On any list of best American beaches, the state of California is guaranteed to appear multiple times. Whether it's the untouched areas of the Big Sur region, the charming locations near Santa Cruz, or the surfing and sunbathing paradises of Los Angeles, the Golden State has a beach to suit every kind of person. California also benefits from really good beach weather, with many of the state's cities seeing a lot of sunshine and plenty of warm temperatures through large parts of the year. This is partly why so many visitors can be seen heading out to California each and every year, especially during the warm summer months. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.

1.Main Beach

Main Beach
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This is, without a doubt, the most popular beach in Laguna Beach. It's right by the downtown shops and restaurants, so it has the best amenities too. It's a beautiful beach with some great views in every direction and good water conditions for people of all ages to splash around or swim, but due to its popularity, it can get very busy. If the crowds bother you, you can simply walk along the coast and find a quiet spot, but if you don't mind sitting among the crowds, this beach can be a great spot to meet new people and even play some beach games together.

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2.Laguna Beach Beaches: Wood's Cove Beach

Laguna Beach Beaches: Wood's Cove Beach
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Popular with locals but not so well-known among tourists, Wood's Cove Beach is a good spot to choose if you're hoping to find a calming, tranquil atmosphere and an authentic Laguna Beach experience away from the crowds. It's a gorgeous beach with lots of luxury homes and villas dotted along the shoreline above the impressive rocky cliffs. The views are excellent and there's almost a romantic vibe to this beach, so it's a nice place to take an evening stroll with your partner or do some photography. There are lots of caves and tide pools to check out at low tide, making this beach a lot of fun for explorers young and old.

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3.Laguna Beach Beaches: Rockpile Beach

Laguna Beach Beaches: Rockpile Beach
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Rockpile Beach really stands out for one major reason: the waves. Surfing conditions here are excellent, especially for experienced and advanced surfers who really want to challenge themselves. Even if you're not a surfer, it can be fun to simply sit on the beach, which is made up of sandy and rocky spaces, and observe the athletes riding the waves. There are some good amenities at this beach, including a good quality local restaurant serving great food and drinks.

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4.Laguna Beach Beaches: Crescent Bay

Laguna Beach Beaches: Crescent Bay
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Here's one for the wildlife lovers. The crescent-moon shaped Crescent Bay is definitely one of Laguna Beach's best beaches if you're on the lookout for some marine life. Lots of seals, sea lions, and dolphins are spotted in this area. You can either sit on the sand and look out for them from there or actually head out on the water with a kayak and try to get up close and personal with some new friends. The waters at Crescent Bay are nice and calm, so even if you're not an experienced kayaker, you can still have a lot of fun at this beach.

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5.Laguna Beach Beaches: Aliso Beach

Laguna Beach Beaches: Aliso Beach
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If you're looking for a lively party atmosphere on your Laguna Beach beach, Aliso Beach is the one to choose. Lined with fire pits and equipped with a long list of local amenities, this beach has it all. Large, open, sandy expanses are waiting to greet you here, offering more than enough room for everyone, but Aliso Beach is one of the most popular spots in the area, so it definitely pays to get here early, especially if you're looking to claim one of the fire pits as your own for the evening. This is definitely one of the best beaches for groups of friends to come and chill out together.

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6.Laguna Beach Beaches: Shaw's Cove

Laguna Beach Beaches: Shaw's Cove
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With golden sands and frothy waves, Shaw's Cove is a really special little beach in the Laguna Beach area. The unique rocky and underwater geological formations in this area make it a great spot for marine life to thrive, which also means that Shaw's Cove is one of the best snorkeling locations in Laguna Beach. Lots of different species of fish can be spotted here, so if you're interested in checking out a world beneath the waves, don't forget to bring some snorkeling equipment along.

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7.More Info About Laguna Beach Beaches

More Info About Laguna Beach Beaches
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Of all of California's beach resort towns and cities, Laguna Beach is one of the most picturesque. The area is home to barely 23,000 people but attracts millions of visitors each year, with the latest estimates stating that around 6 million people visit Laguna Beach annually to enjoy the area's special events, scenic landscapes, charming streets, and of course, its beautiful beaches. Several miles of Laguna Beach coastline are part of a state marine reserve protected area, and the city itself is well-known for being highly ahead of the curve when it comes to environmental awareness and preservation.

Best Beaches in Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach is known for its scenic surroundings, lively art community, and warm year-round weather, but the number one reason people visit this part of California is for the beaches themselves. The beaches in and around Laguna Beach are some of the finest beaches on Earth. Whether you're looking to do some snorkeling, sunbathing, whale watching, kayaking, diving, surfing, or any other beach-based activity, you'll find what you're looking for at Laguna Beach. Read on to learn all about the very best beaches in this area.

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6 Best Laguna Beach Beaches

More Ideas: Pacific Marine Mammal Center

The Pacific Marine Mammal Center is a nonprofit animal rescue and rehabilitation facility located in Laguna Beach, California. Its two main missions are to rescue and rehabilitate marine mammals as well as promote ocean conservation through research and education. The most common ocean-dwelling creatures found in the center are Northern elephant seals, Pacific Harbor seals and California sea lions. It is also has sufficient capacity to temporarily house small whales and dolphins.

The center is part of a wider network called Marine Mammal Stranding Network that helps animals all across the US coastline. Currently, its resources are primarily focused on marine mammals stranded along the Orange County coast, stretching from Seal Beach to San Onofre.

Many of the animals washed ashore are dehydrated and underweight due to a variety of reasons, including illness and injuries. Some of them were the result of negative human interactive such as net strangulation and ingestion of trash. Members of the public are urged to call the center to report about sightings of these stranded creatures. Trained staff will be dispatched to determine if human intervention is needed, which it will bring back to the center to receive treatment.

Established in 1972 as Friends of the Sea Lion, the Pacific Marine Mammal Center is the first marine mammal rehabilitation facility in California. Interestingly, it was set up even before the Marine Mammal Protection Act was passed in 1972.

At its inception, the center only had three volunteers, two of whom were lifeguards at the beaches in Orange County. They had initially housed seals and sea lions inside his house but as the organization continued to expand, a larger facility was needed. They eventually took over a barn previously occupied by the local SPCA, which continues to be the center’s rehabilitation hub up until today.

Unlike Sea World or zoo, the seals and sea lions in the center are not used for entertainment purposes. Instead, most of them are ill and injured animals that require medical attention and rehabilitation. As such, they are housed in pools behind fences away from close contact with humans. However, visitors will still be able to observe the animals safely from a distance. Such an arrangement is critical for the center whose ultimate goal is to release the animals back into the wild once their health has been fully restored.

The number of creatures at the center fluctuates annually and seasonally. The animal count could range from a few hundred to about a thousand marine mammals per year. Depending on climatic changes, it could increase or decrease the number of distressed animals being washed ashore. Some of these factors include warmer waters and spike in the water’s radiation level, all of which might affect female sea lions ability to hunt for prey and care for their young. On average, there are also more rescued animals during late winter and early spring. This is because seal pups typically wean themselves off their mother during this period, and they become more prone to suffer from malnourishment and dehydration among other medical conditions.

Visitors can expect to see the marine mammals exhibiting their natural behavior at the center’s outdoor pools. Because they have not been professionally trained, they will not be able to perform typical crowd-pleasing acts such as balancing balls on their noses or jumping through hoops. Instead, it is more likely to find them swimming and frisking around with one another given that they are known for their social behavior and playfulness. Informative displays are available around the center to educate the public about these marine animals.

Since the center is wholly privately funded, it relies on its team of regular volunteers to run the center from caring for the animals to manning the gift shop. It is likely that visitors will be greeted by one of the enthusiastic volunteers during their visit. These volunteers tend to be more than happy to explain not only the history and mission of the center, but also to share stories of the rescued animals that are present onsite.

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For close up views of the animals, there is a 24-hour live streaming video from one of the center’s pools. Hosted on its website, visitors will get uninterrupted intimate views of the rescued animals at different times of the day. There are also videos of staff and volunteers releasing rehabilitated wild animals back into the ocean posted on YouTube. Get ready to ooh and aah at the health transformation of these adorable creatures as they leap on the beach.

The center offers a variety of educational programs as part of its mission to educate the public. Group activities comprise hour long ‘field trip’ presentations to learn about the world of marine mammals. Its most popular program is the ‘Marine Mammal Rescue, Rehabilitation and Release’, which provides more information about the center’s work and the animals that it treats. Girl Scouts can also enroll in specially designed program that would fulfill part of the requirements of their ‘It’s Your Planet – Love it!’ Leadership Journey. They will learn about marine environmental issues as well as ongoing ocean conservation efforts.

No summer is complete without going for a summer camp. For kids who love marine creatures, the facility offers Camp Pinniped, which is a day camp with weekly sessions for those between 8-10 and 11-13 years old. They would be able to observe the inner workings of a marine mammal hospital and understanding how the staff tender to the sick animals. Their learning will be reinforced through hands-on sessions where they get to experience preparing animal feed and clean up their pens as well as through games and presentations. From September to May, the center runs an after-school program held once a month to educate children about marine science through play and experiment. It is suitable for children ages 8-13.

In 2015, the University of California Master Gardener program partnered with the Pacific Marine Mammal Center to revitalize the garden in and around the site. More than 50 new plants were added along the fence and near walk ways, including Butterfly Cassia, California Fuchsia and White Yarrow. The flora and fauna serves to not only beautify the surroundings, but also to attract bees and butterfly to pollinate the seeds.

Alongside the center’s focus on protecting marine animals, the garden raises awareness of another important but fragile ecosystem that aim to enhance the visitor’s experience. Informational signs and educational materials about the plants are placed throughout the landscape to create a holistic learning environment for the public.

The Pacific Marine Mammal Center is found at the foot of the Laguna Canyon hills. Near the facility is the Laguna Beach Animal Shelter. This is another non-profit organization dedicated to providing medical care for sick and injured animals as well as a temporary shelter for stray and abandoned animals. The facility primarily houses domesticated animals including dogs, cats and birds among other animals. Visitors can go there to adopt a pet or call in to alert members of the shelter about any animal-related issues in Laguna Beach and Laguna Woods.

Another attraction located close-by is the Laguna Beach Dog Park. Spanning over two acres, the park was the first dog park in Orange County when it was founded in 1992. Today, it continues to commit itself to its mission of providing an open space for dogs to roam leash-free and socialize with other dogs. The dog park provides a securely fenced environment for the animals to interact, and has also been divided into two areas, one for small dogs and another for big dogs to prevent unnecessary injuries. There is a water fountain in the park so that dogs can stay hydrated, as well as plenty of shade and benches for owners to rest and socialize with each other.

Back to: Best Things to Do in Laguna Beach.

20612 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, CA 92651, Phone: 949-494-3050

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