Independence Day week is the busiest week of the year in Laguna Beach—and one of the most fun times to visit. You can expect plenty of sun, sand, fireworks (4th only), and great food; and, you won’t want to miss our world famous Pageant of the Masters, Festival of Arts, Art Affair, and Sawdust Festival. This year, while the rest of the West swelters in the heat, Laguna is expecting temperatures in the mid-70s during the day, and cool 60s at night. As always, you can expect some morning fog or overcast that almost always burns off by noon.
Here are a few hints to help you get the most out of your Laguna Beach summer holiday visit:
1. First and foremost--park your car and take the free Trolley. Traffic and parking are difficult in any beach city this time of year, but the Independence Day holiday period in Laguna Beach can be especially challenging. Our open-air trolleys are absolutely the best way to see the sights, and make your way to and from the festivals, beaches, and restaurants. The trolley stops near every major attraction/destination. They run about every 30 minutes, but be sure to download the Laguna Beach Travel Info app and use the built-in Trolley Tracker so that you don’t waste time waiting at bus stops.
2. Wear comfortable walking shoes. You’ll be doing a lot of walking. Bring clothing for cool nights and mornings and warm days. Layers are always best in Laguna, and a lightweight hoodie is indispensable.
3. If you plan to go see the Laguna Beach fireworks show on July 4, plan to go early and return very late by taxi. The city is keeping the event low key this year, so you won’t find out much about it online. Main Beach and Heisler Park provide the best viewing. Here is the one instance where the Trolleys are not reliable. They will be caught up in traffic by mid-afternoon on the Fourth and they officially stop running that day at 7PM, so plan to grab a cab when they become available. Be sure to take along lots of patience. Other fireworks displays to the south of Casa Laguna may be easier to access -- check out this web site.
4. Make your restaurant reservations now. Most popular restaurants will take reservations days in advance. Don’t expect to call in the afternoon for reservations that evening. A list of restaurants and phone numbers can be found on our website.
5. All Casa Laguna spa services require advance reservations. Make those spa reservations now.
6. If you’re going to the Pageant of the Masters, take a cushion and sweater or blanket. Binoculars are essential for viewing the “living art,” even if you have good seats. All of these items can be rented at the venue.
7. Alcohol enforcement will be at maximum levels throughout the holiday period. Avoid a big fine or worse and do your drinking at a restaurant or bar. And again, if you plan to drink, use public transportation.
8. If you want a prime spot on the beach, go early and stake your claim. As the sun comes out and the day gets warmer, the beaches fill up quickly. Take plenty of drinking water, and check ahead to make sure the beach you chose has restrooms. If you plan to go in the water, check in with the lifeguard when you arrive. He/she can advise you of any possible hazards, such as drop-offs, undercurrents, or sea monsters.
9. Or, avoid all of the above and just hang out by the pool at Casa Laguna and let us spoil you.