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Visit Laguna Beach, CA - An Exceptional Wedding Destination and Fantastic Vacation Spot

Updated on March 4, 2018
Cyndi10 profile image

The former executive director of a successful nonprofit agency now content specialist, Cynthia writes about a variety of topics.

The Laguna Beach sunset is a spectacular wedding photo backdrop.
The Laguna Beach sunset is a spectacular wedding photo backdrop. | Source

Vacation and Wedding Destination

I am in love with the amazing city of Laguna Beach, California! It wasn’t solely because I attended a fabulous wedding there and will have a memory to last a lifetime. Indeed it did turned out to be an excellent site for a wedding, but the fact is, when you live in the Southeast the air in May can be as heavy with heat, not to mention pollen, and as moisture laden, sauna-like as any July day. Stepping off the plane at LAX (you can fly into John Wayne Airport or Long Beach Airport as less hectic alternatives) was like stepping into the absence of anything except, well, air. The temperature was actually on the chilly side and it was a little drizzly. But to me, the air was remarkable because absent was the sticky, overpoweringly humid air that Southerners are accustomed to. Bonus! There was no pollen.

We landed at LAX and rented a car, but you can also take Uber or Lyft. If you rent a car from LAX, be prepared to wait as long as two hours for the car, especially if it is the weekend. I was surprised at just how many travelers were waiting for cars. And this was a Thursday!

Why vacation in Laguna Beach, California? There are many reasons but a major reason is the Pacific Ocean. Whether you stay in a hotel like Pacific Edge (where I stayed), bed and breakfast, or private home, try to make your stay right on the ocean where the waves can lull you to happy oblivion better than any sleeping pill. And the view is spectacular - amazing, even! The ruggedness of the coast, the persistence of the waves - sometime gentle, sometimes thunderous - and sighting a whale or two (which we did), is almost other worldly.

If you are researching a site for a destination wedding, Laguna Beach could fit the bill, although the bill is not exactly inexpensive. It has intimate boutique hotels - the setting of the wedding I attended - that can be rented solely for bride, groom and their wedding party. There are also plenty of hotels located right on the beach that offer the beach and their ballrooms as private wedding sites. Do your research and an imaginative bride may find other sites throughout the city for her wedding.

Hotels and homes located on the Pacific Ocean are ideal.


Enjoy the Climate and the Residents

The residents of Laguna Beach are all friendly, but as a visitor, you can’t really know who is native and who is visiting, like you. Everyone seems nice without intruding, without a need to connect with you by asking who you are, where you are from or why you are in Laguna Beach the way we seem to do in the South. (Although that could just be my curiosity at work.)

At one time Laguna Beach residents are said to have referred to themselves as Lagunatics. I get it, although I hesitate to ask anybody if they still call themselves that. From what I can tell, either you fall madly in love with the place as soon as you start to travel down the scenic South Coast Highway or you just don’t like it. I loved the area despite showing up at a time when the weather was drizzly with a few downright downpours the four days I was there. So much for "it never rains in Southern California." Since I was in Laguna Beach for a wedding, I took comfort in the fact that the rain is supposed to be good luck for the bride.

Laguna Beach CA - Arrive via John Wayne Airport, LAX or Long Beach Airport

Pacific Edge Hotel:
647 South Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, CA, USA

get directions

Excellent hotel with many suites with beautiful ocean views.

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Catch a glimpse of divers in the early morning on Laguna Beach


What to Do, What to Wear in Laguna Beach

If you like art, you should know that Laguna Beach hasn't lost its artist flavor. The entire city is sprinkled generously with galleries and outdoor sculptures at practically every turn. The first art gallery opened in 1918 and the creative artist’s community has been thriving ever since.

There are festivals and classes of music, visual art, and writing year round. Some of the most famous festivals are the Sawgrass Art Festival, Laguna Art-A-Fair and the Festival of Arts. There is also the Laguna Dance Festival in the fall and the annual Pageant of Masters during the Summer. If you like music, there is the Laguna Beach Chamber Music Society’s Annual Festival and the Bluewater Music Festival. Do a little research before you go to find what suits you or just wait and simply stumble onto something that catches your attention. You win either way.

It has also had its share of Hollywood actors escape to the city, starting as far back in the 1920’s when it was difficult for anyone to make their way to the area. Only one highway in made it a perfect getaway from the paparazzi that were so prevalent even in the early days of the movie industry.

If it's golf you like, try The Ranch at Laguna Beach, a luxury boutique hotel destination with 9 holes of golf and a spa, not to mention an incredible backdrop of rugged mountains and glimpses of the Pacific. The Ranch even has something called Golf at Twilight. No sunscreen needed then!

“There be whales!” exclaimed Scotty, Chief Engineer in the Star Trek movie The Voyage Home. That was one of my favorite lines. It fits here because there were whales. I suspect many tourists have seen their first whales in their natural habitat in Laguna Beach. To accommodate the whale watchers, there are Whale Watching Cruises. The other choice is to watch and wait as you lounge on your balcony overlooking the Pacific, relax on the beach, or dine at one of the restaurants overlooking the beach and ocean.

And, if you didn't already know, there was a television show called Laguna Beach:The Real Orange County. Two seasons of the teenage reality show were offered to viewers, giving the curious a supposed glimpse of real teen life in Laguna Beach. How real? Only the residents know for sure.

Don't Miss the Laguna Beach Sunset


In addition to whale watching, Laguna Beach has everything from retail therapy to surfing, even home tours, depending on when you visit. The home tour alone would be an experience since the houses range from massive gated mansions perched dangerously on the side of the mountains overlooking the ocean to small bungalows tucked here and there throughout the town. It looks as if the builders have taken advantage of literally every inch of space so that anyone who can afford to (it is California, after all) will be able to enjoy the magnificence of nature.

What to Wear

For the most part, your stay should be geared to comfort wear. In summer bring your flip flops, beachwear, shorts, comfortable light dresses and jeans. If you travel to Laguna Beach in the winter the weather is unpredictable and can be quite cool, so be sure to bring a jacket.

Of course, if you are visiting Laguna Beach for a specific event, bring clothes according to the event. In my case, it was a wedding and the bride was of East Indian heritage. As a result, I dedicated the majority of the space in my suitcase to the saris and sandals I would wear to the mehndi and the wedding ceremony.

Kid friendly amenities and adventures are peppered throughout the beach and city. Don’’t forget that Disney is also a mere twenty miles away. Their clothes should definitely be on the comfortable, durable side.

Twilight Golf at The Ranch at Laguna Beach

Golf anyone? Why not golf at twilight.
Golf anyone? Why not golf at twilight. | Source

Where to Stay

Laguna Beach has plenty of commercial hotels, making finding a place to stay relatively easy. There are also a number of Airbnb homes to choose from, as well. The prices don't fluctuate too much. However, if you travel with friends or a large family, Airbnb may prove to be the most economical way to visit.

My stay was at the Pacific Edge Hotel which offered a variety of pricing and room settings. Some suites were right on the beach while others were street side with the beach a few additional steps away. The prices varied according to the location and type of room you are looking for.

Ultimately, I could return to Laguna Beach, CA over and over. That wonderful city left an impression on me that I won't forget. My advice to you? Make Laguna Beach, CA one of your vacation visits soon.


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    • Cyndi10 profile imageAUTHOR

      Cynthia B Turner 

      21 months ago from Georgia

      Hi Peggy. Thanks so much for leaving your comment. The weather forecast in Laguna Beach for today is 69 while Atlanta is forecast to be 89 :), almost as hot as Houston! Before my visit to Laguna Beach, I had no idea the temperatures were so mild.

      I hope to return in August for the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts Pageant of the Masters. Take care.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      21 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Laguna Beach sounds lovely. I can relate to the hot, humid weather here in Houston. It would be lovely to escape the humidity for a while and enjoy less humid ocean breezes. Thanks for giving us your impressions of the place.

    • Cyndi10 profile imageAUTHOR

      Cynthia B Turner 

      3 years ago from Georgia

      Haha! You and me both!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      3 years ago from England

      What I would do to be sitting on a beach right now, lol! sounds absolutely lovely!

    • Cyndi10 profile imageAUTHOR

      Cynthia B Turner 

      3 years ago from Georgia

      There is! I hope to visit again in November. The coastal view and whale watching alone are so magnificent. You are lucky to live in CA. I can't wait to get back there.

      Thanks for reading and leaving a comment. Take care.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 

      3 years ago from California

      Hi Cynthia! Such a wonderful coastal town--I didn't realize there was so much to do and see there!

    • Cyndi10 profile imageAUTHOR

      Cynthia B Turner 

      3 years ago from Georgia

      Hello Alternative Prime, Great to get your comments about Laguna Beach. Yes, I did find the water a little cooler than the Atlantic which, in some areas and certain times of the year, can be as warm as bath water. Still, because the temperature is so high, that bath water can also be refreshing :-)

      I hope that I can visit some of the cities you mentioned the next time I am on the West coast. Take care.

    • Alternative Prime profile image

      Alternative Prime 

      3 years ago from > California

      Cynthia ~ Yes, many visitors to the Laguna Beach area do indeed find "Enchanting Mediterranean Parallels" and those Similarities seem to GROW even Stronger the further south U travel ~ San Clemente is Incredibly Beautiful as is La Jolla toward the San Diego area where you'll also find "Little Italy", a lovely string of Fine Italian Restaurants ~

      California is TEAMING with 850 MILEs of Unmatched Scenic Coastline, even Huntington Beach, which is just north of Laguna is nice although it's more of a "UTILITY Beach" where Volly Ball, Surfing & other Year Round Outdoor Activities are ENJOYED ~ Seal & Sunset Beaches to the NORTH of Laguna & Huntington are More "Quaint & Charming", and of course Venice & WORLD Famous Malibu Beach can be found a little further North ~

      As U might have noticed, the Beach Water in California is a little cooler which is REFRESHING on a WARM Day or Night, the Lower Temps also keep many of the Sharks & other Warm Water Loving Creatures away, another nice benefit ~

    • Cyndi10 profile imageAUTHOR

      Cynthia B Turner 

      3 years ago from Georgia

      Hi Catherine, Yes Laguna Beach is so wonderful. I'm sure it is probably all psychological, but it just seemed to have a very different kind of energy there. But then you have some marvelous beaches in Florida, as well. I especially like the calm of the Gulf coast beach I went to. I look forward to getting around to others. Take care.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 

      3 years ago from Orlando Florida

      Laguna Beach sounds wonderful. Alas, I don't travel much anymore.

    • Cyndi10 profile imageAUTHOR

      Cynthia B Turner 

      3 years ago from Georgia

      Hello Moonlake, How wonderful that you lived in Orange. There are few things better than living close to the beach and Laguna Beach has its own unique qualities that I fell in love with. Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to leave a comment. Take care.

      Hello FlourishAnyway, Thanks so much for leaving a comment. Yes, definitely hop on that plane and head for Laguna Beach. So much fun and such positive energy. Take care.

    • moonlake profile image


      3 years ago from America

      We lived in Orange, California and went to the beach almost every weekend. Laguna Beach was one of our favorite places to go.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      3 years ago from USA

      Between those photos, the whales, and the temperatures, I should already have my flight booked!

    • Cyndi10 profile imageAUTHOR

      Cynthia B Turner 

      3 years ago from Georgia

      Hi John, I appreciate you taking the time leave a comment about the article. I'm looking forward to going back! I would make it an annual destination if I could. I'm overdue for the return visit now! Take care. Cyndi

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Cyndi, this was a great travelogue for Laguna Beach. I found it very interesting and enjoyed the accompanying photos as wel.

    • Cyndi10 profile imageAUTHOR

      Cynthia B Turner 

      3 years ago from Georgia

      Hi Billy, I must say I can see you and Laguna Beach as a fit. Thanks for taking a read. I'm glad you liked the pictures. I can't wait to get back and take many more! Take care.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I agree with Karen...great pics. I've been down there many times and it is, indeed, a beautiful location. So glad you love it. Who wouldn't?

    • Cyndi10 profile imageAUTHOR

      Cynthia B Turner 

      3 years ago from Georgia

      Hello Rachel, I'm glad you decided to read about Laguna Beach. I really believe that it is a great spot for energizing your creativity. Falling asleep to the sound of the waves is the ultimate sleep remedy for someone who may have difficulty falling asleep.

      Take care. Cyndi

    • Rachel L Alba profile image

      Rachel L Alba 

      3 years ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

      Hi Cynthia, I haven't been on HubPages for different reasons in a while, but I'm glad I found yours. You sold me on Laguna Beach. If I ever get to go somewhere on the west coast, it will certainly be there. Your pictures are amazing and I love the part about falling asleep to the sound of the waves. Thank you for sharing your experience to Laguna Beach.

      Blessings to you.

    • Cyndi10 profile imageAUTHOR

      Cynthia B Turner 

      3 years ago from Georgia

      Hello Alternative Prime, thank you for so much information about California. You certainly provided so many positives about living in California, especially Orange County.

      Seeing the swallows return to Capistrano would be a memorable experience. Maybe I can visit next year around that time in order to witness that special part of nature.

      During my research I noted that a couple of places compared Laguna Beach to the French Riviera. Not having been to France yet, I don't know, but I do know that the city resonated with me and I feel as if I'm always thinking of ways to go back. Take care.

    • Cyndi10 profile imageAUTHOR

      Cynthia B Turner 

      3 years ago from Georgia

      Hi Karen, thank you for reading about Laguna Beach. I really do love it out there and I feel as if it keeps calling me back especially since I experienced so little of that sunny California. Pretty amazing to go there when there was so much rain. Still, it was wonderful! Take care.

    • Alternative Prime profile image

      Alternative Prime 

      3 years ago from > California

      Fantastic Article Cynthia & NICE Photos ~ California is by far the most Incredibly Beautiful Location not only in the USA, but perhaps the entire world ~ As a PROUD Resident, I visit Laguna Beach Occasionally & Venture a little further south 2 Dana POINT & San Juan Capistrano which are also Delectable Destinations as are Newport, Huntington & SUNSET Beaches 2 the north ~

      Everyone knows California is indeed one of the very best places to LIVE & Work, we have an ENORMOUS Robust Economy where every industry is represented which provides the HIGHEST Paying Jobs in the Nation, many are in and around the Laguns Beach AREA ~ California also offers the HIGHET Minimum Wage & Salaries starting at $15.00 per hr and RISING Substantially from that point ~

      California also MAINTAINs Reasonable Regulations to prevent COMPANIES from excessive "DUMPING" of Poisons such as MERCURY into OUR Waterways, Land & Oceans, we just don't allow that unlike other "COAL Producing" states such as Texas, W Virginia & Wyoming which will soon be allowed to POLLUTE their Waterways with Contaminants if they win that right placing their residents in serious health jeopardy ~ We here in the Golden State try to keep our "National Treasures" like Laguna Beach as PRISTINE as Humanly Possible & our visitors SAFE , and it really shows when you visit ~

      All considered, we also have one of the LOWEST Tax & Expense Rates in the USA which is an added BONUS & makes our GEMs like Laguna BEACH an even MORE Desirable Destination ~

      P.S. ~ Next time U visit us, Check Out "Mission San Juan Capistrano" which is a short distance from Laguna, and try to make it when the "SWALLOWs" Miraculously return 2 the Mission from their Migration on March 19th ~ One of the most incredible natural events on EARTH ~ Orange County California has nearly an infinite number of BEAUTIFUL & Breathtakingly Scenic Locations to visit & dine, but this one is "Xtra Special" ~

    • Karen Hellier profile image

      Karen Hellier 

      3 years ago from Georgia

      Wow, such great pictures, Cynthia. I have been to Laguna Beach once before but I don't remember it being as pretty as this. Thanks for a detailed hub about Laguna Beach. Nice work.


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