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SUMMER: Festival of Arts, Laguna Beach


Location: Laguna Beach: 650 Laguna Canyon Road
When: Summer only! 2013 dates: June 30 – Aug. 31: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily from June 30 – July 4, then 10 a.m. to 11.30 p.m. daily  from July 5-Aug. 31. On Aug. 24, the festival must close early, and hours on that day only will be 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Cost: Adults: $7 weekdays, $10 Sat-Sun; Students and seniors: $4 weekdays, $6 Sat-Sun; $4 students, children 12 and under admitted free, as are military and Laguna Beach residents with I.D. All tickets are season passes, and visitors are encouraged to make repeat visits.
Special deals: Laguna Beach residents with I.D. are admitted free all summer long; ticket holders to Pageant of the Masters are admitted free.
For ages: All

Like the Sawdust Festival down the street, the Festival of Arts is an outdoor, festive environment to view and purchase works of art. More than 140 local artists are selected to display their original pieces in open-air booths. This is a rigorously juried show, however (unlike the Sawdust Festival); all of the art is fine art. …

Live music plays while patrons wander the canopied grounds to view original paintings, sculpture, fountains, weaving, musical instruments, serigraphs, photographs, model ships, hand-crafted furniture and more.

During the day, ongoing artist demonstrations are given, amid wine tastings, cooking demonstrations, jazz concerts, blues festivals, themed days and more. (To see a complete calendar of the summer’s events, visit the Festival Event Calendar.)

Children are given extra-special treatment at Youth Arts Education Days throughout the week with a chances to create their very own artwork and bring home original work (the demonstrators will even show kids how to sign and number their piece).

During the evening hours, the grounds are shared with those who are coming to see the summer production of Pageant of the Masters at 8:30 each night (tickets to that are hard to get, though — you’ll have to plan early) at the Irvine Bowl, which is at the back of the festival grounds.

Ongoing musical entertainment is presented in the center green near a coffee-and-wine bar. There is a walk-up snack bar in the back. Sit-down dining, too, is available at the picturesque Tivoli Terrace, which serves guests in an elegant garden atmosphere around an antique gazebo with live jazz nightly.

At the entrance, you can rent a headset for a self-guided audio tour with the voices of the 145 artists sharing their thoughts on art, creativity and the reasons they became artists. The headsets are available for a $5 rental fee.

If you want to make a whole day of viewing art, be sure to visit the Sawdust Festival up the canyon and the Art-A-Fair across the street as well. The Laguna trolley visits all places and can transport you.

Where to park: Street parking along the canyon roads are metered near the festival grounds (cash machines are available to get meter money). Parking gets pretty crazy on the weekends. Weekdays are a little easier. Further inland along Laguna Canyon Road, you can park in free lots and take the Laguna trolley to the festivals.

What to bring: Bring sunscreen and hats; bottled water. Refreshments are available on the grounds.

For more information: 949-494-1145 or the Festival of Arts/Pageant of the Masters website

Do you go to the Festival of Arts every summer? Have any fun tips to share?

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One Comment

  1. The festival of the arts, is just around the corner and let me tell you that my daughter can’t wait. This is one of many Laguna Beach activities we look forward to every year. We have many friends that sell there art and we love to spend time throughout the summer visiting this festivals. It is such a Laguna tradition for our family to support our festivals, so that we can continue to have these wonderful and beautiful arts to enjoy all these years. I know some day when my daughter is older that I can see her working the festival as a summer job, that how much time she spends their. Looking forward to the opening day soon!

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