Here's a great way to discover the great Laguna area for the traveller who comes to southern California to visit Disneyland.
OCTA bus 83, which leaves just a short walking distance from the main Disneyland entrance gate, is an excellent public transport to get eventually to Laguna Beach. The 83 goes on the freeway for much of the hour trip.
Actually, the 83 ends in Laguna Hills, at the LB Transportation Center. Nearby is the Laguna Hills Mall. But for the pleasure of Laguna Beach, take the 89 bus heading towards the beach at the trans. center. This second trip, which lasts about 25 min, is very scenic, winding its way through grassy hills and Laguna nature parks to ultimately end near the great blue Pacific.
Both buses run everyday, check times on website!
It should be applauded that Laguna Beach is the only community in Orange county which runs its own local transit. The system makes it all the more easy to discover the gorgeous beachtown. The ride is quite enjoyable on the open air trolley car with ample seating (That is, when the passengership is not at capacity).
During the busy tourist-filled summer, LBT offers free rides. YES, FREE!! For better chances of finding a good seat, try to board at starting/end points such as Laguna Beach Bus Station and Ritz Carlton-Dana Point. Normally, fare is 75 cents for adults, 30 cents for seniors. Children are free under 7 with an adult. See website for current schedule!
The toll road was not a value when the freeways were moving well. Driving south to Laguna Beach, I took the Google Maps recommended path including the toll road. There were few cars on the 405 freeway, so I could easily have taken that south to the 133/Laguna Canyon road. The wait at the toll booth and the toll itself (see wikipedia for amounts) offset the small gain of fewer miles on a Sunday morning. It would have been great to drive south on PCH from Newport Beach along the coast past Crystal Cove that morning. Next time.
Recently drove through Laguna Beach after living away from California for many years. Found parking near the beach very difficult and then when we paid the exorbitant meter rate (enough to cover the time to eat a sandwich), we discovered that the meter was broken. Don't bother leaving a note stating as much. When we got back to the car, the note was still there along with a ticket.
From LA, take the San Diego Freeway, or 405 freeway south. Then, for a short cut to Laguna Beach, take the new toll road. It is not very long, and the price may seem a bit steep, but the pavement is smooth and mostly free of traffic. Then, at Laguna Cayon Blvd, take the exit leading west down the canyon escarpment. If you are from Northern California, your toll bridge Fastrack unit will beep you through at high speed.
Quickest way flying into SoCal for access to Laguna Beach is to fly into John Wayne (SNA) / Orange County airport.
A decent airport that all the majors have lots of flights into.
Here is all the info on John Wayne Airport: click below:
Orange County Airport/John Wayne/SNA
Fast "freeway" route to Laguna: From John Wayne Airport, take 405 South a few miles to exit Hwy 133 (Laguna Canyon Rd) to Laguna Beach (between 20 minutes & 1/2 hour if the 405 is not hosed)
or if you are familiar with the area, and want to take a slower, more "street" /coastal route: exit John Wayne and take an immediate right turn on MacArthur Blvd (SR73) all the way (about 5 miles) south to Pacific Coast Highway. Turn left (S/se) on PCH (Hwy 1) & go about 7 miles.
Unfortunately, this is a typical day of traffic in Laguna Beach. But the weather is always great! Note: On the left side of Pacific Coast Highway (in the photo) there is a great French restaurant called Cest La Vie. We go there for Mother's Day every year.
Best way to get to Laguna Beach is to drive. However, parking your car can be a problem during the summer tourist season.
So one you're here in Laguna Beach, walking, biking or scootering is the best way to get around.
Main Beach is on the left in this photo.
As in most of the Southern California the only transportation medium is car. So if you want to explore Southern California, you need to have your own car or rent a car.
For best rates please click here
Like most places in SoCal, you are virtually dead without a car or some type of motorized vehicle.
Saw some bike riders in the canyons also.