What makes a park an amazing park- one you would tell your friends about and make a point to visit with your kids? I have heard them called “destination playgrounds,” and the wonderful thing is that Laguna Beach has quite a few of them. These are the parks that can make a vacation extra special, a place for locals to enjoy, and even for locals to bring their out-of-town friends to as if to prove, “yes we live in this amazing place!” The parks in Laguna Beach that fit this description have an amazing ocean view, top-notch playground equipment that inspire kids to play, and special features that parents can enjoy too. Pick up some lunch at Farmer’s Market or at any of the great restaurants in town and head to one of these destination playgrounds in Laguna Beach.
You will feel like you have reached the top of the world when you arrive at this playground with breathtaking views of both the Pacific Ocean and Laguna Beach on one side and the far stretching valley of south Orange County on the other. The playground is nestled under some old oaks with a small bridge crossing a “creek” which is the only remnant from the old play equipment. The new structure has a climbing wall, slides, and swings that delight children. The green grass stretches far enough to the basketball courts for some kite flying or a little soccer. Stretch out a blanket or snag a picnic table with an incredible view all the way to Saddleback Mountain. Take a walk over the small hill to take in the incredible blue ocean stretching before you to Catalina and San Clemente Island. The town of Laguna Beach looks tiny below and there is no better place to take in a sunset!
Just off the sand of one of the most beautiful beaches in the world is this little playground with swings, slides, and a new climbing structure. Let your kids feel like ocean explorers at this replica lifeguard tower complete with yellow play telescopes. After your kids wear themselves out climbing the stairs and sliding the slides, take a walk on the beach boardwalk to the north to explore the tide pools, or take a dip in the Pacific. Join a pick-up game of basketball if you have the skills or play some volleyball on the sand courts. Bathrooms are near to the playground as well as shops selling ice cream, kites, and beach souvenirs. It’s the quintessential California beach experience!
“It’s the Rocketship Park!” my kids all shout, every time we come to this park. This is one of those destination parks, not because of an ocean view- which it doesn’t have- but because of the amazing play structures nestled into this canyon. A two-story rocketship structure does blast into the sky with a protected climbing ladder and fun slide. Uncommon play equipment nearby encourages kids to use their imagination and skills to traverse over the ground and down slopes. A small toddler play area with a tunnel and a bridge built into the slope is perfect for young ones and a slide down the hill is a fun treat. My kids can spend lots of time on a round “spinny-thing” that turns easily and they have competitions to stay balanced on. This is a park your kids will want to return to time and again.
As soon as my kids saw the rope nets of this new play structure, they were off and running to play “spiderman.” They created obstacle courses out of the steps, ropes, and nets that led around the play area. While they explored, I tried out the new exercise stations along the path that led up and around to a large soccer field at the top of the hill. I enjoyed the walking path that was bordered by California native plants and had views of the Pacific Ocean below and south Orange County on the other side. When I circled back, my kids were still running their obstacle courses and could have stayed for hours crossing the nets. We will be returning to this beautiful park nestled high in the hills of South Laguna Beach.