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Wood's Cove, Laguna Beach

#9 of 10 in Beaches in Laguna Beach
Beach · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
Woods Cove in Laguna Beach

This Popular Neighborhood is at the Center of Laguna

Besides Woods Cove having spectacular coves and a eclectic rural feel, it is the last enclave south of Laguna Village that has a comfortable and beautiful walk to town.

Bordered by:

The Pacific Ocean on the west, Lower Bluebird Canyon (by the Surf and Sand) to the North, Summit Dr. on the East, and the end of Glenneyre/Alta Vista to the South.

It covers about seven (7) square blocks along the coast plus up the hillside to Crestview.


Woods Cove has a very rich past.

So close yet so far - In the late 1800s, the area was originally called Arch Beach and was a separate town from Laguna with its own post office. Wagons could not go between the two towns due to the gullies at the Bluebird and Sleepy Hollow Canyons. While Laguna Beach could be accessed by the Laguna Canyon, Arch Beach could only be accessed by Aliso Canyon.

As with much of the surrounding area, it was primarily used for farming, and even had a pier off of Diamond St where they exported barley hay via ship to San Diego for feeding the stage coach horses.

A destination hotel, Arch Beach Hotel, was built at the corner of Diamond and the Coast Hwy for tourism and it was successful until the late 19th century bust.

But the word was out that this was a great place for beach houses and second homes.

Residential Development

It wasn’t till 1915 through the 20’s that they started building many summer cottages, artists’ studio homes and dream homes. Since the area had no governing body prior to 1927 it was fair game to build with individuality.

A definite spontaneity of development is present in the informal layout of streets (no curbs or gutters), irregular setbacks, odd-shaped lots and, most importantly, the lack of uniformity among the architecture.

In other words, it is quintessential eclectic Laguna Beach.

The neighborhood’s name was changed to Woods Cove after a businessman from Colorado, Harry Woods, who bought the land around the cove.

Note: It’s Woods Cove and not Wood’s Cove

The Coves:

The ocean shore is comprised of many relatively small but dramatic coves such as Moss, Ruby, Agate and Woods Coves. They have beautiful cliffs, flora and homes of every shape and architecture.

The crystal blue water is great for diving and exploring the kelp beds.

The locals like to walk down to the beach after work, take a swim and hang out with their friends.

A few of the Historical People and Celebrities that lived in the area:

Bette Davis, who had a home on the bluff of Woods Cove. It’s still there today.

William Wendt, one of the premier plein air artists whose studio was on Arch Street.

Woodrow Wilson convalesced in a house on Moss Point after his stroke while in office.


There is almost every type of architecture in the Woods Cove community. First, there are the big homes that sit on the cove bluffs, the smaller 1930 craftsman style bungalows that are sprinkled throughout the area and everything else you can imagine in between.

As of 2010 the prices range from $800k to $15 million+.


The area is very popular since you can walk to the beach and local stores in minutes and to the Laguna downtown area in about 15 to 20 minutes via the beach or along the scenic streets.

Woods Cove has a mild uphill slope from the ocean so many homes have an ocean view, which everyone wants, without being on a hillside and having to drive your car everywhere.

The locals love to walk their dogs and meander through the neighborhood, especially on Glenneyre, the old goat path, where they’ll pass many of their neighbors doing the same thing.

Oh yes, and then there are the coves and beaches.

So it has it all including history, shops, galleries, resorts and restaurants.

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Wood's Cove reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 5.0
25 reviews
  • We absolutely love this beach! It is like a slice of Hawaiian paradise here at home. The parking is tricky, but that is part of what keeps this beach so special. It was once a spot that only locals...  more »
  • Beautiful small cove with easy stair access on Diamond St. great place for family with smaller kids.  more »
  • With not having many parking spaces, we end up go to other side parking spaces, meter are reasonable, but when you get down there , the Views are breathtaking, smells ocean freshly, and great places for families, control kids. FREE OF CHARGE.
  • To rocky and small waves that crash on shore.

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