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13 Exciting Things To Do In Laguna Beach

13 Exciting Things To Do In Laguna Beach

Here's a guide to 13 of the most exciting things to do in Laguna Beach, California. Tours, dining experiences, and new discoveries await!

Roubina Al Abashian


4 min read

January 05, 2022

If California had a favorite child, it would definitely be Laguna Beach. The Orange County gem has miles of pristine beaches, tons of outdoor activities, endless coastal trails, and a lot of culture.  As you can imagine, most of the fun things to do in Laguna Beach are ocean-related, and we want in. 

Bird watching enthusiasts would be happy to know that Crystal Cove has 180 different species of birds registered in the area.

1. Spend the Day at Crystal Cove State Park

Crystal Cove State Park is a spectacular natural landscape with over three miles of coastline and 2,000 acres of wilderness. Its incredible coastal trails are perfect for hiking, running, and biking, while the sandy beaches make it an ideal swimming, surfing, and scuba diving destination. Crystal Cove’s must-see state beach is one of the most beautiful places in SoCal, calling for an overnight camping experience. 

2. Stroll at Heisler Park

The breathtaking ocean views in Laguna Beach are best admired from Heisler Park. The green space has vistas to die for and provides access to many of the city’s beaches, walking trails, and tide pools. If you only had one place to visit in the city, this Laguna Beach attraction will cover much of the area for you. 

3. Get Your Creative Juices Flowing at the Laguna Art Museum

Since you’re in one of the coolest art towns in the Golden State, visiting the Laguna Art Museum is a must. Known as the only art museum to showcase pieces solely created by California-based artists, this museum is where the state’s history is told in kaleidoscopic works. 

We googled our symptoms and turns out we needed to go to the beach. Find us under the palm trees!

4. Splash around Main Beach

Surf, sun, and sand—this is what Main Beach is all about. Here, you’ll find people enjoying fun Laguna Beach activities like playing basketball and volleyball, having a picnic, and watching the surfers ride the waves. Spending a day here is one of the best free things to do in Orange County.

5. Dine at The Cliff Restaurant

Dining in style is how we roll, and where else to do that other than The Cliff Restaurant? Enjoying ocean views as you savor every bite of your tempura shrimp and halibut is one of the best things to do in Laguna Beach

The Pacific Marine Mammal Center rescues, rehabilitates, and releases marine mammals and inspires ocean stewardship through research and education.

6. Meet the Animals at Pacific Marine Mammal Center

Want to learn all about animals? A visit to the Pacific Marine Mammal Center will do the job. The center takes in California sea lions and northern elephant seals to care for them before setting them free. If there’s one thing to do in Laguna Beach we recommend, it’s exactly this.

7. Tour the Murphy Smith Historical Bungalow

History buffs need to visit Murphy Smith Historical Bungalow ASAP. Built in 1923 for the Murphy family, the bungalow is where the Laguna Beach Historical Society is located. Here, you’ll find memorabilia of the city from the 20th century—it’s also one of the few original houses remaining downtown.

With more than 100 pieces of public art sprinkled throughout Laguna Beach, there is literally art around every corner.

8. Take a Self-Guided Art Tour

You’ll discover plenty of artwork scattered around the Laguna Beach shoreline in the form of murals, sculptures, and themed park benches. Strolling along the coastline while visiting Laguna Beach is as colorful as can be—make sure to take advantage of the photo ops! 

9. Attend a Performance at The Laguna Playhouse

The Laguna Playhouse offers something for everyone—from plays and musicals to comedy and kid’s shows, you’ll always find something to watch. The mid-sized regional theater from the 1920s will always find a way to shift your mood and make your visit more enjoyable. 

It’s not a competition to reach the top, it’s a promise you make with yourself. Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.

10. Go Hiking at Laguna Coast Wilderness Park

Not all Laguna Beach activities are found at the beach; some take you through oak, sycamore, willow woodland, and cacti-covered spaces. Located in the San Joaquin Hills, Laguna Coast Wilderness Park offers 7000 acres of wilderness and over 40 miles of hiking and biking trails. 

11. Bask in the sun at Thousand Steps Beach

It’s high time you learned about Laguna Beach’s secret beach. One of Laguna Beach’s favorite attractions is a coastal oasis that can be accessed through a set of wooden steps. And surprise, surprise, it’s called Thousand Steps Beach. The southern end of the beach is where you’ll find a cove with two tranquil pools reachable only at low tide. If there’s one free thing to do in SoCal, this takes the lead.

12. Visit the Tidepools at the Glenn E. Vedder Ecological Reserve

If there was a record for the most tide pools found in a city, Laguna Beach must have been a top competitor. The Glenn E. Vedder Ecological Reserve - Underwater Park and Tidepools consists of diverse marine life, plants, fish, shells, and rocks you’d love to explore. The area is abundant with rock pools that you’ll lose track of time discovering each one. 

Enthusiastic scuba divers aren’t afraid of the water pressure. In fact, the excitement of a diving experience is like a net of underwater wonders.

13. Explore Life Underwater with Beach Cities Scuba

You can’t leave yet without doing the top Laguna Beach thing to do—diving. Beach Cities Scuba will take you on an exploration of a lifetime, where you’ll see the inner beauty of Laguna Beach. Just like Sebastian told Ariel: “Under the sea, darling it’s better.”

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