Planes, Trains and Automobiles: Getting to Laguna Beach

Planes, Trains and Automobiles: Getting to Laguna Beach

Centrally located in Southern California, Laguna Beach is one of the most sought after coastal destinations in California.

It’s no wonder with the way that it is nestled along a beautiful pocket of coastline that is made up of 7 miles of pristine beaches and coves creating some of the most stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. It is also home to more beachfront lodging than any other city in California.

So how do you get here to experience all this beauty? 

By Automobile. The most common way visitors arrive in town is by driving in. Whether cruising along the historic Highway 1, affectionately referred to as ‘PCH’ by locals (short for Pacific Coast Highway) or driving down the twisting curves of the Laguna Canyon Road, the journey into town is in one word, breathtaking. PCH runs right along the coast venturing no more than several blocks from the sand giving you snapshots of crashing waves and cliffside vistas. Laguna Canyon Road roams through the spine of the canyon hillsides that are lined with eucalyptus trees, sage and caverns. To plan your route refer to this MAP. We are located approximately 45 miles south of Los Angeles and 60 miles north of San Diego.
Uber Laguna Beach

By Plane. Coming to see us from further away than a short drive? We are located only 16 miles from JOHN WAYNE AIRPORT, ORANGE COUNTY (SNA). With over 20 nonstop destinations, JWA serves as the gateway to Orange County. There are several options to get from the airport to Laguna Beach. First is by using Uber to request a ride. First time users get $20 FREE towards their first ride when using the VISITLAGUNABEACH code when signing up. Another option? New riders can redeem up to $50 in FREE Lyft credit now! Simply download the Lyft app and use code VISITLAGUNA to obtain your credit.

John Wayne Airport

By Train. For an adventure that conjures up days of leather-bound suitcases and steam engines, try hopping on the train to visit us. AMTRAK’S PACIFIC SURFLINE TRAIN travels up and down the coast of California from San Luis Obispo to downtown San Diego. The closest Amtrak stations to Laguna Beach are located in San Juan Capistrano and Irvine, with San Juan Capistrano being the closest. From the train stations, call an Uber or take the OCTA bus (Orange County Transportation Authority) to get into Laguna Beach.

Amtrak Coastliner California

By Bus. The best part of taking the OCTA bus (Orange County Transportation Authority) into town for your visit is the convenience. With OCTA bus stops all over Orange County, including one in Laguna Canyon and one in downtown Laguna Beach, getting to us is easy. Refer to these QUICK STEPS for navigating the OCTA system.

OCTA Orange County Transportation Authority

Once you’re here in Laguna Beach it’s easy to get around. The downtown area is easily walkable with variety of cool shops and restaurants that are close to the Main Beach boardwalk, basketball courts and the historic lifeguard tower. Getting around town is easy; from the northend gallery-filled tip of Laguna Beach down to the Southern “abandoned” beaches and all the goodness in-between here are 4 steps on how to make the most of your stay:

Free Laguna Beach Summer Trolley

One. The best way to get to know Laguna Beach is to park the car and walk. There is convenient daily, metered street parking and pay parking lots all over town. Meters are enforced from 8am to 7pm daily and rates vary from $3.30 to $5.90 an hour. For a map and complete listing of parking go HERE.

Two. Take the #LagunaFreeTrolley to get around Laguna Beach. During the summer months (late June thru August), the citywide trolley runs daily from 9:30am – 11:30pm. Once the summer comes to a close, the trolley continues to run daily at the following hours: Monday-Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Did we mention that it’s totally free to ride? There’s no better way to get the flavor of Laguna Beach than to ride the trolley, even the locals do it.

Three. Download the OFFICIAL LAGUNA BEACH APP to track the trolley in real-time, access tide tables, find parking, events and even places to eat while you’re visiting. It is easily the handiest app you’ll use for planning your stay and making your visit a fuss-free one.

Four. Relax. Soak in the sun. Have fun. Snap a pic. Share it. Tag us @VisitLaguna and utilize our citywide hashtag #MyLagunaBeach. Your photo may be featured on one of our social channels, and will appear on our interactive kiosk at the Official Visitors Center located at 381 Forest Avenue.

About the Author

Anne-Marie Schiefer

Anne-Marie used her degree in Communications to work in the non-profit sector before taking a break to raise her children. If you want to find Anne-Marie, she’ll be at a local restaurant grubbing on salad and French fries. She currently lives in Costa Mesa with her three kids.

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