Our friends at Visit Laguna Beach have some fantastic places to share with you, enjoy!
Things To Do:
When friends want to visit Laguna Beach with the kids in tow, we have some great suggestions for how to spend quality time together and enjoy all that our quaint village by the ocean has to offer. No matter what time of year, there’s always something new to discover.
Tide pools (Sea life is easy to spot at low tide.)
We are a protected marine preserve, so no motorized boats are allowed in or out of our waters. This allows our tide pools to be alive and fresh. Look for hermit and shore crabs, sea anemones, black turban snails, limpets, barnacles, mussels, sea lettuce and coralline algae. Best tide pooling places are Crescent Bay, Shaw’s Cove, Rockpile Beach, Main Beach and Treasure Island, to name a few. (Please remember to look, but don’t touch or remove anything from the tide pools, including rocks and shells.)
Visit Marine Mammals – Pacific Marine Mammal Center is the only marine mammal rescue and rehabilitation center in Orange County. It rescues and rehabilitates pinnipeds stranded along the 42-mile Southern California coastline. Stop in and you may even catch a feeding! Free admission; donations accepted. Open daily, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 20612 Laguna Canyon Road. www.pacificmmc.org
We have a hands-on answer as to how youngsters can enjoy a museum! On the third Sunday of every month from 2-4 p.m., Laguna Art Museum holds Kids’ Art Studio, on a drop-in basis. Families can share in a creative art project inspired by a current museum exhibit. Suitable for all ages and materials are provided. Free with Museum admission.
With more than seven miles of coastline to discover and 30 coves and beaches, all with public access, family-friendly beaches abound. Splash and wade at Diver’s Cove adjacent to Heisler Park, or climb and swing on play equipment at Main Beach and Aliso Beach Park. Aliso also has a playground, picnic tables and fire pits … so bring the fixings for s’mores. Picnic Beach below Heisler Park and Agate Street Beach are also nice for picnicking, as is Heisler Park itself. Stop by Sapphire Pantry or Laguna Wine, Coffee & Specialty Foods for ready-to-go fare. Explore the coves, reefs, kelp, fish and sea lions up-close from a kayak, or take a guided eco-kayak tour. Pick up a Visitors Guide at the Official Visitors Center, 381 Forest Ave. to choose your favorite beach activities.
There’s never a shortage of water sports, so in addition to sunbathing, body surfing, walking along the shoreline and building sandcastles, try a surfing, snorkeling, paddle board, or skim board lesson. Local dive shops rent equipment.
Want to see mammals in their native ocean habitat? Hop aboard a dolphin and whale watching excursion for an experience to remember. The annual migration of the gray whales passes along the Laguna coastline from December to April. Blue, Fin and Minke whales can be viewed from May to November. Did You Know? More dolphins pass by the Laguna Beach coastline than Florida, Hawaii and the Caribbean combined!
Laguna Beach has a number of parks – great for picnics; playgrounds; tennis, basketball & volleyball courts; and trail hiking. Bluebird Park is a local favorite with its space ship, climbing gym and nine-foot long tortoise embedded with ceramics. Other favorites are Alta Laguna (great ocean views), Boat Canyon, Crescent Bay, Lang, Main Beach and Treasure Island.
Park your car, and explore Laguna Beach by bike or trolley. Rent bicycles in town, or jump on the trolley. Trolley service is free and runs north and south on Pacific Coast Highway all day during the art festivals in July and August. The rest of the year, it runs Friday, 4-11 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
Did you know there are more than 20,000 acres of wide open space to discover here? Just off Laguna Canyon Road, the Nix Nature Center is the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park headquarters and stands as the entryway to the 20,000-acre South Coast Regional Wilderness area. In addition to hiking and biking, bird watchers, backpackers and plein air painters converge. Just outside the Center is an easy, half-mile loop trail and there are children’s programs – “Weekend at the Nix,” and “Under the Sycamore” events. Guided hikes for families, tot walks and full moon hikes take place. Picnic tables, drinking fountains and interpretative exhibits are at the Center, along with free trail maps. Parking is $3 daily.
If you visit with your favorite pooch, city parks and beaches are dog-friendly! Leashed dogs (6’ leash or shorter) are allowed on all beaches from Sept. 11-June 14. During the summer months (June 15-Sept. 10), leashed dogs are allowed before 9 a.m. and after 6 p.m. Leashes come off and dogs can run free at Laguna Beach Dog Park. There’s two acres of grassy park at 20672 Laguna Canyon Road with separate areas for large and small dogs. Open daily, except Wednesdays, from dawn to dusk.
Embark on a 2-3 hour urban scavenger hunt with ClueHoo. There are three different tours throughout Laguna Beach to lure your family to a day of adventure. You’ll interact with secret scrolls, invented gadgets and mysterious surprises while exploring the city and learning about what the locals know.
Kid-friendly Dining Spots
For kids’ fave foods, some best bets are: BJ’s Pizza and Grill, Gina’s Pizza and Pastaria, Johnny Rockets, Ruby’s Auto Diner, Wahoo’s Fish Taco, Greeter’s Corner and Tortilla Republic.
The Inn at Laguna Beach – Overlooking Main Beach and adjacent to Heisler Park, it’s just walking distance to downtown. There are 70 newly renovated guest rooms, a swimming pool, spa and sun terrace. http://www.innatlagunabeach.com/
Laguna Beach Lodge (formerly Travelodge Laguna Beach) – This classic 1950s Southern California Motor Lodge is reborn as a comfortable boutique hotel with 43 rooms. Outstanding value, free parking, free Wifi, complimentary breakfast. Ideally situated and perfect for families. A short walk to Treasure Island Beach. 30806 South Coast Highway. http://www.lagunabeachlodge.com/
Laguna Riviera – Set in tropical gardens terraced to the ocean’s edge, the family will enjoy the surf, and sunsets, walk to the beach and visit local shops and art galleries. Some of the 41 rooms have full kitchens. 825 South Coast Highway. http://www.lagunariviera.com/
Pacific Edge Hotel – With 27 family suites, this oceanfront retreat has two heated swimming pools, two on-site restaurants, a spa and day-use rooms called The Bungalows, with private beach access.
Sunset Cove Villas – One, two and three bedroom oceanfront villas with gourmet kitchens, entertainment centers with satellite TVs, barbecues and whirlpool baths. http://www.sunsetcove.com/
Surf & Sand Resort – Oceanfront resort with 167 guest rooms and suites, a beachfront pool and onsite restaurants and spa. The Family Fun package features a milk & cookies welcome and S’mores & Snores in-room camping for kids.
Tide pools – Pick up an illustrated brochure that shows local sea life at the Official Visitors Center, 381 Forest Ave. www.visitlagunabeach.com/things-to-do/outdoors/tide-pools/
Laguna Beach Beaches, www.visitlagunabeach.com/things-to-do/beaches/
Pacific Marine Mammal Center, www.pacificmmc.org
Kids’ Art Studio at Laguna Art Museum, www.lagunaartmuseum.org
La Vida Laguna – guided kayak and paddle board tours and rentals, surf lessons, bicycle rentals, docent-led hikes. http://www.lavidalaguna.com/
Dolphin and Whale Watching Excursions – Newport Landing Whale Watching, www.newportlanding.com; Capt. Dave’s Dolphin & Whale Safari, www.dolphinsafari.com; Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching, www.danawharf.com
Laguna Beach Trolley – Download the Visit Laguna Beach app and click on the trolley tracker function for real-time trolley arrivals. www.visitlagunabeach.com/trolley
BJ’s Pizza and Grill, www.BJsRestaurants.com
Gina’s Pizza and Pastaria, www.ginaspizza.com
Johnny Rockets, www.JohhnyRockets.com
Ruby’s Auto Diner, www.Rubys.com
Wahoo’s Fish Taco, www.wahoos.com
Greeter’s Corner, www.TheGreetersCorner.com
Tortilla Republic, www.tortillarepublic.com
Inn at Laguna Beach, www.innatlagunabeach.com
Laguna Riviera, www.lagunariviera.com
Pacific Edge Hotel, www.pacificedgehotel.com
Sunset Cove Villas, www.sunsetcove.com
Surf & Sand Resort, www.surfandsandresort.com
Visit Laguna Beach Celebrates 30 Years
Visit Laguna Beach is a 501 (c)(6) not-for-profit destination marketing organization that promotes Laguna Beach as a premier leisure and small meeting destination. Formed in 1986, Visit Laguna Beach is celebrating 30 years of commitment to Laguna Beach and the tourism industry, with its offices located at 361 Forest Avenue, Suite 200 and the Official Visitors Center at 381 Forest Ave. The Visitors Center is open daily, Monday – Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit www.visitlagunabeach.com. Get social with Visit Laguna Beach on Facebook (LagunaBeachVisitorsBureau), Twitter (@VisitLaguna) and Instagram (@VisitLaguna).