Cheating on the South Bay in Laguna Beach
Beyond the pageants and Real Housewives, Laguna Beach truly shines as a well-rounded beach getaway just an hour south of our own sandy shores. While some might argue, “Why hit the 405 when I can experience all the perks of beach living right here?” … we suggest getting out of your comfort zone. Laguna is full of unique engagements that may feel familiar—while opening your eyes to life outside the 310.
Surf & Sand Resort, a Laguna classic, does indeed sit right above the beautiful coastline. It’s probably as close to the water as your bed could possibly get, minus a sandy sleeping bag or a cramped houseboat. There’s nothing quite like falling asleep and waking up to the sound of waves crashing on the shores beneath your balcony, though light sleepers might want to take advantage of the complimentary earplugs on the nightstand.
Light and breezy décor complement the coastal energy outside the door, and on-property restaurant Splashes brings California cuisine to your table with a sunset view. If the tranquil setting isn’t quite relaxing enough, you can take your glass of Champagne to Aquaterra Spa and float away for a couple hours with a soothing face or body treatment.
If you’re lucky, you can also sign up for a morning workout with 58-year-old world-record plank champion and former Marine George Hood. No excuses, just exercise.
1555 S. Coast Highway, surfandsandresort.com
In addition to convenient Splashes, there are plenty of lovely eateries within walking distance. For the breakfast or brunch enthusiast, we suggest the patio at Urth Caffé and their giant cups of freshly brewed coffee, amplified egg dishes and buttery pastries.
308 N. Coast Highway, urthcaffe.com
For a casual dinner out, head over to Three Seventy Common, guided by the adventurous hand of OC native Ryan Adams. Inspired by classic country music, speed metal, vintage cars and knives, surf, skating and a good bloody rib eye, the food here is both dynamic and delicious. Don’t be afraid to get a little messy—it’s all part of the experience.
370 Glenneyre Street, 370common.com
Left to right: Warm welcome at The Soul Project. Dinner’s served at Three Seventy Common.
Art galleries abound in Laguna, but we decided to go off the coast a bit and check out a different type of artistry at Victoria Wake, an authentic and innovative skimboard company that’s been here for 40 years. “What the riders get in their boards, you get in your board,” says one of the founders, Tex Haines. “What I learned as a kid at age 11 skimboarding on Victoria Beach in Laguna Beach, and everything to this very day, is incorporated into your board.”
2955 Laguna Canyon Road #1, victoriawake.com
Just across the street, The Soul Project—an innovative boutique—prints their own T-shirts and collaborates with local artists and craftswomen. One such visionary is Alyx Tortorice, whose amazing new Starfysh Wetsuits—designed especially for women—transition from wetsuit to swimsuit in a snap. Awesome!
1516 S. Coast Highway, soulproject.com
Founded in 1999 by Father Peter Banks, Friends of St. Lawrence-Watts Youth Center strives to break the cruel cycle of poverty and improve quality of life in the inner city. Father Banks recognized that education is not only the key to ending poverty, but also to quelling the lure of gangs to our vulnerable youth.