20 Best Things to Do in Laguna Niguel, CA

Laguna Niguel, CA
Matt Gush / shutterstock.com

Laguna Niguel, considered one of the most affluent and safest cities in Orange County, is a great travel destination for families, featuring an abundant amount of recreational activities that travelers of all ages can enjoy.

This is also an amazing place to visit for nature lovers, as it boasts vast parks, well-maintained trails, and beautiful botanical gardens.

Located in a state that is known for having amazing weather throughout the year, this is a great place to spend your holidays during any season.

To make the most out of your visit, make sure to check out the city's top attractions.

Scroll down for the best things to do in Laguna Niguel, California.

Have a Picnic with Your Loved Ones at Laguna Niguel Regional Park

Laguna Niguel Regional Park signboard at the enterance
Arne Beruldsen / Shutterstock.com

One great thing about visiting a state with great sunny weather is that you can comfortably enjoy the outdoors any time of the year.

Laguna Niguel Regional Park is another great place to visit if you are looking for some recreational activities that you can participate in with your loved ones

Fishing at Laguna Niguel Regional Park
Arne Beruldsen / Shutterstock.com

If you are a fishing enthusiast or traveling with someone who is, the park features a 44-acre wide lake, which is a great spot for catching some catfish and bass all year round, as well as trout during winter.

Wooden pedestrian bridge at Laguna Niguel Regional Park
Arne Beruldsen / Shutterstock.com

There are also picnic shelters here, complete with tables, sinks, and electrical outlets for barbecue grills.

You can prepare a savory meal with your loved ones while enjoying the cool breeze from the lake and the beautiful views of lush green trees surrounding the area.

Volleyball court at Laguna Niguel Regional Park
Arne Beruldsen / Shutterstock.com

You can even bring your own speakers so you can listen to your favorite playlist while you bond with the whole gang.

There are also on-site volleyball and tennis courts that you can use while you are here.

Watch a Movie at Cinepolis Luxury Cinemas Laguna Niguel

It is always nice to just take a step back and just take a breather every once in a while.

If you are looking for a nice activity with the whole family where you can just put your feet up, sit back, and relax, Cinepolis Luxury Cinemas Laguna Niguel is a place that you will surely like.

The cinema features state-of-the-art technology and plush reclining seats, perfect for moviegoers who want a cozy and comfortable place where they can watch a movie.

You can download their app and purchase your tickets there for a hassle-free visit.

What's more, there is a server who will assist you when you want to enjoy some delicious snacks while watching a movie.

Visit the Dripping Cave at Aliso and Wood Canyon Wilderness Park

Dusty narrow walkway at Aliso and Wood Canyon Wilderness Park
Arne Beruldsen / Shutterstock.com

There is no better way to spend the day outdoors than going for a hike, especially when the weather is nice.

You can go to Aliso and Wood Canyon Wilderness Park, which features amazing views of mature oaks, elderberry trees, and sycamores.

It boasts a 4,500-acre vast natural open space and wilderness, where you can truly be immersed in the beauty of nature.

Deer at Aliso and Wood Canyon Wilderness Park
Arne Beruldsen / Shutterstock.com

If you are looking for a spot in the trail where you can enjoy some quiet time and amazing out-of-this-world views, you can go to Dripping Cave.

The cave is a great spot for people who are looking for a less crowded place.

Biking at Aliso and Wood Canyon Wilderness Park
Arne Beruldsen / Shutterstock.com

It is also an amazing site to have your photos taken, as it features cool rock formations.

Although the weather in the city is great for going outdoors all year round, it is best to check first as the trails are closed for three days following rain.

Get Close to Nature at Niguel Botanical Preserve

Stairway at Niguel Botanical Preserve
CashewCraver, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Niguel Botanical Preserve is a haven for nature lovers.

It boasts an 18-acre wide land area that comprises different themed gardens, four trails, and 2,000 plant species.

The preserve is open every day of the week, perfect for weary travelers who are seeking refuge from a tiring day.

One of the attractions here that you should not miss is the Labyrinth, where you can see breathtaking views of an unobstructed blue sky, well-manicured garden hedges, and the preserve’s beautiful gazebo.

Citizen of the Year Grove is another interesting site to see here.

The grove is dedicated to the recipients of the Laguna Niguel citizen of the Year award, which is given to individuals who have done outstanding voluntary services for the betterment of the community.

Explore the beautiful grove and observe its tree-lined pathway to see the installed plaques that were awarded to the selected citizens.

If you have more time to spare, make sure to drop by the other gardens for a more unforgettable visit.

There is a Rose Garden, California Garden, Mediterranean Garden, Succulent Row, and many more to see at Niguel Botanical Preserve.

Marvel at the Amazing View of the Pacific Ocean at Badlands Park

Flowers at Badlands Park, Laguna Niguel
Tangy-Finance12, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

There is no shortage of beautiful parks at Laguna Niguel.

Another wonderful park to visit when you vacation in the city is Badlands Park.

If you like seeing gorgeous views but do not enjoy lengthy trails, then this site is perfect.

View from Badlands Park
Tangy-Finance12, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It has access to Laguna Ridge Trail, which can be enjoyed by all kinds of travelers.

It is a fairly easy trail that even first-timers will have the best time hiking here.

You will be surprised, though, that the views here are nothing short of amazing.

It features beautiful views of rock formations, lush greenery, and the spectacular Pacific Ocean.

Experience Playing at a Premier Golf Course at El Niguel Country Club

El Niguel Country Club is a private club with a premier 18-hole golf course, a clubhouse with several dining areas, and a fitness center.

Although this is a member-owned club, guests are very much welcome here.

Book a tee time at the 18-hole golf course and spend some quality time with your family at the clubhouse, which is the perfect place to go when you want to relax and eat good food after finishing a game.

Just make sure to check their dress code on their website to avoid any inconveniences when you arrive at the clubhouse.

If this is your first time visiting the country club, do not forget to review their other policies before your scheduled visit, which you can also find on their website, for a fun time.

Rules here are strictly implemented to ensure that members and guests will have a comfortable and memorable visit.

Buy Some Local Produce at Laguna Niguel Farmers’ Market

Fresh carrots kept for sale at Laguna Niguel Farmers’ Market
Meandering Trail Media / Shutterstock.com

If you are planning on staying long in Laguna Niguel and are looking for fresh produce to stock in your kitchen, Laguna Niguel Farmers Market is a great place to visit.

You can be assured that you are only buying the freshest local produce in top quality when you visit the farmers market, as only local farmers who are certified by the Orange County Farm Bureau are allowed to sell here.

There are also items here for your pets.

If you are looking for tropical trees you can use to decorate and brighten up your living space, you can also find them here.

For people who are looking for healthy snacks that they can munch on, there are also organic nuts available.

There are also freshly baked products here, so you are sure to find items that will suit your taste.

If you need a quick energy boost, you can also find stalls that sell coffee.

The farmers market is open all year round and features a wide variety of products that you and your loved ones can enjoy.

All in all, it is a nice place to visit.

Go Hiking at Salt Creek Trail

Paved road at Salt Creek Trail
Steve Cukrov / Shutterstock.com

For those who want to marvel at the beauty of nature in a more active way, Salt Creek Trail is a great spot for hiking and biking.

This is the city’s longest trail segment, so if you are looking for a challenging trail that features gorgeous views, this trail might be a great option for you.

It connects Dana Point trails to Salt Creek Beach, but do not worry, as you are not required to finish the whole trail.

You may opt to do sections of the trail only, depending on your ability and experience in hiking and biking.

Make sure that you are dressed appropriately when you explore this trail, as it features areas that are a little difficult to explore.

Learn more about Art in ARTime Studio

Since its doors opened in 2002, ARTime Studio has taught students of all ages how to create works of art using watercolor, acrylic, graphite, chalk, graphic art, and ceramics.

Two well-known Spanish-language TV stations highlighted ARTime Studio for running the "Best Studio of the Year."

Laguna Niguel is one of four current ARTime Studio sites in various locations.

They provide an in-studio combination program to teach and practice skills that will enable students to comprehend various media, drawing, sketching forms, shadowing, and more.

Check out ARTime Studio if you want to learn how to create art!

Pair Your Meal with Drinks at the Original Patsy's Irish Pub

Patsy's Irish Pub began as a tiny seafood restaurant in 1984.

The reputation of Patsy's Irish Pub is a welcoming neighborhood bar with top-notch cuisine and beverages.

They feature various services, including karaoke, music, expert DJs, charitable events, and much more.

A hardwood bar and lovely wood and stone walls were added in 2010, giving it a brand-new appearance.

They will take you to old-world Ireland while providing modern amenities thanks to their dim lighting and Irish antiques.

The sports part and the homeland edge, which honors Patsy's Irish background, are two sizable pubs that welcome visitors to a warm, welcoming atmosphere.

Enjoy great meals paired with beverages from a wide selection of American and Irish dishes on the menu.

Shop at Nordstrom Rack

Exterior view of Nordstrom Rack
Arne Beruldsen / Shutterstock.com

Looking for discounts on your top brands' apparel, accessories, beauty products, and home goods?

Visit Nordstrom Rack to get fantastic savings in a variety of categories.

Search for women's fashion, shoes, cosmetics, men's wear, children's clothing, bags, and accessories.

Everything you seek, from the newest trends to essentials, is available at fantastic pricing.

Items from Nike, Adidas, Calvin Klein, Madewell, and more are available at Nordstrom Rack.

Additionally, they have yearly events that include new arrivals, house sales, new markdowns, and more.

For over 40 years, Nordstrom Rack provided consumers services while selling at lower prices.

Admire the Surroundings at Laguna Hills Lodge

The Laguna Hills Lodge offers warm hospitality to visitors at a very reasonable rate.

The chic apartments and pleasant garden setting provide visitors with a tranquil and enjoyable setting.

Lavish gardens surround their accommodations with many more lush flowers, including hundreds of different species of roses, which attractively stand the Laguna Hills Lodge apart from bland commercial hotels.

A Fitness center, Finnish saunas, lovely gardens, a business hub, accessible parking, free wi-fi access, and many more amenities are available.

They provide their visitors with a complimentary continental breakfast that includes cereal, bagels, muffins, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and more.

Grab a Drink at OC Local Taproom

The top independent craft brewers from Orange County are easily enjoyed at OC Local Taproom.

In their luminous, entertaining, and kid-friendly OC Local Taproom, taste craft beer from the top brewers.

They feature the top craft independent breweries, with a heavy emphasis on those in Orange County, but they also feature those in San Diego and the Inland Empire.

In addition to using only California-born and -raised liquor in their handcrafted specialty cocktails, each one of their wine comes from the Golden State.

The greatest independent craft brewers can be found all in one place at OC Local Taproom.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Enjoy the Sun at Table Rock Beach

Picturesque view of the turquoise blue water and a house on the cliff at Table Rock Beach
Jon Bilous / Shutterstock.com

Laguna Beach, Laguna Niguel's neighboring city, is just a short drive away.

The city is known for its art galleries, coves, and of course, beaches.

If you are already missing the sound of the waves, the sandy shore, and the cool sea breeze, you may go to Table Rock Beach, which is less than 10 minutes away from Laguna Niguel.

This is one of the locals' favorite beach destinations in the area because it is secluded, perfect for those who are looking for a quiet and relaxing time in paradise.

People enjoying at Table Rock Beach
Monique.patil, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you are traveling with your pets, you can also bring them here.

Just make sure that they are on a leash the whole duration of your visit.

For travelers who are up for some water adventures, this is also a good place to body surf, kayak, stand-up paddle.

Try Award-Winning Wines at Laguna Canyon Winery

Closer view of Laguna Canyon Winery
Steve Cukrov / Shutterstock.com

Another popular attraction among tourists and locals in Laguna Beach is Laguna Canyon Winery.

The winery started producing wine in 2003 and has already won more than 40 awards.

They have a tasting room that is open to the public who would love to try their award-winning wines.

They feature wine-tasting machines where guests can choose the ones that they want to taste according to their preferences.

There is also no need to rush when in the tasting room, as you are free to try the wines at your own pace.

If you want to elevate your experience, there are cheeses, gourmet crackers, and salami available for purchase.

They also feature various events here that members and guests can enjoy.

To know more about their upcoming events, check out their website.

Pay a Visit to Laguna Art Museum

Beautiful glass exterior of the Laguna Art Museum
Steve Cukrov / Shutterstock.com

Laguna Art Museum, located in Laguna Beach, is the oldest known cultural institution in the area.

The museum features various art forms made exclusively by California artists.

So, if you are new to the California art scene and would like to know more about it, this is definitely a good place to visit.

While you are here, you will also know more about life in the state and its history.

Exterior view of Laguna Art Museum
Steve Cukrov / Shutterstock.com

For art enthusiasts, you can also join some programs and workshops here.

They also offer various family events where you and your kids can enjoy and create some artwork together.

After exploring the museum, there are a number of restaurants that are just a few steps away from the museum that you can visit.

Have Your Photos Taken at Pirate Tower

Tall Pirate Tower at Laguna Beach
LenaFoster / Shutterstock.com

Also located in Laguna Beach, Pirate Tower, which can be found in Victoria Beach, is one of California's historical landmarks.

This 60-foot tower, which was built in 1926, houses a private staircase of the mansion that sits on top of the cliff beside it.

The private staircase was used by the owners of the mansion to access the beach.

Scenic view of Pirate Tower
Joe Belanger / Shutterstock.com

According to some tales, its nickname, "Pirate Tower," came from the second owner of the estate, who, according to stories, would dress up as a pirate and would hide coins between the rocks of the tower.

The tower remains to be locked but people still come here to have their photos taken outside the beautiful tower.

Before heading home, you can also enjoy a quick swim at the beach here.

Stay at a World-Class Accommodation at Monarch Beach Resort

View from a roof top restaurant at Monarch Beach Resort
Amy Cochran / Shutterstock.com

If you are traveling with your family to Dana Point and are planning to stay for a while before heading back to Laguna Niguel, Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club offers top-notch accommodations, complete with modern amenities that you will definitely enjoy.

The resort, which is only an 8-minute drive away from Laguna Niguel, offers standard rooms and suites with a TV, complimentary Wi-Fi connection, and a private bathroom with bathtub and shower facilities.

Each room also has a private balcony with outdoor seating, which is a great spot to lounge and enjoy a glass of your favorite cocktail.

Party set up in a lawn at Monarch Beach Resort
Amy Cochran / Shutterstock.com

Best of all, the beach is located right next to the beach, so if you want to go for a swim, you can do so any time.

For travelers who want to have a savory meal while watching the gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean, they can try the on-site restaurant, Bourbon Steak.

They also feature a full-service spa, perfect for when you want to take a breather and pamper yourself.

Play Beach Volleyball at Thousand Steps Beach

Beautiful cave at Thousand Steps Beach
SunflowerMomma / Shutterstock.com

One of the largest beaches in California is Thousand Steps Beach, which is just less than 10 minutes away from Laguna Niguel.

It features a long stretch of sandy shore where you can lie down and savor the warmth of the sun.

There are also volleyball courts that you can use if you want to have some fun on the beach.

There are also caves that visitors can explore during their visit to the beach.

View of the caves at Thousand Steps Beach, California
Ali Max Photography / Shutterstock.com

Although a favorite attraction among tourists and locals, the beach is not as crowded and still offers plenty of space where visitors can relax and enjoy the calmness of the sea.

You can access the beach by going across 9th Ave and then going down the long stairway.

Do not worry about the long stairway, as there are spots along the way where you can rest first and marvel at the beautiful view of the beach.

Beach houses at Thousand Steps Beach
Jon Bilous / Shutterstock.com

Bring Your Kids to Zoomars at River Street Ranch

Located in San Juan Capistrano, Zoomars at River Street Ranch is a great place to visit for travelers who are looking for something fun to do with the whole family.

The Ranch, which is less than 15 minutes away from Laguna Niguel, started its operations in 1980 and has been family-owned and operated since then.

Today, the ranch is a famous destination for travelers who are looking for various activities that can be enjoyed by the whole family.

If you are traveling with your kids, there are pony and train rides that they can try here.

For those who have kids who are animal lovers, the ranch features a guinea pig pen where kids can pet and feed some guinea pigs.

They can also feed, pet, and brush some goats and sheep in the ranch's goat and sheep pen.

This is the only petting zoo in the whole of Orange County, so make sure to drop by if you are in the area for a memorable time with the family.

Final Thoughts

With great weather, huge open spaces, and lots of recreational activities, Laguna Niguel should be a part of your top travel destinations.

Its proximity to gorgeous beaches also makes it perfect for an ultimate summer getaway with your loved ones.

So, if you want to have a lot of fun outdoors, do not forget to check out this list of the best things to do in Laguna Niguel.

Discover More of Orange County, CA

Things to Do in Santa Ana, California

Things to Do in Irvine, California

Things to Do in Garden Grove, CA

Things to Do in Fullerton, CA

Things to Do in Costa Mesa, CA

Things to Do in Newport Beach, CA

Things to Do in Lake Forest, CA

Things to Do in Buena Park, CA

Things to Do in Tustin, CA

Things to Do in San Clemente, CA

Things to Do in Brea, CA

Things to Do in San Juan Capistrano, CA

Things to Do in Dana Point, California

Things to Do in Laguna Hills, CA

Spotted a mistake, have some feedback, or just want to chat with our editorial team? Click here to get in touch.
Find out more about Travel Lens and read our editorial guidelines here.