A city made famous by MTV, Laguna Beach, California, is home to about 25,000 residents, and is approximately 24 miles southeast of Santa Ana in coastal Orange County. It is an affluent city, with a median household income of more than $90,000. The city encompasses almost 10 square miles and has a population density of about 2,700 people per square mile. Laguna Beach is an old seaside resort and artist community, and is the second oldest city in South Orange County.
The area was first inhabited by coastal Indians, attracted to the area for the two freshwater lakes in a nearby canyon. It is unique in the region for being one of the few cities that was never included as part of the Spanish land grants, mostly because the land is too steep and rocky for farming or ranching. The town gained a reputation for its beautiful beaches and shores, and become a resort even in the early 1900s.
The city still is notable as a resort village, and is estimated that it attracts as many as 40,000 visitors daily during the summer months, almost double its usual population, most of whom come to enjoy the seven miles of beaches and the still-thriving arts scene. Transportation throughout the area is most common along the Pacific Coast Highway, which connects to Newport Beach to the northwest and Dana Point to the south. Children here attend schools within the Laguna Beach Unified School District, and medical services are provided by the South Coast Medical Center.
Two of the events the city is most known for, the Festival of Arts and the Pageant of the Masters, have been ongoing since the 1930s and are held at the Irvine Bowl. Other events that are notable in the city include the Sawdust Winter Fantasy, the Art-A-Fair Festival, and the Music in the Park Summer Concert Series at Bluebird Park. Points of interest for residents and visitors alike to enjoy include the Laguna Art Museum, the Laguna Playhouse, the Pacific Marine Mammal Center, and more than 75 art galleries. The Laguna Coast Wilderness Park offers 6,500 acres of space to enjoy, and the South Coast Wilderness Parks offers an additional 17,000 acres.
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