Growing up in the Laguna Beach area (technically Laguna Niguel) , I never thought of it as a place people seek after for vacation. Okay, it is beautiful and I did notice there was more traffic in the summer time but I really never thought of it as a premiere travel destination. I mean normal to me was working across from Main St. beach in Laguna and sitting on the benches watching the waves on my lunch breaks (ya, it’s a little surreal to think about it now). However, after living away from Laguna for the past 6 years (wow time flies) I now appreciate the beach city more than ever.
I was able to head home this weekend for a short trip (my best friend since forever had a baby and I had to go down and attend the baby shower. She currently resides in Chicago so I wasn’t sure when the next time I would be able to see this beautiful baby if I didn’t take this chance) and while I was home I couldn’t stop pointing out all the beauty that surrounded me. I kept on reminding my parents to make sure they know they live in one of the most gorgeous places in the country! My dad kept on saying he knew and that is why they have lived there for 30+ years (my dad grew up in Salt Lake City).
I also noticed whenever I go home that, no matter how long it has been, I know that place like the back of my hand. I love that feeling. So although I am not considered a local any longer below is a previous local’s guide to the best public beaches in Laguna Beach!
1. Victoria Beach – This is the beach I grew up going to with my family. It is also the beach where B and I took our engagements. Victoria Beach is located really close to the Montage hotel and Ruby’s diner. Parking can be a little bit of a nightmare (but that is the case with most beaches I think) and it is a little bit of a trek to get to the beach but it is completely worth it. There is a beautiful rocky area to explore tide pools, an old lighthouse shaped building and the water is crystal clear.
2. Thousand Steps Beach – Now although it is not literally a thousand steps it is a workout to leave this beach, but it is worth every step. A lot of people come to just run up and down the stairs multiple times because being in this amazing setting is reason alone to keep pushing yourself. There is a long stretch of sand, a cave to climb in and clear water. It is so unique. Do note that it is street parking only which can be difficult to find on a Saturday afternoon. And whatever you do, do not park in the hospital parking lot across the street! You will be towed!
3. Treasure Island Park (Montage Beach) - My family and I used to walk these grounds frequently, have had a number of family portraits taken here and I went to this beach for many picnic dates with my high school crush (all happy memories). Although it is the backyard of a hotel, the beach is open to the public. I came here a lot on my own when I wanted to be near the beach but not necessarily at the beach. There are many benches to sit on at the top of the hill. There is also some fun rocky areas to explore with abundant tide pools. Parking can be found at a pay lot next to the hotel or across the street.
4. Shaw’s Cove – Shaw’s Cove is located less than a mile north of Main Beach. It is tucked away in a beautiful neighborhood with lust worthy homes and is on the smaller side, but that’s why it gets its name. Do note that there is no natural shade so prepare accordingly!
5. Thalia Street Beach- This is one of two beaches I frequented almost daily in high school (the other is a private beach). It is a pretty hot hangout for the teenage crowd but it is a beautiful beach and great if you are into skimming or surfing! Thalia Street Beach is located on Thalia Street (who would have guessed) close to many shops and eateries. I also like how it is a quick trip down two flights of stairs and your on the sand (but this quick trip also makes it a smaller beach — not as much sand to spread out in).
What are your favorite beaches in Laguna Beach?
Linked to: Local Adventurer