Your Laguna Beach Guide to the Best Beaches, Activities

Laguna Beach offers visitors 30 beaches for relaxing, playing and seeing the area’s natural beauty. Those looking vacation in this California paradise will find a quick Laguna Beach guide to seven of the best beaches and things to do at each one. Whether looking to climb, lounge or surf, this Laguna Beach guide helps travelers plan for a beach getaway.

Laguna Beach Guide to 7 Top Beaches, Activities

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Visit Main Beach

Centrally located in Laguna Beach sits Main Beach. This family-friendly spot features a nearby park, boardwalk, basketball courts, volleyball and kids play area. At Main Beach, guests can also try scuba diving, swimming and bodysurfing.

Due to rip currents and summer conditions, visitors should take caution when swimming, and surfing is not allowed during summer months. Amenities include picnic tables, lifeguards, restrooms and showers.

Trek to Thousand Steps

One of the largest beaches in the area, Thousand Steps Beach welcomes guests to explore. Named for its long stairway – measuring 223 steps that may look like 1,000 – guests find tunnels, tide pools and lots of sand.

Whether looking to lounge or trek through caves, Thousand Steps lends itself to both. When tide is out and the entrance exposed, walk through the cave and come out on a small rock cove on the other side. Other activities include scuba, volleyball, snorkeling and surfing. Visitors also have access to restrooms and showers.

Sit by the Fire

Family-friendly Aliso Beach is another top beach in Laguna Beach. Here families have plenty of space to spread out and opportunities for wildlife watching. Aliso also hosts the annual Skimboarding World Championship every July, and ranks as a popular spot for beach bonfires. Other beach activities include enjoying tide pools, surfing, scuba and picnicking. Younger kids love playing on the tot lot, and no alcohol is permitted.

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Take Pics of Pirates Tower

Don’t miss Victorian La Tour Tower – a.k.a “pirate’s tower” – a spiral staircase built in 1926 to give residents Victoria Beach access. As one of Laguna Beach’s most private beaches, Victoria Beach is not easy to find and mostly used by residents.

Public access is available next to 2713 Victoria Drive, and visitors can hike, scuba, play volleyball and see tidepools. Because the beach is more remote, there are no facilities and parking is limited. For a different view, visit during winter when the seasonal tide washes away most of the sand and exposes rock structures. Read a full feature on the attraction.

Walk Down to Treasure Island

Located north of Aliso sits Treasure Island. This beach is a popular swimming spot for its lack of rocks and cleaner waters. Treasure Island Beach is near Montage Resort, so it’s also one of the most visited beaches in the area.

Hikers should head to Middle Man Cove and Goff Cove to take photos and capture the natural beauty surrounding the area. Families can relax in the tidepools, take long walks and go scuba diving. Guests are cautioned to practice safety, as this beach can become steep depending on sand levels.

See Whales at Crescent Bay

Take a walking path at North Coast Highway to Crescent Bay Beach, and end up in the middle of the cove. This beach is a top spot for whale-watching, snorkeling, bodysurfing and tidepooling.

Two spots for scuba diving include Seal Rock and Dead Man’s Reef. Due to strong rip tides, swimming can be dangerous. Guests also enjoy amenities such as a park, restrooms and showers. In addition, online reviewers praise this beach for scenic views, as it offers some of the best ways to see Laguna Beach.

Meet Locals at Shaw’s Cove

Shaw’s Cove measures only 500 feet in length and serves as a secret spot visited by locals and regulars. To find this secluded area, look for the entrance at Fairview Street and Cliff Drive, one block from Pacific Coast Highway.

Shaw’s Cove is also home to a variety of marine life, making it a top spot for snorkeling, scuba diving and relaxing. Swimming and bodyboarding are also popular, however, skimboarding is prohibited. Even though there are no facilities, this beach is a great spot for relaxing with loved ones. Find more beaches in Laguna Beach.

Plan your vacation today, and browse Laguna Beach vacation rentals.

Love a good view? Check out the Laguna Beach guide to waterfront restaurants.