The Laguna Beach Lifestyle
~ When I first arrived in Laguna Beach, it was 1981. Driving down from L.A., Laguna was an awe-inspiring escape from the bustle and traffic of Los Angeles. Captivated by the pristine white sandy beaches and the clear blue expanse of ocean, I was struck by the welcoming community – everyone seemed to be friendly and smiling. A quaint, coastal town made festive by the plentiful art galleries, eclectic boutiques, sidewalk cafes, and art festivals. I decided then and there that Laguna Beach is where I would retire… I was all of 20 years old.
Fast forward to 1996, with a new baby and a desire to escape from the craziness of Los Angeles, Laguna Beach was becoming a welcome short-term retreat for our small family. Weekend “getaways” became more frequent. Laguna’s clean beaches, family-friendly parks, and active Laguna Beach lifestyle were an ever enticing alternative to L.A’s fast-paced, stress-filled sprawl.
Cruising through the tree-lined, picturesque back streets one afternoon, we found a For Rent sign on a charming little cottage on Lombardy Lane. Although it was half the size and twice the price of our home in the Hollywood Hills, to us it was worth every dime. We rented the cute beach cottage immediately and never looked back. Though our first little abode was a bit cramped, the great thing about Laguna Beach is that most of your days are spent outdoors… enjoying the parks, strolling along sandy coves or wandering through the village shops. Moreover, Laguna offered a beach lifestyle we craved and we fell in – hook line and sinker!
Living in Laguna Beach
I joined the “Mom’s Club” and made fast friends. My children learned to walk on the soft sands of Cress Street beach. We spent hours at Bluebird Park, climbing the colorful “Rocket Ship” and picnicking with other families under the canopy of Eucalyptus and Palm trees. Every holiday was a community event, from Independence day fireworks celebrations, “Music in the Park” summer Saturdays to Hospitality Night at Christmastime. Laguna Beach was a dream for our young family and we felt instantly connected to the fabric of this small-town community.
When our children started school, I went back to work as a Real Estate Broker. My enthusiasm for my profession grew as I became more familiar with the unique and special neighborhoods that make up this beach community. I feel privileged to introduce other families to this amazing world in which we reside. My real estate company became a local boutique that focuses, not just on selling houses, but welcoming families to the Laguna lifestyle. Whether buying or renting – our mission is to make our new neighbors feel “at home”. Twenty-three years later, I’m still excited about discovering a new house for my clients – from enchanting beach cottages to spectacular ocean-view estates – it just never gets old!
Laguna’s Close-knit Community
Laguna Beach is still magical for us. To this day, when I drive over the crest of a hill and see the wide blue sweep of the Pacific ocean below and Catalina Island on the horizon, my breath catches in my throat at the sheer beauty. The lush hillsides of Mystic Hills cascading to the village below are a stunning sight I will never tire of. Laguna is not just a place, it’s a lifestyle. Our Laguna Beach Lifestyle.
I feel a sense of gratitude every day for the beauty that surrounds me here. I believe all those who live here feel that way. The residents are neighborly and look out for each other. Next Door is our “go-to” alert system and community newsletter updating neighbors about lost cats, dogs, and upcoming events. Enthusiastic locals post inspiring signs on corners to help remind others that “You Can Do It!” And “Your Mistakes Do Not Define You!” Even though it’s become a resort town during the summer months, Laguna Beach still has a “small town” feel.
My children have grown from babies to young adults in this safe, friendly community. They have attended all five schools – El Morro, Top of the World, Thurston, Laguna Beach High School and Laguna College of Art and Design. They’ve made life-long friends beginning in preschool to Boys & Girls club through graduation and they still gather with these same friends on holidays and breaks. And I still intend to retire here. In fact, I’ve since taken up painting and become involved with the Festival of Arts by joining the Artist’s Fund Board. My family has become part of the tapestry of Laguna Beach. Truly, I never want to leave – this is a forever home… it just doesn’t get any better than this!
A Laguna Local
Cynthia Ayers is the Broker/Owner of Laguna Coast Real Estate. A Realtor for over 30 years, a local “soccer mom”, an enthusiastic photographer, fledgling painter, and creative journalist. Beginning a real estate career on the administrative and marketing end in Toronto, Cynthia moved into real estate sales in Beverly Hills, Malibu and Hollywood Hills before relocating to Laguna Beach with her family. She is active on the Board of The Artist’s Fund at the Festival of Arts and is happily immersed in Laguna’s Artistic community.