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4 Reasons to Love Heisler Park in Laguna Beach

4 Reasons to Love Heisler Park in Laguna Beach

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. There are so many reasons to love Heisler Park.

Location: Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) 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. MAP TO HEISLER PARK IN LAGUNA BEACH

4 Reasons to Love Heisler Park in Laguna Beach

  1. The ocean views and access to the beach from the entire stretch of this Laguna Beach park make it a perfect place to view sunsets or spot whales.
  2. The beach and marine area is an ecological reserve which keeps it protected for future generations.
  3. If you can find a spot to park, it’s super easy to get from your car to a bench or picnic spot.
  4. There’s unexpected artwork throughout the park in the form of sculptures.

So much more to love! (Highlights)

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.

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.

This park and beach is very close to the Laguna Art Museum and Las Brisas for sunset viewing.

You can access the north end of Main Beach and a longer strip of beach to the north if  you just continue walking along the pathways (see the satellite version of the map).

Be Aware:

  • NO playground. The beach is your playground.
  • Parking can be a pain. There are metered spaces all along Cliff Drive. Bring lots of quarters because it’s $2+/hour – or some meters take credit cards.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Checklist:

  • Parking in metered spaces ($2.25/hr)
  • Play in the sand or just check out the views
  • 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.

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