‘My Laguna Beach' is a new series of interviews in which some of the city's most prominent fans give us a virtual tour and share their Laguna Beach secrets. Tweet or Instagram your own Laguna faves to us @VisitLaguna with the hashtag #MYLAGUNABEACH.
Greg MacGillivray started his career directing surf movies, including the classics Five Summer Stories and Free and Easy. He has since gone on to become one of the most successful filmmakers in the history of the IMAX® format and the first documentary director to reach $1 billion in worldwide ticket sales. Together with his wife Barbara, he is the founder of One World One Ocean-a multi-platform project aimed at changing how we relate to the ocean. Follow the campaign at http://www.oneworldoneocean.com/!
1. How long have you lived in Laguna Beach?
We moved to Laguna when I was 17—my first memories of town are trees, clear water, and glassy waves.
2. What is your favorite beach in town?
3. What's your favorite spot in Laguna Canyon?
Laurel Canyon—for the wonderful hiking and biking.
4. When you’re at your leisure, how do you get around town?
Like a European town, Laguna is a pedestrian-scaled city where cafés and bookshops are clustered tightly enough to make walking or biking a total feast for your imagination. Believe me, walking in Laguna is a non-stop entertainment—beautiful beach scenes, casual encounters with friends, music, and great food.
5. What is your favorite sit-down restaurant?
6. What about your favorite quick bite-to-eat?
7. Where do you go for a cocktail or glass of wine?
8. Any go-to dessert spot?
Gelato Paradiso on Peppertree Lane.
9. Describe your ideal day in Laguna:
Oh, what fun to think about a perfect day in Laguna Beach! It begins with us getting up around 6am to walk down the beach with our dog and pick up trash—far fewer cigarette butts after the no smoking on the beach law! Next comes a stop at Starbuck’s next to the movie theater downtown and then on to Zinc Café to share their huevos rancheros. Of course this is Saturday, which means there’s time to walk to Farmer’s Market before going mountain biking in one of the Green Belt areas, out of El Morro or Moulton Meadows. Lunch afterwards with biking buddies then back home for a SUP (stand up paddle) in the afternoon. Dinner in town at one of our great restaurants, Sapphire or Nirvana, and then a movie at our local theater…all walking!
10. What would you tell a visitor about Laguna Beach that might surprise them?
We have the cleanest, clearest ocean of any city in Southern California because we trap the street storm run-off!
11. Any chance you'd share your favorite "hidden gem":
There’s a wonderful uphill hike through sage-brush behind the hospital which leads all the way up to Laguna Niguel—where you’ll find an ancient sand sea-bed and view not-to-be-missed.
12. 10 words or less: why do you love Laguna Beach?
Blue belt, green belt, love of nature, love of neighbors.