BEST BEACH FOR: Anyone who wants to be where the energy is high, and the sun-soaked crowds are buzzing with excitement.
- Things to Do
- Plan Your Trip
Laguna Beach has a lot going for it when it comes to swimming.
First of all, there’s almost always calm water to be found at one beach or another. Second, the bodysurfing breaks are some of the best in the nation. And third, the city’s lifeguards are well trained, rigorous, and happy to guide visitors. It’s a pretty wonderful combination for anyone eager to swim.
The best spot in town is also the most famous: Main Beach. The city’s premiere stretch of sand is well known as a prime place to dive in the ocean. There are no surfers to contend with, the main lifeguard tower is steps from shore, and the waves break far enough out to not slam you on the sand but not so far that you can’t touch the bottom. On yellow or red flag days, Main Beach is a fantastic bodysurfing wave; on green flag days you can let the kids play along the shoreline without much worry. The showers and bathrooms at the north and south ends of the beach are nice perks, too.
Heading north of the iconic lifeguard tower, most beaches are great for swimming, though there are a few submerged rocks to be aware of at Picnic Beach. For serious bodysurfers, Crescent Bay is one of the standout spots in Orange County. On the other side of the coin, Diver’s Cove and Fisherman’s Cove both stay pretty mellow year-round.
South of Main Beach, you’ll have to contend with surfers at breaks like Thalia and Oak Street beaches. During the summer, the whole stretch between Anita and Brooks is broken up into swimming and surfing sections. In winter, you’ll have to keep your wits about you and make sure you aren’t swimming in the surfing impact zone. Even further down PCH, the various coves and inlets of Treasure Island Beach are known for their clear water, Victoria Beach often features a swim platform (maintained by the community, so be respectful), and Thousand Steps Beach is prized for its heavy on-shore body surfing waves.
As with any watersport, know your own ability and stay within it, and when in doubt, ask a lifeguard before heading into the water.