A short walk from the bustling downtown Laguna Beach, this park is an amazing hidden oasis. The grassy bluff and the sandy beach with giant rocks and hidden caves makes this park a favorite spot for photographers, sunset watchers, picnickers, and even sea birds. There are also a variety of art stands selling local artwork.
Historic Mission San Juan Capistrano is a California icon. Perhaps most famous for visits from its annual guests of honor, the swallows, the Mission means many things to many people. For Californians, it is a powerful symbol of the state's complicated colonial history. For Catholics, it is a profound religious site, indicative of the Church's own complex heritage. History buffs spend hours reveling in the facility's many exhibits and displays, connecting viscerally with the sights, sounds and feelings of generations long past. For visitors of any background, it is an undeniably gorgeous place to spend an afternoon-replete with striking architectural elements and lovingly cared-for gardens.
The area is 900 acres (364 hectares) of estuary, marsh, and coastal sage scrub habit, and it is home to several endangered bird species. Seventy species of fish use the bay and during winter migration thousands of shorebirds and ducks either visit or spend the winter here. Kayak, canoe, walking and electric boat tours are offered and a state of the art Interpretive Center is located at 2301 University Dr., Newport Beach.
Sherman Library and Gardens is located on Pacific Coast Highway and has extensive botanical collections with examples of plant life from desert regions to tropical regions. It is a veritable outdoor museum of plants. Walk along the paths and smell the fragrant flowers and listen to the bubbling fountains. It really is an oasis that will take you away to a calmer, more peaceful place. The place also has a library on site which a delight for art lovers and bibliophiles.
The Ocean Institute is located in beautiful Dana Point Harbor and offers ocean science and maritime history programs perfect for kids and adults alike. See hundreds of marine animals in aquariums, watch animal feedings, experience ocean-themed exhibits, and have fun with hands-on activities. For an extra charge, take a tall ship or a whale watching cruise. The Dana Point Marine Protected Area is steps away from the Institute.
Housed in the only remaining Carnegie Library building in Anaheim, this museum deals both with the rich cultural history of Anaheim and of the world. The volunteers who work there value educating the younger generation about their fine city, which was founded in the mid-1850s by German winemakers who wanted to sell their product to citizens of Los Angeles. Muzeo also features rotating strange and wonderful exhibits that make this a truly fascinating museum.
Dawson Cole Fine Art showcases paintings, drawings and sculptures created by American and European artists. Drop by to admire the varied artworks showcased through regular exhibitions. While here, take a tour of their outdoor sculpture garden that has some interesting works of art
Away from the hordes of tourists, Cleo Street Beach is a secluded beach with gentle waves. This pet-friendly beach is perfect for escaping the hustle and bustle of city life and simply soaking up the rays and taking in the crisp ocean air. Although, if you are feeling more adventurous, you can also go scuba diving. Although there aren’t any coral reefs, divers can explore the wreckage of Foss 125, a barge that sunk more than 50 years ago. Don’t let the lack of amenities deter you from visiting this place. Whether you are looking for solitude or adventure, you need to look no further than Cleo Street Beach.
Art-A-Fair is known for making waves in Laguna Beach's growing art scene. The gallery is home to various paintings, sculptures and fine art installations sourced by local, as well as international artists. One can also get a chance to personally interact with the artists and get guidance on installations. Don't forget to keep a look out for interesting events and exhibitions, for a more enriching experience.
The panoramic view of the wilderness and the Pacific from Hortense Miller Garden is second to none. Yet, the view is not quite what makes it a treasure of Laguna Beach. It is the character of the garden and the house that reflects Hortense Miller's love of nature. The garden spreads across 2.5 acres on the upper slope of Boat Canyon, and has over 1500 plant species that grow with limited usage of fertilizers and chemical controls. In the middle of the garden, a simple but elegant house that is wrapped with floor-to-ceiling glass, quietly enjoys the company of its best decorator: nature. Reservations for the tour should be made at least two weeks in advance. Donations are appreciated.
This is a small but beautifully landscaped vista point hidden behind an upscale neighborhood. The beach is very secluded and the water here is one of the cleanest on the Pacific Coast. Some of the frequent visitors of the bay are sea birds, sea lions, and migrating whales between December and March, giving visitors plenty of opportunities to witness these majestic creatures in action.