Laguna Beach California City Guide
Researching Laguna Beach city? Here is a complete guide with the most up to date information about city of Laguna Beach!
Laguna Beach City Limits
City Overview: With a trendy, artistic, and upscale reputation, Laguna Beach is thought to be the premier coastal destination in southern California.
Laguna Beach’s residents are considerably affluent. Property values are high in Laguna Beach by California standards, as is the median household income. Laguna Beach’s qualities attract many retirees, young professionals, and young families alike, which means that the city draws residents of all ages.
The Laguna Beach Unified School District oversees public education in the city, and Laguna Beach schools are generally among the highest rated campuses in the state. The city’s population tracks as being considerably educated, though not as ethnically diverse as other California cities.
The city contains a number of spectacular restaurants, popular shopping destinations, art festivals and galleries, and other highly entertaining venues within its borders. Considering that tourism is the city’s primary industry, there’s always something to do in Laguna Beach, and the population swells during tourism season.
Top City Highlights
- Incredible scenery
- Oceanfront location
- Affluent population
- High property values
- Excellent public schools
- Famous attractions
Location: Laguna Beach is a part of Orange County’s southern area and consists of a total of 9.8 square miles.
The city’s coastline is 7 miles long, and as such the southwestern border is defined by the Pacific Ocean. Crystal Cove State Park and Newport Beach are northwest of the city, and Laguna Woods outlines the city to the northeast. Additionally, Aliso Viejo and Laguna Niguel are Laguna Beach’s eastern neighbors, and Dana Point is also a short distance southeast.
Laguna Beach is located in and around the San Joaquin Hills. The city is 53 miles southeast of Los Angeles and about 80 miles northwest of San Diego.
Commutes: The mean commute for Laguna Beach residents 25 years and over is 23.2 minutes, which is relatively short by California standards.
Because Laguna Beach’s topography is considerably hilly thanks to the close proximity of the San Joaquin Hills, a limited number of roadways cut through the city. California State Route 73 can be accessed in Laguna Beach’s northernmost corner, and Laguna Canyon Road curves along the city’s western border. The Coast Highway runs along the southwestern border next to the coast itself.
Irvine and Santa Ana are about 25 minute drives away, and Anaheim is a 35 minute commute. Los Angeles itself is roughly an hour away from Laguna Beach.
Culture: Not counting the estimated 6 million tourists who visit annually, the city’s population is over 23,000.
23% of the population has at least some college education or an associate’s degree, and another 33% have a bachelor’s degree. 32% of the population has a master’s degree or higher.
82% of residents are White, and 8% of the population identifies as Hispanic. 5% are Asian, and 1% of the population is African American. 3% of the population is biracial or multiracial.
The poverty rate is about 6.7%, and the unemployment rate tracks around 4.2%. The estimated median household income is $117K, and the median individual income is $61K.
Since 1944, Laguna Beach has operated on a council-manager form of government. Laguna Beach residents elect 5 council members to serve for 4 year terms, which are staggered with alternating elections.
The city council is responsible for passing city ordinances, approving the annual budget, and selecting the city attorney and manager among other important administrative duties.
Address: 505 Forest Avenue Laguna Beach, California 92651
Serving as both the ceremonial and legislative head of the city, the mayor of Laguna Beach is selected among sitting city council members to serve for a 1 year term of office alongside the city manager and city council.
The mayor also works with the mayor pro team, who is similarly chosen among current council members.
Address: 505 Forest Avenue Laguna Beach, California 92651
Chamber of Commerce
Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce was founded to support local companies and businesses in their efforts to grow and create a strong local economy.
The chamber promotes Laguna Beach’s community and participates in improving the quality of life in the city by hosting multiple community gatherings, networking events, and development opportunities, in addition to providing representation in a governmental capacity.
Address: 357 Glenneyre St, Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Overview: Laguna Beach Unified School District is ranked as the #1 school system in Orange County by Niche.com, which is glowing praise earned from stellar academic achievements, excellent teachers, consistent health and safety records, impressive college preparatory programs, and more upstanding qualities.
This district’s average student-teacher ratio is 22 to 1. State test scores show that 72% of students are at least proficient in math, while 82% are at least proficient in reading. LBUSD teachers rank as the #5 best statewide, and teachers agree that LBUSD is one of the greatest districts in the state to teach in as well.
Beyond ranking as Orange County’s top school district, this district is the #17 best district in California out of 487 other school systems.
LBUSD has 2 elementary campuses, which are El Morro Elementary and Top of the World Elementary School. Thruston Middle School is the local middle school, and Laguna Beach High School is the city’s 9-12 campus.
El Morro Elementary School ranks as the #6 public elementary school in Orange County. This highly rated K-5 campus has around 530 students and a 20 to 1 student-teacher ratio.
Top of the World Elementary School is another impressive local campus with 600 students throughout grades K-5. This school has high proficiency scores in both math and reading.
Thurston Middle School is ranked as the #30 best public middle school in the state. This excellent 6-8 campus has around 760 students and an average 22 to 1 student-teacher ratio.
Aliso Viejo Middle School is within a short driving distance of Laguna Beach. This 6-8 school is highly rated and educates over 1,000 students.
Laguna Beach High School is a top-rated 9-12 campus with a track record for excellence. This school has around 1,100 students, a 22 to 1 student teacher ratio, and an average graduation rate of 98%.
Aliso Niguel High School is a nearby 9-12 public school with over 3,000 enrolled students and an average graduation rate of 96%.
Anneliese’s Schools is a private pre-kindergarten-6 campus with 633 students and a 10 to 1 student-teacher ratio.
St. Catherine of Siena Parish School is a Catholic K-8 school with a low student-teacher ratio of 11 to 1.
Montessori School of Laguna Beach is a private early childhood education campus with around 70 students and an 18 to 1 student-teacher ratio.
Overview: 62.3% of housing options in Laguna Beach are owner-occupied residences, and 37.7% of properties are rented. Being a tourist hotspot, around 20% of the city’s housing options may stand vacant.
The majority of residences at 43.9% were constructed between 1940-1969, and 31.7% of properties were built between 1970-1999. Just 5.5% of residences in the city were built in or after 2000, and another 18.9% of residences were built in or before 1939.
70% of housing options are single family detached houses, and 14.7% are apartment complexes. 9.2% of properties are smaller apartment buildings, and condominiums and attached properties make up the smallest number of Laguna Beach properties.
33.3% of residences have 3 bedrooms, and 30.8% of housing options have 2 bedrooms. 18.8% of properties have 1 bedroom layouts, and 13.2% have 4 bedrooms. The remaining 3.9% of residences have 5 or more bedrooms.
Single Family Homes
Considering that average prices of Laguna Beach family homes range well over the $1 million mark, it’s no surprise that 1 bedroom detached houses have an average price of $1.7 million.
2 bedroom homes go for $1.8 million, and 3 bedroom properties average at $2.8 million. Lastly, 4 bedroom family homes average at $3 million.
Newly built properties in Laguna Beach make up a small number of housing options, but can still be found.
Unsurprisingly, these properties tend to come with even larger price points than detached family houses. New 1-2 bedroom properties can be priced well over $2.8 million, and recently built 3-4 bedroom properties may trend around $3.5 million.
Laguna Beach has a number of acres that are still open to be developed. Generally, more affordable acreage is located further inland, while land closer to the shore is more expensive.
Specifically, 3,500 square feet located in southern neighborhoods may cost $1.2 million. However, half an acre of land located in central Laguna Beach may run for $715K.
The average cost of a studio apartment in Laguna Beach is $1,521 per month, and 1 bedroom layouts average at $2,423 per month.
Meanwhile, larger 2 bedroom apartments average at $3,148 per month, and more spacious 3 bedroom apartments have an average monthly cost of $3,992.
Laguna Beach’s condominiums and oceanfront housing options tend to be among the most expensive properties in California.
1-2 bedroom beachside condos can range from $750K-$2.9 million, and even more luxurious and scenic residential options can be found for $3-4.5 million. Typically, northwestern oceanfront properties are more affordable, and southern areas are considered to be more affluent.
Homes for Sale
If you’re interested in buying a home in this area, we invite you to search homes for sale on our website. You are also welcome to check out the following resources listed below. If you would rather speak directly to a professional and licensed Realtor, feel free to contact Morales Team.
List of Laguna Beach Real Estate Listings by Property Types
List of Laguna Beach Real Estate Listings by Popular Searches
If you’re interested in selling your own property, contact Morales Team, your go-to local real estate company, by clicking the link below:
Overview: The median property value in Laguna Beach is estimated to be $1,995,083, which is an impressive sum relative to California and considered to be among the most expensive median property values in the country.
Almost 70% of the city’s real estate is priced over $1.1 million, and another 11% of properties range between $889K-$1.1 million. 9% of properties vary from $593K-$889K, and 3% of real estate is valued between $475K-$593K. Around 7% of Laguna Beach properties are worth under $475K.
With considerably high property values, it makes sense that Laguna Beach is known for having some of the highest appreciation rates across the state and the U.S.
Specifically between December 2009 and December 2019, real estate in the city appreciated 57.57%, which equals an average annual home appreciation rate of 4.65%. This number places the city’s real estate appreciation rates in the top 10% bracket nationally.
Things to Do
Overview: Situated between the famous cities of Los Angeles and San Diego, Laguna Beach also benefits from being located right next to 20,000 acres of protected outdoor land that offers hundreds of miles of hiking trails, biking lanes, marine life, and scenic views. Laguna Beach is also known for its conservation areas, Top of the World attraction, and of course the city’s incredible beaches are impossible to overlook.
Beyond outdoor areas, Laguna Beach also has multiple shopping malls, retail centers, stand-alone shops, and local boutiques with options ranging from sports-centric establishments, vintage treasures, high-end fashions, and more.
Laguna Beach also has a vibrant artistic community, and residents enjoy having access to a number of longstanding venues such as Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Gallery of Contemporary Art, Dawson Cole Fine Art Sculpture Garden, and Laguna Beach Classic Car Show.
Bars, lounges, and restaurants are plentiful in this oceanfront city as well, which means Laguna Beach lives up to its impressive reputation.
Retail & Entertainment
Parks & Recreation
The outdoors have never felt greater than in Laguna Beach. Sea caves, famous beaches, tide pools, biking and hiking trails, and incredible ocean views are unavoidable in the city.
Can’t-miss outdoor locations include Crystal Cove State Park, Treasure Island Park, Alta Laguna Park, and of course the notable vista point, Top of the World.
Laguna Beach provides both fun in the sun and ample shopping opportunities.
Surf-centric shops and local stores include Hobie Surf Shop Laguna Beach, Buy Hand, and The Shop. Shoreside boutiques include Anastasia Boutique, Violet’s Boutique, Just Looking Boutique, and Fierce, Inc.
There are many local shopping malls, such as Crystal Cove Shopping Center, Village Faire Shoppes, and Boat Canyon Shopping Center.
Art & Culture
The Laguna Art Museum is the center of the city’s art community and showcases some of the best pieces of Californian art.
Local festivals include the Festival of Arts, the Sawdust Art Festival, the Art-A-Fair, and many more entertaining, cultural, and artistic events happen annually.
Additionally, the Laguna Playhouse seats 420 and houses local performances and stage productions.
When the sun sets over the waters, many incredible venues are far from closing their doors.
Marine Room Tavern is a live music spot with a great bar, and Rooftop Lounge has panoramic views of the ocean and impeccable service.
Sandpiper, Saloon, Mozambique, Main Street Bar & Cabaret, Wine Gallery, and Skyloft are more highly rated local hotspots.
Many of Laguna Beach’s restaurants are within walking distance of the city’s incredible beaches.
Splashes Restaurant and Deck are both upscale eateries with contemporary seafood dishes, and Driftwood Kitchen has excellent views and dishes.
Las Brisas serves Mexican fare, and Brussels Bistro specializes in Belgian dishes. Other popular spots include Nirvana Grille, Sapphire Laguna, Romeo Cucina, and Lumberyard.
Overview: Laguna Beach can be broken into 18 neighborhoods, such as Arch Beach Heights, Bluebird Canyon, Coast Royal, North Laguna, and other areas.
Laguna Beach’s southern area is considered to be the most expensive, seeing as these neighborhoods have a median real estate price of $2.5 million, which is more costly than 96.1% of California neighborhoods and 99.2% of neighborhoods across the country.
Central Laguna Beach neighborhoods are more affordable, considering that the median real estate price of these neighborhoods is $1.9 million. Even so, this is unsurprisingly more expensive than 96.8% of neighborhoods statewide and 99.4% of residential areas nationally.
Northeastern neighborhoods can have the lowest cost of living in the city, seeing as the median real estate price in northern parts of Laguna Beach is $1.6 million. However, this number tracks as being more expensive than 94.5% of neighborhoods across the state and 98.9% of neighborhoods in the U.S.