Location: Laguna Beach: Trolley starts just north of the Laguna Art Museum, 307 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach
For ages: Recommended for 10 and older
Hours: First Thursday of each month, from 6 to 9 p.m. Shuttle starts at 6:15 and circles the city every 15 minutes.
Cost: Free (including shuttle), but parking is metered
This energetic event is a great way to introduce yourself to Laguna’s art galleries. Dress is casual-to-“dressy casual,” as visitors of all ages and backgrounds saunter up and down Coast Highway to visit the 35-plus art galleries displaying all kinds of works of art – from whimsical animal cartoons to sculptures that look like robotic creatures.
The mood is upbeat and carefree as visitors stream in and out of each gallery along Laguna’s hopping downtown district. Live music plays at some galleries, as well as at various restaurants and bars along the street, as crowds rub elbows, enjoy free cheese and crackers or chips, sip wine, and talk about the art they see. Sometimes the artist is on hand to discuss his or her work.
A free shuttle will transport visitors up and down Coast Highway at nine stops between Jasmine (north of the Laguna Art Museum) and Bluebird (near the Sun and Sand Hotel). Visit the First Thursdays Art Walk site for a downloadable map, as well as any special events going on during the night of your visit.
Where to park: Find a space to park on Coast Highway between Jasmine (north) and Bluebird (south). Shuttle stops are, from north to south, at Jasmine, Cliff Drive, Laguna Avenue, Legion, Brooks, Mountain and Bluebird. Shuttles come by about every 15 minutes.
What to bring: Quarters for the parking meters; sweaters for everyone – evenings get chilly, even in the summer
Best time to go: Parking is crowded in the summer months, although the more crowds there are for the artwalk, the more festive the event seems.
For more information: 949-683-6871; or visit the First Thursdays website