If you're walking the boardwalk the beach appears to be crowded but from above it's a different look.
Most beach goers crowd into the area between the Lifeguard Tower and the Laguna Beach Hotel.
From the south end of the boardwalk it looks as if the beach is jammed. Walk north just past the Lifeguard Tower and it's a completely different story.
Then again if you're looking for a parking space forget about it.