If you were a teen in the late 90’s to mid-2000’s, then you probably dreamed of living in Laguna Beach. Thanks to television shows like “The OC” and “MTV’s The Real OC Laguna Beach”, Laguna Beach has become the dream! It’s famous for beautiful, wealthy people looking to get away from it all and chill at the beach, enjoy lots of wine and surf the pain away. If you’re looking to enjoy the ultimate California experience, here is our weekend getaway guide to Laguna Beach.
Where to Stay
Pacific Edge Hotel – Everyone knows the Pacific Edge Hotel for its amazing, coastal restaurants (like The Deck and Driftwood Kitchen). This SoCal, funky hotel is bright and colorful, making you feel like you’ve officially arrived in the California Riviera.
The Ranch at Laguna Beach – A little farther than the Laguna Beach you’re accustomed to is the Ranch at Laguna Beach. Here you’ll find that the canyon, a sprawling golf course and nature take precedent to the beach. Plus, the incredibly spacious rooms give us some major San Ysidro Ranch vibes.
Where to Eat
Ivory Restaurant and Lounge – Escape from the crowded beach by dining tucked away into the canyon of Laguna Beach. Here, you will find luxury, New American cuisine and a contemporary look that makes you feel like you’re in a swanky lounge rather than a restaurant.
Gelato Paradiso – According to the locals, this gelato is on another level! Enjoy the hazelnut or pistachio flavors as you walk along South Coast Highway and see what it means to be in SoCal.
The Deck on Laguna Beach – One of the best views (as well as the best vibes) can be found on The Deck in Laguna. As mentioned above, this restaurant is part of the Pacific Edge Hotel and it’s one of the coolest places to go. Whether you’re staying there or not, you have to drink or dine here at least once. The oysters are a must!
Tortilla Republic – Tortilla Republic not only serves some amazing margaritas, but has become one of the trendiest spots in the OC. Thanks to a little show called “The Real Housewives of Orange County” you can dine like a super famous reality star, too!
What to Do
Hang By the Beach – Laguna Beach is known for its amazing… well, beaches. From Victoria Beach to 1000 Steps Beach to Crescent Bay, there are a ton of places to soak up some sun.
Try Some Water Sports – Laguna Beach is not short of entertaining water fun. Try snorkeling in Shaw’s cove, kayaking along Laguna’s hidden coves, or skimboard Victoria Beach. These are just a few ways to experience the ocean blue of Laguna.
Visit Pacific Marine Mammal Center – Contrary to the aquariums you might be accustomed to, the focus of the PMM Center is seals and sea lions! Here, you can learn about environmental conditions that may harm these cuties and help give them a better life, maybe even play with them! Did we mention that they even have a butterfly garden?
Enjoy Some Tunes – Everywhere you go, you’ll find sweet sounds playing in Laguna. Some are local restaurants like The Cliff Restaurant or Mozambique Steakhouse. Other musical features can be found playing at special events like Live! at the Museum and Jazz Wednesdays.
Laguna Art Museum – This museum, established in 1918, is one of the oldest museums in California! It focuses on the cultural heritage of California as well as the unique history of Laguna. Enjoy 19th century to present day artwork featuring local, Californian artists.
Go Wine Tasting – So Laguna isn’t exactly Bordeaux or Temecula, but it does have an impressive winery! The Laguna Canyon Winery selects premium grapes from Napa or Sonoma and then handcrafts their wine on site.
What to See
Crescent Bay Point Park – What this park lacks in size, it makes up for in INSANE VIEWS. If you’ve ever seen a beautiful picture of Laguna, chances are they took the picture from this point. Come here at sunrise for the most beautiful view of them all.
Go Whale Watching – One of the great things about Laguna Beach is the marine life, specifically whales, that are available to witness all year round. Set sail and see these majestic creatures with Newport Landing Whale Watching, Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching, or Captain Dave’s Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari any season, any time.
All of the Art – Another thing that Laguna has plenty of is art! Everywhere you turn you will find local paintings hanging in the town’s establishments. If art is your scene, you cannot miss the Plein Air Painting Invitational, Sawdust Art Festival, or the Laguna Art-A-Fair.
Getting around Laguna Beach is fairly easy once you have driven down the coast. You can take the local trolley that stops throughout Laguna and South Coast Highway, which is adorable by the way. Walking is also convenient as all of Laguna Beach is only 9.82 miles long!
About the Author
Sebrin Elms is a newlywed, travel fanatic, book lover, champagne connoisseur and kitty mama. When she’s not globe-trotting or wearing flower crowns, she’s probably writing on her blog, The Clumsy Traveler.