Heisler Park in Laguna Beach feels like a tropical paradise to me.
I love bringing out-of-town guests to enjoy the views from the top of the bluff or walk down to the beach areas for tidepooling or wading.
Directions to Heisler Park: Coast Highway is the main street running through Laguna Beach. I usually park on Cliff Drive between Aster and Jasmine Streets and follow the path down to the smaller beaches from there. If you enter Cliff Drive from Myrtle Street and head south, then you are heading the right way for parking at the meters and might have the best parking options. (Park Address: 375 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach) MAP TO HEISLER PARK IN LAGUNA BEACH
The park is set up in a strip along a bluff top. You can access the southernmost part of the park on foot from Main Beach – or park on Cliff Drive near Las Brisas and the Laguna Art Museum.
Going north, there’s another access point to the beaches in the middle of the park around Jasmine Street.
Then go even further north and you’ll find a big grassy area with tons of picnic tables and a few grills oriented for sunset viewing. The beach furthest north is nicknamed “Picnic Beach.” It’s the widest and largest.
This park and beach is very close to the Laguna Art Museum and Las Brisas for sunset viewing.
4 Reasons to Love Heisler Park in Laguna Beach
Ocean views and access to the beach
The entire stretch of this Laguna Beach bluff top park make it a perfect place to view sunsets or spot whales.
It feels like you’re on a tropical island!
When the water is calm, it’s beautiful for wading. I’ve seen beginner surfers and snorkelers here.
Look further out to see pods of dolphins and an occasional whale.
Beach and marine area is an ecological reserve
This place is protected for future generations.
Easy to get from your car to a bench or picnic spot
If you can find a spot to park! It can be challenging on a summer beach perfect day or when there is a lawn bowling tournament nearby.
But every time I’ve wanted to visit, I just time it right (early or late or off-season) and I can find a spot here.
There’s art work on display throughout the park in the form of meaningful sculptures.
The gazebo is near Las Brisas restaurant. It’s a beautiful spot to look out at the beaches and see amazing views.
From the Heisler Park Gazebo, you can walk south down a paved path to get to the beach below (when you bear to the right) or stay on the main path and you will hit a set of stairs that will take you down onto the Main Beach boardwalk.
Getting to (and parking in) Laguna Beach can involve lots of traffic and competition for spaces during the summer or special events. Have a “Plan B” in mind.
There are metered spaces all along Cliff Drive. Use the Laguna Beach Parking app for a more stress-free parking experience.
Parking in metered spaces ($2.50/hr with a 4 hour limit).
Use the Laguna Beach Parking app to find parking along Cliff Drive in meter area A2. It actually shows real-time availability so you don’t have to go driving around endlessly.
Load up your credit card and license plate number into the app before you leave home.
Las Brisas is the only restaurant right on the park. It’s on the ocean side of Cliff Drive right next to the Laguna Art Museum.
Happy Hour is weekdays from 3pm-6pm. They have super high end almost $50 margaritas. But for Happy Hour there are $5 beers and $8 glasses of wine. I have to admit, I’ve never actually dined here because it’s out of our price range. But it would be an amazing view!
They also serve all three meals of the day and weekend brunch.
This breakfast restaurant is diagonally across Coast Highway from the art museum. Be careful crossing the busy Coast Highway.
As you might imagine, the Caffé is known for its breakfast menu with an array of waffles and pancakes, but also breakfast pizza. The website menu has photos for every entree.
Things to Know
- NO playground. The beach is your playground.
- The bluff top is stroller-friendly, but not the beach. It’s definitely a long haul if you have little ones.
- People climb the rocks to get from one beach to the other, but it’s just as easy to go up and down the paths accessing the different beaches
- Watch the tides and the weather!
- The beach areas are an ecological reserve, so be very mindful of the wildlife in the tidepools and ocean. No collecting anything from the beaches. The signs lay it all out pretty clearly.
- Play in the sand or just check out the views from above
- Showers at the bottom of the stairs
- 2 sets of restrooms (north and south) are at the top of the hill above the beaches
- Drinking fountains at the restroom buildings
- Benches throughout. Lots of picnic tables at the north end of the park. Grassy areas for picnics, too.
- Dogs allowed on leash during winter and NOT allowed during summer. See signage at the beach for specific dates.
- The big flat area in the middle of the park (that you see on the satellite map) is a private lawn bowling club.
- Official Heisler Park post on Visit Laguna Beach
Originally published in May 2011.
Parks and beaches nearby Heisler Park: