Sun, Sand, Surf and Culture in Laguna Beach, California
Nestled on the California coast between Los Angeles and San Diego sits the amazingly cultural city of Laguna Beach. Long noted for it’s excellent, wide, curving beaches, lapped by the blue waters of the Pacific Ocean, this city of a little over 20,000 population sports a surprisingly diverse menu of cultural events. Dating back to the early 1900s when a group of artists, entertainers and intellectuals established a thriving artistic community here, Laguna Beach offers the modern visitor a great variety of artistic venues including the annual Art Festival, the Pageant of the Masters, the Laguna Playhouse, the Sawdust Festival and the Laguna Art Museum as well as innumerable private galleries which exhibit a wide range of artistic styles.
On a recent weekend there I visited the Laguna College of Art and Design’s exhibit “A Sojourn in France”, a delightful, visual documentation by students of the college of their visit to France in 2016. The Laguna College of Art and Design Gallery is located at 374 Ocean Avenue with convenient parking and open from 11-4 Monday through Sunday and just a short, pleasant walk to the beach itself. The college, which was founded in 1961 as the Laguna Beach School of Art, offers Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in a number of artistic fields and Master of Arts degrees for advanced study students as well.
At any time of the year the delightful combination of sun, surf and culture offered by Laguna Beach can fulfill just about anyone’s yearning for a great vacation spot and don’t forget the wide array of hotels, restaurants and shops to enjoy as well. For those who enjoy a round of golf there are a considerable variety of courses to choose from, including an 18 hole Jack Nicklaus designed course at the Aliso Viejo Country Club just 5 miles from Laguna Beach and a couple of superb resort courses including the 9 hole course at www.theranchlb.com.
just a short distance south of the city center and two fantastic 18 hole courses at the Pelican Hill Resort an easy 12 minute drive north along the lovely Pacific Coast Highway.
The long curving beach offers a multitude of option such as the tide pools and the boardwalk which lead to Heisler Park at 375 Cliff Drive which offers walking trails, gardens, a marine refuge with tide pools, picnic tables, barbecues and lawn bowling greens. Beach Park is a favorite surfing spot while Crystal Cove State Park is a designated underwater park. For the hiker there are miles of trails that lead through coastal canyons and the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park. Sun, sand, surf, golf and culture all available to suit a variety of desires for a satisfying visit in the cozy community of Laguna Beach.