What to Know
- 935 Laguna Canyon Road in Laguna Beach
- Friday, July 2 through Sunday, Sept. 5 (daily)
- $10 adults, $7 seniors 65+; $5 children ages 6-12; children under 5 can enter for free but a ticket is required
Fairy wonderlands are said to only exist in storybooks.
And yet? A lovely and very-much-real Laguna Beach location boasts all of the hallmarks of a hallowed and magical place.
Wending and whimsical aisles full of handmade treasures, artists sitting at easels with brushes in hand, hot and malleable glass in the process of being shaped, tidbits for snacking upon, and feel-good tunes, too: The Sawdust Art Festival has all of that, and, yes, sawdust covering the ground, adding to the ethereal, oh-so-foresty experience.
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It's an experience that first shimmered into existence in the middle of the 1960s, and the celebrated summertime event still rocks much of the creative, let-your-spirit-shine aura of that earlier era.
And spirits shall shine again starting on Friday, July 2 when the Sawdust returns for its multi-week, visit-any-day-of-the-week run.
Some 168 artists will display their beaded necklaces, ocean paintings, ceramic mushrooms, hand-painted scarves, and much more through the Sunday of Labor Day Weekend.
It's a ticketed happening, with adult admissions priced at $10, so be sure to book your entry before you arrive at the destination. It's a stunner of a structure that can't be missed, thanks to its asymmetrical, cottage-like entryway and woodsy, shingle-sweet appearance.
The Sawdust experience isn't solely about strolling, seeing something, plunking down funds, and departing; there are gratis wine tastings, docent-led tours, and moments of live entertainment, too, to help elevate the already-easygoing mood.
Classes, too, dot the schedule, if you're looking to burnish your own pot-throwing, watercolor-creating skills. Live art demos will also be popping up here and there, giving visitors who love to see a treasure come together something to observe for a few fulfilling minutes.
Parking? It'll take a bit of planning, so do the research before arriving in Laguna Beach.
Helpful info to know? The Sawdust Art Festival regularly makes a holiday return, though the event's end-of-the-year schedule centers on the weekends rather than on a daily schedule.
Santa shows up in December, and there are carols to enjoy, too. But there's no doubt about it: You don't have to wait for the charms of the yuletide to find the Sawdust's character-filled whimsy, which flows through this fairy village even in the summertime.