In The Land of Sun and Fog: Laguna Beach, Orange County, CA

Is it possible to see more clearly through the fog?

When I think of Southern California, especially of Orange County, I think of the perpetual sun, the bright air, and colour… colour, colour everywhere. Yet when I was recently confronted with a foggy morning in Laguna Beach, I was reminded once again of the region’s continual weather changes.

Rewind a few years to my home in San Clemente, where the outside would be saturated by the sun one moment, only to be covered under a layer of mist a while later. The fog added mystique; it was a welcome change from the sunny groundhog days.

Here’s a look at the changing faces of Laguna, under the guises of sun and fog. Enjoy.


With its palm-fringed vistas, wide ocean views, and sun-baked cliffs, Laguna Beach is also known as The Riviera of the Pacific.

Beautiful Heisler Park. Poised on a 17-foot-high bluff, it offers a pristine view of Laguna’s rocky beaches.


Way up in Laguna Hills, 1,000 feet above sea level, is a spot called The Top of the World.

Here, you exist above the clouds.Descend to an elevation of 15 feet to Crescent Bay Point Park and don’t be surprised if it’s wrapped in a blanket of white.

Laguna’s colours look brighter in the fog.

Seals, lolling about in the alcoves below, bark in the mist.

Spanish Colonial homes line the surrounding streets.

Draped wisteria adds a touch of elegance to a street that disappears into nothingness.

Benches at the beach’s perimeter cater to fog gazers.

Beach goers know the sun will fizzle the fog soon.

Meditating on nothingness, or perhaps on somethingness…

A few streets away, Laguna’s downtown relaxes under a veil of mist.

I love Laguna’s mysterious nature.


51 thoughts on “In The Land of Sun and Fog: Laguna Beach, Orange County, CA

  1. Smashing photographs Marina. I love the pictures taken above the mist/fog. I’ve only managed to get above the sea mist once here and I didn’t have my camera. You’ve captured the effect brilliantly. 🙂

    • Thank you so much Adrian! I was wowed by the cloud cover that we saw from up top. It was really quite cool as Laguna does oceanscapes so well from a low elevation, so seeing fog is a different experience when you’re ‘out of it’. I’m so glad you enjoyed them – I had alot of fun taking them, and was awed by the fog. 🙂 Looking forward to seeing your photos when you see the mist from high above again!

    • Thanks Karen, so much! I am so glad you liked this post – I also love the mystery. With fog, there’s so much detail yet so much complexity at the same time, if that makes sense. Yay to the black and white – I must credit my husband for it as he took the pic of me whilst I mused 🙂 Inspired = so happy! Thank you!

    • Oh no sweetkitten, I hope you may be inspired by them! The beauty of Laguna is undeniable and the light is so bright there. I really enjoyed taking photos of the town, especially its nature. Thank you and I shall mention that you share excellent photos of Europe! Thank you!

  2. You covered it all, yup that’s how it is here at the coast, fog and sun at the same time.
    Thank you for sharing all your images from your west coast trip, beautiful.Though I live in San Clemente, I am In Laguna Beach a lot, wish to live there if I could afford it!! I am a photographer as well and share your passion for beauty. Soon I will come the way up to your coast and capture it.

    • It is my pleasure to share these photos – I am so glad you enjoyed them. I always loved to visit Laguna when I lived in San Clemente. I would love to visit again soon, and look forward to your posts! Thank you!

    • I agree with you Barbara, driving in fog is not easy nor enjoyable, especially at night. This fog was so thick on the beach – in the lowest lying area – and receded as you drove uphill. I am so happy you liked the black and white; my husband took it of me so I’ll let him know. Incidentally, his favourite photo is of the man on the bench too! Thank you – I am really happy that you liked this post.

  3. Loved this post; a good look at a phenomena we usually take for granted or simply ignore. I believe you can appreciate it better if you live on a coastal area, as I do. We go through the same on the FL Gulf coast, every so often, I guess it all depends on which way the wind blows?

    • Thank you so much Marcia – it’s not so common in NY and seeing the beach shrouded in fog was so surreal. It was a pretty awesome sight. I am glad you enjoyed the post!

  4. Quite a change in an hour or two! Even though it’s probably no fun when you live there, it helps creates interesting photos.. Love the B&W – looking forward to seeing the results of the inspiration!!

    • It’s crazy isn’t it? We were at the Park at about 10 or so, and at Laguna Beach after a few hours – cloaked in fog. I am so glad you like the B/W – there’s something great about monochrome, especially when you work with strong dark and light colours like fog. Hmmm, I will need to compile an inspiration post soon 🙂 Thank you!

  5. Super images Marina, as always, I’ve enjoyed your narrative, love it.

    Happy Good Friday to you. Its a sunny start to the day here, but I have a feeling one of your mists might be rolling in anytime soon.

    • Thanks so much Val – as you know, your comments always mean alot to me! I am happy to share these with you – there is beauty in the mist. That said, I wonder if you experienced that fog?

  6. Thanks for the wonderful tour! I’m from Eureka, the land of fog. I grew up LOVING fog, but then, I wasn’t trying to drive in it. I had no idea you got fog down there. When my family moved to northern Illinois 😦 it was still very rural, and sometimes fog would roll across the wetlands and fields. It doesn’t happen as often anymore…could be all the strip malls, condos, roads, houses, pavement, pavement, pavement…. I sure hope to get back to the coast one day.

    • Wow Melissa, you love further north of San Fran! I can imagine it would get foggy 🙂 I remember I used to enjoy the fog for what it was in SoCal as it was a change of pace from the norm, though I never really thrived in it as I’d be indoors – at work! That said, this time in Laguna I loved how it changed the landscape yet life went on normally. Driving in it is hard given the unexpected. I would love to see photos of Eureka in fog. Have you documented these on your blog? Thank you!

    • Thank you Zen and Genki 🙂 (I like your name alot – cannot wait to go to Japan). I am so glad you liked the images and words – those are some of the most fun photos I have taken. In part because i didn’t know how they would turn out. I have hardly taken photos of fog!

      • Well they turned out great! (My name’s actually Anne..but my blog’s Zen and Genki :)) If ever do have a chance to go to Japan, you should! It’s a whole other (beautiful) world 🙂

      • Thank you so much, it’s so nice to hear lovely comments about the photos. Anne – I am off to check your blog out now! Osaka, Kyoto, Tokyo are top of my list!

      • Absolutely – though traveling with a camera equates to tacking on more time to the trip! I take 3 hours to do something that would take me 1 hour sans camera 🙂 I know Japan will be intoxicating!

  7. Such a great phenomenon and I love the way you showed it to us through your pictures! So cool! I bet it was great to live there, tell me, does it ever get annoying or boring to have the sunshine all day every day? 😀

    • I am glad you liked them Kristina! It was fun and interesting to take these photos. I did used to call the days Groundhog Day because there was so much sun, and now, on the East coast, I miss that weather so much. You really don’t know what you have until it is gone! Winter and snow for me isn’t the ideal – I would take the tropics any day!

  8. Pingback: Photo Lab 51 – General | Breathing Travel

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