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Things to do in Laguna Beach

Best Family Activities That Only Locals Know About

August 15, 2017

Everyone knows the cornerstones of family tourism in Southern California — places such as Disneyland, Disney California Adventure and Legoland. But what if you want to see something different? Something new, exciting and fun, too? Here are just a few of the places that locals love, but can be easy to miss.

Mother’s Beach
If your kids love the beach — but you don’t love crowds and huge waves — consider Mother’s Beach. About a mile from Balboa Island, the kids can play in the tide pools while you relax.

Balboa Island
This man-made island — and its frozen-banana stand — was featured in the TV show “Arrested Development.” Not in the mood for a banana? Try a Balboa Bar! Located in Newport Beach, visitors can drive, walk, bike or take the ferry to the island.

Dana Point Harbor
A destination for surfers and stand-up paddle boarders alike, this harbor also features unique shopping, fishing and whale-watching excursions, sailing, parasailing, diving, kayaking, and tons of restaurants.

The Ocean Institute
Located on a secluded beach in Dana Point Harbor, this educational facility features hands-on exhibits in marine science and maritime history as well as outdoor education programs. Other activities include children’s day camps, overnight experiences and boat excursions.

Pretend City Children’s Museum
This museum in Irvine was designed for children to learn how the world works. The child-size city enables kids to embrace real-world roles, with interactive exhibits and activities that foster curiosity, creativity, critical thinking, problem-solving and teamwork.

Duffy Boats in Newport Harbor
Spend the afternoon on a quiet, electric Duffy boat with your family and friends! They accommodate up to 10 people comfortably (12 maximum), featuring a canopy top, window enclosures and a stereo with an iPod connection. The best part? They’re as easy to drive as a golf cart.

Zoomars Petting Zoo
Want to meet pigs, cottontail rabbits, goats, sheep, llamas and cows? Feed the guinea pigs or emus? Zoomars in San Juan Capistrano is the place! You also can savor afternoon tea at The Tea House, grab brunch at the Ramos House Café or visit the mission in the town’s centuries-old historic district.

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31106 S. Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
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