Emerald Bay was founded in 1929 and named for the distinctive emerald hue of the local waters. Long renowned for its natural beauty the area has evolved from a quaint vacation beach destination into a wealthy private guard gated community of approximately 525 single family custom homes, with only 14 of those having highly coveted beachfront lots.
Homeowners who purchase in this expensive community are rewarded with amenities such as 24 Hr. Guard Gated entry, 24-hour security patrol, approximately 14 Acres of lush private parks, a private beach accessible only to Emerald Bay residents and their guests, 6 tennis courts, a community center, the swimming pool complex, beach volleyball and community activities such as such as concerts in the park, exercise classes, kids' programs, and adult trips available to all residents throughout the year.
Homes here are typically priced higher than other areas of Laguna Beach, with the exclusiveness of the community and dramatic ocean views helping push some sales higher than 20 million dollars. The price point does not deter many people who want to live in this acclaimed neighborhood and many have bought multiple properties including Warren Buffet who first purchased a house in the gated community of Emerald Bay for around $150,000 in 1971. Today, it's thought to be worth somewhere around $5 million.
Located in the far North end of Laguna Beach, Irvine Cove is a small affluent guard gated community of approximately 120 homes. Residents enjoy the benefit of a private beach accessible only through the community. The two parts of the beach are separated by a rocky point that has a tunnel for passing through during very low tides. The majority of the people who visit this beach enjoy the larger, southern section of the cove named after James Irvine the 1st, founder of Irvine Ranch. Popular activities include all water sports, surfing, body surfing, skin and scuba diving, spear fishing, rock fishing, and skim boarding.
The homeowners here embrace the small community and relish the privacy afforded to them by its exclusivity. It is not uncommon for residents to travel by golf carts, visiting the beach, community tennis courts, playground, and park.
North Laguna stretches along the Pacific Coast Highway and lies within walking distance to scenic ocean coves, parks, Main Beach and countless shope, restaurants and art galleries. An eclectic mix of historic bungalows and cottages, custom homes and exclusive and very wealthy gated communities North Laguna is home to many residents who enjoy the quiet upscale residential neigborhoods, many with staggering ocean views.
Perched atop a 200-foot jagged bluff jutting out over Emerald Bay and the Pacific Ocean Smithcliffs in North Laguna is a small, intimate and closely guarded community on only 10.4 acres with approximately 26 lots.
Silent film-era starlets once rode horseback nude in the moonlight along this secluded strip of oceanfront property on the north end of Laguna Beach, across from glistening Emerald Bay.
During these Roaring '20s, Florence (Pancho) Barnes, the legendary cigar-smoking aviatrix, lived here, eventually blowing her fortune hosting lavish parties for her famous Hollywood guests such as movie stars like John Wayne, Ramone Navarro, Erich von Stroheim and Mary Pickford. The site was later bought by oil tycoon Lon Smith, who renamed the estate "Smithcliffs," before he sold it off.
Now, the secluded property along Coast Highway, hidden behind a wrought-iron gate and yards of drooping bougainvillea, is home to a new generation of the wealthy.
Described as "a wonderful project on a very special piece of property that a very lucky few will enjoy," the community is classic in architecture with a very Mediterranean style and select properties features stunning views of the Laguna Beach coastline and Pacific Ocean.