Victoria Beach
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5 Hidden Laguna Beach Beaches to Beat the Crowd

Victoria Beach

Laguna Beach no doubt has some of California’s most stunning beaches and coastlines. It’s no wonder everywhere is jam packed with people in their bikinis and swim trunks on a hot, summery day. Here’s what no one tells you though… You CAN enjoy Laguna Beach without the crowds. In fact, the most popular beaches and parks aren’t necessarily even the most beautiful. To uncover the secrets of where to find the best hidden Laguna Beach beaches, keep on reading!

To start with, housekeeping business… I gotta say I’m a little embarrassed that my last blog post was basically two months ago! Even though I promised to publish an LA restaurant guide, I kept pushing it off because guess what… I visited LA again! Hah what a surprise. (I think it’s safe to say LA’s basically a second home, right?) Either way, I wanted to make sure I share only the best secrets so I promise it’s well worth the wait. First let’s carry on with today’s list.

Before you get confused like I did, no, Laguna Beach is not the name of a beach. It is the name of a city in Orange County, California. If you’ve read my previous Oregon coast guide, it’s the same thing. The Americans fancy naming their coastal cities beaches, but do not let that fool you into thinking that Laguna Beach is a beach!

1. Thousand/1000 Steps Beach

Thousand Steps Beach

Kicking off the list with a name that people are more familiar with – Thousand Steps Beach. Not only is it a local favorite because of its views and natural tidal pools, it makes for a great workout as well. Although I will put you at ease and let you know that there are only about 220 steps to climb. Don’t let the name scare you off 😉

Thousand Steps Beach

Directions & Parking

The stairs leading down to the beach are easy to miss but they’re right at the light on 9th Avenue. If you’re driving from LA down CA-1 Coast Highway, they would be on your righthand side. As for parking, you’re gonna have to hope for the best and find street parking.

Thousand Steps Beach Thousand Steps BeachCaptured on DJI Spark. First time flying my drone whoohoo!

The timing of my visit was a little off. Therefore, we were unable to walk across the beach to the tidal pools. (There’s a cave walk that leads you to it but be sure to come during low tide otherwise the path gets washed out and is a little dangerous to cross.) Here’s a useful tidal chart to help you plan your trip: “Tide Times for Laguna Beach”. In the meanwhile, enjoy this lovely shot by Brad Coder and don’t forget to check out his amazing Thousand Steps Beach footage over on YouTube.

2. Victoria Beach

Victoria Beach

You ever on IG and you see those gorgeous tidal pool photos from Laguna Beach with a mini castle/tower in the background, yet no one seems to disclose the exact location? Look no further because Victoria Beach is your answer.

Victoria Beach

Directions & Parking

Again, a little hard to spot but hey, these beaches wouldn’t be hidden gems if they weren’t so hidden! The most painless way I would go about it would be to park your car along Coast Highway and walk down Blue Lagoon street. Trust me and take my advice because it’s residential area all around and you won’t find parking otherwise.

Victoria Beach Victoria BeachTidal pool on the right. 

Victoria Beach

As an early Christmas present to myself, I purchased a drone to photograph these secret pools in Laguna Beach. If you’re a drone enthusiast or just got one and would like to do the same, bad news. Unfortunately, drones are no longer allowed at Victoria Beach as they disrupt the neighboring homes. There are signs all around and you will get fined. Instead, let’s just take a moment to admire these spectacular photos from my dear Instagram friends.

MTV’s Cribs- Let me take you on an exclusive tour of my beach castle and rock pool. 😉 ______________ It’s my birthday tomorrow and you will find me at the beach…either flying my drone or napping. 👌🏼 Have a great weekend friends! ❤️ . . . #idratherbeinnature #droneoftheday #dronestagram #outdooradventurephotos #dronefly #beautifulexplorers #thedroneu #teamtravelers #todsl #dronesdaily #fromwhereidrone #californiagirl #water_brilliance #visitcalifornia #dronelife #visualmobs #ig_escape #water_captures #fromwhereidrone #wonderful_places #funlifecrisis #girlscreating #ourplanetdaily #dronephotography #wildcalifornia #coasttocoast #heatercentral #rawcalifornia #newportbeach #dronepilot .

A post shared by Emily Kaszton | 🍊County, CA (@kaszphotocreative) on

Drone views are the best views. 📸: @thedronebooth

A post shared by JANELLE DIANE (@destinationdame) on

3. Pearl Street Beach

Pearl Street Beach

Definitely my favorite beach in Laguna Beach. It’s a lot more secluded than Victoria Beach and it’s basically somebody’s backyard. Like the mansions here have their patios pretty much on the water. The residents could literally jump over their fences and they’d be on the beach. (When am I gonna win the lottery so I can have a beach house!?)

Pearl Street Beach

Directions & Parking

Now we had a little trouble locating the beach as Google Maps told us to turn left on Agate Street, which is one block off. The stairs down to the beach is located on Pearl Street (hence its name Pearl Street Beach) so just a heads up in case your GPS also goofs up. Parking wise, there are meters. If you’d rather not pay for parking or you’re going to be at the beach all day long, there’s always free parking 10 minutes away in a random side street.

Pearl Street Beach Pearl Street Beach Pearl Street BeachThere’s something mesmerizing and captivating about watching the water rippling up ashore.

Pearl Street BeachArch Rock.

Like the cave walk at Thousand Steps Beach, you can walk underneath the Arch Rock to the other side during low tide. I know rock archways are fairly common, but this one seemed different and unique. Almost reminded me a bit of a smaller and friendlier, less prickly version of El Arco de Cabo San Lucas. More tanned too ’cause that California sunshine is beaming. Well, just not on the day of my visit because I have terrible, terribleeeee luck with weather. (We actually got up nice and early to shoot sunrise here but it just wasn’t happening.)

Pearl Street BeachPhoto by Tom Bricker.

Pearl Street BeachPhoto by Tom Bricker.

While the above two were recommended by a good friend of mine, John from IG (shoutout to him for taking me there), Pearl Street Beach was one I found online from Tom Bricker at Check out his site for some amazing photography that will blow you away.

4. Treasure Island Beach

1000 Steps Beach & Victoria Beach were from my December trip last year. I went back once more this February with the fam and when it comes to marvellous sights in Laguna Beach, Papa Chen is a veteran. He’s been to the city countless times and during his most recent stay, his local friend took him to Montage Laguna Beach for a glass of wine and afternoon stroll where he uncovered the ultimate beach. Naturally, he wanted to share this intel with me. Montage, for those of you who don’t know, is a fancy resort that sits on top of a hill. Although the hotel premises are limited to guests only, the beach below is accessible by the public.

For our February trip, my dad thought we could input the resort name into Google Maps, pull up a street before or after, park, and walk down. What he didn’t know was that all these Laguna Beach beaches are hidden AF. Oh and it certainly didn’t help that he didn’t even know the name Treasure Island Beach. We circled around the area with no sight of a beach entrance so we sadly had to abort the mission. For sure a major regret for me but after coming home, I was determined to sort things out for future visits. If you do end up making a trip out there based on this guide, let me know in the comments below whether or not you enjoy it!

Treasure Island Beach

Directions & Parking

You either do what my dad and his friend did the first time – enter the resort, say you’re there for lunch and what not, valet park then walk down the steps to the beach. OR you park at Lot 9 – Fred Lang Park Lot on 21540 Wesley Drive and walk 10 minutes over. Alternatively, you can also park at Aliso Beach Park. The walk is a tad longer at around 15 minutes. Will update y’all on more directional details next time I go.

Treasure Island Beach Treasure Island Beach Treasure Island Beach

Since I didn’t get to witness this beauty myself, thought I’d share some photos Papa Chen previously took on his HTC phone. The quality’s not great but I spent a little effort making a collage to make things prettier. Don’t hate lol!

5. Crescent Bay Beach

Crescent Bay BeachPhoto by Christopher Zhao.

I personally didn’t find this beach to have that much of a wow factor. However, the views from the park lookout are absolutely stellar.

Crescent Bay Beach

Directions & Parking

To reach the actual beach, we parked on Cliff Drive and walked down Barranca Street. Another route is to park on Circle Way and head down Crescent Bay by foot. As for the lookout, you will want to key in “Crescent Bay Point Park” for Google Maps. It’s residential housing all around but we parked right along the mini island on Crescent Bay Drive and that seemed to be fine.

Crescent Bay Beach Crescent Bay Beach Crescent Bay Beach Crescent Bay Beach Crescent Bay Beach Crescent Bay BeachPapa Chen model of the day.

My dad actually flew in before I did because he had business to take care of. He said the sun was shining, it was warm, and the weather was perfect. Long and behold, I land and the skies turn to grey. What can I say… The weather gods hate me. To make up for that, here are two more shots I discovered from Google to show you how remarkable Crescent Bay really is.

Crescent Bay BeachPhoto by D. Park Photography.  

Crescent Bay BeachPhoto by unknown from The Pinnacle List.

Laguna Beach Beaches Laguna Beach Beaches

And that’s it for this week!

Top five most beautiful hidden Laguna Beach beaches you cannot miss on your next U.S. trip. As promised, part 2 of my LA restaurant guide will be up. The focus for my February trip this time was really on Big Sur. I’ve got thousands of photos from my new camera that I’m just dying to share so stay tuned for some Highway 1 road trip tips coming your way as well. See you next week!

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  1. Such beautiful Beaches! We are all from Australia the land of white sand beaches and California is one of the few places that compete with it. I guess you have to go to 1000 Stair beach 2-3 times for it to live up to its name ;p

    Thanks for sharing. Keep travel blogging. Adventure is better shared with friends!

    1. Gosh how lucky you are! I’ve actually been dying to visit the beautiful beaches in Australia – especially the famous Bondi Beach with its gorgeous infinity pool. You’ll definitely have to visit Laguna when you get the chance. Happy adventuring! 🙂

  2. We’ve been several times to Cali and we never explored these 5 beaches! I’m bookmarking this article for our next trip, especially because you were so detailled also on where to go. Thank you very much!

    1. Yay! No problem and thank you for getting inspired and wanting to pay a visit. Let me know which one you like the best when you do go!

    1. Hahaa right!? It’s not as difficult as the name makes it sound. I do have to warn you though, there might still be a bit of a crowd at these beaches during summer given the fact that there are just so many people living in the area (tourists too even) all of whom want to get out and enjoy the beautiful Californian sunshine. That said, these 5 choices aren’t as heavily packed as compared to the other, bigger, more well-known beaches.

  3. When I lived in San Diego I used to love to drive up the PCH to Laguna and other areas in Orange County. However, I never really took the time to explore the beaches up there. If I had known that there was a hidden “Castle” in Laguna Beach (Victoria Beach) I would definitely have stopped & explored more.
    The next time I return to SOCAL that is definitely going on the list!

    1. I’m jealous you lived so close and got to do that gorgeous drive up the PCH!!! And now you know. Better late than never!

  4. Wow these are some truly beautiful beaches. I have only just returned from a beach holiday but this has got me wanting more. Thanks for brightening up my Tuesday morning with some beach inspiration.

  5. I absolutely love Laguna Beach and have been many times. I love all your suggestions and it’s making me want to make another trip to Laguna Beach. Can’ wait for the weather to warm up 🙂 I personally love Vicotria Beach.

    1. Can see why you’d love Victoria Beach. Both my visits have been during the winter (well realistically speaking Californian winter isn’t really winter to us Canadians hahaa) but I needa go when the weather warms up to actual legit summer weather too!

  6. Those beaches look just fantastic. I love pictures from above to get more idea how they look like. I think it is a great post for those who want to choose the best beach for their holidays. Thanks for sharing!

    1. And thank you for reading, Anita! Hope these pictures can spark your interest in a little Californian beach holiday!

  7. Such gorgeous beaches! We stayed in Dana Point, a short cab ride from Laguna Beach, and the beaches there were super dreamy as well. Have fun in Big Sur- you’re hitting up all of my favorites!!!

    1. Thanks Marta! I’ve actually been home for a few weeks since my trip, but Big Sur was an absolute blast. I think it just be my new favorite place <3

  8. You have captured some amazing pictures. The blog post is a nice read, you have listed many less crowded beaches in Laguna. I like spending time in less crowded places. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hahaha well I’m sure for locals, these are the “known” secrets. Plus, I’m a strong believer that when you discover something wonderful, you should share it for the word to enjoy as well 🙂

    1. Aww Martina you just made my day! I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed these photos because I was honestly beating myself up over how cloudy and gloomy it was that my photos are just depressing to look at hahaa. Thank you!

  9. I would love to live by the ocean and regularly have any of these views! From the pictures, Pearl Street Beach would be my favorite, too. Arch Rock is stunning!

    1. Ughh right!???!! That would be the DREAM life! And yes, that Arch Rock is something else. Must be even more stunning during sunrise or sunset too with vibrant colors dancing across the sky.

  10. Beaches in California are wonderful – and ‘best hidden’ is always interesting. I find Victoria Beach most alluring with this tower in front of the rock. I know that Americans are driving – but is there also access by public transport? Might be interesting for traveller like me who do not drive. I did Cali by bus – Santa Barbara, Carpinteria,…it’s a bit more complicated as in other countries, but possible 😉

    1. I actually asked my LA local friends about bussing and they said it’s very sketchy and the busses take a long time to come as well. That’s for LA but I’m assuming Laguna is kinda the same as we didn’t even see any busses on the road so you’re probably better off ordering an Uber. You’re definitely right that it’s not impossible but compared to say NYC, it’s not as convenient and very time consuming.

  11. My best friend is from an area near Laguna Beach but I always forget the name of it. Saying that wow these beaches in the Laguna Beach area are just beautiful and I love the drone shots. Victoria Beach is my favourite and I love that natural infinity pool that someone owns. I only wish I could have something like this. To be fair I can understand why they banned the drones even though they do take beautiful pictures from above.

    1. It’d be nice if you had an infinity pool in your back yard eh hahaa. And you’re lucky you got a friend nearby! You should totally visit and hit up Laguna Beach. You would both love it!!

  12. WOW. First off, let me say that your photography is ON POINT!!! I felt like I was lazing on the sand just now, listening to the waves crash a few feet away. Secondly, I am equally surprised and disappointed that I’ve yet to visit Laguna Beach. I used to live in LA and have frequented areas like Laguna Niguel on the regular. Thank you for reminding me that I need to go back and make a trip- actually, five trips!- to these beaches.

    1. Aww thank you so much Cristina! You seriously flatter me way too much dear. LA is huge by the way so I totally understand that it’s impossible to explore each and every corner. You definitely need to revisit if you ever get the chance tho!

  13. Love Laguna Beach. To be honest, visited there because of the reality show initially. But absolutely loved the vibe there. Went to 1000 steps beach that time. But hope to go back again sometime so it’s great to hear your other recommendations! Especially Victoria beach with the tower!

    1. Oh no way! Which reality show was filmed there????? Victoria Beach is a gem. You guys would absolutely love it 🙂

  14. Those beaches look gorgeous, especially the colors of water and sand! Very well photographed. I loved the top views, sad they don’t allow drones but completely understand it. I am sure it is a great post for those who want to choose the best beach for their holidays. The insta pics are adorable.

    1. It’s a pity isn’t it but I guess with technology becoming more and more advanced and readily available, it’s easy to misuse these inventions. Glad you enjoyed my Instagram photo selections!

    1. Thanks Shona! I didn’t take all of them, however. The rightful owners are noted by their Instagram handles. You’re right though, they’re spectacular shots!

  15. These pictures are stunning! The Victoria Beach looks like from a fairytale with that tower hidden behind the cliff. Is the tower accessible? The pearl street beach looks beautiful and peaceful, we would love to spend hours there watching those waves.

    1. Thank you both so much! I don’t believe the tower is accessible. It’s actually very small in person. Hope this will inspire you to visit tho!

  16. My God, you have captivated the pictures so well. am totally astound and 1000 steps beach is quite interesting. Love to spend some time there

    1. Thanks Sidrah! 1000 Steps Beach is a beauty. Hope you’ll get to visit and witness its charms in person someday!!

  17. Thank you LA has finally made it onto my bucket list, this is super helpful and i will definately use this guide when i travel to LA! Also loving your drone pics it has inspired me that i have to get some, what drone do you use and what do you edit them with? Thanks again

    1. Hey Hannah, I only took the three at 1000 Steps Beach and those were on the DJI Spark. The other spectacular shots all belong to their rightful owners as noted by their Instagram handle. I’m excited for you to cross LA off your list!!! It’s such a beautiful city with amazing beaches. I’m sure you’d love it 😀

  18. We will be in this area in August since it will be our jump-off point to a cruise of Catalina Island and Ensenada, Mexico. Thanks for showing me how we can extend our vacation to these fabulous beaches!

    1. You’re most welcome, Caroline! A cruise sounds lovely and I’m sure you can never get too much vitamina sea so definitely hit up one of these beaches if you can!!

    1. Hahaa thank you Alexander! That is a very grand compliment!! Hope you’ve booked your flight to California 😉

  19. wow your drone shots are really nice. For the life of me my DJI Mavic cannot take a good photo – not sure why they always come out over saturated.
    Funny about 1000 steps beach – i actually did not go there because i thought there was that many steps LOLOLOL

    1. Omggg hahahaa well now you know and maybe you can visit next time! And that’s so funny with your Mavic because sometimes I feel that the colors are too washed out in the photos I take with my Spark. Maybe we should switch XDD

  20. Thank you for this great list of beaches in Laguna Beach. I live in Los Angeles and have some friends in Laguna, but didn’t know about all of them. For instance, I have never seen Victoria Beach. I appreciate that you also give a lot of details about how to get there and where to park.

    1. You’re most welcome, Anda! Hope this will inspire you to go out and explore more of Laguna with your friends!

  21. Hidden beaches? Awesome! There’s so much beach to explore and we all tend to cram into the same ones. Nice to know there are some spots where you can escape the crowds and have a piece of paradise all to yourself!

    1. There might still be some crowds during summer since after all, it’s warm and sunny out. Who doesn’t wanna soak up some vitamin D. But compared to the more popular, touristy beaches, these are definitely hidden gems! 😀

  22. These beaches sounds fabulous! We loved Laguna beach – I usually enjoy getting away from the crowds, but really enjoyed the atmosphere here actually, even though we hit probably the more touristy spots, I loved the chilled out vibe and nightlife once the sunset. Dolphins came right up to the beach, people had music going, fire twirlers were out – it was pretty awesome! Would love to get to Victoria Beach next time for a shot with that castle in the background – epic! Thanks for the directions 🙂