Wow! This is all we’ve got to say when the time comes to talk about Laguna! Growing up in a windy city where museums and galleries were around every corner it is simply refreshing to see an abundance of galleries.
The number of publically available galleries is pretty low in LA and OC area, thus going to private galleries can be just as enlightening as you’d say a trip to a museum with outdated artwork. Laguna Beach town spreads its store fronts within the walls of the Laguna Canyon and the Pacific Coast highway, it literally opens to the ocean like a book.
Parking at Laguna Beach
Easily navigable city can be crossed on foot in any direction, so parking ‘far’ shouldn’t be an issue, since there’s very little free parking within the “down town” vicinity. In fact there is no well defined downtown area accept that it seems that all the roads lead to the Main beach. This little town truly make you feel as if you were in a Hollywood movie for once.
So simply skip all the beaches form LA and start checking out ones following Laguna while you’re cruising on PCH – like from San Clemente all the way to Cardiff. Each one of these beaches offers a unique and very pleasant experience for visitors. You might want to bring your own lunch, since many do not have any restaurants in a vicinity.
Btw. if you are low on time we wouldn’t recommend visiting Laguna Beach art museum. The gallery is absolutely overrated and doesn’t worth your time, not counting the money spent on a ticket…
Laguna Beach with kids
On a positive note I’d like to add – the entire town is very much family oriented and the business owners are accommodative if you have a little child. We’ve visited every gallery with our son and it was great. Of course Dr. Seuss gallery was our son’s favorite.
He also enjoyed sneaking around the alleys of the ginger bread houses. So reminiscent of Carmel by the sea in the north. Our son enjoyed the Heisler park and of course the massive playground at the beach. To top it all off we also usually go tide-pooling right next to Main Beach.
If you have a chance try to find the gallery with whales and dolphins – our son blew up with excitement when he saw all the animals we’ve seen at the ocenariums to be presented in a still-life sculpture. Whichever gallery you’ll visiting you’ll definitely have a great experince. To add one more – the National Geographic gallery was also especially impressive.
Laguna Beach playground
What we really like about southern California beaches are the countless playgrounds right on the beach. Immediately you’ll feel a tranquil community oriented private beach vibe. In a nut shell if you’ve seen too many Hollywood movies the beaches within LA vicinity wont impress you as much as the stretch from Laguna Beach to the Torrey Pines State Beach.
Sculptures around the city
Another pleasant surprise that awaits you are the most random sculptures sprinkled around the town (very reminiscent of Walnut Creek in the SF Eastbay).
In this fleeting moment
What extravagant respite
as Promethan Sunsets
Blossom, Blaze and secede
From splendor to Mystery
In this fleeting moment
What extravagant respite
as booming surf speaks its
Mystical passage across
The Undreamed depthsQuote by Raymond Persinger
Bonus: A very cool site that you and your kids might enjoy is the Vladimir Kush’s gallery.
The unordinary motives and conceptually challenging sculptures and prints are truly magnetizing.
Check out the life-size bug shaped metal armor or the elephants with a euphonium instead of the head.
Eiler Larsen a Danish vagabond who earned fame as “The Greeter” of Laguna Beach perfectly exemplifies the free spirited origin of Laguna Beach community. For years he was hanging out by the entrance to the town off of Pacific Coast highway waving at the oncoming visitors. Now a days you can find his statues all over the town.
Perhaps a bit odd but sweet story reflects the welcoming ambiance of this artistic southern California town. Known all over the world for its beach the town has some of the most scenic seascapes to choose from for a day at the beach with your family.
After spending a pleasant morning playing ball on the green carpeted slopes at the Heisler park (rivaled by the Love’s point park up by Monterey bay) with your kids we’d recommend heading to numerous city cafes inside the canyon off HWY 133. Alternatively check out local super markets – Whole food or Pavilions if you’d prefer to pick some munches to go. It’s good to note that an Urth Caffé Laguna Beach is located right across from the Heisler park over the PCH.
Often times we swing by the Laguna beach with our son after hiking on the beach at the Crystal Cove state park up the Pacific Coast Highway. There’s a playground located right on the beach, ideal for families with toddlers. The place is a bit touristy than other locals socal beaches, but still absolutely perfect for a day at the beach.
Check out the tide pools, local art galleries and restaurants for a memorable California vacation with kids.