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BEST BEACH FOR: Tide poolers, boulder lovers, and skilled wave riders.
Rockpile Beach is nothing if not true to its name. Boulders jut out of the sand and water, creating endless tide pools, climbing opportunities, and – most famously – a world class surf break. When the tides and swell are clicking, a perfect right-hander peels off the reef at “Pile,” sending Laguna Beach’s best surfers rocketing down the line.
This break isn’t for everyone and neither is the beach itself. The surf spot is best for confident, competent wave riders, while the small expanse of sand is ideal for those who are steady on their feet and more eager to scamper along the rocks and investigate the tide pools than they are to swim (it’s prohibited here). That’s not to say you shouldn’t visit, it’s simply an encouragement to be aware.
Accessibility-wise, this beach is the opposite of nearby Picnic Beach. It’s relatively easy to reach – by scrambling over the rocks at the north end of Main Beach or via a staircase at the south end of Heisler Park. But you’ll have to go to Picnic Beach or Main Beach to find a bathroom, and parking can be tough. Still, intrepid souls will be well rewarded at Rockpile. The tide pools and rock formations visible on an ebb tide are spectacular, with plenty of marine life thriving just below the ocean’s surface. This is the place for water shoes, though, as the rocks and purple urchins make exploring this area a little trickier.
Park on Cliff Drive and visit Rockpile Beach for some waves or a bit of seclusion. Alternately, make a little jaunt from Main Beach, before heading back to the wider expanses of sand found there.
The best surfers in Laguna Beach paddling out on the biggest swells of the season.
Tide poolers, boulder lovers, and skilled wave riders.
Open year-round from 6 am – 10 pm