With almost 7 miles of pristine Pacific Coastline and more than 30 coves and beaches, it is no wonder why Laguna Beach has been a resort community for over a century. In addition to the famous beaches, the town of Laguna Beach has developed a reputation for being an amazing place for outdoor activities, art, and fun.
There are so many benefits of living in Laguna Beach. With multiple parks, numerous beaches, and an amazing community atmosphere, there is no shortage of things to do here. With the thriving Laguna Beach real estate market, there is no time like the present to move to Laguna Beach, California.
Keep reading for the ultimate guide to moving to this seaside oasis.
Laguna Beach Has Tons of Things to Do
Orange County is a very active place to live, and Laguna Beach is one of the best towns in the county for those who live an active lifestyle. Laguna Beach is packed with both indoor and outdoor activities, so you will never run out of things to do while living here!
Of course, the beaches themselves are a top attraction. The Main Beach is a wide, crescent-shaped stretch of white sand that nestles up to the pristine blue waters.
Located in the center of the Laguna Beach coastline, the Main Beach is ideal for swimming and bodysurfing. There are tide pools just off the coast that make for some incredible photos of wildlife.
Several of the local beaches, including Aliso Beach, Thalia Beach, and Rockpile Beach, are very popular surfing spots. If riding the big waves is not your thing, areas of the cove that are protected from swell make for amazing stand-up paddleboarding and kayaking.
The Laguna Beach community is very well known for skimboarding. Once only used by lifeguards, skimboarding is a local tradition. Today, you can find professional skimboarding contests on many of the beaches, including Victoria Beach.
Boating is a great way to experience the ocean. Whale-watching cruises are available year-round, and you can see blue whales, gray whales, humpbacks, dolphins, and more!
The Laguna Beach area is also very well known for its scuba diving and snorkeling activities. Beaches such as Christmas Cove and Cleo Street Beach offer amazing underwater rock formations, which are homes to huge varieties of undersea life.
Cleo Street Beach is also home to the Cleo Street Barge, a shipwrecked boat that is ideal for underwater exploring. All levels of divers, from beginners to experts, will love exploring the Laguna Beach area.
Despite being a relatively small town, Laguna Beach boasts a thriving art scene. Art has long been a significant part of the society in Laguna Beach, with art organizations dating back more than 100 years. As such, Laguna Beach is often referred to as an “art colony.”
There are numerous art festivals in Laguna Beach every year, including the Summer Means Art Festivals, the Sawdust Art & Craft Festival, the Festival of Arts, and the Pageant of Masters.
If you are planning to move to the area, check out the Passport to the Arts pass, which gets you admission to the Festival of Arts, Laguna Art-A-Fair, and the Sawdust Art Festival all under one great ticket.
In addition to the festivals, there is a near-constant stream of artists hosting exhibits.
A great way to see all of the different art is by joining the First Thursday Art Walk. On the first Thursday of every month, residents of Laguna Beach can peruse over 40 different local galleries, watch demonstrations, and listen to live music. In addition to the exhibits, the Thursday Art Walks provide free admission to the Laguna Art Museum.
The art is both indoors and out, as Laguna Beach showcases more than 100 different public art installations at any given time. There is always something new to see in Laguna Beach.
If you love being near the water but not necessarily on it, there is no need to worry. Surrounded by more than 20,000 acres of protected wilderness areas, Laguna Beach also has amazing dry land outdoor activities.
There are three main parks that residents and visitors can access when they please:
- Laguna Coast Wilderness
- Crystal Cove State Park
- Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness
There is a massive network of hiking and mountain biking trails in the parks, all with varying degrees of difficulty. A local site worth seeing is the mysterious car wreck located in the middle of the Aliso Canyon wilderness. How it got there, nobody knows, but it is like nothing you have ever seen before.
For a real challenge, check out the BFI trail in the Crystal Cove State Park. This climb is virtually straight up, but the panoramic views of your new hometown make it all worthwhile.
The Hortense Miller Garden offers 2.5 acres of meticulously maintained native plants. Docents offer tours of the grounds for those who want to know it all about local gardening.
If you are ready to just unwind after a long work week, the Laguna Beach community has you covered! The Laughter Yoga Institute teaches classes every day at the Main Beach for free. And yes, you really will be laughing for fitness!
History and Shopping
Laguna Beach has a rich history and is full of sites to see. The Laguna Art Museum is actually the oldest museum in California.
Since Laguna Beach has been a resort community for well over a century, some of the vacation bungalows have been standing since the late 1800s. The Laguna Beach Visitor Center offers a free self-guided tour of the historical homes of the community, perfect for a family day out to explore your new home.
St. Francis by the Sea is the second smallest cathedral in the world, though at one point it was the smallest. Over 90 years old, this beautiful cathedral is very picturesque.
The area is full of one-of-a-kind shops and stores. Boutiques, local art dealers, surf shops, and pop-up shops dot the community of Laguna Beach.
Amenah is a great stop for quality, size-inclusive clothing, furniture, and accessories. The shop features work from local artists and even sells a candle selection that was made by refugees.
The Hobie Surf Shop sells anything you would need to get started with surfing. If you are planning a move to Laguna Beach, the Hobie Surf Shop can get all the gear you need to try out this amazing sport.
The HIP District offers any kind of shop you can think of, from apparel to food to bookstores to home goods. Anything you could need, you can find it locally in the HIP District.
Laguna Beach is an amazing place to ditch the big fast-fashion chains and shop locally.
Places to Eat
Laguna Beach is full of acclaimed restaurants to try.
If you are looking for a classy date night spot to celebrate your move to Laguna Beach, there is no better place to try than Selanne Steak Tavern. Located in a historical home on the Pacific Coast Highway, Selanne is an award-winning chop house serving up beautifully curated meals and an expansive wine list.
For a more casual place to unwind, try out The Deck! It is nestled directly up against the ocean for unbelievable views of the water and the sunset. With amazing food and stunning scenery, The Deck is very popular with locals and tourists alike, even offering a Locals Only rewards program!
Skyloft is another popular restaurant in the Laguna Beach community. In addition to having amazing food on a rooftop deck with ocean views, this restaurant is a popular spot for listening to live music. It is a great place to unwind after a long day in the surf.
While living in Southern California, Mexican food is a must. Showcasing locally sourced cuisine and an expansive deck overlooking the beach, Las Brisas is an extremely popular restaurant. It has even been voted the best waterfront dining in Orange County.
The Cliff is well-known for serving up amazing eats 363 days a year, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In addition to impeccable cuisine and panoramic ocean views, The Cliff is well known for its night scene. Featuring live music and open fire pits, this is the place to be on a weekend night!
Nick’s Laguna Beach is a refined American restaurant in the heart of Laguna Beach. Nick’s has been popular for years as an airy, casual restaurant for great local eats. Nick’s offers everything from breakfast to dinner, along with excellent desserts to finish the meal off.
The Royal Hawaiian Fire Grill is a classic choice for modern Hawaiian dining and phenomenal cocktails in Laguna Beach. Opened in 1947, the restaurant underwent a major renovation a few years ago, retaining the original details but upgrading all the major features.
Since then, the Royal Hawaiian has won both the Best Steak in Orange County and the Best Bar Experience in Orange County.
In addition to all of these amazing restaurants, there are dozens more restaurants, coffee shops, and bars to choose from in Laguna Beach. Not only is there a lot to do here, but there is a lot of award-winning dining to sample.
Laguna Beach Real Estate is Hot
Laguna Beach is well known for being a beach community with a plethora of different activities. It is also a great place to start a business, with relatively low unemployment rates.
As such, the real estate market in Laguna Beach is hot, and buying your dream home in the Laguna Beach community does come at a pretty penny. The average price for homes in Laguna Beach, CA as of today is $4,142,500.
To get exactly what you want, building is also an option. There are multiple lots for sale at any one time in Laguna Beach, providing the perfect blank canvas for building your dream home by the ocean.
The bright side is, buying waterfront property is more secure than buying inland. Because the demand for waterfront homes is consistently high, homeowners on the water may be less susceptible to market dips than other property owners. As such, your home will likely stay steady and continue to climb in value with time.
If buying isn’t your style, there are also many properties available for rent. There are both home rentals and apartments available to fit your housing needs. The average rent for an apartment in Laguna Beach is $3,102 per month, though this will vary by size, location, and amenities.
Neighborhoods in Laguna Beach
There are several different neighborhoods in Laguna Beach to live in. Each offers different experiences, but all have amazing things to offer. Your dream home is sure to be found within one of the amazing neighborhoods of Laguna Beach.
North Laguna Beach
As the name implies, North Laguna Beach is a neighborhood located to the north of Broadway.
The North side beaches are best known for their scuba diving and surfing. The Main Beach and Crescent Bay are both located in this area. Heisler Park is also located in North Laguna Beach.
The North Laguna community has easy access to the downtown restaurants and shops. North Laguna Beach is also home to many of the galleries.
Laguna Canyon is located slightly further inland from the coast, allowing for slightly more affordable housing options than the beachfront communities. However, being further inland does not mean this neighborhood has less to do.
The Laguna Canyon community is home to many of the art festivals of Laguna Beach, including the Sawdust Festival, the Festival of Arts, and the Pageant of the Masters.
Residents in this neighborhood also have the easiest access to the Laguna Coast Wilderness and the Aliso and Wood Canyons Park, perfect for those who favor hiking and biking to surfing and swimming.
South Laguna Beach
The South Laguna Beach neighborhood encompasses everything south of Victoria Beach. South Laguna Beach is home to many of the most popular beaches and tide pools, including Christmas Cove, Aliso Beach, and Victoria Beach.
South Laguna Beach also edges the downtown area, allowing for easy access to the many famous shops, restaurants, and galleries that Laguna Beach has to offer.
Village Area Laguna Beach
The Village Area Laguna Beach neighborhood is just what you would expect: the downtown area. The Village Area neighborhood is perfect for those who want to be right in the heart of the action.
Village Area Laguna Beach is home to several of the most famous beaches of Laguna Beach, including Thalia Street Beach and Main Beach.
Moving into the center of town comes with easy access to everything you would want from living in Laguna Beach. All of the restaurants, shops, and galleries are at your doorstep, and all of the famous outdoor activities are just steps away from your front door.
Living in the heart of it all ensures you the full experience of living in Laguna Beach.
The Laguna Beach School System is Amazing
The Laguna Beach community is a great option for the entire family, thanks to an exceptional school system. The Laguna Beach Unified School District is ranked #1 in Orange County and within the top 5% of all public schools in California.
There are approximately 2,800 students enrolled in the schools of Laguna Beach, offering a smaller class size and lots of instructional support. Laguna Beach Unified School District is also proud to be very diverse, creating an inclusive and respectful student body and community. LBUSD has been recognized by the ADL as a “No Place For Hate” designated model high school.
At the elementary school level, 100% of students participate in a Kindness and Caring Initiative, teaching children how to be positive and productive members of society.
All students have access to technology to help them learn, and summer programs are offered to keep students engaged year-round. Both of the elementary schools in the LBUSD have been twice awarded as Gold Ribbon Schools.
The Laguna Beach school system is also continually increasing access to AP courses for high school students, allowing students to earn college credit while in high school. Additionally, the Laguna Beach school district has partnered with Stanford’s Challenge Success Program, increasing education opportunities for students.
With the Laguna Beach community having a thriving art scene, and so many incredible outdoor activities, the LBUSD is able to boast a 100% student participation rate in arts and athletics. The entire student body is able to participate in extracurricular activities, which is not commonly found in public schools.
Your child will have all the tools needed to succeed at Laguna Beach schools.
Laguna Beach is a Safe Place to Live
When moving to Orange County, safety is sure to be a top priority.
Laguna Beach is not perfect, of course; every city has some crime. With tourists coming through the community, some petty theft and property crimes have been reported. However, these crimes are at a lower rate than in many places in the United States.
According to a survey done by Niche, Laguna Beach has lower rates of violent crimes and property crimes than the national averages in almost every category. A poll done by residents shows that the majority of Laguna Beach citizens feel safe in their community and feel that the police are responsive when needed.
As a whole, it is considered one of the safest towns in the Greater Los Angeles area.
The Weather is Ideal
What is the point of living in an idyllic beach community if it will storm all time?
Fortunately, Laguna Beach is known for its beautiful and sunny weather. Temperatures may not be as high as in some of the nearby desert communities, but warm weather is consistent year-round. Temperatures rarely dip below 50º F, allowing you and your family to enjoy the Laguna Beach activities year-round.
Laguna Beach also gets very little rain. Even in the rainy season, there is virtually never more than 20% of days that are rainy. Many months of the year, there is no rain at all.
Getting Around is a Breeze
Fortunately, Laguna Beach is very walkable. Depending on your starting point, you should be able to get to most places in the town on foot. There is parking available for those dead-set on driving, but that should not be necessary.
The best way to experience the Laguna Beach community is by taking the trolley. The trolley is open-air, allowing you to enjoy the sunshine and ocean air on your commute.
The trolley goes as far as the Laguna Canyon and Dana Point, offering three different routes during the summer months: the Canyon Route, the Coastal Route, and the Summer Breeze Route. These trolleys can take you virtually anywhere in Laguna Beach, and the best part is that the trolleys are completely free to ride.
If that is still not enough public transportation for you, there is a bus route throughout the town called the OCTA bus. The OCTA bus is not free, but it is not overly expensive either.
Between the bus, the trolley, and walking, you should be able to access all the attractions in Laguna Beach without requiring a car every day.
The Benefits of Living in Laguna Beach
Laguna Beach is a dream town for many people. It comes with a huge amount of draws for people across California and across the United States, and the Laguna Beach real estate market continues to soar.
With all the outdoor activities one could want in a town, a thriving art culture, and constant community activities to participate in, life in Laguna Beach would never feel dull. There are always new galleries, new restaurants, new shops, and new events to check out.
All these activities combined with a thriving real estate market, a highly-awarded school system, and gorgeous weather year-round make Laguna Beach an amazing place to move to this year.
If you are ready to take the plunge and move to scenic Laguna Beach, contact us today for everything you need to get started!