Aliso Beach Park is a bit of a secret over the Laguna Main Beach Playground. On a winter evening when I first posted this beach, there were only a few couples on the beach. It felt like our own private playground. The berm (steep slope of sand) to the ocean made for some really fun sand-sledding and sliding. San Clemente and Catalina Islands were visible in silhouette to the setting sun. Now the lagoon is being preserved and not running to the ocean and reflects the playground beautifully. Gorgeous!
Location of Aliso Beach Park: On Pacific Coast Highway south of Laguna Beach (closer to Crown Valley Parkway) near the Montage Resort. Also very close to Lang Park. MAP to Aliso Beach Park in Laguna Beach
- Sunsets, beachfront, ocean view, and big natural sandbox called “the beach”
- Chains holding swings are sealed in red rubber coating to prevent rust and protect hands from pinching
- Seaworthy ship theme great for pretend
- I love the sunset reflections in the freshwater lagoon area that they are restoring right off the playground area – please respect the berm (slice of sand) that separates the lagoon from the ocean and don’t let your children dig trenches to the ocean from this particular spot. My reasoning is so that we can help restore the local ecology here, but also because I don’t think I’d want my kids playing in the lagoon water.
- Parking lot can be heavily damaged during high surf – use caution
- Just use common sense when it comes to being near the ocean (no lifeguards in winter) – don’t really recommend kids swimming at this beach because of strong surf
- Fire pole always seems to be an accident magnet for my kids – a few other possible fall points
- Keep an especially close eye on the kids (Pacific Coast Highway behind you, parking lot next to you, ocean in front of you!)
- Restrooms are clear on the other side of the parking lot
- I did notice mosquitoes near the lagoon area at dusk, but this is probably a seasonal thing.
- Fee for parking unless you have an Orange County Parks pass
- Parking is in the county fee-based parking lot. During peak season it’s $3.00 on weekdays and $5.00 on weekends. Off-peak, it’s possible to pay $1.00 an hour at self-serve permit machines. If you have an annual pass, just insert your card into the machine and it will spit out a ticket for you.
- Sand and recycled rubber play surface
- 10 unisex individual restrooms are on the opposite side of the parking lot from the play area. Low lighting inside. Two sinks outside.
- Drinking fountains – bring your refillable water bottles.
- No shade, but cool at coast on hot inland days
- Easy to view children from picnic tables
- 5 first-come, first-serve fire pits on the beach – plus 2 more near the bathroom building on the south side of the beach
- Outdoor showers for washing sand
- Official City of Laguna Beach website for Aliso Beach Park
- Official OCParks.com coverage of Aliso Beach Park
- Link to Heal the Bay Beach Report Card for water quality status
- Double the Adventure blog coverage of Aliso Beach Park
- Found on page 31 of your Nature Scene Investigator (NSI) Guidebook
- Nearest public library: Orange County Public Library branches in Laguna Beach and Dana Point
Laguna Beach parks near Aliso Beach Park:
Originally published in January 2009.