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      PLAY IN LAGUNA  
         
    Laguna is one of the most charming and popular beach towns in Southern California, offering endless opportunities to enjoy each day you’re here to the very fullest. While Laguna is especially known for its Art Festivals, Pageant of the Masters and other summertime activities, this section is about all the ways you can play and have fun in this very special town at any time of year.

For starters, one suggestion is that you leave at least one day open with no plans! There’s just nothing in the world like being on vacation in an incredible place and waking up to a gorgeous day with absolutely no plans, obligations or schedules. What a feeling!

Then, depending on your whim, you can take a morning stroll on a gorgeous beach, head for the hills for an incredible 360 degree view of the area, or just hang out in town to shop and have wonderful meal overlooking the water. Maybe you’ll decide that today you want to surf, explore, or sunbathe. Or take a hike, play tennis, golf, go to the theater, or watch an amazing sunset over Catalina. Laguna promises all of this and much much more.

The key is to enjoy every moment, whatever it is you may decide to do.

So now that you’ve cleared your schedule and your mind, here is a list of suggestions on how to enjoy your day to the utmost. For more detailed information on these suggestions, click on the highlighted word or simply scroll down to the bottom of the page.

Take an early morning walk on any of the dozens of beautiful beaches, coves and scenic walkways in Laguna when the sun is new and the air is crisp and clear. The perfect way to start the day!

If the tide is out, you can enjoy a myriad of tidepools along the shoreline reefs. Note that due to the sensitive nature of the ecosystem, please don not touch the sea life or remove even one shell. It’s much more enjoyable to see it in its natural state. (See BEACHES)

Have a tasty breakfast at a delicious village café, several of which have outside seating overlooking the beautiful coastline. And there’s always lunch and dinner, too. Truth is, Laguna boasts some of the finest, most scrumptious collection of restaurants you’ll find anywhere for a range of palates and preferences. Yeah! Eating in Laguna can be the high point or your Laguna experience. (See EAT).

Hang in the village. Charming Laguna has countless boutiques, art galleries, stores, and cafes to peruse and explore, with interesting, one-of-a-kind items to seek and find. But you don’t have to be shopping or doing anything, really, to have fun. Just hanging out, sitting on a wall in the midst of the village, you can people watch, take in the activity, listen to a street musician, have an ice cream. You can bask in the unique atmosphere of Laguna, hear the rumble of the ocean and just enjoy being in this really cool place.

Enjoy the Art Scene. Laguna started as a tiny artist colony in the 1930’s and the tradition is still alive today with numerous galleries and local art. Peruse the galleries on your own or join the monthly First Thursdays Art Walk with free shuttle service between galleries from 6pm to 9pm. Summer is brimming with creative juices at the Sawdust Festival, Festival of the Arts and the Art-A-Fair, not to mention the world famous Pageant of the Masters, which, by the way, sells out months in advance – so book way ahead if your interested. (See ARTS)

Take a hike! Laguna is surrounded by a dramatic landscape of pristine mountains and picturesque canyons that conservationists of the past fought to preserve. Adjacent parks to Laguna are Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Crystal Cove State Park, and Aliso and Woods Canyons Wilderness Park. Go to the James and Rosemary Nix Nature Center on Laguna Canyon Highway for an overview of all the natural preserves in the area, and as a beginning spot for many wonderful hikes.

See the Views. Here’s a very secret tip - don’t tell anyone! Take a five-minute drive up Thalia Street to Laguna’s “Top of the World” area. At the very south end, a fire road runs along the ridgeline where you can take an invigorating walk and see the most amazing 360 degree panoramic views of Laguna village, the undulating coastline, Catalina and San Clemente islands, and to the east the looming San Gabriel mountains, inspiring canyon and wilderness views, and in the distance, much of south and east Orange County.

Go surfing. While Laguna surf breaks are on the challenging side because of reefs and shore breaks, some days the waves mellow out and even beginners can give it a go. You can book lessons or rent surfboards at any of the numerous surf shops in town.

Go scuba diving or snorkeling . When conditions are right, usually in winter, Laguna has some of the best beach-access diving in all of southern California sometimes offering visibility of up to 50 feet and lots of sea life including dolphin, bat rays, seal, pacific halibut, tons of garibaldi. Laguna Sea Sports will set you up and bring you out

Go ocean kayaking. Sometimes the Pacific ocean lives up to its name, and the ocean is as tranquil as a summer lake. That’s your cue to take a kayak out and explore by sea Laguna’s amazing coastline – it’s nooks, crannies, beaches and coves, encountering seals, sea lions, dolphins, and sea birds along the way. Guided tours by La Vida Laguna from March through October conditions permitting.

Play beach volleyball
or half-court basketball at Main Beach Park. Nets are there, just bring your ball and have a ball! (But don’t get too distracted by the scenery.)

Hit the links at the stunningly beautiful nine-hole Aliso Creek Golf Course. Nestled in a gorgeous, meticulously manicured canyon surrounded by towering cliffs rising 1000 feet in the sky, this executive course is short but challenging, and one of the prettiest you’ll ever play. There are other great courses in nearby Newport Beach or Monarch Bay, but this is Laguna’s very own.

Visit the Laguna Art Museum. Located on Coast Highway, a short walk from Main Beach and the village area, the Art Museum is open daily including Mondays and most holidays and represents a stimulating mix of historical, contemporary and fun “pop culture” exhibitions.

Take in a flick. Laguna South Coast Cinema is located on Coast Highway in the Heart of the village and offers current features as well as Saturday and Sunday Matinees.

Take a sunset stroll. There’s nothing like sunset stroll on the Main Beach boardwalk or at lovely Heisler park with someone you love to be with. It’s truly inspiring when the sun sets down over Catalina Island and sets the sky ablaze in a fury of orange, pink, yellow and lavender.

Hit the night life. Laguna is a happenin’ town day and night, filled with friendly pubs and live entertainment. The Sandpiper, Marine Room and Hennessy’s are just a few of the local hang out offering life music and a relaxed atmosphere. Sometimes, however, especially on the weekend, the best entertainment is a walk through town after dinner where often talented music artist sing on a corner under the stars gathering a crowd of impressed onlookers. What a way to end the day!
 
         
 
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