When guests visit me, this is one of the must-show-off stops in town. By taking my friends to Woods Cove and Crescent Bay at sunset, I convinced many to move here, or at least spend their lives dreaming about moving to Laguna Beach. Woods Cove is that heavenly. But, even heavenly does nothing to describe the enchantment falling upon the viewer when he sets his sight on Woods Cove.
At the Woods Cove entrance, the sun shines through whisping, fuschia bougainvillea and the pink light twinkles in your eyes. The concrete path winds down to the maze-like stairwell between a 1930′s tudor mansion that once belonged to Bette Davis and another mansion on the left with windows that look through other windows onto the sea. Then, suddenly a sight to remember for life appears and Woods Cove steals your breath. Funny how no one ever seems to talk at the top edge of the stairwell. They just gaze.
Navigating your way down the steps is an experience of its own. The stairwell architecture was carefully designed with sophisticated simplicity. (I would like to know who designed it.) A landing is placed every few steps with sufficient space for a few tripods and cameramen, who I see every time I go to Wood’s Cove. I don’t think anyone can help but stop at each landing and inhale the salty air, allow their eyes to rest on the horizon, and feel the wind kiss their skin.
I leave my shoes in the car when I visit Woods Cove. Walking barefoot is part of the total sensory experience.
A three foot tall by two foot wide and 30 feet long arch lies behind the stairs. Walk through it if you can. On the north end of the beach, you’ll find a tiny cove that is useful when you need a private moment.
The north end reef and tide pools are high enough that you can stand on them at low tide and gaze through boulders to see the sun and waves. If you walk a few steps farther north, you will find an arch eroded into the cliff. At low tide, a trip through this arch to Pearl Street Beach is an Indiana Jones experience. I learned it has good cellular reception and there’s nothing like talking to the love of your life from a cave.
To seduce you further, Woods Cove reefs are rich. The city banned fishing on most of the Laguna Beach coast. After three years of preserving fish, we have an abundance of underwater sights to see. The Woods Cove waters are tricky, though. Because of the cove’s shape, rip tides are easily formed. I don’t know that I would bring a child to play in the waters here. Also, if you plan to visit Woods Cove, be sure to check the tides. Woods Cove can be inaccessible at high tide.
To get to Woods Cove, turn west onto Diamond Street. You will see a bench sitting in front of the entrance at the end of the road.