West Street Beach, Laguna Beach
West Street Beach is the closest thing to a true gay beach in SoCal, but there will be some straights there too. It’s a busy beach as the cove isn’t huge and it draws people from all over Orange County. Clothing is required.
With the disturbing reality show of the same name, this beautiful beachside community was done a disservice by MTV. Even so, it still remains a great place to visit. Many LA gay guys make the trek here to see everyone they would otherwise see at the Abbey or Cherry Pop.
The guys you’ll find there: Gym-bound bods from West Hollywood and Industry types.
What they’re wearing: Tight revealing swimsuits that were not truly designed for swimming.
Pluses: Definitely the hottest guys around but the policy here seems to be “look but don’t touch (or talk to).”
Minuses: A bit of an insider scene and not super friendly. Parking can be a feat unto itself. Due to the ocean floor’s sharp drop off, the short pounding waves are not suitable for surfing/boogie-boarding and it’s a bit like swimming in a washing machine (then again, these queens rarely get their hair wet…). There’s not much of a night scene since the closing of the Boom Boom Room, the only gay club in town.
Directions: Take the 405 and 73 or the 5 to Irvine. Exit and take the 133 to Laguna Beach. In the town center, turn left onto the PCH and continue through town to West Street. Park near the intersection and then walk down the stairs to the beach. The entrance to West Street Beach is a long stairway across from West Street on Coast Highway next to the “do not enter” signs of Bluff Drive. Parking spots are available along the highway near the West Street intersection.