Local's Guide to Picture-Perfect Laguna Beach

Icon Share


Advisor - Julie Willhide
Curated By

Julie Willhide

  • California

  • Laguna Beach

  • Arts & Culture

  • Beaches

  • Boutique Travel

  • Couples Travel

  • Domestic Travel

  • Honeymoons

  • Luxury Travel

  • Coastal

  • Local Food

  • Hiking

palm trees next to beach and body of water
Curator’s statement

Laguna is the gem of Orange County and I am lucky enough to call it home! From its beaches and trails to its art and culinary scene, it truly has something for everyone.

The Fora Difference

Book with Julie to access exclusive perks and experiences on your trip.

[object Object]
Killer perks

Free upgrades, spa credits and more—we got you

[object Object]
Personalized recs

Customized travel planning for your style

[object Object]
Insider knowledge

Expert advice from people who’ve actually been there

Where to stay in Laguna Beach, CA

Unlock perks by contacting Julie to book your trip.

Things to do in Laguna Beach, CA

body of water next to beach during sunset

Laguna Beach is an easy town to get around in thanks to the Free Trolley service. It's a great way to get to and from restaurants and shops around town. It's also fun to ride the Coastal Route for a scenic tour and the ocean views.

The Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters - One of my favorite things to do every summer is to book a seat at the open-air theater and watch famous works of art recreated in the incredible Pageant of the Masters living art show. Be sure to get there early so you can stroll and see the Fine Art Show as well.

Sawdust Art Festival - A great way to spend an afternoon in Laguna is at the Sawdust Art Festival. The festival features art and crafts made by local Laguna Beach artists. Grab a drink at the bar and enjoy the live music, watch a glass-blowing demo or partake in a ceramic or art class.

Soak up the SoCal sun at one of the many beaches in town. I love that there is not one continuous beach along the Laguna coastline but rather dozens of little coves each featuring a unique beach.

In North Laguna, there are several great locations to take to the ocean and go snorkeling or Scuba diving right from the beach.

Another great way to get out and enjoy the water is Stand Up Paddle Boarding. If you want to go out on your own there are rental shops as well as tour options for those wanting a guided experience.

There's a lot more to Laguna for outdoor lovers than just the ocean and beaches. The Canyon and Wilderness Park feature great hiking and mountain biking trails.

Watching the sunset from one of the many parks around town is also a great way to end the day, some of my favorites include Crescent Bay Point Park, Heisler Park and Treasure Island Park.

Places to eat & drink in Laguna Beach, CA

plate of tacos on a blue table

Kitchen in the Canyon - This is a great casual spot for breakfast or lunch with indoor and outdoor seating options. Located in Laguna Canyon it's the perfect spot if visiting Sawdust or after a hike in the Canyon.

Sapphire - Although they are open for lunch and dinner daily, their weekend Brunch is my favorite. Do yourself a favor and cool down on a hot summer day with a Patio Pounder cocktail.

The Taco Stand - You're in SoCal, you need to have some Mexican food and The Taco Stand is the perfect spot to fill that need with their homemade tortillas and flame-grilled meats.

Rooftop Lounge - Enjoy stunning views from this rooftop bar. It's the perfect spot for cocktails and appetizers while watching the sun set into the Pacific.

The Deck - Sit beachside and enjoy fresh seafood along with other great menu options while breathing in the ocean air.

242 Cafe Fusion Sushi - This unique sushi experience is like no other! No soy or wasabi at your table here, each dish is prepared exactly how it should be enjoyed.

230 Forest Avenue - Great dinner spot featuring California cuisine in downtown Laguna Beach.

Broadway by Amar Santana - Celebrating something special? Make a reservation at Broadway and request a seat at the chef's table to enjoy a fabulous dinner along with a culinary show.

Oliver's Osteria - If Italian is what you are in the mood for, Oliver's has you covered with their homemade pasta and authentic Italian cuisine.

Advisor - Julie Willhide

Travel Advisor

Julie Willhide

Get in touch with Julie

Did you like this guide? Reach out to customize and book your own experience. Or, just to chat about travel in general.

You can normally expect a response from Julie within a business day or so. You’ll also be subscribed to our travel newsletter (you can unsubscribe at any time).

This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to California.