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Laguna Beach vs Newport Beach: Which One is Better to Choose?

Are you a Southern California resident or visitor from any other country deciding which city between Laguna Beach vs Newport Beach will suit you? Whether you want a relaxing trip or you’re going to relocate to Orange County, these two beach towns excel in both.

But they differ in features and amenities each has to offer. Scroll down and discover all the details about these two Californian coastal cities!

Laguna Beach vs Newport Beach

Read also: Why Is California So Expensive: 7 Important Factors to Know

Quick Comparison

Laguna Beach and Newport Beach are among the wealthiest cities in Orange County. This is due to the numerous elegant spots and upscale places throughout the two cities.

  • Laguna Beach provides countless instances of natural magnificence but is scarce in shopping and vibrant nightlife. Additionally, it exudes a bohemian vibe that accompanies its rich art-culture panorama.
  • Newport Beach has an active nightlife and more options for shopping.

But it is not all about comparing Laguna Beach vs Newport Beach. Keep reading and know the upsides and downsides of both cities, their cost of living, job opportunities, education, activities, and so on. Let’s dive into the details!

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Laguna Beach vs Newport Beach – Comparison Chart

Here is a comparison chart of Laguna Beach and Newport Beach.




Cost of Living

High, expensive housing and essential services

High, but more budget-friendly than Laguna

Things to Do

Art, hiking, small-town charm

Water activities, heritage, shopping, nightlife

Housing Costs

Expensive, 4.0% pricier than Newport Beach

Expensive, slightly lower than Laguna Beach

Location, Size

Smaller, situated on the border of Dana Point

Larger, near major routes and commercial zones


22,000 - 23,000 residents

82,000 - 83,000 residents

Job Opportunities

Positive job market, various sectors available

Positive job market, diverse job sectors

Advantages and Drawbacks of Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach is among the best-loved beach towns that residents and visitors visit in large numbers. It is known for its sun-kissed sand and turquoise waters.

However, Laguna Beach comes with ups and downs that you must be aware of. Without further ado, let us delve into the pros and cons of Laguna Beach:

Pros of Laguna Beach

Let’s look at the pros of Laguna Beach below:

Pros of Laguna Beach

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  • Availability of many beaches: Although Laguna is a tiny beach town, it has about 30 beautiful beaches. Whether you prefer to unwind on a stunning Sunday beach or go for a thrilling, packed beach day such as scuba diving, Laguna Beach has everything for you.
  • A Vibrant Art Hub: Laguna Beach is well known as a vibrant Art town. Back in the 1,980s, Laguna Beach was recognized as an art colony after a group of artists settled in Laguna Beach. Recently, the city boast a thriving art community, making it famous for its exciting art festivals throughout the year.
  • The indulging food options: Laguna Beach is brimming with acclaimed restaurants and exciting food scenes. From Mexican to Asian to Belgium, its restaurants offer American and coastline food scenes and International food options.
  • A Hiker’s Playground: This beach offers numerous beaches and a hiker’s playground that gives a wealth of inland activities. Furthermore, Laguna Beach has hills surrounding it, providing hiking and mountain biking space.
  • Natural landmarks and parks: Laguna Beach has trees to venture into. Therefore, if you need a break from the city’s idyllic beaches, get a walk to this park and know what they offer. These parks include Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness and Crystal Cove State Park. It also has a cascading waterfall and caves that are accessible year-round.
  • Safety: Laguna Beach is considered a safe place to stay and visit. The crime rate is hugely lower than the national average. Most citizens feel secure, and the police officer is on patrol 24 hours, working at a high standard.
  • Getting around Laguna Beach is a breeze: Depending on where you landed, getting around Laguna Town is walkable on foot. Whether you use a bus, trolley, or walk, you can access all Laguna Beach attractions.

Cons of Laguna Beach

Just like any other city, there are disadvantages to living or visiting Laguna. Let us look at those disadvantages:

Cons of Laguna Beach
  • Parking and Traffic: Laguna Beach has a lot of space, meaning there needs to be more space for parking vehicles. As a result, it has led to traffic congestion, causing delays in reaching the final destination.
  • Basic services expenses: Though this does not come daily, they are slightly more expensive than the rest of the US cities. A haircut costs around $20, while a beauty salon costs about $60.
  • Homeless individuals: Laguna Beach is a tiny city, but you can meet here homeless people.
  • Housing expenses: Buying or renting a house in Laguna is 180% higher than the national average cost.
  • Transportation cost: Transportation cost here is 27% more expensive than the national average.

Read also: Huntington Beach vs Newport Beach: Which One is the Best

Pros and Cons of Newport Beach

With its diverse culture and stunning beaches, Newport Beach in Orange County has everything you need to be comfortable while living there. Let us delve into the reasons to love Newport Beach and the potential drawbacks to consider before moving there:

Pros of Newport Beach

Here are the advantages of Newport Beach:

Pros of Newport Beach
  • Living expenses: If you have a tight budget, choose Newport Beach. The cost of living is less than the national average.
  • Beautiful beaches and water activities: Newport Beach is well-known for its remarkable pristine waters and coastline, providing a stunning environment to relish the sun, sand, and surfing. It offers countless possibilities to those who love water activities, such as boating, paddleboarding, scuba diving, and kayaking.
  • Educational options: Students of varying ages in Newport Beach acquire a top-notch education through the assistance of the Newport-Mesa Unified School District. Moreover, the region has numerous private schools that guarantee all students can access the best educational prospects.
  • Diverse Dining Scene: Newport Beach has several restaurants that offer varied and delicious dishes. If you need a taste of local flavor, visit the famous Bear Flag Fish Co., which provides fresh seafood in a casual atmosphere.
  • Outdoor Recreation And Fitness: Living in Newport Beach means you will not stay idle even for a minute. The city has an extensive network of parks and trails, including the picturesque Back Bay Loop Trail, creating a perfect setting for jogging, cycling, or leisurely walking.
  • Diverse Arts and Cultural Scene: Newport Beach houses a remarkable arts and culture scene featuring numerous venues and events all year round. Furthermore, residents can relish the wide range of exhibits and programs provided by the Newport Beach Public Library and the Orange County Museum of Art.
  • Proximity to the airport: Newport Beach is near the John Wayne Airport, making it conveniently accessible to catch domestic flights for day trips and enjoyable warm summer weekend days.
  • Historic sites: Newport Beach has numerous historical places that residents and visitors can explore. Balboa Island in Newport houses the iconic Balboa Peninsula, home to the famous Balboa Fun Zone and the historical Balboa Pavilion.
  • Job market: Newport Beach has many opening sectors, such as management, sales, business & administration, and entertainment, where individuals can apply for a job.

Cons of Newport Beach

Discover the disadvantages of living in Newport Beach:

Cons of Newport Beach
  • Traffic: Traffic problems have been a big problem in Newport Beach. Residents and visitors encounter traffic congestion, especially in the rush hours.
  • High cost of living: Despite Newport Beach being known for its luxurious beaches, their prices are extremely more elevated than the national average. Groceries, houses, and other necessities are expensive.
  • Humidity: The nearby Pacific Ocean has higher water vapor content than the air over land, causing a high moisture level in Newport Beach.
  • Crowds: Newport Beach is a popular destination for tourists, meaning it can be overcrowded, especially during peak season, and parking can be a problem.

Comparing the Geographies, Sizes, and Populations of Laguna Beach and Newport Beach

Let us explore the distinctions between Laguna Beach and Newport Beach, focusing on their respective geographical locations, size, and the number of people in that area:

Population in Laguna Beach vs Newport Beach

Newport Beach: Location, Size, and Population Demographics

Newport Beach is greatly larger than Laguna, boasting a population of 82,000 – 83,000. The Newport is significantly close to the 55 freeway and the 405 community opportunity zone that facilitates easy access to them:

  • South Coast Plaza;
  • Crystal Cove State Park and Beach;
  • Corona Del Mar.

Furthermore, its closeness to Cosa Mesa, Santa Ana, Irvine, and John Wayne Airport makes it more business-orientated.

Laguna Beach: Location, Size, and Population Demographics

Laguna Beach’s population fluctuates between 22,000 and 23,000 individuals and is much smaller than Newport Beach. It lies on the border of Dana Point to the North. Furthermore, Laguna Beach suffers from connectivity since it possesses merely two access points:

  • The Coast Highway (SR-1);
  • Laguna Canyon Road (SR-133).

Residing in Laguna Beach is challenging due to the lack of transportation possibilities, making it difficult to move from one place to another.

Laguna Beach vs Newport Beach: How Do The Beaches Compare?

Sun, golden sands, and whelming weather are all you find in Laguna beaches and Newport beaches. Both cities offer an exciting atmosphere for vacation, but how do these two cities compare in terms of beaches? Check out the comparison here:

1. Size

The main difference between Laguna and Newport beaches is the size. Laguna offers a distinct atmosphere that is difficult to beat and a small parking space if you’re going for the views. In contrast, Newport Beaches are wide enough for parking for individuals who need to spend several days in the sun.

Laguna Beach vs Newport Beach

2. Type of Family

The extensive expanse of coastline in Newport Beaches is prime for any family and couples. Laguna Beaches focus on adult couples; therefore, casual family beach activities are less popular.

3. Most Popular Beaches

The Main Beach in Laguna Beach is the most known beach, with over 100 activities. Other beaches include Aliso Beach, Crescent Bay Beach, and so on. Newport’s delightful beaches are Easton’s Beach, Gooseberry Beach, and King Park Beach.

Laguna Beach vs Newport Beach

Housing Costs in Laguna Beach vs Newport Beach

House expenses in Laguna vs Newport Beach exceed the national average. However, the cost of housing in Laguna Beach is 4.0% higher than in Newport Beach.

  • Laguna Beach: Rental residences of two bedrooms in Laguna Beach, California, exhibit a median price of $2,326. They are increasing 98% to the average rental rate across the US. Homes for purchase in Laguna Beach present a median listed homevalue of $3,795,000.
  • Newport Beach: On the other hand, the median rental price for a two-bedroom in Newport is $480, and 3 Bedrooms go up to $600 while owning a home in Newport will cost a median listing home price of $1350000.
Housing Costs in Laguna Beach vs Newport Beach

Laguna Beach vs Newport Beach – Cost of Living

The housing, food, education, and other services costs are significantly higher in both cities than the national average. However, Newport Beach is 2.5% higher compared to Laguna Beach.

The typical expense in Laguna Beach is $2641, which is the top 3% of the most high-priced cities globally, while the average expense in Newport Beach is $3479, positioning it within the uppermost 0.2% of the most expensive urban areas worldwide.

Laguna Beach vs Newport Beach: Exploring Things to Do

With so many incredibly beautiful beaches scattered throughout Orange County, Laguna Beach, and Newport Beach are hotspots for residents and tourists in the state. Let us explore what Newport Beach and Laguna Beach citizens do.

5 Things to Do in Newport Beach

Newport Beach offers promising opportunities for recreational activities such as swimming, surfing, scuba diving, and paddling. Leave behind the recreational actions, Newport Beach has heritage and culture evident at its every turn, like its surroundings and among its businesses.

Read on to know what Newport citizens do both for leisure and business:

1. Kayaking, Scuba Diving, and Paddling

The best activities and attractions in Newport Beach focus on water sports such as kayaking, diving, and others. Balboa Island, nestled between Newport Beach mainland and the Balboa Peninsula, offers an excellent opportunity for Keyakers, divers, surfers, and paddlers to observe marine life.

Balboa Island

2. Observing Majestic Whales

Whale watching functions both as a commercial and a recreational pursuit:

  • During winter and spring, whales move to the southern regions and subsequently return.
  • Furthermore, tourist crowds gather in the warm summer weekend day, and fall seasons to observe gliding in that area.
Note: The best point that gives a nice view of the whale watching experience is the Newport Landing Whale Watching.

3. Explore the Sherman Library and Gardens

The Sherman Library gives the most extraordinary things to engage in while in Newport Beach. Once you land in this area, locals will provide you with informational books on the history of the Pacific Southwest.

Sherman Library and Gardens
Credit:, @Sherman Library and Gardens

Additionally, there are chances for sightseeing in various themed gardens featuring:

  • Conservatories;
  • Patios;
  • Seasonal flowers;
  • Fountains;
  • Beautiful tea garden with a creperie and al fresco dining options.

4. Shop at Fashion Island

Are you in Newport Beach unsure where to go for shopping? Fashion Island presents an outdoor luxury shopping center filled with fun activities to relish and boasts fantastic panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean. Take home different boutique versions, fresh food items, and household necessities.

Fashion Island

5. Visit the Historical sites in Newport Beach

Newport Beach boasts numerous historical sites that showcase the heritage and customs of the citizens. The Balboa Island Museum and Historical Society stands out as one of the greatest museums in Orange County, offering a fun and interactive way to discover the locals and traditions of Newport Beach.

8 Things to Do in Laguna Beach

Are you filled with liveliness, curiosity, art, zest, and exploration? Read on to discover your inspiration for your stay in Laguna Beach with us:

1. Take a Stroll through Heisler Park

Once you are exhausted with water-based activities, stroll through Heisler Park to the North of Main Beach. The park provides numerous public Arts pieces. You can also relish a picnic on the lawn or barbecue with fellow explorers.

Heisler Park

2. Ride a Trolley

Laguna Beach offers complimentary trolley rides all year round. However, schedules and routines of events change based on the occasion. Therefore, verifying the trolley excursion schedule in advance is important.

3. Explore the Tide Pools

View the amazing marine life hidden just below the waves. Laguna Beach has numerous tide pooling opportunities that allow you to view the aquatic creatures, from sea stars to anemones.

Tide Pools

4. Shopping

Whether looking for home items, jewelry, water sports wear, gifts, or just window shopping, Laguna Beach has many choices, such as ready-to-wear art and unique designer accessories.

5. Enjoy Live Music After Dark

Laguna Beach has many restaurants that offer a nice environment for live music at night. Enjoy the Laguna dishes while listening to the great music.

6. Play Volleyball & Basketball at Main Beach

Main Beach has good news for volleyball and basketball fans. Enjoy a pickup game at the Two half-court and sand volleyball courts.

Volleyball at Laguna Main Beach

7. Snorkeling

Snorkeling lets the individual explore Laguna’s beautiful waters and enter the sea life below. Here are the best beaches in Laguna for snorkeling:

  • Shaw’s Cove;
  • Diver’s Cove;
  • Treasure Island.

8. Explore Crystal Cove, State Park 

Crystal Coves is a three-mile offshore coastline watercrafted as an underwater park. This park has everything for every individual visiting the area.

Crystal Cove, State Park 

Here are some activities that you can indulge in while in Crystal Cove State Park:

  • Swimming;
  • Surfing;
  • Scuba diving;
  • Mountain biking;
  • Hiking;
  • Fishing.

Job Opportunities in Laguna Beach and Newport Beach

Despite both cities featuring a steep expense in buying and renting a house, the job market in Laguna and Newport is unquestionable. Furthermore, the unemployment rate in the two cities is exceedingly low since it has many openings for work. Instances of job openings in both cities on the following:

  • Management;
  • Business & administrative;
  • Entertainment.
Job Opportunities in Laguna Beach and Newport Beach

Therefore, Laguna vs Newport Beach’s job market is positive. The average salary in Laguna Beach, California, is $20.61 an hour or $42,878 yearly while the mean income for jobs in Newport Beach, California stands at $71,731 (USD) annually, or $34 (USD) per hour.

Education in Laguna Beach and Newport Beach

Laguna and Newport Beach are renowned for providing top-tier education. Let’s delve into the educational offerings of each city, spanning from preschools to schools:

Schools in Newport Beach vs Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach is a Southern California city that offers elementary, middle, and high schools through private and public schools. Examples of public schools in Laguna are:

Schools in Newport Beach vs Laguna Beach
  • Portola High School (Public school);
  • Unified School District (Elementary school);
  • El Morro Elementary (Elementary school);
  • Anneliese’s Schools (Private school).

In Newport Beach, most students attend private schools, resulting in high performance. Here is a list of the top schools in Newport Beach:

Schools in Newport Beach vs Laguna Beach
  • Newport Christian School;
  • Kaiser Elementary School;
  • Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic School;
  • Pepperdine University;
  • Orange Coast College.

Preschools in Laguna Beach vs Newport Beach

Most parents take their kids to preschools between3 and 4 years old. However, other very busy parents take their kids to daycare when they are 18-30 months old. Here is a list of Preschools in Laguna and Newport Beach:

Preschools in Laguna include:

Preschools in Laguna Beach vs Newport Beach
  • Anneliese Schools;
  • Laguna Presbyterian Preschool;
  • Kid Care Brookie’s Mom;
  • Canyon Kinder Haus;
  • Marina View Preschool & Kindergarten.

Preschools in Newport Beach are:

Preschools in Laguna Beach vs Newport Beach
  • City of Newport Beach;
  • Childtime of Newport Beach, CA;
  • Orange Tree Christian Preschool;
  • Newport Harbor Preschool;
  • Newport Coast Child Development Preschool.

Newport Beach vs Laguna Beach – Climate

Laguna and Newport Beach have experienced similar climates since they are close.

  • Both cities experience bright sunshine most of the year, with low precipitation during the summer.
  • Laguna Beach is somewhat cooler during the summer than Newport Beach.
  • During the winter, both are rather cool as for coastal cities.
  • Newport Beach with an average low of 49°F and high of 66°Fis slightly cooler than Laguna Beach with an average low temperature of 50°F and a high of 66°F.

Newport Beach vs Laguna Beach: Crime Rates

Newport Beach’s crime rates are 3% below the national average, whereas Laguna Beach is 7% lower than the rest of the US cities. This shows that Laguna Beach is more secure than Newport Beach.

Newport Beach vs Laguna Beach: Crime Rates

The most common crime rates in Newport are violence and sexual offenses, while Laguna has high rates of murders and robbery cases.

Laguna Beach vs Newport Beach – Culture and Vibe

Laguna Beach and Newport Beach differ in terms of culture and vibe. Let us discuss what is the culture and vibe of each city in detail:

Culture and Vibe at Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach boasts an artistic culture together with a Bohemian vibe. It hosts several festivals, such as:

  • The Festival of Arts;
  • Pageant of The Masters;
  • Art-A-Fair;
  • Sawdust Festival;
  • Craft Festival.
Culture and Vibe at Laguna Beach

Additionally, Laguna Beach boasts live music performances for local artists, conducted almost annually, and children’s activities are also available. Behind the live music, Laguna Beach boasts:

  • Many restaurants;
  • Hotels,
  • Retail shops;
  • Resorts range from inexpensive to five-star royalty.

Culture and Vibe at Newport Beach

When discussing Newport Beach culture, the focus is on luxury, lifestyle, and all things elegant. Regarding culinary options, The Wedge is the birthplace of trendy bars and restaurants offering delectable dishes from local and international cuisines.

Culture and Vibe at Newport Beach

Furthermore, you can tour the Balboa Fun Zone amusement park if you’re seeking a place to take your kids for a fun day. In general, Newport Beach boasts a better active nightlife. Also, the age demographic is younger than Laguna Beach. The main cultural attractions in Newport are:

  • Orange County Museum of Art;
  • The Sherman Library and Gardens;
  • The Newport Bay Conservancy;
  • The Bryce Canyon National Park.


Which beach is better, Newport or Laguna?

Laguna Beach is better since it protects its beach heritage alive and incorporates a distinct culture of art and tolerance.

Why is Laguna Beach so famous?

Laguna Beach is famous for its iconic beaches, bohemian vibe, and water sports such as wake surfing, snorkeling, and scuba diving.

Is Laguna Beach worth seeing?

Laguna Beach, 24 miles from Seal Beach, offers perfect weather, endless beaches, world-class dining, and art galleries that make it worth seeing.

Why is Newport Beach so famous?

Newport Beach is famous for its beautiful beaches, great weather, and vibrant nightlife, making it a popular destination for residents and tourists.


The superior choice between Laguna Beach vs Newport Beach depends on which one aligns most with your preferences. For a slower-paced experience and an artistic atmosphere with remarkable cliffs, art galleries, shopping scenes, and a cozy village vibe, opt for Laguna Beach.

If you focus on comfort and the finest aspects of life, such as culinary options, lively nightlife, and beautiful sandy beaches, go for Newport Beach. At the same time, the city boasts a mix of upscale amenities and coastal excitement.

Please share this guide with your fellow friends so that they can plan their vacations or move well.

Laguna Beach vs Newport Beach