- Things to Do
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Our local community has and will always put in tremendous efforts to conserve the natural beauty of Laguna Beach.
Laguna Beach is the only city in California whos entire coast has been designated a boating & fishing-FREE zone as it has been a Marine Protected Area (MPA) since January 1, 2012. The Laguna Beach State Marine Reserve and the Laguna Beach State Marine Conservation Area are two adjoining areas that cover 6.27 square miles offshore. Each protects all marine life by prohibiting the removal of marine wildlife from within its borders. In the years since its inception, we have seen vast improvements and restoration of all sea life, fish size, type and number.
IMMERSE: When you visit take a moment to see the clarity and colors of the water. The darker areas you see further out from the shoreline is most likely the massive kelp forest.
Starting in the summer of 2021, The City of Laguna Beach implemented the Path to Plastic Free! This means that single-use plastics and containers are no longer allowed on our beaches and trails as an effort to maintain & conserve Laguna's local wildlife. There has also been a plastic pollution policy prohibiting the sale, use, and distribution single-use, to-go plastic or polystyrene foodware items, including bioplastics. This ordinance applies to all businesses that sell or distribute that foodware within City boundaries.
FREEDOM: Join and go plastic free with us. Grab your reusable water bottle, ditch your straw and come on out to visit us.
The Pacific Marine Mammal Center (PMMC) is a Laguna Beach field trip mainstay and an excellent example of Laguna’s conservation mindset. Open to visitors daily, the center rehabilitates sea lions, harbor seals, elephant seals, and other distressed species, before releasing them back into the wild. If you’re looking for that combo of meeting cute animals and the engaged citizens helping to preserve them, this is the place to visit. Admission is free and donations are welcomed!
FEED: Contribute to restoring the patients at PMMC back to their natural habitat by purchasing them dinner - a bucket of fish!
To this day, Laguna's Canyon holds the same beautiful, windy, natural look that it always had and that is all thanks to our locals! The battle over Laguna Canyon was particularly historic, with locals and real estate interests pitted against one another in dramatic fashion over the course of decades that began in the 1980s. In 1986, the Laguna Canyon Conservancy was formed so that citizens could present a united front against the onslaught of development. Their first major success came in 1988, when the California Coastal Commission voted down the proposed expansion of Laguna Canyon Road. This group of empowered Laguna residents also successfully prevented our canyon from becoming a 3,200-home development, 82 acres of commercial development, and a golf course by doing a sit-in on the planned developed plot of land.
ACTIVISM: Read more about the fight for the Laguna Canyon and how through the activism of Laguna Beach residents over 20,000 acres were preserved for future generations.
The team at Laguna Canyon Foundation are the stewards of Laguna Canyon, advocating for their open space as the leading organization for education, public outreach, habitat restoration and trailwork in the canyons. They are the bridge between the open space and the surrounding world. Laguna Canyon Foundation is dedicated to preserving, protecting, enhancing and promoting the 22,000-acre South Coast Wilderness we have here in Laguna Beach. Designated as a biodiversity hotspot, just like the Amazon Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef, the coastal sage scrub habitat of our canyons is some of the last of its kind and supports native plants and animals, including several endangered species. Their staff biologists and ecologists, along with all of their colleagues, partner with like-minded organizations and dedicated volunteers to conserve and preserve this precious land.
EXPLORE: Take a hike or ride a mountain bike through the hundreds of miles of trails that traverse through canyon and hilltops. Or take a guided hike with a naturalist to learn about the biodiversity of the land and the indigenous people that lived here for thousands of years.
Laguna Ocean Foundation is dedicated to sustainable ocean ecosystems along the Laguna Coast. They envision an evolving understanding of our local marine resources in order for Laguna Beach to better protect and enhance this valuable wilderness. With increasing visitation it was recognized that beach patrons to this community needed to be better educated concerning the delicacy of the marine ecosystems, with this goal the Tidewater Docent program was created in 2002 to provide interpretive education experiences at several Laguna Beach tidepool sites. As the program expanded the local enthusiasts decided that the program needed a home and that more could be done to further enlighten the community concerning conservation marine biology.
FOLLOW: Learn about much of the tidepool sea life before you come by following along on Laguna Ocean Foundation's Instagram where they share interesting facts, videos and information about all the creatures you'll see.
As the stewards of an incredible natural landscape, The Ranch at Laguna Beach is committed to being at the forefront of sustainability and charitable efforts in their region. They take great care to minimize their impact on the environment and maximize their impact on those in need. For example, they have changed how their property uses water, reduced the need for produce deliveries (along with the resources required to make those deliveries) and joined forces with other organizations to serve the hungry and other vulnerable populations. The entire resort has no single use plastic on property. All of their takeaway containers are biodegradable. They even have an onsite glass crusher, which gets ground down and used to replenish the bunkers of their on-premises golf course. Harvest and The Ranch have truly set an example of what it means to protect our planet, which is why Harvest has rightfully become Surfrider Foundation’s first ocean friendly restaurant in Laguna Beach.
BOOK: Plan your peaceful escape to where canyon meets sea in Laguna Beach and book a room at The Ranch.