After passing my licensure examinations for nursing, my parents treated me with a summer holiday tour in the waters of Laguna Beach. That family vacation was the best time of our lives as we explore other attractions that lie along this marvelous beach. After taking my oath as a licensed nurse, the next morning we took the road trip to the southern part of Los Angeles. It is the summer holiday that we all treasured dearly in our hearts. I just brought three essential things to enjoy that five day tour, sun block, swimwear and my passionate sense of adventure.
Located just a stone’s throw away from the hotel where we stayed the Heisler Park can not be missed. It is a beautiful park along the sea that is very close to the city center. Inside there is an access to a small beach and lots of picnic spots, grilling areas, equipped with park benches and walking pathways that overlooks the beach. I marveled at the breathtaking views of the rocky cliffs along the ocean from the vantage points of this very clean park. Then we strolled along a unique stretch of steep coast and miles of sandy beaches in the Crystal Cove State Park. We reach this attraction after walking thru a tunnel leading thru a dense forest and treading on guided walkways to arrive at the remote beach. The place is full of tourists simply lounging around and killing time. The relaxing atmosphere and the line of good restaurants in this beach is a refreshing compliment from the long hike we made on that hot summer day. I enjoyed the sun and sand while I savor the perfect glass of freshly squeezed orange in my hand. This is the life! Aside from enjoying a perfect family day out, I enjoyed the nice tidal pools and a relaxing view of the spectacular sunset.
Hidden from the view of the ever present tourists and strongly promoted by the local government, the 1,000 Steps Beach is the gem of Laguna Beach. Unlike its more popular counterparts it is good for its chamber like construction. The steps are quite a challenge to hurdle and not recommended for the weak knees and less agile people. Climbing the up and down steps was a good workout for me and my parents. There were steps that we need to run and climb in one direction without stopping that proved to be difficult but once we reach the beach it was all worth it. This beach was worth every step we passed as we see waves and sand huddled on the rocks under the homes of local residents (some of which I learned from a local costs in the hundreds of millions of dollars and owned by celebrities). But this is not all there is to it. From one end of the beach we found a cave and we went inside it to find live adhering to rocks starfish, shells and other sea creatures that thrives on the edge of the sea. But we needed to be very cautious and at the same time move fast as the water and the surf began to rise. It was a different kind of thrill to discover this awesome beach. Spending a day on this secluded beach was all worth it!
I relished the experience of walking comfortably with a good view of the ocean inside the Crescent Bay Point Park. Under a warm and good weather for that summer month of June I really savored a dip in the cool waters of this beach. It was also fun to see other families frolic in the water and enjoying a late Sunday brunch of grilled foods like we do. Having a good hike along the rocky parts to reach its clean tide pools was very amusing and fun. Afterwards we saw preserved seals that are well taken care of at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center. Under the hands of skilled marine biologists and volunteer veterinarians the rescued seals are rehabilitated before bringing them back to their natural habitat. They feed the pups, attend to their medical needs, and help educate the visitors about the need to protect and preserve these cute looking mammals. Kids enjoy watching them interact with the seals on this small and compact facility. We took pictures of the baby seals and left a donation to help their noble cause. It is a very worthy cause to support. Our day ended with a quick visit to see artistic photography exhibition at the Laguna Art Museum. It consists of four to five rooms of different kinds of art works with a good volunteer guide who politely explains each exhibited piece.
The Main Beach is in the center of the village opposite the very charming downtown promenade area. There are many hotels that line this long beach and it is oftentimes compared to the other quieter beaches. It is the most happening beach as there is always something going on from one corner to another. I was told that on weekends there are more events taking place on this beach. The beach was not so very wide as far as space is concerned and it’s kind of limited but it is so full of eager tourists and amused locals. It is the best place for recreational water sports activities but not for swimming as the waves were mostly quite strong. On a lucky day a giant turtle or a migrating whale may pop into an obscured view on this whale spotting beach. I enjoyed hitting the waters with a good surf and body boarding adventure where I curled twist and turn along the waves, it was so thrilling! Towards the evening we enjoyed watching a stellar performance of an American Classical play called “Little Women” at the marvelous halls of the Laguna Playhouse. With well lighted stage, comfortable lounge chairs, well maintained facilities, and good acoustics we got the best seat in the house to enjoy a spellbinding night of fun and entertainment.
It was another day of fun and new things to discover when we entered the La Vida Laguna. We had wide options to enjoy an on water adventure with their line of recreational activities like kayaking, surfboarding, wake boarding, and my most favorite part the SUP (stand up paddle boarding). I had fun kayaking with the cute seals surrounding our kayak and keep following us around. We also had luck of seeing a great whale and dolphins along its pristine cold waters; I can’t get enough of clicking away and taking pictures each time they appear. They were literally jumping happily all over the water. It was such a blast! We rented a per hour skilled SUP instructor to teach us the basics of this sport and I truly enjoyed the experience once we hit the waters, it was so much fun as I kept balancing myself and then falling and getting up again to execute a perfect stride along the water. The last beach we visited was the idyllic Table Rock Beach. I love this relaxing hidden cove and spent the rest of the day lying on the beach mat on the fine sand across its shallow waters.
Most of the beaches along Laguna Beach were off the beaten path but it was all worth the effort to see and savor the wonderful surprises we discover along the way. We were truly delighted each time we tell other people or friends about our summer holiday on its amazing waters. It is a place that I would visit again and again to leave all my worries behind and just enjoy the cold water, scenic cliff and rocky views, soak up the sun, and its golden sands.