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Loving Laguna Beach, CA

Updated on May 20, 2017
The Laguna Beach sunset as photo backdrop is spectacular.
The Laguna Beach sunset as photo backdrop is spectacular. | Source

Vacation and Wedding Destination

I am in love with the amazing city of Laguna Beach, California and it wasn’t solely because I attended a fabulous wedding there and will have a memory to last a lifetime. It turned out to be an excellent site for a wedding, but the fact is, when you live in the Southeast where the air in May can be as heavy with heat, not to mention pollen, and as moisture laden 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 air. The temperature was actually chilly and it was a little drizzly, but there wasn’t the sticky, overpoweringly humid air that Southerners are accustomed to and there was an absence of pollen.

We rented a car from LAX, but you can also take Uber or Lyft. Or you can land at the nearby John Wayne Airport or Long Beach Airport.

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 we 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 fits the bill. 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 that offer the beach and their ballrooms as wedding sites. An imaginative bride may find other sites for her wedding throughout the city.

Hotels and homes chosen on the Pacific are ideal.

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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 can be your destination at any time of the year.
Laguna Beach can be your destination at any time of the year. | Source

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

A markerPacific 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

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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.

“There be whales!”

That was one of my favorite lines by Scotty in the Star Trek movieThe Voyage Home. 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 or relax on the beach.

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

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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.

For the most part, your stay should be geared to comfort wear. Bring your flip flops, beachwear and jeans. Of course, if you are traveling to 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.

Kid friendly amenities and adventures are peppered throughout the beach and city. Don’’t forget that Disney is also a mere twenty miles away.

 Festivals year round, Laguna Beach also has 3 sister cities Menton France; San Jose, del Cabo, Mexico; St. Ives, United Kingdom
Festivals year round, Laguna Beach also has 3 sister cities Menton France; San Jose, del Cabo, Mexico; St. Ives, United Kingdom | Source

Twilight Golf at The Ranch at Laguna Beach

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

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    • Karen Hellier profile image

      Karen Hellier 3 weeks 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.

    • Alternative Prime profile image

      Alternative Prime 3 weeks 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" ~

    • Cyndi10 profile image
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      Cynthia B Turner 3 weeks 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.

    • Cyndi10 profile image
      Author

      Cynthia B Turner 3 weeks 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.

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