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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.
The picturesque Orange coast is home to a wide variety of marine animals. Established in 1971 with the aim of rehabilitating such marine mammals along the coast of Orange County, Pacific Marine Mammal Center is an excellent rescue facility. Volunteers work hard to nurse the creatures back to health until they are strong enough to go back to their natural environment. Visitors to the facility can get an overview of the site as well as meet the mammals.
Laguna Coast Wilderness Park is a locals' favorite for hiking and biking, particularly during spring when a spectrum of wild flowers bloom. Two entrances are available. One is at the junction of El Toro Road and Aliso Creek Road where limited street parking is available for free. Despite its isolation from the majority of the park, this area features Barbara's Lake, Orange County's only natural lake. The other entrance is across Laguna Canyon, by the junction of Laguna Canyon Road and El Toro Road. Although there is no free parking, you can head straight to Crystal Cove from here. With "wilderness" in its name, no pets are allowed in the park. Some residents you may have the pleasure of seeing are deer, mountain lions, and snakes.
Tucked away in a spot by the Pacific Coast Highway in Laguna Beach, the 1000 Steps Beach takes some effort to get to. Once there, the beach rewards you with more than just stellar views. Its somewhat hidden location in busy southern California is a blessing, leaving the beach and its pristine stretch practically to yourself. Sandstone cliffs bookend the beach's golden sands, even as you watch the shore-break waves crash in resoundingly. The beach offers plenty of activities such as kayaking, paddle-boarding and kayaking. Prepare yourself for a steep ascent on your way back.