 3.2 miles of coastline are home to many tide pools. When visiting tide pools, be sure to follow tide pool etiquette. Never move vegetation, rocks, shells, or animals from the pools. Do not pick up any animals, no matter how large or small.

Walk slowly, gently, and with great care. You don’t want to step on or harm the plants or creatures here. Do not flip rocks over, as those house countless animals. If you are bringing your children with you, watch them closely for their safety and the safety of the creatures living in these tide pools.

You’ll find the underwater park near the tidal pools designed for scuba divers and snorkelers to enjoy. There is a massive underwater kelp forest that thrives here. Over a thousand plants and animals live amongst the giant kelp, including sea urchins, brittle stars, marine snails, sheepshead fish, garibaldi, seals, otters, pelagic birds, gray whales, and more.

The underwater park is unbelievably beautiful and a true hidden gem in Southern California. The surrounding cliffs above the beaches are beautiful and a great place to catch a Laguna Beach sunset. You won’t forget the experience for as long as you live.

9. Say hello at the Murphy Smith Historical Bungalow

Murphy Smith Historical Bungalow
Image source: Tripadvisor

Address: 278 Ocean Ave Laguna Beach, CA 92651, United States

The Laguna Beach Historical Society leases the Murphy Smith Historical Bungalow. The society works out of the bungalow, originally built in 1923, to house the Murphy family.

The Laguna Beach Historical Society is a non-profit organization that works hard to collect and preserve historical documents. They then distribute and disseminate these materials to people who are interested in them.

If you wish to visit the bungalow, you can. It is tastefully decorated as a 1920s-style beach cottage with many vintage Laguna Beach memorabilia pieces.

See Related: Things to Do in Venice Beach, California

10. Go to the very exciting Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters

Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters
Image by Festival of Arts used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Address: 650 Laguna Canyon Rd, Laguna Beach, CA 92651, United States

The Pageant of the Masters is an enchanting ninety-minute-long event where tableaux vivants, also known as living pictures, recreate classical and contemporary art pieces. It takes hundreds of hours of preparation to set up the scenes, costumes, lighting, live narration, orchestra, and more used to create these scenes.

Part of the Pageant of the Masters is the Festival of Artists Fine Art Show. This show lasts all summer long and shows off incredible art galleries. Grab a glass of Southern California wine, listen to live music, and pick up a few pieces of art that speak to you. It’s a world-renowned event that you will never forget!

While you are welcome to pack your picnic, there are several dining options available, too. Terra Laguna Beach is an on-property venue that offers delicious, artistic, and sustainable California cuisine.

Next, you have the more casual Intermission by Terra. This is a grab-and-go concession stand that features classic concession stand foods. Terra Wine Bar offers California wines and locally brewed beers. It is near Festival Green and is open during the Pageant of the Masters intermission.

11. Walk Down to Victoria Beach and Find the Pirate Tower

Pirate Tower
Image by Carl Glover used CC BY 2.0

Victoria Beach is best known for its Pirate Tower. The 60-foot tall Pirate Tower was built in 1926 as an enclosed staircase for Senator William E. Brown to use to access Victoria Beach. It was later dubbed the “pirate tower” when its second owner, Harold Kendrick, would hide coins and candy in the rocks of it for local children to find and keep.

Now, it is permanently closed to the public, but you are welcome to view it from the ground. Walk or park as close to the intersection of South Pacific Coast Highway and Victoria Drive (or Sunset Terrace) and then walk down Victoria Drive to find the stairs. Walk down the stairs to Victoria Beach. From the beach, turn right and walk towards the cliff. You will have to go at low tide.

As you walk and scramble over the rocks on the beach around the corner of the cliff, the Pirate Tower will reveal itself to you. Take a good look at it, snap some cool photos, and walk around if you’d like. Don’t climb the tower, but feel free to walk up to it for a better view.

After you visit the tower, head back to Victoria Beach for even more fun. This beach is commonly used for swimming, body boarding, body surfing, scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, walking dogs, beach volleyball (they have nice beach volleyball courts), and tide pools.

If you want to bring your four-legged friends, remember the rules:

  • Dogs are only allowed on the beach from 6 pm to 9 am from June 15th to September 10th. From September 11th to June 14th, dogs are allowed during regular beach hours.
  • All dogs must always be on a six-foot or shorter leash.
  • Always clean up after your pet.
  • Do not let your pet into the tide pools.

What’s cool about Victoria Beach is its convenient proximity to the Montage Laguna Beach Resort.

See Related: Things to Do in Riverside, California

12. Stay for a While at the Montage Laguna Beach Resort

Montage Laguna Beach Resort
Image by alyssa BLACK used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Address: 30801 Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651, United States

This stunning luxury resort offers suites, rooms, bungalows, and ADA accommodations. You can expect to see plush king beds, marble bathrooms, oversized soaking tubs, private balconies, private patios, and ocean views from the rooms and suites.

In the bungalows (also called villas) you’ll have a massive 3,000-square-foot residential-style space. The villas offer sweeping ocean vistas, gas fireplaces, fire pits, hot tubs, full gourmet kitchens, and full marble bathrooms with deep soaking spa tubs and showers. You’ll also have several bedrooms with ultra-plush king and queen beds.

This luxury resort offers private and in-room dining, as well as The Studio, The Loft, Mosaic Bar and Grille, and Lobby Lounge. The Studio is a modern coastal California cuisine with a view of the cliffs, Laguna Beach, and the Pacific Ocean.

The Loft is an all-day fine-dining American restaurant on the fourth floor, giving incredible views all the way around. They serve breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, dessert, and drinks and even have accommodations for children.

Mosaic Bar and Grille is poolside dining at its finest. They serve salads, seafood, and perfectly grilled sandwiches next to the stunning Mosiac Pool. Lobby Lounge focuses on serving cocktails, wine, small bites, desserts, coffee, and tea.

It frequently has live music and entertainment in the evenings. Montage Laguna Beach Resort is near Treasure Island Beach, Treasure Island Park, The Cave Beach, and Victoria Beach, just off the California Coast Highway.

13. Go on the Laguna Beach Backroads Electric Bike Tour

Electric Bike Tour

This bike tour will show you some of the best and most underrated parts of Laguna Beach. You’ll see some of the most beautiful sights, from the downtown Laguna Beach district to the rolling inland hills, beaches, and, of course, the rocky coastal cliffs along the way.

The tour is two hours long and will take you from the corner of Oak and Glenneyre Street to Heisler Park, then Main Beach, Crescent Bay Point Park, passing by Hip District, to the Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters, Laguna Art Museum, stopping at Pyne Castle, and then returning to your starting point.

What’s nice about this trip is that only you and your group will be involved; this is a private tour, so you will not be paired up with strangers.

You will have a knowledgeable and friendly guide to navigate and answer any questions. Ready to go on an adventure? You can book your electric bike tour here.

See Related: Things to Do in Brentwood, California

14. Visit Treasure Island Beach at Treasure Island Park

Treasure Island Beach
Image by Beyond My Ken used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Address: 30799 Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651, United States

Treasure Island Park and Beach are south of Victoria Beach and Hobo Canyon. It is perfect for exploring cool coves, snorkeling the clear waters, swimming, and walking the perfectly maintained (easily accessible) sandy beach.

The best snorkeling spot is to the north, hidden in large rock outcroppings. The water is glassy here and much easier to see in.

Montage Laguna Beach sits atop the bluffs overlooking this beach, and the staff is known for their friendly and welcoming demeanor. Even if you aren’t staying at the resort, you’ll be treated like a treasured guest.

15. Take the Temecula Wine Tour from South Orange County and have a blast

Temecula Wine Vineyard
Image by Renee Silverman used under CC BY-ND 2.0

Address: Temecula California, USA

This eight-hour tour includes seven wineries and is entirely orchestrated by the guide. You won’t have to worry about choosing a designated driver or navigating between the vineyards and wineries. Your driver will handle everything, including pickup, drop-off, wine tastings, and lunch.

Your first stop is at Old Town Temecula. This rustic old town will transport you back in time to the 1880s. While here, shop, grab something from a restaurant, sample craft brewery pints, check out a quick outdoor festival, or dance to live music. History buffs will love this stop because of the architecture and meticulous attention to minor historical details throughout the town.

The next stop is Somerset Vineyard and Winery. Here, you’ll see and taste thirteen gorgeous acres of Rhône varietals such as Viognier, Roussanne, Grenache, and Syrah. You’ll also see some Spanish Macabeo, Monastrell, and Tempranillo.

Next is Oak Mountain Winery. Here, you’ll try several wines, get a delectable charcuterie board, and tour the largest wine cave in the valley. After that is Danza del Sol Winery. This winery has a jaw-droppingly beautiful tasting room and patio. Have a taste of the Danza del Sol wine and admire the rolling hills that surround you.

Next is a quick pass by Robert Renzoni Winery. This winery grows Italian varietals such as Pinot Grigio and Sangiovese. Walking into the tasting room here, you’ll feel included in the Renzoni family as their photographs warmly adorn the walls. Be sure to try their specialty, the Fiore di Fano.

Then, you will stop in at Bel Vino Winery. This winery offers six one-ounce pours and even specialty chocolates. They have a dance floor and live music that plays on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

After this, you’ll go to Callaway Vineyard and Winery, just down the road. It specializes in crafting fresh fruit-flavored wines that have a crisp flavor and are round-bodied wines. This tour books extremely fast, so snag your tickets now.

See Related: Things to Do in Lone Pine, California

16. Visit the Pacific Marine Mammal Center and see lots of marine life

Address: 20612 Laguna Canyon Rd, Laguna Beach, CA 92651, United States

This amazing mammal center specializes in rescuing, rehabilitating, and releasing marine mammals. The center is open every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.

You can visit to see California sea lions, northern elephant seals, pacific harbor seals, and northern fur seals. They are also certified to care for the occasional walrus, small whales, and dolphins. Admission is free, but donations are gratefully accepted.

Pacific Marine Mammal Center offers several classes, camps, and programs for adults, children, and teens. These classes and camps are hosted at the center, as well as virtually, so that they are accessible to all. Some of these include:

  • Camp Pinniped – See a marine mammal hospital in action! Available on-site and from home via live chats, presentations, and activities.
  • Marine Mammal Rehab and Research Lab – This allows teens to work hands-on with the animals while shadowing a marine life veterinarian.
  • Ocean Explorers – This online after-school program teaches children about marine animal diversity, adaptations, habitats, and daily life.
  • Ocean Heroes – This after-school program is tailored for future marine biologists, conservationists, and ocean stewards. Learn about marine science, conservationism, and even off-site stewardship projects.
  • Scout Programs – These engaging workshops are highly rewarding and create many badge opportunities for scouts.

17. Go on the Laguna Beach Village and Hidden Beaches Tour

Laguna Beach Village
Image by Beyond My Ken used under CC BY-SA 2.0

This tour will reveal the highlights and history of downtown Laguna Beach. This downtown walk is ninety minutes long and will show you the boardwalk, hidden beaches, dramatic cliffside overlooks, art, and great places to eat and shop.

You’ll learn all about village-like downtown Laguna Beach and its beautiful intertwined history (and present) with art and artists. This tour is stroller and wheelchair accessible and welcomes on-leash dogs. Ready to take the tour? Get your tickets now.

See Related: Best and Fun Things to Do in Jamestown, California

18. Take the Orange County Beach Cities Tour

Orange County Beach
Image by Sergei Gussev used under CC BY 2.0

This tour will pick you up from your hotel (or wherever you need it) and take you on a six to eight-hour-long tour throughout Orange County, California. You will first pass by the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, which is a 1,300-acre estuary that is home to more than 200 species of birds.

You’ll then stop at Huntington Beach Pier at Huntington Beach. This area is known for longboarding, surfing, and fishing. You can see the International Surfing Museum, as well as the Huntington Central Park, which is filled with fields, lakes, wetlands, marshes, dunes, gardens, and an impressive equestrian center.

Next, you’ll stop at Balboa Island. This area is a quaint and friendly harborside community accessible only by bridge, ferry, or private boat. Balboa Island is a very walkable city that is perfect for pedestrians. Balboa Island Beach is beautiful and easy to access as well.

After that, you’ll pass by Crystal Cove State Park. You’ll hear a fantastic narration of the area and learn so much about this large state park, especially the forty-six vintage coastal cottages built on the shores and mouth of Los Trancos Creek.

Next up is Laguna Beach, California. Here, you will learn all about the history, art, coves, and beaches, as well as the abundance of pretty tidal pools, boardwalks, gardens, paths, and surfing opportunities.

Then, you’ll stop at Top of the World on Alta Laguna Boulevard at Laguna Beach. This is the absolute best view in Orange County, and you’ll want to take a few moments to soak it all in and snap some photos.

You’ll then pass by Dana Point Harbor. This harbor has specialty shops, restaurants, coffee shops, transportation to Catalina, kayaking, fishing, whaling excursions, and more. Across the bridge at Dana Island, there are several luxury yacht clubs, oceanfront parks, and a restaurant.

Lastly, you’ll be stopping at Mission San Juan Capistrano. This Spanish Mission is the “Jewel of the California Missions,” and the oldest building in California is still being used today. It was originally built in the 15th Century and is a grand sight.

You’ll learn about the history of this place while seeing the iconic bell wall, historical artifacts, rare paintings, and the Serra Chapel.

You’ll also witness and experience many exhibits and activities, such as basket weaving, summer concerts, outdoor dining, dances, etc. Grab tickets for the Orange County Beach Cities Tour here.

19. Walk a trail or have a quiet moment at Laguna Coast Wilderness Park

Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
Image by Tristan Schmurr used under CC BY 2.0

Address: 18751 Laguna Canyon Rd, Laguna Beach, CA 92651, United States

Laguna Coast Wilderness Park is home to some of the very last coastal canyons left in Southern California. This very special park is 20,000 acres large and has more than forty miles of trails running through the heart of it.

These hiking trails are perfect for enjoying nature, having a quiet moment, taking in some incredible views, and walking through old-growth forests of oak, sycamore, and willow. Prickly pear cactus live in the region, too, which makes for some stunning scenes, especially with the ocean in the backdrop.

Many rare or protected animal species live here, including the California gnatcatcher, long-tailed weasel, red-tailed hawks, mule deer, bobcat, orange-throated whiptails, and more.

Of course, hiking is popular at the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, but so are trail running, mountain biking, and horseback riding. Photographers, writers, artists, botanists, meditators, picnic goers, and birdwatchers love this area for its scenery, calm energy, and fresh, salty ocean air.

Please note that camping is not allowed here. The nearest campground is next door at Crystal Cove State Park, which offers three walk-in campgrounds. Dogs are also not allowed in the park to ensure the safety of the protected animals and plants.

While here, make sure you stop in at the Nix Nature Center. This center offers guided hikes, award-winning interpretive exhibits, educational events and programs, and more.

The staff is experienced, kind, and friendly. If you have any questions about the region or its history, they are the people you want to talk to.

See Related: Things to Do in Monterey, California

20. Enjoy a delicious meal at Nick’s Laguna Beach

Nick's Laguna Beach
Image source: TripAdvisor

Address: 440 S Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651, United States

This is the best-rated restaurant in all of Laguna Beach, California. It is a breezy open-air restaurant that casually serves California comfort cuisine, such as bacon deviled eggs, fried asparagus, market salads, blackened halibut, veggie burgers, buttermilk fried chicken, and pan-seared Chilean sea bass.

They also have an impressive menu of cocktails and wines, as well as a few cold beers. The butter cake is a smash hit that people absolutely adore and order repeatedly. The prime rib dip is very popular, too.

This small but mighty restaurant is aesthetically pleasing, and the food is, too. The presentation is always perfect and tasty, and the food is delicious. The patio has a lovely setting and great energy throughout.

21. Hit up Anchor Line Bar on a Friday night

Address: 1460 S Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651, United States

This fabulous nightclub, previously known as Bounce and then Main Street Bar and Cabaret, is in a historic building on Main Street in downtown Laguna. It is a fun and lively bar and club with an active roster of interesting DJs and a big dance floor.

Anchor Line Bar is a nightlife beach bar and one of the best in Orange County, California. Of course, the club is always interesting and fun, but special events are hosted almost every night of the week.

  • Tuesday night is happy hour, with music and friends
  • Wednesday night is a drag show.
  • Thursday is karaoke night.
  • Friday is a cabaret show, and then a DJ and dancing afterward
  • Saturday is more DJ and dancing
  • Sunday is happy hour with friends and music
  • Throughout the month, a few random days host Mermaid Magic, a Magic-Mike-inspired event. They also host Mutts and Martinis happy hours, themed costume parties, and more.

Anchor Line features several carefully selected craft beers, domestic beers, import beers, wines, cocktails, seltzers, vodka, and whiskey.

See Related: Things to Do in Oakhurst, California

Getting around Laguna Beach, California

Take the Laguna Beach Trolley

The Laguna Beach Trolley is a fun and fast way to travel Laguna uniquely. Trolleys appear every twenty to forty minutes and run three routes right now:

  • Canyon Route – operates seven days a week. Services Laguna Canyon Road from LCAD and Act V to Downtown and Summer Art Festivals.
  • Coastal Route – operates seven days a week. Services Coast Highway between North Laguna, Heisler Park, Downtown, South Laguna, Mission Hospital, and Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel. Read our full review of staying at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel.
  • Summer Breeze – operates Friday through Sunday. Runs on Laguna Canyon Road from the UMass Global peripheral parking lot in Irvine to downtown Laguna and the Art Festivals.

See Related: An Authentic The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Review

Use the Laguna Beach Local

Laguna Beach Local is a free on-demand rideshare transit service that allows people easy access to the beaches, shops, restaurants, retailers, government services, parks, non-emergency medical care, and their jobs in the Laguna Beach area. This is great for couples, solo travelers, families, and small groups.

Laguna Beach Local is growing but operates six days a week now. Download the Transloc app from the Apple or Google Play store.

From there, you can create an account, share your location, select your pick-up and drop-off location, and then book your ride. You can book rides immediately or in advance, whichever option you need.

If you don’t have a smartphone, call (949) 497-0766. Please note that this is a free service, and city drivers are not allowed to accept tips or gratuities.

Walk or bike

Laguna is intelligently designed to be a walkable and bikable city. Downtown Laguna is filled with pedestrians, benches, safe crossing zones, mature street-side trees, and lots of outdoor patios and dining.

Downtown Laguna feels more like a village than a city in the best ways possible. Laguna is best enjoyed from foot if you are looking for that breezy romantic getaway experience.

Walking and biking are perfect for solo travelers, couples, and groups. Bicycling is hot in Laguna too. Manual and electric bike tours, as is mountain biking, are popular thanks to the beautiful rolling hills and boardwalks surrounding Laguna Beach. Bring your bike or rent one from the many bike rental businesses in town.

Rent a Car

If public transportation, walking, or biking isn’t your thing, you can always rent a car. This is a great choice for families with young children. You can quickly and easily get your rental car here.

Tours in Laguna Beach

1. Laguna Beach Open Ocean Kayaking Tour with Sea Lion Sightings Top Recommendation

Experience the thrill of kayaking in the open ocean, with no experience required. You'll paddle your way through hidden bays and coves, spotting marine life like dolphins, seals, and even whales.

2. Best Bites of Laguna Beach Food Tour

Spend the morning exploring the best of what Laguna Beach has to offer. Meet your guide near Main Beach and head to the city’s gorgeous downtown. Sample delicious chocolate, gelato, and other treats

3. Laguna Beach Backroads Electric Bike Tour

The tour starts at Crescent Bay Beach Park, where you'll have some time to soak in the incredible views before we head inland to Heisler Park and Pyne Castle. You'll be able to explore sights of Laguna Beach at your own pace.

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