With over seven miles of coastline and a total of 27 beaches and coves, Laguna Beach has plenty of oceanfront spots for visitors to lay out on the sand, play in the surf and soak up the sun. But many of the go-to beaches, especially for visitors, come packed with people. Luckily, there are a few spots with less crowds, better beaches, and incredible views that only the locals know about.
1. Thousand Steps Beach
Despite the name, there are only approximately 230 steps at this rather large beach which has a cave at the south end. The trek up and down the stairs is perhaps the reason fewer tend to visit this beach. Surfers and sunbathers will find this the perfect spot to relax along a sandy stretch of the Pacific Coast. The entrance to this beach haven is located on 9th Ave and South Coast Highway, Laguna Beach. Bonus secret: Thousands Steps offers access to an ultra-secret beach, appropriately named Secret Cove. You can reach Secret Cove through the archway at the north end of Thousand Steps.
2. Victoria Beach
Victoria Beach is made famous by the Victorian tower located on the north end of the beach. This is one of Laguna’s most private public beaches because both the entrance and parking are difficult to find. Be sure to bring a volleyball so you can play at the beach courts located at the south end. To find this local secret, head to Victoria Dr and Sunset Terrace where you will find a staircase leading down to the beach.
3. Shaw’s Cove
This is the ultimate locals’ secret and one of my favorite beaches in all of Laguna. As one of the most popular dive sites in Orange County, Shaw’s Cove offers pristine beaches in a secluded setting. Due to the orientation of the beach, the cove is protected from large swells making it an excellent place for snorkeling and swimming.
4. Fisherman’s Cove
This tiny little cove is mostly frequented by divers who come in the early morning. Beach goers will enjoy the privacy and intimacy of this small beach. If you go swimming, be careful of the reefs where snorkelers will find small marine animals in abundance. To get to Fisherman’s Cove, access is located between Beverly Street and Myrtle Street on Cliff Drive. You will see a metal railing between the apartments and the grassy area for Heisler Park. The steps to the cove are just past the entrance to Divers cove right next to the apartment building. Shaw’s Cove is located just South of Fisherman’s Cove.
5. Woods Cove
This is the perfect beach to escape crowds and enjoy a day relaxing on the sand. The waters can be a bit rough due to the orientation of the cove which receives larger swells than other beaches on mentioned this list. Come here to play on the sand or explore marine life in the many rock formations scattered along the beach. Woods Cove is located off Ocean Way and Diamond Street.
6. Moss Point Beach
Head to Moss Point for a secluded beach day where you will have the feeling of your own private beach. Beach goers are typically locals or divers and crowds are rarely seen due to Moss Point’s small size. Be sure to come here when the tide is not too high because this entire beach can be submerged in high tides. You can reach Moss Point it by walking down Moss Street off South Coast Highway.
7. Table Rock Beach
Once you’ve been to Table Rock it’s difficult to compare it to any other beach and for many it is their favorite. Without a doubt one of the most beautiful small beaches in Laguna, the beach is enclosed by cliffs on either side with a large rock formation in the middle, perfect for discovering marine life. To find this sandy oasis, head to Table Rock Drive and you will see stair access heading down to the beach.
Please remember to respect the beaches! Clean up after yourself, respect the residents who live in the area and respect the marine life.