Top 7 Hidden Gems in Laguna Beach, CA

 Laguna Beach is a top-notch destination for every respectful artist and beachgoer. But after initial fuss and excitement, top hidden gems in Laguna Beach are what keeps visitors coming back for more.

 Last updated: December 18, 2021

Hidden Gems in Laguna Beach - Roads and Destinations,

Top 7 Hidden Gems in Laguna Beach, CA

Laguna Beach is a crown jewel located between Los Angeles and San Diego. It is incredibly beautiful, pleasantly relaxing, blissfully colorful, and surprisingly artistic. Laguna Beach allures ocean-thirsty travelers, gives shelter to local and international creatives, and inspires countless designers. Every corner of this coastal city screams for your attention. 

But as the locals agree, nothing can beat the charm and authenticity of the hidden gems in Laguna Beach. These little secret spots unveil true nature of the city and its residents. Whether it is an animal hospital or another incredible beach, the hidden gems in Laguna Beach tie the unique look of the city with its history, driven purposes and characters of its dwellers.

Shall we bypass Laguna’s touristic attractions and explore some of its secret sites? Here are top seven hidden gems in Laguna Beach to start with. 

Read more: The 5 Hidden Gems Along Southern California Coast

Hidden Gems in Laguna Beach - Roads and Destinations,


1. Victoria Beach

Pictures of Victoria Beach flood the web and Instagram, making it one of the most photographed hidden gems in Laguna Beach. Rows of private residencies conceal the secluded cove of one of the most incredible beaches in the city from the unaware tourists. Needless to say, mostly the locals reserve the right to soak up the sun, swim, skimboard, and engage in other summer activities on Victoria Beach. 

Yet to be fair to all guests of Laguna Beach, one of the most sought-after hidden gems unveils itself to those that are willing to trek down some sheltered stairs. Follow Victoria Drive until you reach the famous steps. While some locals can access the beach from their own backyards, the steep stairs is the only way to reach this hidden gem for the others, including the visitors. 

Hidden Gems in Laguna Beach - Roads and Destinations,

2. Pirate Tower

2713 Victoria Dr, Laguna Beach, CA 92651

The second secret spot claims its residency near the cliffs of Victoria Beach. The medieval-looking Pirate Tower is one of the most recognizable hidden gems in Laguna Beach. The 60-foot structure was built in 1926. Initially, the owners of the house atop the cliff used a private staircase inside the tower to access Victoria Beach. However, some design flaws that let a part of the tower submerge in the water made this secret spot inaccessible during high tide.

Today, the doors of the Pirate Tower remain closed. The remarkable structure, however, never ceases to attract the locals and visitors that regard it as one of the most stunning hidden gems in Laguna Beach.     

3. St. Francis by the Sea

430 Park Ave, Laguna Beach, CA 92651

St. Francis by the Sea is one of the smallest cathedrals in the world and one of the most intimate hidden gems in Laguna Beach. The church was built in 1934, and in 1988 it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.  

Beside its stunning shape and small size, the cathedral is famous for the National Sick Call Sets Museum located in the choir loft. A rare collection of kits and instruments used by priests and family members for the sacred rituals further entices the guests and locals of Laguna Beach. Some of the items in the church date back to the 1880s. 

Pacific Marine Mammal Center - Roads and Destinations,

4. Pacific Marine Mammal Center

20612 Laguna Canyon Rd, Laguna Beach, CA 92651

The Pacific Marine Mammal Center is one of a few hidden gems in Laguna Beach with a strong mission of helping injured marine animals. The animal hospital (how the center’s staff refers to it) rescues stranded seals and sea lions and provides them with a safe home.

While the center takes good care of their patients, it strives to eliminate excessive interactions of the animals with people. Once the marine mammals get healthy again, they leave their temporarily shelter and return back to the ocean. 

The center runs on sponsorships and donations. There is no fee to visit this hidden spot with a great impact on the local community and marine life. 

5. Thousand Steps Beach

31972 Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651

While Main Beach with its scenic cove and a boardwalk smites the visitors of Laguna Beach, the locals laze at Thousand Steps Beach. Sandy shore, conical caves, sandstone cliffs… Clearly, the hidden gems in Laguna Beach couldn’t look any better. 

Although the name suggests that there are thousand steps, you need to conquer only approximately 230 of them. The marvelous beach welcomes you at the end of your descent. You will find the intimidating stairs to this secret destination in Laguna Beach near 9th Avenue.  

Hidden Gems in Laguna Beach - Roads and Destinations,

6. Treasure Island Beach

Wesley Dr, Laguna Beach, CA 92651

All-time favorite of the locals, Treasure Island Beach is an untapped territory for the majority of Laguna’s guests. Tucked in behind Montage Resort, the place is one of the most accessible hidden gems in Laguna Beach. Sadly or fortunately, the oblivious visitors regard it as a private beach and steer away before getting to know any better. 

Treasure Island Beach, however, asks for your attention, especially if you ache for the most beautiful hidden gems in Laguna Beach. The secluded cove allures with the clearest water, splendid natural tide pools, intriguing rock formations, and panoramic views. Just proceed through Treasure Island Park set next to Montage Laguna Beach, and enjoy all the divine attributes of this hidden gem.

7. Pageant of the Masters

650 Laguna Canyon Rd, Laguna Beach, CA 92651

The Pageant of the Masters is arguably one of the most unprecedented productions in the world. The show lasts 90 minutes and brings classic and contemporary works of art on the stage. Surprisingly, the entire cast consists of passionate volunteers posing to look exactly like their counterparts in the original plays. The Pageant of the Masters takes place at the Festival of Arts ground. It is certainly one of the must-see secret attractions in Laguna Beach. 

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