Note: I’ve listed all the web sites at the end of this post.
Laguna Beach stretches for several miles along the Orange County coast, all of it majestic but not all reachable. Private owners block many miles of beach from the public. It doesn’t matter.
It doesn’t matter because us normals have access to beaches that stretch from Crescent Bay in the north to Lover’s Cove in the south. At certain low tides you can walk almost the entire length of these beautiful beaches. Except getting from Fisherman’s Cove to Diver’s Cove always requires a walk around.
The best is really the easiest to get to and to enjoy and that’s Main Beach and Heisler Park. Also from Main Beach it’s an easy walk south as far as the Pacific Edge Hotel. And at lower tide levels you can continue your walk south to Lover’s Cove. For those out-of-towners Lover’s Cove is at the terminus of Diamond St.
That’s a lot of beach.
Parking, Parking, Parking
Laguna Beach doesn’t have a great amount of parking – public or private. And most of the public parking is 3 hours max and then you must move to another parking space or get out of town. Private parking, what little of it there is, is all day parking. The price for private parking varies but it’s rarely, if ever, less than $10 for the day.
I’m going to tell you a little secret very few people know. There is a section of 100 and 200 blocks of Cliff Dr north of Broadway and east of PCH where there is public 10 hour parking. Thats right 10 hour max. I believe it’s a $1 an hour. Check the map for this street. Remember it’s east of PCH.
If you are not against a little walking then there is the all day public parking in the lot across Laguna Canyon Rd from the Festival of Arts. And if you don’t mind parking further up the canyon there is another all day public lot, Act V lot, that’s open in the summer only and has free bus service.
For all the possibilities for parking check with the Laguna Beach City web site.
There is another possible place to park but it’s at the Laguna Hills Transportation Center. You take the #89 directly into Laguna Beach. You can park in the lot for the Laguna Hills Mall.
And once you’re in Laguna Beach we do have a bus service but the one to look for is the free weekend service along PCH.
Photographers Are Welcome
Photographers pack light and be flexible when it comes to parking. I personally only carry my Fujifilm XPro-1 with a 27mm lens now but for several years it was the Nikon D5100 and a 16mm-85mm zoom. You really don’t need all that must tele. If you have a camera with a kit 18mm – 55mm zoom lens you’ll do just fine. I rarely shoot greater than 40mm when using the zoom lens.
What’s For Lunch and Dinner?
There are plenty of places to eat in Laguna. We’re famous for our restaurants. And most are affordable, just avoid Forest Ave.
When the festivals are running I sometimes get a salad or sandwich to go and walk up to the Festival grounds and have lunch or dinner in the shade. There is also all that great art to view. Yes you can take your camera in and you can even take photos just don’t take pictures of the art without the artist’s permission.
That’s All Folks!
Have I enticed you to visit Laguna Beach? I hope so. Just remember this we really don’t get that crowded, except maybe weekends in the Summer, because of the lack of parking. So once you’re here it can be a very pleasant place to walk and shoot. A street photographer’s dream. The views from the cliffs above the beaches, especially in Heisler Park, make for great landscape or scenic photography. Sunsets are special.
If you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments. I’ll do my best to answer them.
Web Sites That May Be Helpful
Original contents copyright 2015 by John S. Krill and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved.