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  • Writer's pictureBrooke Buckman

8 Best Beaches in Laguna Beach, California

Updated: Sep 26

Laguna Beach, California Beach

Laguna Beach, California, is renowned for its stunning coastline, picturesque cliffs, and pristine beaches. With its idyllic setting and crystal-clear waters, it's no wonder that Laguna Beach has become a popular destination for beach lovers.

Among the many beautiful choices of Laguna beaches, there is one that stands out as the most famous. In this blog post, we will explore the most famous beach in Laguna and discover what makes it so special.

Laguna Beach, California Beach, Main Beach
Main Beach (Photo from

The Most Famous Beach in Laguna: Main Beach

When it comes to fame and recognition, Main Beach takes the crown as the most famous beach in Laguna.

Located in the heart of the city, this iconic beach has become synonymous with Laguna Beach itself.

Here's why Main Beach holds such a special place in the hearts of both locals and visitors:

Unmatched Beauty:

Main Beach offers a picturesque backdrop of golden sand, towering palm trees, and stunning views of the Pacific Ocean.

Its pristine shoreline, framed by rocky cliffs and lush greenery, creates a captivating scene that attracts beachgoers from all walks of life.

Vibrant Atmosphere:

One of the main reasons why Main Beach has earned its fame is its vibrant atmosphere. The beach is often bustling with activity, making it a hub for locals and tourists alike.

From families enjoying picnics to surfers catching waves and artists showcasing their talents, Main Beach is a melting pot of energy and creativity.

Iconic Lifeguard Tower:

The iconic lifeguard tower at Main Beach has become a symbol of Laguna Beach. Painted in bright white and perched on the sand, the tower stands as a watchful guardian over the beachgoers.

It has become a popular spot for photographs of other beaches, capturing the essence of a true Laguna Beach experience.

Proximity to Downtown:

Main Beach's central location places it within walking distance of Laguna Beach's vibrant downtown area.

This proximity allows visitors to seamlessly transition from the sandy shores to explore the charming shops, art galleries, and restaurants that make Laguna Beach so unique.

Accessibility and Amenities:

Main Beach offers a range of amenities, making it an accessible and comfortable destination for beach enthusiasts.

Public restrooms, showers, picnic areas, and volleyball courts are available, catering to the needs of visitors seeking a well-rounded beach experience.

What beaches in Laguna Beach have clear water?

When it comes to beach destinations, clear water is a top priority for many beachgoers.

Laguna Beach, California, with its stunning coastline and pristine beaches, offers a range of options for those seeking crystal-clear waters.

In this blog section, we will explore the beaches in Laguna Beach known for their clear water, allowing you to choose the perfect spot for your next beach adventure.

Laguna Beach, California Beach, Thousand Steps Beach Hidden Pool
Thousand Steps Hidden Pool (Photo from

Thousand Steps Beach: Clearest Water in Laguna Beach

Thousand Steps Beach, despite its name, is renowned for its sparkling and clear waters.

The azure hues of the Pacific Ocean here are truly mesmerizing.

While the private beach itself may require a bit of a stair climb to reach, the reward is well worth it. Once you arrive, you'll be greeted by a picturesque cove with crystal-clear water inviting you for a refreshing swim.

What is the easiest beach to get to in Laguna?

When it comes to beach destinations, accessibility plays a crucial role in planning a memorable trip.

In the coastal paradise of Laguna Beach, California, there are several stunning beaches to choose from, each with its unique appeal. However, for those seeking convenience and easy access, there is one beach that stands out.

Laguna Beach, California, Aliso Beach
Aliso Beach (Photo from

Aliso Beach: The Easiest Beach to Get to in Laguna Beach

When it comes to exploring the beautiful beaches of Laguna Beach, convenience and accessibility can make a significant difference in your beach-going experience.

While each beach has its unique appeal, if you're looking for the easiest beach to get to, Aliso Beach is the perfect choice.

Let's delve into why Aliso Beach stands out as the easiest beach to access in Laguna Beach.

Location and Directions:

Aliso Beach is conveniently located off Pacific Coast Highway (PCH), making it easily accessible for both locals and visitors. Situated between the Montage Laguna Beach resort and the Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, it's hard to miss.


One of the significant advantages of Aliso Beach is the ample parking available. The beach has a spacious parking lot, offering a stress-free parking experience.

Facilities and Amenities:

Restrooms and outdoor showers are available for your convenience, allowing you to freshen up before or after your time in the sun.

Additionally, the beach features picnic tables, barbecue grills, and firepits providing an ideal setting for a beachside cookout picnic beach, or a leisurely picnic with friends and family.


Aliso Beach is known for its accessibility, making it an excellent choice for individuals of all ages and abilities. The beach features accessible ramps and pathways, ensuring that everyone can enjoy the sand and surf.

It's a welcoming destination for families with strollers, individuals with mobility challenges, or those who simply prefer easy access to the beach.

Laguna Beach, california coast line

Does Laguna Beach have public beaches?

When planning a visit to Laguna Beach, California's southern beachside, many travelers wonder about the availability of public beaches.

Known for its stunning coastline and picturesque coves, Laguna Beach offers a wealth of beachfront areas for locals and visitors to enjoy.

Laguna Beach and Public Beaches:

Laguna Beach is fortunate to have numerous public beaches, providing access to the breathtaking Pacific Ocean for everyone to enjoy.

While some areas may be associated with private properties, the California Coastal Act ensures public access to most beaches in the state, including those in Laguna Beach.

Public Beach Accessibility:

The majority of beaches in Laguna Beach are accessible to the public. The city of Laguna Beach, in collaboration with the California Coastal Commission, ensures that the public's right to access and enjoy the coastal areas is preserved.

Access points, pathways, and staircases are typically provided to allow visitors to reach the beach from public streets and designated areas.

Exploring Laguna Beach's Public Beaches:

Visiting the public beaches in Laguna Beach allows you to experience the natural beauty and coastal allure that the area is renowned for.

From the vibrant atmosphere of Main Beach to the secluded tranquility of Crescent Bay, each public beach has its unique characteristics to discover and enjoy.

Whether you're seeking a spot for sunbathing, swimming, surfing, or simply strolling along the shoreline, Laguna Beach's public beaches offer a range of options to cater to every beachgoer's preferences.

laguna beach california sunset

What is so special about Laguna Beach? Exploring the History and Charm

Laguna Beach, California, holds a special place in the hearts of locals and visitors alike. Its idyllic coastline, vibrant art scene, and rich history make it a unique destination along the Southern California coast.

Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters:

One of the most iconic events in Laguna Beach's cultural calendar is the Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters. This annual celebration showcases the works of local artists through juried exhibitions, live performances, and the famous "living pictures" spectacle.

The Pageant of the Masters brings famous artworks to life through the meticulous recreation of scenes using live models, intricate sets, and detailed costumes, leaving audiences awe-struck.

Preservation of Natural Beauty:

Laguna Beach has been committed to preserving its natural beauty, leading to the establishment of parks, nature reserves, and the Greenbelt, a scenic pathway that winds through the city. This dedication to conservation has allowed residents and visitors to enjoy Laguna Beach's pristine coastline, marine life, and diverse ecosystems.

Beaches and Coastal Beauty:

Laguna Beach boasts a collection of stunning beaches, each with its charm and character. From the iconic Main Beach with its lively atmosphere to the tranquil coves of Thousand Steps Beach and Crescent Bay Beach, there is a beach for every preference. The scenic beauty of the rugged cliffs, tidal pools, and crystal-clear waters provides a breathtaking backdrop for beachgoers and nature enthusiasts.

Cultural Vibrancy:

Beyond its artistic heritage, Laguna Beach offers a thriving cultural scene. The city hosts numerous art galleries, live theater performances, music festivals, and outdoor concerts throughout the year. This vibrant atmosphere fosters a sense of community and creativity, making it a cultural hub for both residents and visitors.

laguna beach california beach at sunset

Is Laguna Beach swimmable? Exploring Safe and Adventurous Waters

When it comes to planning a beach getaway, one of the key considerations is whether the destination offers safe and swimmable waters. Laguna Beach, with its stunning coastline along the Pacific Ocean, is a popular choice for beach enthusiasts. However, it's essential to be aware of the varying swimming conditions at different beaches in the area.

Swimmable Beaches in Laguna Beach:

Laguna beach california Life guard tower

Main Beach:

Situated in the heart of Laguna Beach, Main Beach is a popular and easily accessible destination for swimming. Lifeguards patrol the area, ensuring the safety of swimmers. Its gentle surf and expansive shoreline make it an ideal spot for families and less experienced swimmers. With a range of amenities and nearby attractions, Main Beach offers a delightful and safe swimming experience.

laguna beach california aliso beach

Aliso Beach:

Located just off the south end of Laguna Beach, Aliso Beach is another excellent option for swimmers. This family-friendly beach boasts a wide sandy shoreline and gentle waves, making it suitable for swimming and water activities. Aliso Beach is also equipped with lifeguards, ample parking, picnic areas, and restrooms, ensuring a comfortable and secure beach day.

Adventurous, but Potentially Hazardous Beaches:

table rock beach laguna beach california

Table Rock Beach:

While Table Rock Beach offers awe-inspiring beauty and a secluded atmosphere, it is known for its potentially hazardous swimming conditions. This beach is characterized by its rocky shorelines, strong currents, and waves crashing against the cliffs. It is essential to exercise caution and be aware of the unpredictable ocean conditions if attempting to swim here. It is recommended to observe from a safe distance or explore the side pools instead. These pools are not accessible during high tide.

thousand steps beach tide pools laguna beach

Thousand Steps Beach:

Similarly, Thousand Steps Beach, despite its captivating appeal, can present challenges for swimmers. The beach's access involves descending a long staircase, which can be physically demanding. Additionally, the strong currents and rocky terrain make swimming here risky for inexperienced swimmers. It's advisable to enjoy the scenic views and explore the low-tide side pools, rather than venturing into the water for a swim.

Safety Tips for Swimming in Laguna Beach:

  • Always swim in designated areas patrolled by lifeguards.

  • Observe and follow the posted signs and warnings regarding water conditions.

  • Take note of the weather forecasts and ocean advisories before heading to the beach.

  • If you are not a confident swimmer, consider using a flotation device or staying close to the shoreline.

  • Be mindful of the tides and currents, as they can change rapidly.

  • Swim with a buddy or inform someone on the land about your swimming plans.

  • Respect the natural environment and refrain from engaging in risky behavior or swimming under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

8 of the Best Beaches in Laguna Beach, California

Treasure Island Beach

Treasure Island Beach  Laguna beach, California
Treasure Island Beach (Photo from

Best Suited for:

Treasure Island Beach is a hidden gem nestled in Laguna Beach, California. Best suited for those seeking a secluded and intimate beach experience,

Top 3 Features of Treasure Island Beach:

  1. Breathtaking vistas

  2. Mesmerizing sunsets

  3. An abundance of tide pools to explore

Getting There and Parking:

To reach this enchanting destination, visitors can access it via the public staircase at the north end metered parking, of the Montage Resort. Limited street parking is available along Pacific Coast Highway, and paid parking can be found at nearby parking lots.

Crescent Bay Beach

Crescent Bay Beach Laguna Beach, California
Crescent Bay Beach

Best Suited for:

Perfect for those seeking a peaceful escape.

Top 3 Features of Crescent Bay Beach:

  1. Breathtaking ocean views,

  2. Abundant tide pools teeming with marine life

  3. The crescent-shaped shoreline offers a sense of tranquility

Getting There and Parking:

Follow Pacific Coast Highway to Crescent Bay Drive, and limited street parking is available nearby.

Main Beach

Main Beach Laguna Beach, California
Main Beach

Best Suited for:

Families and beachgoers seeking a lively and convenient beach experience.

Top 3 Features of Main Beach:

  1. Vibrant Atmosphere

  2. Iconic Lifeguard Tower

  3. Central Location

Getting There and Parking:

Main Beach is located at 107 S Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651. Visitors can reach the beach by car or public transportation. Parking is available at various public lots and meters throughout the downtown area, with some parking structures offering a maximum daily rate. It is advisable to arrive early or consider alternative transportation during peak times.

Crystal Cove State Park

Crystal Cove State Park Laguna Beach, California
Crystal Cove State Park

Best Suited for:

Nature enthusiasts, hikers, and those seeking a serene coastal escape.

Top 3 Features of Crystal Cove State Park:

  1. Pristine Coastline

  2. Abundant Outdoor Activities

  3. Historic Beach Cottages

Getting There and Parking:

Crystal Cove State Park is located just north of Laguna Beach. Visitors can access the park by taking the Pacific Coast Highway (Highway 1). Ample parking is available at the park's designated lots, including the Los Trancos Parking Lot and the Pelican Point Parking Lot.

Victoria Beach

Victoria Beach pirate tower laguna beach california
Victoria Beach

Best Suited for:

Adventure-seeking beachgoers

Top 3 Features of Victoria Beach:

  1. Iconic "La Tour" Tower

  2. Tide Pools and Rock Arch

  3. Picturesque Setting

Getting There and Parking:

To reach Victoria Beach, take Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) and turn onto Nyes Place. Limited street parking is available in the residential area nearby. From there, follow the signs and take the staircase down to the beach.

Thalia Street Beach

Thalia Street Beach Laguna Beach California
Thalia Street Beach

Best Suited for:

Surfers, families, and beachgoers seeking a laid-back atmosphere.

Top 3 Features of Thalia Street Beach:

  1. Surfing Haven

  2. Family-Friendly Vibe

  3. Scenic Surroundings

Getting There and Parking:

Thalia Street Beach is conveniently located near downtown Laguna Beach. Visitors can access the beach by walking down Thalia Street from Pacific Coast Highway. Limited street parking is available, but it is recommended to arrive early or utilize paid parking lots in the vicinity for a hassle-free beach day.

Thousand Steps Beach

Thousand Steps Beach Laguna Beach, California
Thousand Steps Beach

Best Suited for:

Adventure seekers and marine life sightings.

Top 3 Features:

  1. Secluded Escape

  2. Unique Staircase Descent

  3. Tide Pools Galore

Getting There and Parking:

To reach Thousand Steps Beach, visitors can find access via 9th Avenue in Laguna Beach. Limited street parking is available in the surrounding residential areas, but it's advisable to arrive early to secure a spot.

Pearl Street Beach

Pearl Street Beach Laguna Beach, California
Pearl Street Beach

Best Suited for:


Top 3 Features of Pearl Street Beach:

  1. Tranquil Atmosphere

  2. Scenic Beauty

  3. Tide Pool Exploration

Getting There and Parking:

To reach Pearl Street Beach, head south on Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) from downtown Laguna Beach. Turn left onto Pearl Street and continue until you reach the beach access. Limited street parking is available along Pearl Street, but it's recommended to arrive early to secure a spot.

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