Photo by Amanda Friedman, AFAR Media
Laguna Art MuseumLaguna Beach’s deep connection with the arts goes back in 1918, when 150 local creative residents started the Laguna Beach Art Association (the city’s population was only 300 then). That association went on to launch what’s now the Laguna Art Museum. Although the museum covers countless genres and eras, there’s one thing every piece has in common: They’re all made in California. The 3,500-strong permanent collection spans the early 19th-century to present day, from light and space installations to Pop Art (and also includes pieces by art-world stars like Ed Ruscha and Wayne Thiebaud). It’s rounded out by a handful of new California-centric exhibitions each year. Highly knowledgeable docents—all have completed an extensive nine-month training course—lead lively one-hour walk-throughs daily at 11 a.m. Friday to Tuesday; groups of 10 or more guests may book guided tours in advance. Must-do: Hit the museum on a Thursday night when it stays open until 9 p.m. and becomes a community hub, with lectures, film screenings, and live concerts in the galleries.