Homes, condos and land for sale and rent in Laguna Beach, CA
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Laguna Beach geography
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Brief information about Laguna Beach
Historically a territory of Paleoindians, the Tongva people and then Mexico, the location became part of the United States following the Mexican–American War. Laguna Beach was settled in the 1870s, officially founded in 1887 and, in 1927 its current government was incorporated as a city. In 1944, the city adopted a council-manager form for its government. The city has remained relatively isolated from urban encroachment by its surrounding hills, limited highway access, and a dedicated greenbelt. The Laguna Beach coastline is protected by 5.88 miles (9.46 km) of state marine reserve and an additional 1.21 miles (1.95 km) of state conservation area.
Tourism is the primary industry with an estimated three million people visiting the community annually. Annual large events include the Pageant of the Masters, Festival of the Arts, Sawdust Art Festival, Art-A-Fair, Bluewater Music Festival, and Kelpfest.
The scenic beauty of the isolated coastline and hills attracted plein-air painters in the early 1900s. William Wendt, Frank Cuprien, and Edgar Payne among others settled there and formed the Laguna Beach Art Association. The first art gallery opened in 1918 and later became the Laguna Beach Art Museum. Precursors to The Festival of the Arts and the Pageant of the Masters began in 1921, and eventually were established in their present day form by Roy Ropp in 1936. Due to its proximity to Hollywood, Laguna also became a favorite filming location. Starting in 1913, dozens of silent films were made at local coves with Harold Lloyd, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., and others. Actors and film crews stayed during long production shoots at the Arch Beach Tavern on the hillside above Moss Street.
The arrival of painters, photographers, filmmakers, and writers established Laguna Beach as a noted artist community. Although there only were approximately 300 residents in 1920, a large proportion of them worked in creative fields. The small town remained isolated until 1926 because the long winding Laguna Canyon road served as the only access. With the completion of the Pacific Coast Highway in 1926, a population boom was expected. In order to protect the small town atmosphere of the art colony, residents who called themselves “Lagunatics” pushed for incorporation. The municipal government for Laguna Beach incorporated as a city on June 29, 1927. The city experienced steady population growth since that time, rising from 1900 residents in 1927 to more than 10,000 in 1962, and becoming four times larger in area.
Many creative, bohemian, and wealthy people have made Laguna Beach their home. They have added to the local culture by providing a theme for the small town. The adventurer Richard Halliburton built his Hangover House on the slopes of South Laguna. Hildegarde Hawthorne, granddaughter of the novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne, described Laguna “as a child of that deathless search, particularly by persons who devote their lives to painting or writing, or for some place where beauty and cheapness and a trifle of remoteness hobnob together in a delightful companionship.”
Laguna Beach was the southern California epicenter of the ‘alternative’ hippie culture in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In early 1967, John Griggs and other founding members of the Brotherhood of Eternal Love relocated from Modjeska Canyon to the Woodland Drive neighborhood of Laguna Beach, which they later re-christened “Dodge City”. Timothy Leary lived in a beach house on Gaviota Drive.
The land in and around Laguna Beach rises quickly from the shoreline into the hills and canyons of the San Joaquin Hills. The town’s highest point, at an elevation of 1,007 feet (307 m), is Temple Hill in the Top of the World neighborhood. Because of its hilly topography and surrounding parklands, there are few roads into or out of town; only the Coast Highway connecting to Newport Beach to the northwest and to Dana Point to the south, and State Route 133 crossing the hills in a northeastern direction through Laguna Canyon. Parts of Laguna Beach border the Aliso/Wood Canyons Regional Park.
The natural landscape of beaches, rocky bluffs and craggy canyons have been noted as sources of inspiration for Plein air painters who have settled in the Laguna Beach since the early 1900s. The hills also are known internationally for mountain biking. Laguna Coast Wilderness Park is a 7,000-acre (2,800 ha) wilderness area in the hills surrounding Laguna Beach. This park features coastal canyons, ridgeline views and the only natural lakes in Orange County.
The Census reported that 99.6% of the population lived in households and 0.4% lived in non-institutionalized group quarters. There were 10,821 households out of which 20.1% had children under the age of 18 living in them, 43.6% were opposite-sex married couples living together, 6.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 3.6% had a male householder with no wife present. 5.2% of households were unmarried opposite-sex partnerships and 2.8% were same-sex married couples or partnerships. 35.2% of households were made up of individuals and 10.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.09. The average family size was 2.72.
The population was spread out with 16.1% under the age of 18, 4.8% aged 18 to 24, 23.4% aged 25 to 44, 37.4% aged 45 to 64, and 18.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 48.3 years. For every 100 females there were 100.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.8 males.
There were 12,923 housing units of which 60.0% were owner-occupied and 40.0% were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.7%; the rental vacancy rate was 7.7%. 64.6% of the population lived in owner-occupied housing units and 35.0% lived in rental housing units.
During 2009–2013, Laguna Beach had a median household income of $94,325, with 6.3% of the population living below the federal poverty line.
The Laguna Beach Unified School District manages public education for city residents. The district includes one high school (Laguna Beach High School), one middle school (Thurston Middle School), and two elementary schools (El Morro Elementary School and Top of the World Elementary School). One private elementary school, St. Catherine of Siena Parish School, is overseen by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange.
Main article: Laguna College of Art & Design
The Laguna College of Art & Design (LCAD) is a small private college located in Laguna Canyon. It was founded in 1961 by the Festival of Arts and Laguna Art Museum as the Laguna Beach School of Art. LCAD offers bachelor of arts degrees in drawing and painting, illustration, animation, graphic design, and game art, and master of fine arts degrees in painting and drawing. In 2013, enrollment was approximately 450 students.