Getting Around Laguna Beach
The best way to get around Laguna Beach is by car. Because the town isn't all that big and it's an affluent community, there isn't a traditional public transportation system here. The only public transit available is the Laguna Beach trolley which, with the exception of summer, is only available on the weekends and only takes visitors through the center of town. The closest airport is John Wayne Airport (SNA), which sits about 16 miles northeast of the town.
A car is by far the easiest way to get around Laguna Beach. While the center of town is pretty walkable and there is a trolley that serves that general area, if you want to explore anywhere north of the Pacific Coast Highway, including Crystal Cove State Park or Laguna Wilderness Park , you'll need a car. You can rent a car at John Wayne Airport or at Laguna Beach Car Rentals or Enterprise Rent-A-Car in town, the latter two are located next to one another on Laguna Canyon Road.
The Laguna Beach Trolley is the only form of public transportation the town has. It is fantastic if you want to take a break from driving and see the sights along the coast. The trolley has eight routes that primarily run along the Pacific Coast Highway, with some also detouring into town. The route that goes furthest north is Route 3, which can take visitors to the popular Top of the World viewpoint.
It's important to note that this trolley does not run every day year-round. From June 27 to Aug. 30, the trolley is in operation (and free of charge) from 9 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Outside of that, the trolley is only available on the weekends. Plus, the availability and the price of the trolley depend on which line you ride. To take a ride along the coast, Route 6 and 7 will be your best bet. Both of these routes operate daily during the summer, and from 4 to 11 p.m. on Fridays; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays throughout the rest of the year. What's more, both routes are free during these time frames. Other routes cost 75 cents to ride for adults and 35 cents to ride for seniors 65 and older and disabled persons; children 7 and younger can always ride for free.
Ride-hailing apps like Lyft and Uber operate in Laguna Beach. If you want to take a taxi to get around, you'd need to take a California Yellow Cab, which charges a base fee of $3.50 and then $2.75 for every mile thereafter. If you are stuck in traffic, you will incur a $32 per hour charge. And if you are coming from John Wayne Airport, expect to pay around $40 for the ride.