15 Best Things To Do In Laguna Niguel, CA

things to do in laguna niguel california
Maria Cristina
Maria Cristina 
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Laguna Niguel is an affluent, suburban city of Orange County in California. Its name is derived from the Spanish word “lagoon” (laguna) and Native American word “Niguili”. The city is situated on Joaquin Hills southeast of Orange County and forms the borders of the following cities: San Juan, Mission Viejo, Laguna Hills, Laguna Beach, Dana Point, and Aliso Viejo.

The city is California’s first community that was master-planned. It is mostly residential and home to the workers from the north and center of Orange County. It is popular for having a low crime rate, wonderful coastal climate, and relaxing surroundings that are abundant in public trails and parks. Book your Airbnb now, and check out the best things to do in Laguna Niguel, CA!

1. Enjoy the El Niguel Country Club amenities

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

What's your favorite Par 3 at ENCC?⁠ ⁠ #hole5 #hole8 #hole14 #hole17 #encc #elniguelcc #elniguelcountryclub #lagunaniguel #par3 #golfcourse #golf #socalgolf #golflife #countryclub

Posted by El Niguel Country Club on Friday, November 19, 2021

If you’re a casual or an experienced golfer, you might want to check out the 18-hole championship course at El Niguel Country Club. With stunning terrains and rolling hills, this Laguna Niguel tourist attraction is one of the premier golf courses in the region. Complete beginners are more than welcome to join the fun and enjoy the facilities, such as the bar and the pro shop, too. Watch out for the latest events at El Niguel. You might find the best family activities like camping under the stars and more!

El Niguel Country Club

Address: 23700 Club House Dr, Laguna Niguel, CA 92677, United States

Website: El Niguel Country Club

Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 7am - 7pm (closed on Mon)

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2. Discover flora at Niguel Botanical Preserve

Source: Photo by Flickr user Tracie Hall used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Sprinkle a little color and beauty on your trip and pay a visit to the stunning Niguel Botanical Preserve on Crown Valley Parkway. This botanical garden boasts Southern California-appropriate plants from the region itself and from places with a similar climate. The garden was initially founded in the early 1980s as a community vegetable garden and grew into a non-profit group that expanded the attraction. The beautiful preserve is home to various garden destinations like the Girl Scout Tree Grove, the Rose Garden, and the Citizen of the Year Garden.

Niguel Botanical Preserve

Address: 29751 Crown Valley Pkwy, Laguna Niguel, CA 92677, United States

Website: Niguel Botanical Preserve

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3. Hike along Salt Creek Trail

In a place as naturally gifted as this city, some of the best Laguna Niguel activities are in the outdoors. If you’re planning to do a morning run or an afternoon walk, come to the popular Salt Creek Trail. This park is favored among hikers and cyclers and goes for about 5.7 miles (9.17 kilometers).

This trail connects two coastal canyons and is considered the longest of its kind in the city. It is a fairly developed trail but can still prove difficult at times, so make sure that you’re geared up well for the adventure!

Salt Creek Trail

Address: 31535-31543 Street of the Golden Lantern, Laguna Niguel, CA 92677, United States

Opening hours: 6am - 8:30pm (daily)

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4. Treat yourself to Tastes of Greece

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Filo wrapped shrimp @tastes_of_greece #greekfood #ocfoodies #socalfoodie #eatrealfood #mediterraneanfood #mediterraneandiet #thecaliforniareview

Posted by Tastes of Greece on Friday, September 28, 2018

After all that adventure around Laguna Niguel, you’re going to want to replenish yourself with some good comfort food. For unique homestyle dining, you can’t go wrong with Tastes of Greece. This family restaurant boasts a laid-back setting mixed with a little bit of elegance. Served with warm pita, their salad options include spicy feta, arugula, and kritiki salata. For true and traditional Greek flavors, make sure you get your hands on those moussaka, pastitsio (or the Greek lasagna), and Greek pot pie!

Tastes of Greece

Address: 30012 Crown Valley Pkwy ste G, Laguna Niguel, CA 92677, United States

Website: Tastes of Greece

Opening hours: Mon: 4pm - 9pm; Tue - Wed: 11am - 9pm; Thu - Sat: 11am - 9:30pm (closed on Sun)

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5. Visit a park

If you’re wondering what to do in Laguna Niguel and not entirely sure where to start, we recommend visiting one of the scenic parks in the area.

Firstly, stop by Heisler Park for some fresh air. This beachfront park is a popular destination for travelers visiting Laguna Niguel. The park stretches from Diver’s Cove to Aster Street along the bluffs of Cliff Drive. You will enjoy a lot of outdoor activities here. Aside from swimming on the beach, there are tide pools, lawn bowling greens, barbecues and picnic tables. The picturesque beach park is also the perfect venue to have weddings.

Heisler Park

Address: 375 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Website: Heisler Park

Another popular park that is a must-visit is the Laguna Niguel Regional Park. With remote picnic shelters equipped with barbecue stoves, sand volleyball courts, tennis courts and hiking trails, it is a family-friendly destination that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Not to mention the Laguna Niguel Lake, a 44-acre (17.8 hectare) lake found within the park that holds a wide variety of fishes including trout, bass, and catfish. With so many different types of outdoor activities offered by the park, you’re sure to find something for yourself!

Laguna Niguel Regional Park

Address: 28241 La Paz Rd, Laguna Niguel, CA 92677, USA

Website: Laguna Niguel Regional Park

Lastly, the Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, a designated wildlife sanctuary, should also be on the top of your list of must-visit destinations in Laguna Niguel. It is made up of 4,500 acres (1821 hectare) of coastal canyons, high ridges, and endangered coastal sage scrub, making it a perfect getaway for hiking enthusiasts and nature lovers. The most popular feature of the park is the Dripping Cave, where you can spot many gorgeous stalactites hanging from the ceilings of the cave.

Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park

Address: 28373 Alicia Pkwy, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656, USA

Website: Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park

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6. Join the festivities at First Thursdays Art Walk

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

GALLERY FEATURE: ⁣ (@avranfineart) Located at 540 S Coast Hwy, Suite 106⁣ ⁣ Avran Fine Art showcases an...

Posted by First Thursdays Art Walk Laguna Beach on Thursday, November 14, 2019

Every first Thursday of the month, a cultural art festival is held featuring the artworks of the local artists in Laguna Beach - Laguna Niguel’s neighboring city. This year long festival started in 1998 and is traditionally held every month. It is free for public viewing. It is held from 6 PM to 9 PM in several galleries starting from the Laguna Art Museum. There is even a free trolley service that will take you to these different art galleries located in the north, south and center of Laguna Beach.

First Thursdays Art Walk

Address: P.O. Box 4654, Laguna Beach, CA 92652

Website: First Thursdays Art Walk

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7. Ride a trolley

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

You won’t have a problem exploring the town even if you don’t have a car. The city has an efficient trolley service system that gives a free ride to all public commuters. The trolley is open on the sides and covered with a wooden ceiling. It is a comfortable and safe ride even if it’s not an air-conditioned vehicle. It takes you to different parts of the city and bus stops while you are enjoying the view of the scenic coastline. They even allow pets and service animals on board.

Laguna Beach Trolley

Address: 361 Forest Avenue, Suite 200 Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Website: Laguna Beach Trolley

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8. Explore tide pools

Source: Photo by Flickr user Sue Talbert Photo... used under CC BY-ND 2.0

The tide pools of Laguna Beach are protected marine life areas of the Main and Treasure Islands. The shallow pools are formed by waves that crash on the rocky beaches of the islands. The little pools give you a clear view of marine life that is sustained by these pools. You don’t have to go diving to see urchins, starfish and colorful corals and fish. You can already view them by just standing on the edge of the pool and looking into the water. It’s a fun escapade that is safe to do with little kids. These parts are protected, meaning you are not allowed to touch the marine life or take anything from these areas (not even a piece of stone)!

Laguna Beach Tide Pools

Address: 381 Forest Avenue, Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Website: Laguna Beach Tide Pools

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9. Go wine tasting

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Laguna Canyon Winery on Sunday, September 29, 2013

How about a trip to the winery when you don’t know what to do in Laguna Niguel? Laguna Canyon Winery is a popular destination for wine lovers who are visiting the city. The winery offers a free taste of their award-winning wine that is handcrafted on-site. Their exquisite wine is made from the quality grapes of Sonoma and Napa Valley vineyards. Drop by the winery except on days when they are closed like Mondays and major holidays.

Laguna Canyon Winery

Address: 2133 Laguna Canyon, Laguna Beach, California, CA 92651

Facebook: Laguna Canyon Winery

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10. Go whale watching

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Another exciting activity you can do is take a cruise and go whale and dolphin watching in the waters of Laguna Beach. There are daily cruises for as low as 26 USD (babies get to ride for free)! The boats make four trips in a day. These giant gentle creatures are plentiful in these waters so you won’t be disappointed. Just check the schedules of the the cruises when you plan to go on one.

Newport Landing is one of the reputable cruise companies that ply the waters of Laguna. A portion of the proceeds of every ticket you buy for the cruise goes to support the Crystal Cove Alliance and the State Park Marine Conservation Area.

Newport Landing Whale Watching

Address: 309 Palm St. #A, Newport Beach, CA 92661

Website: Newport Whales

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11. Visit the museum

Laguna Art Museum pic
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Patrick Pelster used under CC BY-SA 3.0

The Laguna Art Museum curates, collects and cares for all forms of art made by California artists. What makes this museum unique is that it displays and exhibits artworks exclusively made by Californian Artists ONLY and focuses on the history and life of California from all art forms and periods, starting from the 19th-century to the present time.

The museum was formed by the collaboration of Californian artists in 1918 and in 1920 appointed Edgar Payne as president. The first collections were exhibited in a renovated cottage. Thru the years, several fundraisings helped in developing the museum into what it is today. It is now a popular destination for art enthusiasts, tourists, families and educational trips for children.

Laguna Art Museum

Address: 307 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Website: Laguna Art Museum

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12. Go skimboarding

Source: Photo by Flickr user Matthew Dillon used under CC BY 2.0

Skimboarding is similar to surfing but the skimboard is smaller and doesn’t have fins. You ride it across the waves and back to the shore. In Laguna Niguel, there are a lot of beaches along its coastline where you can play this sport. Aliso Beach, one of the family friendly beaches on its coastline, is where the annual Skimboard Word Competitions are held every August. While watching the competition you can play with the kids on the sand or take your dog out for a stroll on the beach. Just remember to keep the dogs on a leash!

Alisio Beach

Address: 381 Forest Avenue, Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Website: Alisio Beach

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13. Go shopping

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Rolling out the red carpet for you! Venue: @sevendegreeslagunabeach Photogrpaher: @bycphotography

Posted by Seven-Degrees on Friday, January 15, 2021

Here in Laguna, you don’t simply just go shopping. When you go shopping in this very high-end community that means shopping for the latest paintings, artwork or jewelry…or something really one-of-a-kind.

The city has over 100 art galleries you can choose from. Buy an artwork from an upcoming California artist and you never know, one day he might become famous. The painting could be worth millions in the future. 7° [seven-degrees] is a popular art gallery that is known for its unique facade and fancy artwork displays. You can interact with the artists because they actually live on the premises. Its awesome interiors are also a popular place for social events.

If you want exclusive fine jewelry, Laguna has a lot of those luxurious shops as well. You can shop for these valuables in places like Adam Neely’s Fine Art Jewelry. In his store you will see an awesome display of his artwork as he customizes each jewelry design. You can have one specially made and it will be handcrafted right before your eyes. Adam is a multi-awarded jewelry designer. His “South Sea Glow” pendant is now a permanent collection in the Smithsonian Institution.

7° [seven-degrees]

Address: 891 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Website: 7° [seven-degrees]

Adam Neely Fine Art Jewelry

Address: 352 N Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Website: Adam Neely Fine Art Jewelry

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14. Visit an art studio

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Neal Drobnis

Posted by Artist Open Studios on Monday, July 13, 2020

Every year Laguna Beach launches a fun event called Artist Open Studios. It gives you a tour of at least 30 private art studios starting from Forest Avenue, down to Laguna Canyon Road and ends at Rt. 133. There are several stops made through the entire route so you can experience entering a studio and seeing the artists in action. A free shuttle is provided to the participants of the tour. The event is to promote the local artists and their creations. You will have to check with the local government for the specific dates when these events will be held during the year as it varies.

Laguna Canyon Artists' Studios

Facebook: Laguna Canyon Artists’ Studios

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15. Visit the Farmers' Market

Open all year-round on Sundays from 8:00 AM-12:00 PM, the Laguna Niguel Farmers’ Market is a market that you definitely have to stop by! From meat and dairy products to a vast array of Asian and Western greens, you can be sure to find only the freshest produce as only local farmers certified by the Orange County Farm Bureau are allowed to sell their harvest in the market. On top of that, the Sprouts Farmers’ Market and restaurants that are well-loved by the locals, such as the Nalu’s Hawaiian Fish Grill, can be found in the vicinity of the market. With convenience and great food at your fingertips, what’s not to love about the Laguna Niguel Farmers’ Market?

Laguna Niguel Farmers Market

Address: Plaza de Paz Shopping Center, 27271 La Paz Rd, Laguna Niguel, CA 92677, USA

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Fun on land and on water

The Fog Recedes, Laguna Niguel, CA 9-2016
Source: Photo by Flickr user Don Graham used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Laguna Niguel offers a lot of fun and exciting activities both in its pristine blue waters and on the city shores. The city offers more than just beautiful coastal scenery. It’s full of interesting historical sites and cultural events that will keep the whole family entertained. A visit to this city is rejuvenating if you are on vacation. It’s not surprising if you end up wanting to stay for good!

Frequently asked questions about things to do in Laguna Niguel, CA

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
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Tina is a free-spirited writer and traveler. She likes to experience unfamiliar places, cuisines, and scenery. She prefers beaches to mountains though as she is afraid of heights. Visiting museums,...Read more

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