Be forewarned when you come to visit this location in California you might spontaneously break out into Natasha Bedingfield's song "Unwritten." If that wasn't a hint for you, then clearly you didn't watch enough of The Hills on MTV back in the day! Okay but in all seriousness there's probably slim chance for "feeling the rain on your skin" because the weather in Laguna Beach is absolutely gorgeous like 90% of the year. Especially the winter months they seem to taunt the rest of the country with their sunny and almost bikini weather like days.
Laguna has it all for a nice weekend getaway. This town can appeal to couples looking for a romantic getaway or even a family seeking some quality and safe activities with their kids. You can hike, swim, enjoy art, eat world class food, and enjoy some of the best beaches in the US. To make your travel easy I would highly suggest flying into John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana, the airport is easy to navigate and the closest to Laguna. Although San Diego and LAX are not bad choices if you are trying to save costs and want to explore other Southern California cities while you are here.
We stayed at the Surf and Sand Resort and OMG it was a dream. Our room had an ocean front view so we could wake up in the morning, make a cup of coffee and listen to the waves. By night we would have fun watching the surfers catch waves as the sun set into the horizon. The hotel also has beach front access so we spent our days walking down the quiet beach and exploring some of the tidepools just south of the hotel.
The rooms had a clean and luxurious feel to them, kind of like that brand new car meets peaceful spa and you are in your happy place and never want to leave. Do I have to leave? They have an on-site restaurant called Splashes that overlooks the ocean and has some of the best views in Laguna. We enjoyed some late night eats and drinks at their bar since that's more our style and everything was delicious. The Surf and Sand is in close proximity to everything downtown, which makes it nice to walk everywhere and enjoy strolling through the village like downtown.
Eat + Drink
The Rooftop Lounge is pretty much what it's name is ha! Except let me add a view words...Rooftop Lounge Overlooking The Ocean and Probably One of The Best Spots To Grab a Drink and See the Beauty of the Town from One Location. Okay cool, so hopefully that describes this place a little bit better! Seriously though if you are looking for a good drink and unmatched views of the ocean/hills of Laguna then definitely check this place out. (Pictured left)
Carmelitas Kitchen de Mexico
So I live in Orange County for a little bit and Carmelitas has always been my absolute favorite place for "Fancy Mexican Food." The seafood enchiladas are the BOMB and their margaritas are dangerously delicious.
On one of our mornings we were looking for a brunch spot and stumbled upon this cute little cafe, which was a very short walk from our hotel. The OC is known for being pricey and we happy to find a place that was in reasonable budget and the food was amazing as well! I got myself a Bloody Mary and the Hubbs got himself a mimosa. We sat on their outside patio and enjoyed watching the daily life of Laguna pass us by...oh you know...just a few luxury cars here and there :)
Okay, so I haven't actually eaten here hehe, just a little bit out of my budget! BUT everyone I know in OC rants and raves about this upscale South African restaurant so I thought I would at least pass the recommendation on if you are looking for fine dining in Laguna.
Top of the World
If you enjoy hiking then this is the spot for you. You can get a 360 degree view of Orange County and have fun exploring the many trails and ocean views. The Laguna Beach Trolley even services this awesome spot so you can take the scenic route.
I've been a fan of Wylands murals ever since I was a little kid. Maybe you've seen his work in your city, as he is renowned for marine life murals that are painted very large scale. His work is stunning and highly inspired by Southern California beach life so it's fun to pop in and admire his work.
Literally Any Beach
Enough said. Victoria Beach has the awesome looking "castle" structure, Crystal Cove State Park is classic Laguna and Rock Pile Beach is known for having tide pools.