Laguna Beach: A Kind of Reality You Don’t Want to Miss

Laguna Beach, California, is a southern California beach city that was put on the map thanks to an MTV reality show that followed a class of pampered teenagers as they navigated the pitfalls, romance, and thrills of high school life in the city. Laguna Beach is much more than a teenager’s playground, though. It’s full of art and culture mixed with stunning scenery. There are sides to Laguna Beach that weren’t shown in the television show, though one thing is a constant: the laidback opulence and beaches are just as splendid as they show on TV.

An Exciting and Diverse Art Scene

Laguna Beach may be a small beach town, but it’s at the epicenter of the art scene. Laguna Beach is home to dozens of art galleries, ranging from ones focused on modern art to seascapes to galleries just featuring California-based artists. Many of the galleries are gorgeous, modern spaces that are pleasant to walk through and will get you excited about art even if you can’t afford any of the pieces. And if you can afford them, you’ll find some great pieces to add to your art collection. Laguna Beach also has an excellent art museum, the Laguna Art Museum, that features a permanent collection with works of art ranging from the early nineteenth century to today, along with changing exhibitions.

California Dining That is Hip, Fun, and Luxurious

If you love dining with views of ocean waves crashing, Laguna Beach will be your mecca. Add into that delectable California fusion cuisine and you may never want to eat anywhere else ever again. Whether al fresco seating to enjoy the salty air or a white tablecloth accented with candles is in your dining dreams, Laguna Beach can provide it right alongside the coastline. Laguna Beach also offers many modern and hip dining options in its downtown area – check out the many great restaurants along Forest Avenue. From the seaside The Cliff restaurant to the eclectic Tabu Grill to the lively Nick’s, you’ll find memorable and delicious places to have a meal. Restaurants in Laguna Beach fill up fast, especially on weekends, so be sure to make a reservation so you don’t miss out on eating at the restaurant of your choice. However, if you do just show up and have to wait for a table, Laguna Beach has a perfect sandy spot for you to relax on while waiting for a table.

A Beauty of a Beach for Sunbathing and Scenery

Yes, the beach is an obvious attraction in Laguna Beach, but what many visitors don’t realize prior to stepping foot in Laguna Beach is just how diverse the coastline is for the small city. The beach area across from the downtown area of Laguna Beach provides a water playground with a great area for swimming due to low waves. There are also volleyball nets for a fun game with friends, and a grassy area ideal for a family picnic. Farther up and down the coast the beach becomes shadowed by towering cliffs and turns the coastline into a rugged, gorgeous piece of landscape, perfect for a leisurely walk along the beach.

When heading to Southern California, it’s easy to just visit the large cities of San Diego and Los Angeles, and skip over what’s in between the two. Even if you have just a day to spend in Laguna Beach, you’ll be glad you visited the Orange County city and experienced it. However, you may find that you have trouble leaving the tropical oasis’ art scene, restaurants, and beaches after just 24 hours.

Gina Tarnacki is a freelance writer, online marketing professional and avid traveler. When she's not busy finding a creative way to squeeze in a few more vacation days so she and her husband can explore the world together, she writes about balancing travel with a career and relationship at One Day in a City.

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