Laguna Beach is a seaside resort city located in southern Orange County, California, United States. It is known for its mild year-round climate, scenic beaches, coves, artist community and the dedicated greenbelt and protected bluebelt that surround this historic village.
Tourism is the primary industry with an estimated three million people visiting the community annually. Annual large events include the Pageant of the Masters, Festival of the Arts, Sawdust Art Festival, Art-A-Fair, Bluewater Music Festival, and Kelpfest.
The Laguna Art Museum is rooted in the development of Laguna Beach as an art community with the creation of the Laguna Beach Art Association in 1918. Located beside the main beach, the museum focuses on the art of California. The Pageant of the Masters, founded in 1935, is held annually during the summer months. The unique show presents recreations of famous artworks using real people as models. Community organizations also host several long-running art festivals during the summer season.
The Festival of Arts, originated in the 1930s and showcases juried works by local artists. The Sawdust Art Festival was founded in 1965 as a counterculture alternative to the Festival of the Arts. It exhibits non-juried crafts and arts on a dedicated three-acre site. The Art-A-Fair began in 1966, built an exhibition site in 1977 and exhibits juried works of 125 artists from outside the area.
The Laguna Playhouse, founded in 1920, is noted as the "oldest continuously running theatre on the west coast". The playhouse provides professional stage productions in its 420-seat Moulton Theater, as well as performances by the Laguna Playhouse Youth Theatre program. The Irvine Bowl is a 2600-seat amphitheater used for the Pageant of the Masters program and for occasional concerts.
The Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational is held annually in October. Some of North America’s plein air landscape painters are invited to participate in the week-long events including public paint outs, artist meet and greets, and educational activities.
The Laguna Beach Arts Commission sponsors a weekly Summer Concert in the Park series at Bluebird Park and Heisler Park. The Laguna Beach Chamber Music Society holds an annual chamber music festival during the winter season. Laguna is also home to the annual Bluewater Music Festival, and Kelpfest held on Earth Day, to raise awareness of the importance that kelp plays in ocean habitat.
Laguna has a rich surf history. The Brooks Street Surfing Classic is the oldest continuing surf contest in the world. Begun in 1955, the competition is held only when peak swell conditions occur during a four-month-long window in the summer. Participation is open only to Laguna Beach residents. Notable participants have included surfing greats such as Hobie Alter, Mickey Munoz, and Tom Morey, to name a few.
Started in 1976, the 'Vic' Skimboarding World Championship is held at Aliso Beach in Laguna Beach, and is the longest running skim boarding contest on the pro circuit.
The Laguna Open Volleyball Tournament first started in 1956 and is the second oldest volleyball tournament in the U.S. Local players such as Dain Blanton have gone on to become world champion players and Olympians.
Laguna's foothill trails are known internationally for mountain biking. Mountain bike hall of fame legend, Hans Rey makes his home in Laguna Beach, as do the Rads, pioneers of mountain biking going back to the 70s.
The U.S. Open for Lawnbowling is held annually, at the lawn bowling field at Heisler Park.
Laguna Beach has a mild Mediterranean climate with abundant sunshine all year.