This Hard-To-Find Southern California Beach Is A Picturesque Paradise Without Crowds

Nestled away in its own little world, Laguna Beach often remains an afterthought to California travelers selecting their next big beach bucket list destination. Wedged between the posh Hollywood city streets and its southern cousin, San Diego, this picturesque beach town is every bit a secluded patch of paradise. Embodying the alluring, yet laid-back California lifestyle, it's hard to resist not packing up your things and starting a new chapter of life in the heart of this coastal haven. 

The clear salty sea of the Pacific Ocean, bordered by an endless stream of bougie boutiques and trendsetting coffee shops is split by the seemingly never-ending, iconic Pacific Coast Highway (PCH). A striking aerial view reveals pockets of sand and sun, covered in a brightly covered collection of fringed umbrellas and spread-out beach towels. While many of these beaches are situated front and center along Laguna Beach's main bustling promenade, there are a few that remain hidden gems. 

The southern tip of Laguna Beach contains a cluster of sprawling golden beaches, often tucked in the upscale neighborhoods of this town's most affluent natives. Table Rock Beach is among the best and one of California's prettiest beaches, backed by glistening sandstone cliffs that create a sheltered inlet to spread out your towel and bask in the warm, California sunshine — a true definition of paradise!

Table Rock Beach

Named after the large, smooth stone jutting out from the side of the cliffs and covering a portion of its silky smooth sand, Table Rock Beach doesn't make it easy for its guests to reach their reward of sun, sea, and sand. Boasting 450 feet of soft, golden sand, this top-secret locals' spot is a sun-soaked haven of tide pools and rock formations. To reach Table Rock Beach, head south on PCH until you reach West Street, where you'll find a direct staircase access point on Table Rock Drive. Street parking can be tricky, as spots are limited along the narrow stretch of road, adjacent to the staircase. 

Table Rock Beach is one of the quietest and most underrated beaches in all of California due to the trek that's required to reach these golden dunes. Given its breathtaking beauty, it's not uncommon for this Insta-worthy cove to make its way onto the social feeds of visitors, favored for its enamoring backdrop and rhythmic tidal waves. 

Intrepid locals also frequent the shores of Table Rock Beach, using the smooth stretch of sand as a slick platform for skimboarding the water's surface. Reaching Table Rock Beach's most picturesque jewel requires getting your feet wet, but it's well worth what's waiting on the other side. Just a short swim around the bend on the southern tip of Table Rock Beach is a secret, secluded patch of sand known as Hidden Beach, the pinnacle of beauty in South Laguna Beach. 

Explore South Laguna Beach

It's nearly impossible to spend only a day in Laguna Beach, with this small coastal gem boasting a plentiful spread of cozy cafes, posh yet beachy inns, and breathtakingly photo-worthy sites. While the south end of Laguna may not be as much of a buzzing center of activity as its northern neighborhoods, the lack of tourist attention means you'll likely have the sweet, secluded sands all to yourself. 

Consider booking a room at the Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach, a ritzy resort tucked in the hillsides of South Laguna Beach, not far from the sands of Table Rock Beach. According to Five Star Alliance, Monarch Beach Resort is the top-ranked luxury hotel in Laguna Beach. This upscale West Coast resort delivers a five-star luxury experience in the coastal town of Laguna Beach while providing a central landing point that connects you to all this beachside community has to offer.

All that swimming and skimboarding will surely make you hungry. Fortunately, Laguna Beach is fringed with an eclectic blend of aromatic eateries. After exploring the boutique-lined streets, head over to AhbA, a vintage-style al fresco eatery with a long list of cocktails, brunch bites, and cozy dinner fare. Right across the road from Table Rock Beach, AhbA stands as a long-time local Laguna Beach favorite. This enchanting and health-conscious eatery boasts a veggie-forward menu elevated with sizzling spices and bold flavor choices. They serve everything from classic chicken sandos and wild-caught flounder to Japanese sweet potatoes served with a dollop of whipped feta.