Here are 12 Laguna Beach day trip ideas for your family to answer your “Where can I take my kids in Laguna Beach?” question. Most of my recommendations for places to go in Laguna Beach with kids are outdoors, including restaurants.
I try to cover a variety of kid-friendly options from beaches to parks to walks to restaurants or picnic spots. All are designed to be very simple and hopefully easy to access without a lot of trouble. When something costs $, I’ve tried to add an alternative that is free.
Places to Eat on a Laguna Beach Day Trip
As for food in Laguna Beach, there are loads of restaurants providing everything from date shakes (Orange Inn) to a VERY fancy multi-course meal (Selanne Steak Tavern).
For this particular post, I picked two easy to transport options so you can either get your food to go or take your sweet treat for a stroll around town.
Gina’s Pizza is a local family-owned restaurant with a long history in Orange County. The first Gina’s Pizza opened in 1975 in Corona del Mar. The Laguna Beach location is at 1100 South Coast Highway. Grab a pizza with your favorite toppings and take it to the beach or park.
You may have seen it as you drive by on the main street (Broadway) coming in from Laguna Canyon, but you’ll find Dolce Gelato right there with a line out the door. We love that they have non-dairy almond milk and sorbet options — as well as themed months and unique flavors.
And here’s a bonus spot that’s not on the BINGO card:
If you’re coming from out of town and want some yummy Mexican food, try Asada at 610 North Coast Highway. They have an all day breakfast menu and a kids menu of favorites served with tots!
11 Fun Things to Do with Kids in Laguna Beach
Here are 11 fun things to do with kids around Laguna Beach that are my favorite outdoor spots. You'll find a good mix of parks and beaches in this post. Crystal Cove State Park is in between Laguna Beach and Newport Beach.
Heisler Park is probably my favorite sunset spot in Orange County. The views are amazing and it's easy to see the ocean and the beaches right from your car. If you can, you can take the stairs right down to the sand and explore the beach and tidepools below.
Laguna Main Beach Playground is right in the middle of everything so it can be very busy, but it's also beautiful and worth the trip. The playground is patterned after the famous historic lifeguard tower nearby. Your kids will probably play lots of pretend games inspired by the play equipment.
Quite easily the most popular park in Laguna Beach and south Orange County. So many slides and one-of-a-kind play equipment. I recommend visiting this one early to get close parking and a less crowded park experience.
Moulton Meadows Park takes you up from the parks and beaches posted so far into the hills above so you can experience the canyon views. It's a nice little park with lots of nature spots to stroll and explore.
Alta Laguna Park is actually high above the city at what locals call: Top of the World. You can catch up with hiking trails here or just catch a sunset at the end of the day. It can get hot up here, but it can also be windy or even foggy & cold.
Now, this is a little bit of a cheat post. This and the next 3 on the list are all part of Crystal Cove State Park. However, each entrance provides a different visitor experience so it's worth including them all so you can choose based on your mood. This beach is part of the state park system so it does cost $15/day for parking. That's why I included the 3 beaches at the start of the post. If you have the funds, I highly recommend investing in a California State Parks annual pass.
Reef Point is the next entrance up the coast from Moro Beach. There are sit spots on benches up on the bluffs to just view the action below or you can hike down the steps and steep ramps to reach the beach and tidepools.
This is the most accessible of all entrances to the beach where you can drop off close to the beach and beach wheelchairs are available for loan. Moro Beach also has beach wheelchairs, but I'd prefer this entrance for the ability to drop off closer to the action and an easier path to the restaurants and views. There's a restaurant at this entrance and also fire pits you can check out for an evening on the beach.
This is the furthest north entrance to Crystal Cove State Park -- almost in Newport Beach/Corona del Mar. I love the hike to the tidepools from here. There are early views of the ocean and caves down at the beach. It's just perfect if you are ready to get out walking!