And Relaxation in Laguna Beach
Whether you are planning to spend a day or a month in Laguna Beach, California, there are so many wonderful things to do while you're there, you should never get bored. The charming downtown village is a fun location for taking a walk, checking out the cute shops, and stopping for ice cream or a frozen yogurt. Perhaps you would like to take in a first run movie at the charming old theatre, or stroll through the historical first floor hallway at the Hotel Laguna, enjoying the old photos of the village. There's so much more to do, here's a list of some of the many ways you can keep busy during your stay.Credit: Photo Taken by Author
Like many other Orange County residents, I enjoy spending time in this world famous beach community. In fact, I took this photo of Main Beach from the walkway that overlooks the ocean and nearby village. If you are planning to move to the town, or just vacation there, you may want to check out this direct link to books on Amazon.com about Laguna Beach.
#1: Spend the Day at the Beach
As one of the most famous beach towns in the world, Laguna Beach has a string of popular beaches that run from one end of the community to the other. The town has seven miles of coastline, with lots of open space available even during tourist season. Main Beach is at the center of town, and tends to get the most crowded. Other beaches, however, are just as lovely but have a lot fewer people. Whether you want to swim, sunbathe, visit the tidepools, or round up friends for a game of volleyball, there are plenty of ways you can stay busy.
#2: Rent a Kayak
If lying around the beach is not for you, you may want to rent a kayak for a couple of hours. There are several companies that rent kayaks, including La Vida Laguna, Kajubi Kayak Tours and The North Laguna Float Company. All of them will have you begin with a short lesson, followed by a guided one to two hour kayak tour. Among the sites you will see is Seal Rock, the nature preserve that is home to the Laguna Beach colony of California Sea Lions. If you would like to do this, you may want to read "Laguna Beach Kayak Adventures" for more information.
#3: Learn to Paddleboard
Stand Up Paddleboarding has become a popular sport along the coast of Orange County. Just like kayaking, it is another water sport you can enjoy during your stay. La Vida Laguna, and Kajubi also offer lessons and tours, as does Paddle Board Bliss. You'll find contact information and other details about Paddleboarding in "Laguna Beach Paddleboard Adventures."
#4: Take Surfing Lessons
Many visitors to the area, especially the teens, are interested in learning to surf. With a little advance planning, you can sign your kids up for surf school. If the surf school schedule doesn't work for you, there are also companies that offer private lessons. Some of the beaches along the Laguna coastline offer quieter waves that are ideal for learning to surf. If you're staying at the Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel, just south of town, you can sign up for their Billabong Surf Camp. The City of Laguna Beach also offers a summer surf camp. Read "Laguna Beach Surfing" for more information about surfing lessons.
#5: Dine in an Ocean View Restaurant
The village, which is what they call the central shopping district, has wonderful restaurants with ocean views and fabulous sunsets. There are many lovely spots where you can also relax and enjoy a cocktail with your friends, while watching the sun go down. One of our favorites is the Beach House Restaurant, tucked away on a quiet residential street. Another popular favorite is Las Brisas, just north of Main Beach in Laguna. Restaurants range from the expensive, gourmet restaurant called The Studio at the Montage Hotel, to the very casual Corner Greeter next to Main Beach. For more information about these restaurants, and others, read "Dining in Laguna Beach Restaurants."
#6: Stay in a Laguna Luxury Hotel
The area in and around Laguna boasts some of the most elegant beach hotels you will find anywhere. Some of your choices include the Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel, the St. Regis and the Montage. All of these luxury resorts have fabulous restaurants, lovely swimming pools, beach access, and ocean view rooms. There are many more affordable hotels in Laguna Beach, as well.
#7: Visit a Day Spa
Most of the larger hotels, including the Montage, have wonderful day spas that will let you spend the day indulging and pampering yourself with a massage, facial, body wrap or other beauty treatment. Among the more popular spas in town are the Spa Montage, Movano Day Spa, Marciena, The Retreat Day Spa, Aquaterra Spa and Athena Day Spa. All of them have websites for more information. If you plan to visit a spa during your vacation, especially during the busy summer months, I highly recommend that you contact them in advance for reservations.
#8: Enjoy the Public Art and Attend the Summer Art Festivals
Laguna Beach is a well-known artist's colony, and there are many opportunities to enjoy some of the art the city has to offer. The Laguna Art Museum has over 3,500 works of American art exhibited. Throughout the town, as you stroll along the streets and parks, you can also enjoy some of the 65 public works of art that are on display.
The Laguna Playhouse offers seven productions a year and many of them are critically acclaimed performances. In fact, actor Harrison Ford got his start at the Laguna Playhouse.
During the summer, you will want to be sure to attend the Pageant of the Masters, where real people pose as the characters in realistic looking paintings. During the summer you can also purchase art at the various Laguna Beach Summer Art Festivals, including Art-A-Fair, Festival of Arts and the popular Sawdust Art Festival.
#9: Visit One of the 100 Art Galleries
If you are interested in buying art, and don't see what you want at the art festivals, you will want to visit one of the approximately 100 art galleries in Laguna. One of the better known galleries is the Wyland Gallery in the main village. Wyland is a marine life artist famous for his paintings of whales. However, there are many other types of art available in the various galleries.
#10: Go Hiking or Mountain Biking
Water sports are not the only choices available to the outdoorsman in Laguna Beach. If you are interested in hiking or biking, you will enjoy visiting the 20,000 acre Laguna Wilderness area on the edge of town. This wilderness area is transversed by miles of paths that are open to the public. You'll find several access points along the Laguna Canyon Road.
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