Are you wondering “is Laguna Beach safe?”
Laguna Beach is a coastal gem of Southern California. It’s the kind of place you imagine when you think of sun kissed shores, pristine sandy beaches, and rugged coastal cliffs.
This enchanting seaside town is renowned for its artistic spirit, natural beauty, and an incredibly relaxed atmosphere – Sunshine all year long, flip flops, bathing suits, and casual clothes, barely any need for a car, and great food!
Laguna’s homes and beachfront properties are picture perfect. The ocean is a turquoise blue and the art scene is always thriving. There is quite literally something to do for everyone of all ages in Laguna. It’s the ideal getaway any time of the year for a romantic couple, a bunch of girlfriends, or the whole family.
Laguna Beach is nothing short of a southern California paradise, so let’s dive into the safety of the town and its waters.
Is Laguna Beach Safe to Visit?
In spite of Laguna’s laid back vibes and casual setting, people wonder “Is It Safe To Visit Laguna Beach?” Laguna has a reputation for catering to a tourist clientele while at the same time being a small community with its own small town issues. So, let’s focus on the crime rates, the natural hazards of the ocean, and let’s set your mind at ease about taking a trip to Laguna.
What is the Laguna Beach Crime Rate?
Laguna Beach has a great reputation for being a safe tourist beach town. Reportedly, Laguna has crime rates 7% lower than the national average.
In general, Orange County is said to be an affluent, safe, and desirable region of California and Laguna is considered to have a lower crime rate when compared to other towns in the county..
The Laguna Beach Police Department states that they take great pride in keeping the community a safe place to live and visit.
Because there are so many vacation rental properties in Laguna, the police department offers lots of safety tips for home owners on how to maintain a safe space for their guests, such as good lighting on their property and other security measures.
You may see a police presence in town, patrolling the neighborhoods, and on the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH). I have personally never witnessed or experienced any crime in Laguna, nor have I ever felt unsafe.
California’s homeless situation is unfortunately a huge problem and is in the news often, but The City of Laguna boasts that the number of unhoused homeless living in Laguna has dropped by 60 % in recent years.
Since no place is entirely immune to crime, obviously practice some common-sense safety precautions, such as locking your car and securing your belongings. Like any tourist destination, there may be occasional incidents, so you want to remain cautious.
Is Laguna Beach Safe at Night?
In short, yes, Laguna Beach is safe to be walking around at night. Reports say that the police department are patrolling the streets and responding to calls quickly and the tourist atmosphere keeps the town lively and safe into the evening.
There are a plethora of restaurants and shops open during the dinner hours. You’ll see musicians on the streets and art galleries and the penny candy store open. The streets downtown are well lit and bustling.
In my experience, Laguna is an active community, but even during prime tourist seasons, the restaurants and shops are not open very late. There are certainly some bars open until 2AM, but it’s not a loud and wild party town. So, people tend to be back in their hotels or rentals after having dinner, maybe some ice cream, and a stroll into a few galleries. When you’ve been at the beach, swimming, hiking, and soaking up the sun, you’re ready for a good night’s sleep!
Is Laguna Beach Safe To Swim?
Laguna Beach is known for being one of the best swimming spots in Southern California. The water is always a beautiful turquoise and the temperature is never too cold.
Laguna is also a huge surfer’s haven, but there are always calm spots for swimming at Laguna’s many beaches. The tides can be intense sometimes, but the Laguna lifeguards are highly trained and experienced with crowds of swimming tourists.
The safest beach for swimming is the Main Beach. The surfing spots are a little south so you won’t be in their way at Main Beach.
Pay close attention to the flags at the lifeguard stands to be sure you’re not entering the water during a “red flag” or dangerous time.
One of the biggest safety concerns at Laguna beaches are the areas of large rocky outcroppings. People can easily be hurt on the big rocks. The ocean and its waves are unpredictable, so you may think you are safe to climb on the rocks along the beach, but can be swept out into the water easily.
The tides and erosion affect the shores in Laguna pretty dramatically. At one point the beach can be wide and you’ll have access to the beautiful rocks and coves and then very quickly, all that sand disappears and there is no beach to sit or walk on.
There are sometimes beach closures due to strong currents and dangerous conditions, so follow those rules and stay safe!
Also be aware of the wildlife out in the ocean! We’ve spent many an hour watching the dolphins put on a show for us while we relax on the sand.
Best Safety Tips For Laguna Beach
- Use caution the same as you would in any tourist destination.
- Lock your vehicle and don’t leave valuables in the car and pay attention to the parking signs so you don’t get a ticket!
- Don’t leave valuables unattended on the beach.
- Don’t swim alone.
- Stay in well lit areas in the evening.
- Use caution when crossing the PCH! Only use the crosswalks with lights. It can be pretty treacherous, like crossing a highway sometimes!
- Follow the lifeguards flags so you don’t get caught in a rip current or strong waves.
- Wear sunscreen!
- Hike on designated trails only, leave no trace, and be careful not to get lost in the hills.
Where To Stay In Laguna Beach
The Pacific Edge Hotel has been our go-to place for almost 30 years!
The Pacific Edge is family friendly, dog friendly, has two pools, a hot tub, two restaurants on site, rooms with views of the ocean, and best of all, a private section of the beach with beach chairs, umbrellas, and towels at your disposal.
The rooms are are clean and reasonably priced.
We park our car once and never drive again until we are leaving town. The hotel has valet parking, but we save some cash by parking in the neighborhoods across the street.
Vacation Rentals are also a great choice!
Laguna is known for having the most beachfront options for lodging in California while simultaneously having over 20,000 acres of protected land and wilderness. People visit Laguna for swimming, surfing, hiking, sunbathing, shopping, and general beachtown lounging.
So, it really is a kind of dream vacation spot.
If you’re looking for a home to rent, there are exquisite properties on the ocean side of the PCH and a lot of great spots on the hill side of the PCH. You can have views, balconies, rooftops, and walks to the beach.
When is the best time to visit Laguna Beach?
Laguna is particularly known for is year-round Mediterranean climate. I have rarely experienced a bad weather visit and have been to Laguna during all seasons. We’ve even been swimming in the ocean on many a Christmas Day.
The summer season is busiest and full of barefoot walks on the beach, ice cream runs, and beautiful sunsets at our favorite restaurants. We love visiting Laguna early in the summer, but often try to get there for the Pageant of the Masters in August.
The Fall and Spring seasons are ideal months in Laguna because the temps can still be in the 70’s and yet the crowds drop considerably.
No more wondering if Laguna Beach is safe!
In a nutshell…
Laguna Beach is a safe and welcoming destination for vacationers. While no place is entirely without risk, the city has a strong commitment to public safety and caters to the large tourist population visiting all year long. This, coupled with Laguna’s stunning natural beauty and vibrant art scene, makes it a great choice for a getaway.
Exercise common-sense precautions and respect local guidelines so you can enjoy the charm and beauty of Laguna Beach with peace of mind.
Pack your bags and get ready to experience one of my most favorite coastal gems!