Laguna Beach, California
|City of Laguna Beach|
|— City —|
|Orange County, California.|
|• Mayor||Jane Egly|
|• Total||9.821 sq mi (25.435 km2)|
|• Land||8.850 sq mi (22.921 km2)|
|• Water||0.971 sq mi (2.515 km2) 9.89%|
|Elevation||20 ft (6 m)|
|• Density||2,300/sq mi ( 890/km2)|
|Time zone||PST (UTC-8)|
|• Summer (DST)||PDT (UTC-7)|
|ZIP codes||92651, 92652|
|GNIS feature ID||1660874|
Laguna Beach is an affluent seaside resort city and artist community located in southern Orange County, California, United States, approximately 19 miles (31 km) southeast of the county seat of Santa Ana. Its population was 22,723 at the 2010 census.
Settlers arriving after the American Civil War found scarce amounts of land available for homesteading, and one such tract, known then simply as "the public lands" was the coastal strip from Laguna Canyon to Three Arch Bay. During the 1870s, a small community named Arch Beach had been started at the mouth of Bluebird Canyon. By the early 1880s most of the land around its small Post Office and general store had been subdivided. A short time before Orange County separated from Los Angeles County and became independent in 1889, the tiny community was caught in an economic downturn and failed, though a small amount of structures remain from that time.
When the economy renewed itself, the decision was made to relocate the town to the mouth of Laguna Canyon. This was possible because a dispute with the Irvine ranch over the public right to traverse Laguna Canyon had been resolved in the courts, allowing an additional means of access to the coast. The new town was founded in 1887 as Lagonas, but was renamed to Laguna Beach in 1904. The streets were laid out in a grid plan despite the location's hilly nature, which has resulted in some streets having extremely steep inclines.
By 1900 Laguna Beach was occupied by five families of homesteaders struggling to farm land. They soon found an additional source of income by renting sections of the beaches to farmers from Tustin, Santa Ana, Fullerton, Riverside, and other inland communities who were eager to escape the summer heat. Thus began the tourist industry which is still a mainstay of the local economy. Pioneer days in Laguna Beach and its growth from a few scattered buildings to one of the most beautiful seaside resorts in the West as well as a famous California art colony was vividly recounted by J. S. Thurston (born in 1868), a son of one of the community's original settlers, in Laguna Beach of Early Days (The Press of Murray & Gee, Culver City, California, 1947).
In the early 1920s the area was discovered by a group of landscape painters who laid the foundation of the art community which is still thriving to this day. Subsequently, various groups have "discovered" Laguna Beach and added incrementally to the town's diversity. Many wealthy and progressive people have made Laguna Beach their home and added to the local culture. Gerry Max, in recording the life of one of the community's most famous early members, travel writer Richard Halliburton (1900–1939), has called Laguna a "weary rover's dream", and in Horizon Chasers offers a sense of Laguna Beach in the 1920s and 1930s. Hildegarde Hawthorne, granddaughter of the novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne, described Laguna "as a child of that deathless search, particularly by persons who devote their lives to painting or writing, or for some place where beauty and cheapness and a trifle of remoteness hobnob together in a delightful companionship." Halliburton himself marveled at the "sensational vistas" and "the peaceful valley on the one side (of the home called Hangover House which he had built on the ridge) and the full sweep of the ocean on the other."
The region originally was known to the Spanish as "La Cañada de Las Lagunas", which means "The Canyon of the Small Lakes", in reference to two lakes found near the head of Laguna Canyon. In confusion with the word "Lagoon", however, Laguna Beach was nearly misnamed "Lagoona" by the State of California. While it was still an unincorporated community, the Postmaster, Nicholas Isch, journeyed to Sacramento to rectify the mistake, and the original Spanish spelling was retained.
Laguna Beach was incorporated as a General Law City in 1927, has experienced a slow but steady population growth since that time, and has annexed several formerly unincorporated communities on its periphery. Just outside the city limits, an extensive Greenbelt buffers Laguna Beach from the neighboring communities.
Laguna Beach was the southern California epicenter of 'alternative' culture in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In early 1967, John Griggs and other founding members of the Brotherhood of Eternal Love relocated from Modjeska Canyon to the Woodland Drive neighborhood of Laguna Beach, which they later re-christened "Dodge City". Timothy Leary lived for several months with the Brotherhood until his December 26, 1968 arrest for possession of marijuana, near the intersection of Woodland Drive and Roosevelt Lane.
Climate and geography 
Laguna Beach has a warm Mediterranean climate with abundant sunshine all year. Daytime temperature averages range from 67°F in January to 79°F in July. Mean annual precipitation is relatively low—13.56 inches. Water temperatures are some of the warmest on the southern California coast and range from about 60 °F in February to 72 °F in August; however in early to mid September water temperatures often range from 73 °F to 75 °F.
|Climate data for Laguna Beach, California|
|Average high °F (°C)||67
|Average low °F (°C)||44
|Precipitation inches (mm)||2.75
|Source: The Weather Channel|
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 25.4 km2 (9.8 sq mi). 22.9 km2 (8.8 sq mi) of it is land and 2.5 km2 (0.97 sq mi) of it is water. The total area is 9.89% water.
It is bordered by the Pacific Ocean on the southwest, Crystal Cove State Park on the northwest, Laguna Woods on the northeast, Aliso Viejo and Laguna Niguel on the east, and Dana Point on the southeast.
The land in and around Laguna Beach rises quickly from the shoreline into the hills and canyons of the San Joaquin Hills. The town's highest point, at an elevation of 1,007 feet (307 m), is Temple Hill in the Top of the World neighborhood. Because of its hilly topography and surrounding parklands, there are few roads into or out of town; only the Coast Highway connecting to Newport Beach to the northwest and to Dana Point to the south, and State Route 133 crossing the hills in a northeastern direction through Laguna Canyon. Parts of Laguna Beach border the Aliso/Wood Canyons Regional Park.
The 2010 United States Census reported that 22,723 people, 10,821 households, and 5,791 families resided in the city. The population density was 2,313.8 people per square mile (893.4/km²). There were 12,923 housing units at an average density of 1,315.9 per square mile (508.1/km²). The racial makeup of Laguna Beach was 90.9% White (85.7% non-Hispanic), 0.8% African American, 0.3% Native American, 3.6% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.5% from other races, and 2.9% from two or more races. 7.3% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race.
The Census reported that 99.6% of the population lived in households and 0.4% lived in non-institutionalized group quarters.
There were 10,821 households out of which 20.1% had children under the age of 18 living in them, 43.6% were opposite-sex married couples living together, 6.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 3.6% had a male householder with no wife present. 5.2% of households were unmarried opposite-sex partnerships and 2.8% were same-sex married couples or partnerships. 35.2%of households were made up of individuals and 10.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.09. The average family size was 2.72.
The population was spread out with 16.1% under the age of 18, 4.8% aged 18 to 24, 23.4% aged 25 to 44, 37.4% aged 45 to 64, and 18.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 48.3 years. For every 100 females there were 100.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.8 males.
There were 12,923 housing units of which 60.0% were owner-occupied and 40.0% were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.7%; the rental vacancy rate was 7.7%. 64.6% of the population lived in owner-occupied housing units and 35.0% lived in rental housing units.
As of the 2000 census Laguna Beach had a population of 22,723. The racial and ethnic composition of the population was 85.7% non-Hispanic white, 0.8% black or African American, 0.3% Native American, 1.0% Chinese, 2.6% other Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.2% non-Hispanic reporting some other race, 2.9% from two or more races and 7.3% Hispanic or Latino.
As of the census of 2000, there were 23,727 people, 11,511 households, and 5,778 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,035.1 /km2 (3,000 /sq mi). There were 12,965 housing units at an average density of 565.6 /km2 (1,000 /sq mi). The racial makeup of the city was 91.99% White, 0.80% African American, 0.36% Native American, 2.08% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 2.21% from other races, and 2.47% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.62% of the population.
There were 11,511 households out of which 18.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.9% were married couples living together, 6.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 49.8% were non-families. 36.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.05 and the average family size was 2.69.
In the city the population was spread out with 15.8% under the age of 18, 4.2% from 18 to 24, 32.9% from 25 to 44, 33.9% from 45 to 64, and 13.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females there were 103.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 104.0 males.
According to a 2007 estimate, the median income for a household in the city was $90,017, and the median income for a family was $146,562. Males had a median income of $66,221 versus $46,138 for females. The per capita income for the city was $58,732. About 2.8% of families and 5.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.7% of those under age 18 and 4.3% of those age 65 or over.
Arts and culture 
Annual cultural events 
Each summer the Pageant of the Masters is held. This event shows recreations of artwork with people posing in a set that looks like the original art. Also held during the summer are festivals such as the Sawdust Art Festival, Festival of Arts, and Art-A-Fair. The Sawdust Art Festival began in 1965. The Laguna Beach Chamber Music Society holds an annual chamber music festival during the winter season.
Museums and other points of interest 
The Laguna Art Museum is located in Laguna Beach and focuses on the art of California.
Art and Design College 
Laguna College of Art & Design was founded by the Festival of Arts and Laguna Art Museum (see above) in 1961 as the Laguna Beach School of Art. Over the last 50 years it grew to become an accredited college offering bachelor of arts degrees in Drawing and Painting, Illustration, Animation, Graphic Design, and Game Art. The college also offers master of fine arts degrees in Painting and Drawing. The fine arts focus of the school is figurative and representational drawing, painting, and sculpture. At the technical end the college focuses on the art and design that go into digital media, entertainment art, and communication art.
Government and politics 
In the early history of Laguna Beach, many artists and counterculture activists moved from nearby Los Angeles and settled in the charming cottages along the Laguna hillsides. Today few artists remain, as the town is one of the wealthiest places in North America. Most artists in the community now live in Laguna Canyon.
Laguna Beach has long been considered a politically liberal enclave in conservative Orange County. However, the city's liberalism is only relative to its surroundings as registered Democrats have only a slight 2 percent advantage over Republicans in the Laguna Beach making the city considerably more conservative than California as a whole. Of the 18,806 registered voters in 2009, 7,246 (38.5%) were Democrats and 6,768 (36%) were Republicans. In the 2008 presidential election, Democratic candidate Barack Obama received 62% of the city’s vote, while Republican candidate John McCain received 35% of the vote. Laguna Beach was one of only four cities in Orange County to vote against Proposition 8, which amended the California Constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage, and did so with an overwhelming 68% of its vote.
As of December 2010, Toni Iseman serves as Laguna Beach's mayor and Jane Egly as mayor pro tem. The other three city council members are Kelly Boyd, Elizabeth Pearson and Verna Rollinger. The mayor's position is non-elected and rotated among the members of the city council.
Historic Preservation and Environment 
Laguna Beach has long embraced historic preservation and environmental stewardship. Craftsman bungalows from the early 1900's, still dot the downtown and South Laguna areas. On the border between Laguna Beach and Newport lies the 3.2 mile long Crystal Cove State Park, featuring renovated historic beach cabins for public use. Laguna Beach is the only Orange County city surrounded by a dedicated greenbelt on one side, and a dedicated bluebelt on the other. The Laguna Beach State Marine Reserve was dedicated in 2012, making most of the Laguna coast a no-take zone. An annual Kelpfest is held on Earth Day, to raise awareness of the importance that kelp plays in ocean habitat. The main pedestrian and shopping street is named Forest Ave. after the forest of eucalyptus trees that line the street. In February 2007, its city council unanimously voted to join the U.S. Mayors Climate Initiative, and in April, 2013 became the first Orange County city to formally request that the San Onofre Nuclear Reactor not restart after it's January 2012 shut down. Laguna Beach passed a no plastic bag ordinance and a no plastic bottle purchasing policy for it's government. Laguna Beach is the 10th official U.S. Transition Town.
County, state and federal 
On the Orange County Board of Supervisors Laguna Beach is located in the 5th District, represented by Republican Patricia C. Bates. Due to the 2011 California state legislature redistricting, Laguna Beach is now located in the 37th Senate District (formerly the 35th District), represented by Republican Mimi Walters, and in the 74th Assembly District (formerly the 70th District), represented by Republican Allan Monsoor. Federally, Laguna Beach is located in California's 48th congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of R +8 and is represented by Republican Dana Rohrabacher.
- Elementary schools
- Top of the World Elementary
- El Morro Elementary
- St. Catherine of Siena Parish School, a Catholic school.
- Junior high schools
- Thurston Middle School
- St. Catherine of Siena Parish School
- High schools
- Colleges and universities
Notable people 
In 2004, MTV created a reality television show titled Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County, which aired on MTV for three seasons. The show follows the lives of several young Laguna Beach residents as they finish high school and begin the next chapter of their lives. It had a very successful first two seasons and became the second highest rated MTV show. Its success elevated the central figures on the show, Stephen Colletti, Kristin Cavallari, Lo Bosworth, and Lauren Conrad to celebrity status. The show later became a spin-off now known as The Hills.
Fire protection in Laguna Beach is provided by the Laguna Beach Fire Department, and law enforcement by the Laguna Beach Police Department. Laguna Beach also has been using goats as part of its fuel reduction and vegetation management program since the early 1990s. Marine safety services are provided jointly by Laguna Beach City Lifeguards in north Laguna Beach and by U.S. Ocean Safety Lifeguards in south Laguna Beach.
Sister city 
Laguna Beach is twinned with:
See also 
- U.S. Census
- Gerry Max, Horizon Chasers: The Lives and Adventures of Richard Halliburton and Paul Mooney (McFarland, 2007), pp. 67–69, 139–171 et passim.
- See Gerry Max, Horizon Chasers, p. 67 and 258n9 for references.
- See Gerry Max, Horizon Chasers, quoted with references, p. 68 and 258n13.
- Joseph Smith Thurston, 1947, Laguna Beach of Early Days, Murray & Gee
- "City of Laguna Beach. Overview". City of Laguna Beach. Retrieved 2009-04-29.
- "MONTHLY AVERAGES for Laguna Beach, CA". The Weather Channel. Retrieved 2010-11-28.
- U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Temple Hill
- Mangan, Doreen. "The Art Community: Haven and Inspiration. Laguna Beach, California". American Artist (February 1979) pp 74–75.
- All data are derived from the United States Census Bureau reports from the 2010 United States Census, and are accessible on-line here. The data on unmarried partnerships and same-sex married couples are from the Census report DEC_10_SF1_PCT15. All other housing and population data are from Census report DEC_10_DP_DPDP1. Both reports are viewable online or downloadable in a zip file containing a comma-delimited data file. The area data, from which densities are calculated, are available on-line here. Percentage totals may not add to 100% due to rounding. The Census Bureau defines families as a household containing one or more people related to the householder by birth, opposite-sex marriage, or adoption. People living in group quarters are tabulated by the Census Bureau as neither owners nor renters. For further details, see the text files accompanying the data files containing the Census reports mentioned above.
- General population and housing report for Laguna Beach, 2010 Census
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- American FactFinder, United States Census Bureau
- Change, Richard (June 27, 2010). "Summer is Festival Time". The Orange County Register. p. Arts & Entertainment 3. Retrieved 28 June 2010.
- "Voter Registration by SOS District" (PDF). www.ocvote.com. Orange County Registrar of Voters. April 3, 2009.
- 2008 California Ballot Measures by Political Districts
- "Laguna Beach City Council website". 14 December 2009.
- "County, State, and Federal Representatives". City of Laguna Beach. Retrieved November 10, 2012.
- "Will Gerrymandered Districts Stem the Wave of Voter Unrest?". Campaign Legal Center Blog. Retrieved 2008-02-10.
- Sister Cities International
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Laguna Beach, California|
||Newport Beach-Newport Coast||Laguna Coast Wilderness Park||Aliso Viejo & Laguna Woods|
|Pacific Ocean||Laguna Niguel|
|Pacific Ocean||Dana Point||Laguna Niguel|