A handful of millennia ago, Native Americans came upon what is now Laguna Canyon and called it home. Though they made good use of the rolling hills, towering bluffs, and seven miles of sparkling coastline, the tribe named the region “Lagonas” in honor of the freshwater lagoons that decorated the canyon. The area didn’t become “Laguna Beach” until 1904.
Over the years, Laguna Beach’s dazzling bays and cliffs—alongside a continually warm welcome of sunshine—have attracted creative types, with the spot eventually evolving into the “artist colony” it is today, where locals can find a retired woman painting a sunset on her porch and a young man strumming his acoustic guitar on the patio next door.
The town’s always popping with life, sporting celebrated art galleries beside highly praised cafes, never having crossed the line into bustling big city. However, Laguna Beach is just 50 miles south of Los Angeles and 70 miles north of San Diego, in case you’re ever on the lookout for something louder and wilder.
Laguna Beach isn’t only home to painters and surfers though. The resort-like town has played shelter to everyone from Judy Garland to John Steinbeck. It’s a beloved host for annual art festivals and periodic Hollywood film locations as well, and it’s forever a Southern Californian go-to for afternoon strolls, lounges, and adventures.
Laguna Beach is in Orange County, featuring 7.1 miles of Pacific oceanfront vistas. Laguna is centrally located 50 miles south of Los Angeles and 70 miles north of San Diego. The city is nestled between canyons and the coast.
The 14 Best Small Beach Towns in America - Thrillist (2016)
Travelers' Choice Beaches Awards - TripAdvisor (2015)
One of the 'Top 25 towns in America to spend the holidays - Travel + Leisure (2014)
John Wayne Airport Orange County (SNA) is the closest airport to Laguna. Long Beach Airport (LGB) is also a convenient option at 37 miles away), and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is 55 miles away.
Sunset Cove is a hidden gem. We watched dolphins and whales swim by about 150 yards out. If you're looking for a place that feels like home in the heart of Laguna, this is place. Tim and Leo always makes us feel special and our trips memorable! I'm already thinking about our next trip back.
Mario S, Las Vegas