Location: Laguna Beach: 307 Cliff Drive
For ages: All, but little kids might get impatient here
Hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily; open until 9 p.m. on first Thursday of each month
Cost: $15 general, $12 for seniors and students (and active military), children under 12 admitted free. Parking is metered around Cliff Drive.
In a gorgeous cliff-top setting, just a short stroll from the beach and downtown galleries, the Laguna Art Museum offers visitors a carousel of continuously changing exhibits by historical, contemporary and emerging artists. Summer exhibits often focus on historical Laguna or the surf and ocean culture, catering to tourists, but are popular among long-time locals as well.
Currently running is “Art Shack” (surf shacks, tattoo huts, retro shanties and more!). Past exhibits have included “Collecting California,” “OsCene: Contemporary Art and Culture in OC,” “Jeremy Fish: Weathering the Storm” and more.
The permanent collection consists of works from the early nineteenth century to the present day.
The top floor exhibits often have placards set up for children that ask questions such as “What repeating pattern do you see in this picture?” or “What color is used primarily?” or “What do you think the boy in this picture is thinking?” This can help you both explore something new.
Docent-led tours, free with museum admission, are offered at 2 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. You can also enjoy a self-guided audio tour through your iPhone by downloading a Laguna Art Museum iPhone app from the museum’s tour page.
Where to park: The museum is visible from Coast Highway, so park on Coast Highway as near Cliff Drive as possible. Parking is metered. If you have to park farther into the downtown, the seaside stroll is pleasant, but uphill to the museum.
What to bring: Quarters for metered parking, admission fee
Best time to go: Summer months can get crowded for parking, since there’s so much going on in Laguna at that time, so if you can go during another season you might find the experience more enjoyable. The only evening hours are on the first Thursday of each month, connected to Laguna’s First Thursdays Art Walk.
For more information: 949-494-8971; or visit the Laguna Art Museum website