Laguna Beach is Southern California’s matchless mix of seaside fun and culture. Resplendent mansions and picturesque cottages crown bluffs above miles of sheltered coves and palm-shaded beaches along the Pacific Ocean. Inland, subtropical gardens and sea-view homes cover hills rising steeply above the coast. A resort settlement developed here more than a century ago. Artists began arriving soon afterwards drawn by spectacular seascapes and a salutary year-round climate.
Today, the town still draws artists and vacationers from all over the world. Many visitors are here to enjoy surfing, swimming, snorkeling and other sports in some of the warmest and clearest ocean water in California. Others come to relax on the beaches and enjoy breathtaking displays of the latest swimwear. All spend some time downtown─a heavy contender for the Southland’s most strollable space, with its vibrant commercial district adjoining an idyllic beachfront park. The artistry of the residents is apparent everywhere. Outdoors, it is displayed in details of human-scaled architectural craftsmanship; carefully tended gardens; and in memorable public sculptures. Inside handsome buildings, many studios and galleries display first-rate artworks inspired by the setting. Year-round theater, concerts and a legendary pageant are similarly sophisticated. Restaurants are plentiful. Many offer picture-window seascapes while others display culinary talents as compelling as the lovely surroundings. As a final beguilement, Laguna offers more beachfront lodgings than anywhere else in Southern California.