Picturesque cliffs and aquamarine waters have made Heisler Park a popular wedding and photo site. But this Laguna Beach landmark is also a family-friendly and accessible spot to take the kiddos for a beachside picnic or to dip their toes in the water.
For a quick beach outing without too much hassle, drive down PCH and grab a burger and fries from Husky Boy, or a health-conscious coffee and pastry from Urth Caffe – the two eateries basically bookmark the entrances to Heisler Park – and take it to the grassy knoll to enjoy. You don’t even have to get wet or sandy!
If you’re up for a real day at the beach with the kids, head down from the grassy area on the sandy, but not-too-steep ramp to Picnic Beach. You can explore tide pools, search for seashells, and splash in the cool but relatively shallow water (Always be careful, though, the currents can be strong.)
- Plentiful picnic tables atop the bluffs offer a place to enjoy a view of the waves without getting sand in your food
- Large grassy area to play, picnic, or enjoy the sun without getting sandy
- Walking distance to eateries like the iconic Husky Boy burger joint and the trendy new Urth Caffé
- Charcoal grills are available for barbecuing, but they are quickly occupied by large parties on sunny weekends
- Nicer-than-average beach bathrooms
- Pristine, aqua-blue water and dramatic coastal views
- Divers Cove, a very short walk to the right (when facing the ocean), is a popular spot for scuba divers and snorkelers.
- At low tide, you can walk along the tide pools and look for starfish, sea anemone and hermit crabs.
Know before you go
- Metered parking available on the street, first come/first serve basis
- Four-hour parking limit
- Arrive before 10 a.m. on weekends to avoid having to hunt for a parking space.
- Consider taking the free Laguna Beach Summer Trolley which drops you off right in front of the beach entrance. They easiest place to park is probably at the Laguna Wilderness Park (#17 in map below) or the Laguna College of Art (#16 in map below). They do charge between $7 to $10 to park, but it might be worth it.
- A stroller-friendly (and wheelchair accessible) paved ramp leads down to the beach. It’s easier to access than many of Laguna’s other beautiful beaches.
- Showers are available to wash the sand off (but it’s a good idea to bring an extra towel to wipe off dry sand before piling back into the car)
- Lifeguards are on duty seasonally
$2.50 per hour for metered parking. Maximum 4 hours.
Beach parking is on Cliff Drive. From PCH, you can turn on Beverly (where Husky Boy stands) or Myrtle, or Cliff (where Urth Caffe is situated). The pathway that leads to the beach is situated in front of the Myrtle-Cliff intersection.
Husky Boy 802 N. Pacific Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Urth Caffé 308 N. Pacific Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Daily, 5 a.m. to 1 a.m.
~Christine, blog contributor
About the Author
Christine is a writer, communications strategist, mom and OC native who absolutely does not like cheese in a can but does occasionally feel like a zombie.