The beaches near Montage in Laguna Beach, California are beautiful spots to spend some family time — whether it’s beach outing, a stroll along the bluff, or a picnic above the surf.
Most of the Montage Resort Laguna Beach beaches are linked from Treasure Island Beach Park on the bluffs above. From north to south, there are actually 5 beaches here:
- Christmas Cove
- Goff Beach
- Middle Man Cove
- Treasure Island Beach
- Aliso Creek Beach Park
How to Get to Montage Beaches on the Laguna Beach Trolley
I love the Laguna Beach Trolley for visiting this spot because you don’t have to worry as much about parking. When we visit, we take the Short Coastal Route or Long Coastal Route.
Coming from Downtown Laguna, Southbound Stop #24 is just past Ruby’s Diner. This stop is called Coast Hwy @ Blue Lagoon. You will get off the trolley and walk south along the sidewalk towards the Montage Resort until you come to the driveway with the Beach Access signage. This will take you to stairs that get you to the overlook and park on the bluffs.
I like this option because you explore the overlooks and then you can walk further south to Stop #25 to continue your trip south if you’ve parked at Mission Hospital (take Short Coast or Long Coastal) or Salt Beach/Ritz Carlton (only the Long Coastal goes this far). A nice little stop with no backtracking!
Or another Trolley option will bring you to the intersection of Wesley Drive with Coast Highway which also happens to be where all the beach parking is located:
- Southbound: Get off at Stop #25 Coast Hwy @ Wesley Drive, SB
- Northbound: Get off at Stop #45 Coast Hwy @ Wesley Drive, NB
All About Public Parking Lots at Montage Beaches
The closest parking lots to Montage can be found on a website with Laguna Beach Public Parking Lot information from City of Laguna Beach.
- Lot #7 – Treasure Island Surface Lot (sssshhhh, this is my favorite)
- Lot #8 – Treasure Island Garage (super HARD to make a turnaround in here, so only attempt if it’s early and you know there will be spots)
- Lot #9 – Fred Lang Lot (uphill and across the street from the beach – and you are also competing with Lang Park)
There is also parking along PCH.
Even with these 3 lots nearby they only account for about 100 parking spots combined. These will fill quickly on a busy summer day! So plan accordingly. Or try the Trolley stops that I outlined above.
If you are only visiting Aliso Beach Park, then you will park in one of the OCParks.com Aliso Beach lots. There is a beachside lot and an inland lot.
Overview of Montage Beaches
I’ve already listed the beaches above, but this whole area is literally one of the most beautiful spots on the California coast. I am going to fill you in on beach access and what makes sense for your family in each spot.
- Lang Park (playground) is across the street on Wesley.
- Ruby’s Diner Laguna Beach is down the street — kids eat free on Tuesdays after 4 p.m.
- Montage Laguna Beach official website
Treasure Island Beach Park (above the beaches)
The views from the bluffs are AMAZING. Seriously, some of the prettiest views along Orange County’s coast! It’s almost worth it to come just for the view and a stroll on the paved path without even attempting the hills down to the beach.
If you are coming from the Montage Public Parking lots and want to get to the big park along the bluff, you will need to walk all along the bluff pathway, past the hotel, past the public restrooms and you will end up at a large grassy area.
There are benches that dot the walkway for rests along the way to enjoy the ocean views and sunset.
The park with the large grassy area above the beaches is an excellent spot for picnics with a view.
- Great for whale watching, sunsets, or picnics.
- Perfect place to bring out of town guests to experience the view.
- Showers at the top of the hill for rinsing off the sand.
Lots of people ask me where this picnic area is located. This picnic area is along the sidewalk there at the grassy area before you get to the shade covers at the point.
Treasure Island Beach
Treasure Island Beach is the central beach that is staffed with lifeguards during summer.
It think it is the best one for families when conditions are good. Always talk to the lifeguards before you head in the water.
This is the beach directly below the hotel resort. There is a big wide ramp and also stairs to reach the beach.
Here is the Visit Laguna Beach page on Treasure Island.
When walking north along the bluff from Montage, a good landmark to note is the ceramic sculpture walk near the public restrooms.
I think Goff Cove is the 2nd best swimming spot for families when a lifeguard is present. It is a long walk from Trolley Stop #25 and the parking areas. Plus, there are a lot of stairs, so you might want your kids to be older before attempting.
You can find the stairs between the hotel and the Treasure Island Beach Park.
To give you an idea on how different things can look depending on the day. This is an early summer morning in June.
And this is the SAME Goff Cove at 1pm on a Friday afternoon during the summer.
You can see how there can be a limited beach area at Goff, if the tide is high and there are lots of visitors.
If you need to reach Goff by ramp, you can head all the way to the north end of the bluff and take the ramp down to Christmas Cove and backtrack to Goff. It’s a long way, though.
My kids loved playing along the break wall in Christmas Cove. They could stand in the sand and get splashed.
Aliso Beach has its own parking lot, but its beauty is viewable from Montage — and you can walk to it from the beach (but you have to cross Aliso Creek).
I have a whole separate blog post about visiting Aliso Beach Park and its playground. Honestly, Aliso Beach is NOT one I recommend for families that want to go swimming. The surf is usually smashy with a steep drop-off. I like to leave it for the skimboarders who make it really fun to visit and watch the waves!
I also love it for the beach playground, beach walks, tidepools, sunsets and bonfires in the fire pits.
- Parking is an issue
- It’s a long walk hauling strollers and kids to the beach below Montage or to Goff Beach.
- Both beaches are accessible to strollers, but the hills are steep.
- There may be weddings at the resort, especially on weekends
- We went during a period of high surf advisories, so it probably wasn’t as calm as normal. Looked like there were some drop-offs in some of the surf zones furthest north.
Originally published in September 2012.
Wednesday 4th of February 2015
A local directed me to this area when I first moved to Laguna. It is such a gem. It's clean, beautiful and still the best kept secret in Laguna! Thank you so much for the post. I was trying to describe a photo and wondered if the beach actually had a name. Great post!
Monday 22nd of October 2012
One of my favorite hideaways in south OC!! Even with your blog post, I think this area will still remain somewhat of a hidden treasure!
Saturday 22nd of September 2012
Thank you so much for including us. Super sweet of you!!