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Laguna Beach

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Laguna Beach is a seaside resort city located in southern Orange County, California, in the United States. It is known for a mild year-round climate, scenic coves, environmental preservation, and an artist community. The population in the 2010 census was 22,723. As per population estimate in July 2017, the total population of Laguna Beach city was 23,174.

Historically settled by Paleoindians, the Tongva people, and then Mexico, the location became part of the United States following the Mexican–American War. Laguna Beach was settled in the 1870s and officially founded in 1887, and in 1927 its current government was incorporated as a city. In 1944, the city adopted a council-manager form for its government. The city has remained relatively isolated from urban encroachment by its surrounding hills, limited highway access, and a dedicated greenbelt. The Laguna Beach coastline is protected by 5.88 miles (9.46 km) of state marine reserve and an additional 1.21 miles (1.95 km) of state conservation area.

Tourism is the primary industry with an estimated six million people visiting the community annually. Annual large events include the Pageant of the Masters, Festival of Arts, Sawdust Art Festival, Art-A-Fair, Bluewater Music Festival, and Kelpfest.

Laguna Beach Homes

Living in Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach was the site of a prehistoric paleoindian civilization. In 1933, the first fossilized skull of a paleoindian found in California was uncovered during construction on St. Ann’s Drive. Known as “Laguna Woman”, the skull originally was radiocarbon dated to more than 17,000 BP, but revised measurements suggest it originated during the Holocene era 11,700 years BP. Subsequent research has found several prehistoric encampment sites in the area.

The indigenous people of the Laguna Beach area were the Tongva. Aliso Creek served as a territorial boundary between Gabrieleno and Acjachemen groups, or Juanenos, named by Spanish missionaries who first encountered them in the 1500s. The area of Laguna Canyon was named on an 1841 Mexican land grant map as Cañada de las Lagunas (English: Glen of the Lagoons). After the Mexican–American War ended in 1848, the area of Alta California was ceded to the United States. The treaty provided that Mexican land grants be honored and Rancho San Joaquin, which included north Laguna Beach, was granted to José Antonio Andres Sepúlveda. Following a drought in 1864, Sepúlveda sold the property to James Irvine. The majority of Laguna Beach was one of the few parcels of coastal land in Southern California that never was included in any Mexican land grant.

Settlers arrived after the American Civil War. They were encouraged by the Homestead Act and Timber Culture Act, which granted up to 160 acres (65 ha) of land to a homesteader who would plant at least 40 acres (16 ha) of trees. In Laguna Beach, settlers planted groves of eucalyptus trees. In 1871, the first permanent homestead in the area was occupied by the George and Sarah Thurston family of Utah on 152 acres (62 ha) of Aliso Creek Canyon. In 1876, the brothers William and Lorenzo Nathan “Nate” Brooks purchased tracts of land in Bluebird Canyon at present-day Diamond Street. They subdivided their land, built homes and initiated the small community of Arch Beach. In his book, History of Orange County, California (1921), Samuel Armor cited the permanent homestead of Nate Brooks as the beginning of the modern day town and described Brooks as the “Father of Laguna Beach”.

The community in Laguna Canyon and around the main beach expanded during the 1880s. The city officially founded a post office in 1887 under the name Lagona, but the postmaster in 1904, Nicholas Isch, successfully petitioned for a name correction to Laguna Beach. By then Laguna Beach already had developed into a tourist destination. Hubbard Goff built a large hotel at Arch Beach in 1886, which later was moved and added to Joseph Yoch’s Laguna Beach Hotel built in 1888 on the main beach. Visitors from local cities pitched tents on the beaches for vacation during the warm summers.

The scenic beauty of the isolated coastline and hills attracted plein-air painters in the early 1900s. William Wendt, Frank Cuprien, and Edgar Payne among others settled there and formed the Laguna Beach Art Association. The first art gallery opened in 1918 and later became the Laguna Beach Art Museum. Precursors to The Festival of Arts and the Pageant of the Masters began in 1921, and eventually were established in their present-day form by Roy Ropp in 1936. Due to its proximity to Hollywood, Laguna also became a favorite filming location. Starting in 1913, dozens of silent films were made at local coves with Harold Lloyd, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., and others. Actors and film crews stayed during long production shoots at the Arch Beach Tavern on the hillside above Moss Street.

The arrival of painters, photographers, filmmakers, and writers established Laguna Beach as a noted artist community. Although there only were approximately 300 residents in 1920, a large proportion of them worked in creative fields. The small town remained isolated until 1926 because the long, winding Laguna Canyon road served as the only access. With the completion of the Pacific Coast Highway in 1926, a population boom was expected. To protect the small-town atmosphere of the art colony, residents who called themselves “Lagunatics” pushed for incorporation. The municipal government for Laguna Beach incorporated as a city on June 29, 1927. The city has experienced steady population growth since that time, rising from 1900 residents in 1927 to more than 10,000 in 1962, and becoming four times larger in area.

Many creative, bohemian, and wealthy people have made Laguna Beach their home. They have added to the local culture by providing a theme for the small town. Adventurer Richard Halliburton built his Hangover House on the slopes of South Laguna. Hildegarde Hawthorne, granddaughter of the novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne, described Laguna “as a child of that deathless search, particularly by persons who devote their lives to painting or writing, or for some place where beauty and cheapness and a trifle of remoteness hobnob together in a delightful companionship.”

Laguna Beach was the Southern California epicenter of the ‘alternative’ hippie culture in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In early 1967, John Griggs and other founding members of the Brotherhood of Eternal Love relocated from Modjeska Canyon to the Woodland Drive neighborhood of Laguna Beach, which they later renamed “Dodge City”. Timothy Leary lived in a beach house on Gaviota Drive. The Utsava Rajneesh Meditation Center was located on Laguna Canyon Road and was the last remaining commune in the United States for followers of the spiritual teacher and guru Osho, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh.

A fire in Laguna Beach in October 1993 destroyed or damaged 441 homes and burned more than 14,000 acres (5,700 ha). The National Fire Protection Association listed it as the seventh-largest loss wildland fire in the United States.

ccording to the United States Census Bureau, the city of Laguna Beach has a total area of 9.8 sq mi, of which 8.8 sq mi are land and 0.97 sq mi are covered by water. Its coastline is 7 mi long and includes 27 beaches and coves. It is bordered by the Pacific Ocean on the southwest, Crystal Cove State Park and the city of Newport Beach on the northwest, Laguna Woods on the northeast, Aliso Viejo and Laguna Niguel on the east, and Dana Point on the southeast.

The land in and around Laguna Beach rises quickly from the shoreline into the hills and canyons of the San Joaquin Hills. The town’s highest point, at an elevation of 1,007 feet, is Temple Hill in the Top of the World neighborhood. Because of its hilly topography and surrounding parklands, few roads run into or out of town; only the Coast Highway connecting to Newport Beach to the northwest and to Dana Point to the south, and State Route 133 crossing the hills in a northeastern direction through Laguna Canyon. Parts of Laguna Beach border the Aliso/Wood Canyons Regional Park.

The natural landscape of beaches, rocky bluffs, and craggy canyons have been noted as sources of inspiration for plein air painters and landscape photographers who have settled in the Laguna Beach since the early 1900s. The hills also are known internationally for mountain biking. Laguna Coast Wilderness Park is a 7,000-acre wilderness area in the hills surrounding Laguna Beach. This park features coastal canyons, ridgeline views, and the only natural lakes in Orange County

The Laguna Art Museum is rooted in the development of Laguna Beach as an art community with the creation of the Laguna Beach Art Association in 1918. Located beside the main beach, the museum focuses on the art of California. The Pageant of the Masters, founded in 1935, is held annually during the summer months. The unique show presents recreations of famous artworks using real people as models. Community organizations also host several long-running art festivals during the summer season.

The Festival of Arts, which underwent a major renovation in 2017, originated in the 1930s. It showcases juried works by 140 local artists, and its stage provides a venue for daily musical performances in July and August of each year. The Sawdust Art Festival was founded in 1965 as a counterculture alternative to the Festival of Arts. It exhibits non-juried crafts and arts on a dedicated 3-acre (1.2-hectare) site. The Art-A-Fair began in 1966, built an exhibition site in 1977 and exhibits juried works of 125 artists from outside the area.

The Laguna Playhouse, founded in 1920, is noted as the “oldest continuously running theatre on the west coast”. The playhouse provides professional stage productions in its 420-seat Moulton Theater, as well as performances by the Laguna Playhouse Youth Theatre program. The Irvine Bowl is a 2600-seat amphitheater used for the Pageant of the Masters program and for occasional concerts.

The Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational is held annually in October. Some of North America’s plein air landscape painters are invited to participate in the week-long events including public paint outs, artist meet and greets, and educational activities.

The Laguna Beach Arts Commission sponsors a weekly Summer Concert in the Park series at Bluebird Park and Heisler Park. The Laguna Beach Chamber Music Society holds an annual chamber music festival during the winter season. Laguna is also home to the annual Bluewater Music Festival, and Kelpfest held on Earth Day, to raise awareness of the importance that kelp plays in ocean habitat.

Laguna Beach has a rich surfing history centered on a five-block stretch of rocky reefs between Brooks and St. Ann’s Streets. The Brooks Street Surfing Classic, begun in 1955, is a “contender for the world’s longest running surf competition,” according to the Encyclopedia of Surfing. The competition is held only when peak swell conditions occur during a four-month-long window in the summer and has been held 52 times from 1955 to 2015. Participation is open only to Laguna Beach residents. Notable participants have included Hobie Alter, Mickey Munoz, and Tom Morey.

Started in 1976, the ‘Vic’ Skimboarding World Championship is held at Aliso Beach in Laguna Beach and is the longest running skim boarding contest on the pro circuit.

The Laguna Open Volleyball Tournament began in 1955 and, according to tournament directors, it is the second oldest volleyball tournament in the United States. Participants have included several Olympic gold medalists, including Chris Marlowe, Dusty Dvorak, Scott Fortune, Dain Blanton and Gene Selznick, who won the first seven competitions.

Laguna’s foothill trails are known internationally for mountain biking. Mountain bike hall of fame legend, Hans Rey makes his home in Laguna Beach, as do the Rads, pioneers of mountain biking going back to the 1970s.

The U.S. Open for Lawnbowling is held annually, at the lawn bowling field at Heisler Park.

Laguna Beach has a history of environmental stewardship and historic preservation. Laguna Beach is the only Orange County city protected by a dedicated greenbelt inland and bluebelt seaward. In 1968, local conservationists founded Laguna Greenbelt and began a drive to conserve a horseshoe of hills and canyons surrounding Laguna Beach. As of 2011, more than 20,000 acres (8,100 ha) of contiguous wildlands constituted The Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Jim Dilley Preserve, Crystal Cove State Park, and the Aliso-Wood Canyons Wilderness Park.

The creation of the 7,000-acre (2,800 ha) Laguna Coast Wilderness Park as a protected area began in the late 1980s and early 1990s when local artists, activists and politicians rallied to preserve Laguna Canyon. With the environmentally focused Laguna Canyon Project and its photographic mural, “The Tell,” as backdrop and stimulus, Laguna citizens forged a partnership to prevent construction of a 3,200-acre (1,300 ha) housing project in the canyon. An exhibition on the Laguna Canyon Project, titled “The Canyon Project: Artivism,” was held at Laguna Art Museum in 2015-16.,. Today the Wilderness Park and Laguna Canyon within it are designated as open space into perpetuity.

The Laguna Beach State Marine Reserve (LBSMR), which extends from Irvine Cove to Treasure Island Beach, was established in 2012, to make most of the coastal area a no-take zone. Docents of the Laguna Ocean Foundation provide monitoring and education at tidepools within the LBSMR. In addition, the 3.2 mile long Crystal Cove State Park abuts the northern border of Laguna Beach.

American Craftsman Bungalows from the early 1900s dot the downtown and South Laguna areas. Between 1980 and 1981, the city conducted the Laguna Beach Historic Survey, a citywide block-by-block study which noted the location of pre-1940 buildings and determined which had historic significance. 706 homes and structures in Laguna Beach were classified as historically significant.

Laguna Beach is the tenth official Transition Town in the U.S. In February 2007, Laguna’s city council unanimously voted to join the U.S. Mayors Climate Initiative, and in April 2013 became the first Orange County city to request formally that the San Onofre Nuclear Reactor not be restarted after its January 2012 shut down. The Aliso Creek Water Reclamation Facility went into operation in 2014. It removes polluted runoff in Aliso Creek, improves ocean water quality, and creates local recycled water. With a grant from Cal Trans, the city is undertaking a transition plan to implement Complete Streets for all users. A North-South bicycle route with signs and sharrows was completed through town in 2014. Laguna Beach passed a citywide ‘Idaho Stop’ for cyclist, a no plastic bag ordinance and a no plastic bottle purchasing policy for its government.

Smoke-free place
The city was deemed a smoke-free place by Laguna Beach Council on May 23, 2017. Ordinance 1624 was imposed by the Beach Council to stop smoking in all public places in the city.

Primary and secondary
The Laguna Beach Unified School District manages public education for city residents. The district includes one high school (Laguna Beach High School), one middle school (Thurston Middle School), and two elementary schools (El Morro Elementary School and Top of the World Elementary School). One private elementary school, St. Catherine of Siena Parish School, is overseen by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange.

Higher education
The Laguna College of Art & Design (LCAD) is a small private college located in Laguna Canyon. It was founded in 1961 by the Festival of Arts and Laguna Art Museum as the Laguna Beach School of Art. LCAD offers bachelor of arts degrees in drawing and painting, illustration, animation, graphic design, and game art, and master of fine arts degrees in painting and drawing. In 2013, enrollment was approximately 450 students.

Laguna Beach has its own FM community radio station, KX 93.5. The community is served by an online newspaper, Stu News Laguna (stunewslaguna.com), and one weekly print newspaper, the Laguna Beach Independent.

Fire protection in Laguna Beach is provided by the Laguna Beach Fire Department, and law enforcement by the Laguna Beach Police Department. Marine safety services are provided jointly by Laguna Beach City Lifeguards in north Laguna Beach and by Orange County Lifeguards in south Laguna Beach.

Laguna Beach has used goats for its fuel reduction and vegetation management program since the early 1990s.

Courtesy of Wikipedia.org

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Nearby Businesses

Dining

Sattva Indian 5.0 star rating 414 reviews
26705 Aliso Creek Rd
Ste C
Aliso Viejo, CA 92656

(949) 328-9992

Roux Creole Cuisine 4.5 star rating 295 reviews
860 Glenneyre St
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

(949) 715-3707

Adonis Mediterranean Grill 4.5 star rating 833 reviews
202 Park Ave
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

(949) 715-4581

Nick's Laguna Beach 4.5 star rating 3123 reviews
440 S Coast Hwy
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

(949) 376-8595

South of Nick's - Laguna Beach 4.5 star rating 430 reviews
540 S Coast Hwy
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

(949) 715-3717

Sushi Kizuna 5.0 star rating 63 reviews
22912 Pacific Park Dr
Aliso Viejo, CA 92656

(949) 716-8882

Oak Laguna Beach 4.5 star rating 822 reviews
1100 S Coast Hwy
Ste 202
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

(949) 940-3010

Kitchen in the Canyon 4.5 star rating 300 reviews
845 Laguna Canyon Rd
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

(949) 715-5388

Nightlife

South of Nick's - Laguna Beach 4.5 star rating 430 reviews
540 S Coast Hwy
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

(949) 715-3717

The Seahorse 4.5 star rating 46 reviews
1796 S Coast Hwy
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

(949) 715-4533

The Drake 4.5 star rating 173 reviews
2894 Pacific Coast Hwy
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

(949) 376-1000

Asada Tacos + Beer 4.5 star rating 264 reviews
610 N Coast Hwy
Ste 108
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

(949) 226-7263

Brussels Bistro 4.0 star rating 734 reviews
222 Forest Ave
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

(949) 376-7955

Driftwood Kitchen 4.0 star rating 2154 reviews
619 Sleepy Hollow Ln
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

(949) 715-7700

StillWater Spirits & Sounds 4.0 star rating 725 reviews
24701 Del Prado
Dana Point, CA 92629

(949) 661-6003

The Deck on Laguna Beach 4.0 star rating 1591 reviews
627 Sleepy Hollow Ln
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

(949) 494-6700

Shopping

The Shop 4.5 star rating 45 reviews
1020 S Coast Hwy
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

(949) 715-8308

AREO 4.5 star rating 29 reviews
207 Ocean Ave
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

(949) 376-0535

Fashion Island 4.0 star rating 752 reviews
401 Newport Center Dr
Newport Beach, CA 92660

(949) 721-2000

C J Rose Fashion Boutique 5.0 star rating 14 reviews
384 Forest Ave
Ste 6
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

(949) 494-1984

Twig 5.0 star rating 12 reviews
1045 S Coast Hwy
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

(949) 715-1474

Toes On The Nose 4.5 star rating 22 reviews
276 S Coast Hwy
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

(949) 494-4988

Thalia Street Surf Shop 4.5 star rating 44 reviews
915 S Coast Hwy
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

(949) 497-3292

Buy Hand 4.5 star rating 25 reviews
357 South Coast Hwy
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

(949) 715-0515

Coffee

Gelato Paradiso 4.5 star rating 1238 reviews
448 S Coast Hwy
Ste A
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

(949) 464-9255

Nick's Laguna Beach 4.5 star rating 3123 reviews
440 S Coast Hwy
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

(949) 376-8595

Kitchen in the Canyon 4.5 star rating 300 reviews
845 Laguna Canyon Rd
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

(949) 715-5388

Reborn Coffee 4.5 star rating 185 reviews
2933 E Coast Hwy
Corona Del Mar, CA 92625

(949) 200-9718

Lost Pier Cafe 4.5 star rating 192 reviews
31131 S Coast Hwy
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

(949) 715-4210

Andree's Patisserie 4.5 star rating 122 reviews
1456 S Coast Hwy
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

(949) 494-1577

Seven Seas Roasting 4.5 star rating 79 reviews
21 Vantis Dr
Aliso Viejo, CA 92656

(619) 861-9574

Shirley's Bagels 4.5 star rating 165 reviews
303 Broadway St
Ste 110
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

(949) 494-6296

Gyms

Fitwall 5.0 star rating 74 reviews
2073 San Joaquin Hills Rd
Newport Beach, CA 92660

(949) 529-8552

Total Training 5.0 star rating 215 reviews
26552 Moulton Pkwy
Ste A
Laguna Hills, CA 92653

(949) 340-3555

Top Notch Fitness 5.0 star rating 103 reviews
23788 Mercury Rd
Lake Forest, CA 92630

(949) 215-0143

Orangetheory Fitness Laguna Niguel 4.5 star rating 166 reviews
24034 Aliso Creek Rd
Laguna Niguel, CA 92677

(949) 667-9999

RhythmRide 5.0 star rating 27 reviews
1100 S Coast Hwy
Ste 209A
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

(949) 295-0710

F45 Training Aliso Viejo 5.0 star rating 24 reviews
26711 Aliso Creek Rd
Ste 100A
Aliso Viejo, CA 92656

(949) 484-4008

So Cal Boot Camp 4.5 star rating 71 reviews
32932 Pacific Coast Hwy
Ste 7
Dana Point, CA 92629

(949) 276-7650

Evolve Personalized Fitness 5.0 star rating 34 reviews
24582 Del Prado Ave
Ste D & E
Dana Point, CA 92629

(949) 661-1213

Salons

Dedication Salon 5.0 star rating 200 reviews
29955 Alicia Pkwy
Laguna Niguel, CA 92677

(949) 495-9522

the house salon 5.0 star rating 240 reviews
23981 Alicia Pkwy
Ste 170
Mission Viejo, CA 92691

(949) 380-2677

Salon Revelation 5.0 star rating 119 reviews
34052 La Plz
Ste 102
Dana Point, CA 92629

(949) 248-8595

Serandi Salon 5.0 star rating 105 reviews
1833 S Coast Hwy
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

(949) 715-5115

Simpatico Salon 5.0 star rating 102 reviews
1100 S Coast Hwy
Ste 114
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

(949) 715-5775

The W Salon 5.0 star rating 343 reviews
26538 Moulton Pkwy
Ste 38C
Laguna Hills, CA 92653

(949) 389-0484

V Salon & Spa 5.0 star rating 49 reviews
1454 S Coast Hwy
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

(949) 433-5706

Shine Salon 5.0 star rating 82 reviews
32241 Crown Valley Pkwy
Ste 100
Dana Point, CA 92629

(949) 493-7432