499 Cliff Dr, Laguna Beach, CA 92651, USA
Located near the northern portion of a recreational park named Heisler Park, Picnic Beach is a slightly large and approximately 700-feet long and popular beach with light brown sand, a few rocky portions, and many nearby trees and shrubs. This beach is located below oceanfront bluffs. The area around Picnic Beach has lifeguard towers, although lifeguards are not available at the beach throughout the year. In addition to lifeguards, the beach and the area around it have many other amenities including grassy recreational areas, walking trails, picnic tables, restrooms, and showers - as an interesting fact the beach received its name - Picnic Beach - because the blufftop area above this beach has many picnic areas and it is popular with picnickers. Please note that dogs on leash are allowed before 9 am and after 6 pm between June 15th and September 10th. Between September 11th and June 14th dogs on leash are allowed at all times on Picnic Beach.Please note that dogs need to be on a leash that is six feet or shorter in length.
Picnic Beach offers many fun activities including sunbathing, beachcombing, picnicking, wildlife watching, tidepooling, swimming, scuba diving, paddleboarding, skin diving, snorkeling, kayaking, canoeing, bodysurfing, surf skiing, and boating.Picnic Beach is popular with scuba divers, skin divers, and snorkelers with all levels of experience - these divers and snorkelers visit this beach to explore the vibrant marine biodiversity here. The water at Picnic Beach has reefs and underwater rocks - you can see many kinds of fish here including senoritas, small sharks, garibaldi, rays, and sheepshead. In addition to fish, you can also see some other kinds of marine animals here including lobsters, dorids, and nudibranchs. Depending on the time of the year, you can also see many kinds of marine mammals here including seals, sea lions, dolphins, and migrating whales.Please note that seals, sea lions, dolphins, and whales are protected under a law named theMarine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 and harming them can result in a civil penalty of up to $11,000 and possible imprisonment.
In addition, please note that Picnic Beach is a part of a marine state-protected area named Laguna Beach State Marine Reserve and harming or disturbing any local marine life is prohibited under the local regulations. If you are a diving instructor and are planning to conduct diving lessons near Picnic Beach, please note that during the summer months (usually between Memorial Day and Labor Day) you can only conduct diving lessons near the beach between 7 am and 10 am. If you are planning to swim, scuba dive, snorkel, or surf near Picnic Beach, we recommend being careful because the water here is known to have hazardous rip currents and dangerous waves. In addition, the underwater rocks along the beach’s shoreline can cause serious injuries - the area near the southern part of Picnic Beach has a particularly large amount of these submerged rocks. It is also important to note that surfing and skimboarding are not allowed near Picnic Beach.
If you like tidepooling, there are many tidepools at the southern end of Picnic Beach and you can explore these interesting tidepools at low tide. However, if you are planning to explore the southern portion of Picnic Beach, please note that the southern portion of the beach is occasionally closed to the public because this portion experiences sneaker waves that can drag unsuspecting people offshore. If you like taking pictures with amazing views, Picnic Beach occasionally offers excellent Instagram-worthy views during sunsets. During the local Fourth of July celebrations, visitors and locals often gather on the blufftop area above Picnic Beach during evenings to view a spectacular fireworks show - this show is organized by the city of Laguna Beach.
Heisler Park - which is located just above Picnic Beach - is a popular recreational park that has many features including walking trails, a gazebo, and gardens – this park also has many interesting sculptures, memorials, and public artworks including a time capsule that was sealed in 1977 and a memorial dedicated to veterans of the United States Armed Forces.
Getting to Picnic Beach is easy - the access ramp to the beach is located near the intersection between Myrtle Street and Cliff Drive and this beach is easily accessible from Coast Highway/ Pacific Coast Highway. There are metered street parking spaces near Picnic Beach. Picnic Beach is open between 6 am and 10 pm. We recommend visiting this beach early because it can occasionally get crowded.
There are many attractions near Picnic Beach. Crystal Cove State Park is a 2,791-acre oceanfront state park that has many habitats including coastal sage scrub and woodlands and it is also home to many animals including rabbits, California quails, coyotes, bobcats, western toads, California kingsnakes, and squirrels. The state park offers a variety of fun activities including scuba diving, tidepooling, hiking, biking, horse-riding, and camping. The park also has a historic district named The Crystal Cove Historic District that has interesting cottages and buildings from the 1930s and the 1940s and this district is also a part of the National Register of Historic Places - many movies have also been shot in this state park including the 1988 movie Beaches and the 1934 movie Treasure Island. If you like shopping, HIP District is a historic shopping district that offers a variety of interesting shopping stores including a bookstore, jewelry shops, a nursery with home decor, and many art galleries.This district also has interesting coffee houses and restaurants - as an interesting fact, the name of the district - HIP - is an abbreviation of “Historic and Important Places.” Riddle Field Park is a recreational park that offers many amenities including a baseball field, a half basketball court, picnic tables, a playground, and restrooms. If you are looking for another attraction near Picnic Beach, Laguna Canyon Winery is a winery that offers fantastic wine-tasting sessions - the winery’s wines are prepared using Italian winemaking techniques and equipment and this results in the winery’s wines having a unique taste.
If you get hungry, there are many great restaurants near Picnic Beach. Las Brisas (also called Las Brisas Laguna Beach) is an upscale restaurant that serves a variety of excellent Southern California-style dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner including seafood, lamb chops, Mexican dishes, steaks, and French toast - this restaurant was also awarded OpenTable’s Diners’ Choice award in 2022.
The Deck is an oceanfront restaurant that is known for serving excellent seafood for lunch and dinner including seafood tacos, cioppino, oysters, and bass. The restaurant also serves excellent steaks, lamb, poultry dishes, burgers, sandwiches, soups, and salads - this restaurant has also been featured in many publications including OC Weekly, The Laguna Beach Independent, and The Orange County Register.
The Greeter’s Corner Restaurant is set within an elegant oceanfront building and it serves amazing seafood, salads, breakfast dishes, sandwiches, burgers, pastas, kebabs, burritos, and wraps - as an interesting fact, this restaurant received its name from a local resident called Eiler Larsen. Larsen was well-respected by residents of Laguna Beach because of his habit of cheerfully greeting people passing him by and he was officially designated as a “Greeter” of Laguna Beach by local authorities - the Greeter’s Corner Restaurant is located near the site where Larsen would usually stand and greet people. If you are looking for another good and affordable restaurant near Picnic Beach, Rasta Taco serves a variety of excellent fusion dishes that have Mexican and Caribbean culinary influences including Caribbean-style nachos, tacos, quesadillas with Jamaican jerk chicken, and burritos with Caribbean carne asada.
If you are looking for a hotel near Picnic Beach, there are many great nearby options. The Montage Laguna Beach is a 5-Star hotel that offers many amenities including a spa, four pools (including one with nearby cabanas), two restaurants, a collection of fine art galleries, and shopping stores. The 4-Star Hotel Joaquin is another amazing upscale restaurant that offers many amenities including a garden, a restaurant with Bohemian decor, a pool, and a sundeck.In addition, the hotel has also been praised by many publications including Condé Nast Traveller and Vogue.Another 4-Star hotel is Marriott’s Newport Coast Villas that has Mediterranean-style architecture and it offers many amenities including a grocery shopping service, a game room, picnic area, a firepit, a poolside restaurant, a cafe, a spa, three pools, a hot tub, a fitness center, and tennis and basketball courts.
A more affordable hotel is the 3-Star SCP Seven4One that has a lounge and a terrace - this hotel is also located conveniently close to some of the major landmarks of Laguna Beach. If you are looking for another good and affordable hotel near Picnic Beach, the 2-Star The Tides Laguna Beachoffers many amenities including a saltwater pool, an outdoor fireplace, and barbecue areas.
Stairs To BeachYes
Kayaking / CanoeingNO
Lounge Chair RentalNo
Beach Mat RentalNo
Size of the beach
Public or Private
Mist - Mist