California has more than 100 beach towns along its 840 miles of coast. That number, which can be overwhelming for both visitors and residents, has given me a cynical way to look at those aforementioned towns. I keep saying to myself, “How is one town different from the other?” or “Why should I make an effort to visit another beach.” Therefore, I approach them from a “side trip”, “necessary stop” or “change of scene” perspective. Usually, I don’t make a beach my “main destination.”
Some months ago, my husband had to work around Laguna Beach. He came home very excited and kept raving about the place. That was kind of interesting since he is not easily jaded by places. I knew there was something worth to discover in the area.
I decided, for once, to make a beach town my destination (at least for a day). After spending quite a lot of time in Newport and Huntington Beach, I have never felt the urge to explore a little bit south. And no, I have never seen any episodes of a famous show exposing the real side of California’s Orange County.
Confession time: I may be wrong about judging all beach towns as the same. Laguna Beach is beautiful from all angles. Go to the main beach and you are rewarded with soft sand, deep blue seas, rounded boulders and tide pools full of life. Walk along Heisler Park and take a bird’s look at the many coves along the shore and pelicans surfing the waves. Go to the Alta Vista Park (which some call the Top of the World) and get surprised of how huge wilderness areas survive in the middle of a heavy populated area.
Downtown is full of galleries, restaurants and particular shops. There is even a Pacific Mammal Rescue Center on the main road leading to downtown. They rehabilitate seals and sea lions (and it’s free to visit). For those who are hooked on hiking, there are miles and miles of trails in some nearby parks (wasn’t able to hike since the trails were close because of rain).
In short, Laguna Beach appeals to people with different tastes. I probably saw one third of what the town offers (I have heard there are some awesome plant nurseries and gardens in the area). Well, maybe I should make the beach a destination more often.
I leave you with photos, photos and more photos. Enjoy!
Alta Vista Park (Top of the World)
Pacific Mammal Rescue Center
Have you visited Laguna Beach? Let me know in the comments section below.