Goff Cove in Laguna Beach is a hidden gem that’s perfect for anyone looking to enjoy a mix of easy access, stunning scenery, and calm waters. Located just south of Christmas Cove and north of Middle Man Cove, Goff Cove stands out for its ability to balance accessibility with a sense of isolation. Protected from waves and wind by Goff Island, this beach is an ideal spot for young families.
The beach is notable for its south-facing position below a bluff west of the Montage Resort in Laguna Beach, California. One of its defining features is a tall, pyramid-shaped rock known as Goff Island, which helps keep the cove’s sand in place and links the island to the shore.
In terms of activities, Goff Cove offers a variety of options including sunbathing, tide pooling, scuba diving, snorkeling, whale watching, picnicking, and walking. For those interested in more active pursuits, body surfing, body boarding, and swimming are popular choices. The beach is also equipped with amenities like picnic tables, sea rocks, walking paths, benches, and tide pools.
Access to Goff Cove is convenient, with a stairway from the paved walkway on the bluff or down a ramp at the end of the bluff. Parking is available along Pacific Coast Highway and near the Montage Resort, offering both free and paid options.
Goff Cove is managed by Montage Laguna Beach as part of their contract with the city, ensuring that it’s maintained clean at all times. Its location, contained by natural landmarks with rocks acting as boundaries, makes it a secure and comfortable environment, especially for parents with children. After a day at the beach, visitors can explore Treasure Island Park for additional amenities like showers and picnic spots, making it a perfect place to watch the sunset.
My Experience Visiting Goff Cove
I recently visited Goff Cove and it was a great experience. I initially headed to Treasure Island Beach but found it too crowded, so I walked over to Goff Cove. The beach is accessible via stairs, but I noticed a ramp too, which is handy for anyone with a bike, cooler, or stroller. From the ramp, you can also get to Christmas Cove.
Goff Cove, nestled between Christmas Cove and Treasure Island, features the prominent Goff Island (the big rock you see when getting down from the ramp). I managed to find parking on PCH near the Montage Resort, though it’s metered.
There’s also underground parking at Treasure Island Beach, but it’s not free either. Previously, I’ve also parked across the street from Treasure Island Beach in a neighborhood, but that’s also paid parking.
The beach itself is stunning, although the bathrooms and showers are up on the bluff. So you have to go up the stairs or ramp every time you need to use the bathroom.
I really enjoyed sitting on the rocks near Goff Island; it’s peaceful and not too crowded. The picnic tables are on the bluff and offer a beautiful ocean view. There are no picnic tables down on the beach.
While climbing Goff Island can be tempting, it’s risky unless you stick to the lower rocks during low tide to check out the tide pools. You may even see seals sunbathing on the rocks. Goff Island provides shade if you sit against it, which is nice if you don’t have a sun umbrella. Just be mindful that the beach has a rocky bottom.
To the left of Goff Cove, you’ll find a small cove called Middle Man Cove. Reaching this cove requires climbing over rocks, which can be challenging if you’re with kids or carrying a lot of beach gear.
While I didn’t see a lifeguard tower at Goff Cove, I noticed one at Christmas Cove.
Overall, Goff Cove in Laguna Beach is a truly wonderful spot for a beach visit. It combines the ease of access with a sense of peaceful seclusion. It’s ideal for families and anyone looking to enjoy the ocean without the crowds of more popular beaches. The presence of Goff Island adds to the cove’s charm, offering both scenic views and a natural boundary for safer beach exploration.