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.
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.
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.
Wood's Cove Beach
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.