Located just South of Los Angeles County in Laguna Beach is a local favorite, Table Rock Beach. Table Rock has earned its reputation as a prime Pacific beach location by providing the community with a serene and spacious piece of coast that is ideal for adventurers as well as casual beachgoers. Here is every reason why Table Rock Beach should be on your radar for your next Pacific Coast getaway!
Getting to Table Rock Beach
Table Rock can be slightly difficult to pinpoint if it is your first time there. The recommended route is to take the Pacific Coast Highway, turn West on Table Rock Drive and after one block take a left onto Bluff Drive where the main entrance is on the left. The only proper beach access is on the Northern end of the beach where you will find extended wooden stairs down the cliff and to the shore. There is free parking along the left side of the highway.
As you arrive at the main entrance to the beach, the view below can be rather breathtaking at first glance. Likely the first thing you will notice is the massive table rock area (hence the name of the beach) that divides the beach into two distinct strips of shore. The often calm water extends as far as the eye can see and from the shore many surfers, skimboarders and paddle boarders can be observed as they fine tune their craft.
I recommend checking out Table Rock Beach during the warmer Summer months as well as during low-tide. The receding waterline allows for neat exploration of tide pools as well as access to otherwise completely blocked off beaches.
As famous as Table Rock is, the beaches nearby add plenty of value to the overall beach experience. On the South end of Table Rock are large cliffs of rocks that are famously climbed in order to access a secret sliver of beach on the other side. On this neighboring beach is a rock formation that creates an arch on the beach that can be accessed and walked through during low tide. This is the spot for that perfect Instagram picture, or if you walk all the way through you are actually able to access Totuava Beach. For a more simple route, Totuava Beach can be accessed from its South end via Thousand Steps Beach.
It should be noted that when there’s poor weather paired with high tide, this secret beach is inaccessible from Table Rock Beach. The surf can crash against the rocks making for a dangerous climb, and the riptides are brutal. If this hidden beach is something you are interested in, be smart and do not throw caution into the wind. You can always check back later during the day!
Luckily with Table Rock Beach, the more calm the water is the more accessible it is to casual beachgoers. This cove is famous for its snorkeling and scuba diving as its advanced submerged rock formations allow for a unique ecosystem to flourish year-round. Snorkeling around the signature table rock is recommended, it is easy to swim around the perimeter of the rocks that extend out into the ocean. This is an experience that is suitable for even novice snorkelers as the water depth is rather shallow and riptides do not generally occur in this area. Lifeguards are also frequently on duty to ensure your safety. If snorkeling is a must-do activity for you, please check the weather and tides before going out to make sure you are able to get the most out of your day.
Scuba diving is also very popular in the area as Table Rock is famous for it’s cave systems. As incredible of an experience cave diving is, please only embark on this journey if you are a seasoned scuba veteran. Even the most experienced divers adhere to a strict buddy system to ensure safety, cave diving can be very dangerous but if you are qualified and up for the task it will be the highlight of your trip.
If cave diving sounds too daunting but you were still looking to scuba dive, you are still able to dive out in the open water within the cove and beyond. Rock formations extend very far out into the water and you are even able to explore the kelp forests that the Pacific Ocean is famous for.
As the water gets rougher, the surf and skim become more densely populated with people doing water sports. If there are a ton of surfers in the water, I wouldn’t recommend swimming since swimmers often get hit with boards. However, snorkeling near the table rock is still viable since surfers tend to steer clear of the rocks for obvious reasons.
If the water is inaccessible, Table Rock Beach still has much to offer in terms of being a relaxing and serene environment. For those that just want to chill, the beach offers beautiful views of the beach and absurd mansions that line the top of the hill. Whatever your preference, a great time is awaiting you at Table Rock.If you are looking more for a similar beach experience in the area be sure to check out our pieces on El Matador State Beach and Capitola Beach. If you are looking for something on the East Coast, check out my piece on the best Beaches in Fort Lauderdale!