Watch CBS News

Walking Tour Of Downtown Laguna Beach

Nick's Laguna Beach header 610 header restaurant
(credit: Nick's Laguna Beach)

Orange County is famous for its great weather, beautiful beaches and even more beautiful people. While there are 34 cities in the county, none captures the essence of OC better than Laguna Beach. This beach town offers the quintessential Southern California experience filled with flashy convertibles, fine dining establishments, cultural treasures and crystal blue ocean views. A day in downtown Laguna Beach is a day in paradise. Whether you're looking to relax on a beach towel or gaze at some art from modern masters, there's plenty to do within walking distance of your highly-coveted parking spot.

CBSLA Laguna Beach Main Beach
Main Beach
Coast Highway at Ocean Ave.
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(949) 497-3311

An amazing beach is always at the heart of a great beach town. Main Beach at Ocean Avenue is no exception. It is the largest and most popular stretch of beach in the city and is home to the historic Laguna Beach Lifeguard Tower. This little white landmark may be the most photographed and painted structure in the city. The tower is accessible from the boardwalk and is surrounded by volleyball courts, benches and beach facilities. You can generally find scores of tan volleyball players and dog walkers milling across the sand on this beach.

greeters corner
(credit: Helen D./Yelp)

The Greeter's Corner Restaurant
329 South Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(949) 494-0361

When you're ready for a bite to eat, walk a few steps south on Coast Highway and you'll find yourself at The Greeter's Corner Restaurant. This local restaurant pays homage to a mainstay of Laguna Beach life for 30 years. Eiler Larsen, a Danish vagabond with long hair and a memorable beard, made a career out of greeting visitors to Laguna Beach. Today, a statue stands where he used to wave at passersby with a friendly smile. "The Greeter" welcomes patrons to the entrance of this restaurant, which offers Baja mesquite seafood and hamburgers with secret sauce. Dine on the patio where you can enjoy the ocean view and breathe in the salty air of paradise.

Related: Best Bars With Local Brews In OC

credit: Coast Gallery

Coast Gallery
540 South Coast Highway, Suite 100
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(949) 376-4185

Laguna Beach is known as an artists' colony with a thriving art scene fueled by both local and internationally-renowned artists. It's impossible to take a walking tour of downtown Laguna Beach without running into an art gallery or two. One of the best contemporary fine art galleries for collectors is Coast Gallery along South Coast Highway. Fans of Michael Parkes paintings and bronze sculptures will find a delightful collection of Parkes' greatest works housed in this gallery. If you don't see what you're looking for, chances are Kevin Pieropan will be able to find it for you.

Nick's Laguna Beach restaurant
(credit: Nick's Laguna Beach)

Nick's Laguna Beach
440 S. Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(949) 376-8595

Take a break and sip on a cocktail at Nick's Laguna Beach. This restaurant offers some of the best liquid assets in town, from strawberry and basil gimlets to a farmers' market cocktail handcrafted every Saturday with fresh fruit from the local market. Pair your libation with some fire-roasted artichoke or asparagus fries and you'll be ready to jet to your next tour location.

Festival of Arts Pageant of the Masters
(credit: Festival of Arts/Pageant Of The Masters)

Festival of Arts
650 Laguna Canyon Road
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(949) 494-1145

True to its reputation as an artists' colony, Laguna Beach is home to the world famous Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters. This cultural institution started as a small, one-room art gallery in the mid-1920s and is now a museum, gallery and art show. The Pageant of the Masters is performed in the summer and showcases "living pictures" using real people posing to recreate classic artwork. This incredible spectacle is a wonderful way to wrap up a perfect day in downtown Laguna Beach.

Related: Best Outdoor Theater Performances In OC

Truc Dever is a freelance writer covering all things Orange County. Her work can be found on

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.