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Blue Water Beaches In Southern California Three Arch Bay

Craving blue waters and sunny skies? This is one of the most gorgeous blue water beaches in southern California.

Some of SoCal’s beaches get crowded in the summer but this one is still a hidden gem. Since it’s officially fall, you could get Thousand Steps Beach all to yourself.

It’s also the largest stretch of sand in the city of Laguna Beach, so you’ll get plenty of space to yourself. There’s volleyball courts, restrooms, and plenty of tidepools and caves to discover.

If the name Thousand Steps is throwing you off, don’t sweat it.  It’s only 223 steps to get to the sand. We've counted. If you’re willing to put in a little effort to get the beach to yourself, it'll be worth it. 

You’ll find Thousand Steps Beach on 9th Street in the city of Laguna Beach. Since it’s located right off of Pacific Coast Highway, you’ll need to pay for street parking.

After you park, you’ll descend a long flight of stairs down to the sand. It’s a bit of a walk, but the views are so worth it. You don’t even have to leave your furry friend at home. It’s dog-friendly!

The water is a vibrant turquoise and there are giant sandstone cliffs all around you. 

This gorgeous beach is a popular spot for snorkeling, swimming, and paddleboarding. Make sure to pack your swimsuit, sunscreen, and take plenty of pics.

If you cross the rocks on the right-hand side, you’ll also find beautiful tidepools to explore. There are also some gorgeous natural saltwater tidepools overlooking the ocean. Blow up your floaties, grab a cold drink and bring some of your BFFs.

Walking south along the shore, there are jaw-dropping sea caves that you can walk through to reach a rocky cove on the other side. You’ll feel like a pirate searching for treasure!

Thousand Steps Beach

Location: 9th Street Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Price: Metered street parking.

Why you should go: You can explore one of southern California’s most beautiful beaches. The water is vibrant blue and there’s plenty of cool sea caves, tidepools, and natural saltwater swimming pools.


Editor’s Note: Make sure to check the tides before you go! The caves are inaccessible at high tide.

We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.