Laguna Beach is one of the most popular destinations in Southern California, for visitors and affluent residents. This small beachside town is one of Orange County's most fashionable cities, as well as one of the most culturally rich, but the beach is a big draw, too. The water here in Laguna is clean and calm, there is regular surf available, and great hiking or mountain biking options. Laguna Canyon is a gorgeous natural canyon that also acts as a protector of the coastal city, keeping the pollution to a minimum and offering a kind of imaginary security wall for residents. As you enter through that canyon, you feel as though you are approaching a place of importance and grandeur—and you’re right.
Laguna Beach is a unique community and unlike any other beach community in Southern California. Surrounded by hills/greenspace, it’s got a certain geographic isolation that borers on secluded paradise. It also has a certain small-town feel. Compared to the rest of Southern California, it’s not very transient; people move in and then figure out how to stay forever. Although the tourism industry in Laguna Beach is the main contributing industry to the city, most people that come to visit for a while end up staying.
The diverse population is another huge draw for people—both residents and visitors. It’s a very eclectic mix of residents. Lots of artists of various disciplines, and a lot of entrepreneurs. There is such a wide range of successful people that live here in Laguna, the amazing and fascinating stories of residents’ success or journeys to greatness is never-ending. This range of experience and perspectives provides for a very interesting mix of friends and a diverse community. The wide variety of perspectives enriches the lives of all residents, bringing different cultures, different tastes in art, cuisine, entertainment. All of these things are extremely beneficial for creating a well-balanced and authentic creative ecosystem.
Our population is 23,147 which is pretty small considering how many visitors we get per year (over 6 million). We take care of our guests here in Laguna Beach, and we also take care of our homeless population. We preserve the nature around us, the land that was here before us, and the animal life that live in harmony around our town. Laguna Coast Wilderness Park’s 7,000 acres are part of the South Coast Wilderness area, that includes Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, Crystal Cove State Park, The City of Irvine Open Space, and Laguna Coast Wilderness Park (totaling almost 20,000 acres). We have made an effort as a community to preserve our open space, as well as our local cultural heritage.
Although Laguna Beach's cost of living is 284% higher than the U.S. average and the median income is nearly $100K, the population in Laguna Beach is anything but average. Within this predominantly wealthy community, there’s less of an inclination to display one’s wealth than you see just a few miles up the coast in Newport. Many wealthy residents here do not treat people any differently, they do not dress any differently, and they do not work any less than any other person. That’s quite refreshing in Southern California.
The summer months are of course the busiest time of year and full of tourists and events and traffic, but the flows of people and cars are easy to anticipate and working around them is quite easy in this city. There are secret beaches as well, offering residents special access to places that the tourists simply do not know about.
Additionally, the city of Laguna Beach has a rich history dating back to the over 8,000 years ago. A portion of a female skull, dubbed the “Laguna Woman”, possibly 8,000 to 17,000 years old, one of the oldest in the Western Hemisphere, was found on St. Ann’s Drive in 1933. When President Abraham Lincoln signed the Homestead Act in 1862, it began a larger interest for settlers to move in and improve the area for others to come and visit or settle. While many people moved in and grew our tiny town into something magical and hospitable in the late 1800s, it wasn’t until 1903 that artists began moving here, after the economic crash. The flood of artists moving into Laguna Beach created the first art colony here, which later built the Laguna Art Museum.
From the cottage-like South Laguna to the swanky and trendy Emerald Bay, Laguna Beach offers a rarefied small-town feel that is unmatched anywhere else. Add the stunning architecture, amazing ocean and mountain landscapes, world-class art of all types, trend-setting eateries, and mind-blowing sunsets, it’s no wonder no one wants to leave this place after arriving.
In the crazy tumultuous world with a thousand things going on at any one moment, take a second to stop and look around you. Take stock on your life here in Laguna Beach, and how fortunate we all are to live in a place like this.