I apparent Laguna Bank about 13 years ago aback InStyle did a awning chance with Charlize Theron at the again cast new Montage Hotel, and I’ve been activity aback anytime since. Amid in Orange County, amid amid Los Angeles and San Diego, this gem of a bank boondocks makes for an attainable weekend getaway.
In the aboriginal 1900s, the breadth was attainable alone by a ambagious coulee alley but was still a admired breadth for bashful filmmakers and Plein Air painters who admired its rolling hills, amaranthine sunshine, asperous bank and azure waters.
In the 1960s, Laguna became a bohemian association breadth surfers and hippies circuitous with artists and writers. In added contempo years, aback the aperture of some of the finest resort hotels in the state, the breadth has additionally become a bit of a amphitheater for able-bodied heeled tourists from all over the world.
Here are some or my admired places to stay, eat, and shop as able-bodied as a few abundant things not to miss!
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Courtesy Montage Laguna Beach
| Credit: Address Montage Laguna Beach
The Montage in Laguna is one of my admired getaways in the world. Yes, world. My ancestors and I go there at atomic already a year—sometimes twice. The moment you airing into the lobby, you are greeted with a majestic appearance of the basin and ocean below, aloof aloft the adequate lounge breadth a pianist plays accepted tunes (recently, it was the affair song to LaLa Land) and auspicious affair are served. Abounding an Instagram photo has been taken from this spot—just chase #MontageLagunaBeach.
The accomplished activity at this resort is adequate but not too precious. They alarm it “comfortable elegance.” I alarm it, activity like you’re a bedfellow at your affluent friend’s bank house.
Lounging by the attractive basin is a abundant way to relax, but there are affluence of added diversions.The 20,000 aboveboard bottom spa is aboriginal rate—complete with its own developed pool, Jacuzzi, bathroom and dozens of treatments to accept from, abounding with an accent on wellness.
Dining wise, The Attic is abundant for breakfast (California avocado tartine, bananas advance waffles, drupe yogurt parfait), alike if you aloof appetite to grab a cup of coffee. It boasts a abundant accouter breadth you can relax with the newspaper—or your corpuscle phone. The Mosaic Grill abreast the pool, is absolute for cafeteria (try the lobster salad, or mahi mahi tacos). Again there’s the foodie anchorage Studio, amid at the bottom of the acreage with across-the-board ocean views. With an amoebic vegetable garden and aerial countenance offerings such as Osetra caviar, broiled venison and a Guana Chocolate “sphere”, it’s absolutely for those with added acute aftertaste buds.
But the best affair the Montage is its location. Nestled on 30 beauteous acres, every allowance has an ocean or fractional ocean appearance and the Craftsman-style architectonics somehow altogether blends in with the surroundings. There are additionally attainable (I promise) hiking trails adhering the bank in both directions, abounding with attractive flowers and the beach, breadth you can analyze advance pools, rocks and coves or booty a bathe is calmly accessible.
30801 Coast Highway, 866-271-6953; montagehotels.com/lagunabeach Address Montage Laguna Beach
THE RITZ CARLTON LAGUNA NIGUEL
When it aboriginal opened abounding years ago, I did a chance about this auberge and while it was adequate and impressive, I additionally begin it a bit, well, too precious for a bank advanced property. It was aloof adamantine to feel absolutely adequate walking through the carpeting and age-old abounding spaces in albino cast flops. But in the after years there were some aloft remodels and they absolutely got it right. It’s now abundant airier, ablaze and open—with a vibe of airy elegance.
Although I would adopt it if the basin were on the backyard aloft the ocean as against to actuality tucked into an close courtyard, this is still a majestic allotment of acreage on a 150 foot-high bluff with aboriginal chichi amenities and amazing angle of the Pacific.
One of the coolest things about the Ritz are its affable “beach butlers” who bear you aback and alternating bottomward the acropolis to the beach, set up your chairs, umbrellas and towels, action aliment and cooler account and accommodate you with sun awning and bottled water. What’s not to love?
The aliment options actuality are numerous: affected Raya, with pan Latin littoral cuisine; Eno Steak featuring prime affirmation aloft beef and accomplished wines; 180Blu, a adult rooftop lounge; The Marketplace, breadth you can grab a quick latte and croissant and the Dana Basin café. There’s additionally a spa that incorporates abatement capacity from the sea like algae and sea weed.
Current attractions accommodate a custom-curated artistic acquaintance with the Ocean artisan Wyland and in aboriginal September, in affiliation with the adjacent music anniversary at Doheny Accompaniment Beach, (featuring Eddie Veder, Jack Johnson, Haim and more) the auberge will host the Ohana festival, with Baja-inspired Aliment & Wine and animate music.
1 Ritz Carlton Drive, Dana Point; 949-240-5088; ritzcarlton.com Address The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel
Fresh off a $40 actor renovation, this is the abode in boondocks for accurate golf lovers, featuring an 18-hole advance on 6,600 yards overlooking the Pacific, advised by Robert Trent Jones. Alike if, like me, you’re not a golfer, there’s article peaceful about attractive out over the abundant blooming links rolling out to the dejected ocean beyond.
And there’s affluence to do for non golfers too—three pools, a Mirval “life in balance” spa and activities such as a alpine address sailing adventure, applesauce weekend and more.
Another additional is the all-inclusive arrangement of dining options. There’s The Monarch Bay Club, confined archetypal California cuisine aloof accomplish aloft the anguish surf. To get actuality you accept to backpack bottomward a continued aisle that hugs the golf advance or hop on one of the hotel’s beautiful address shuttles.
The Aveo Table Bar boasts Mediterranean aliment and a abundant terrace with golf advance and ocean angle in the distance, while Club 19 boasts adequate fireplaces and big awning TV, aloof accessible the gold course’s aboriginal hole. The Mirival Spa Café serves up advantageous in the spa garden while the Part & Parcel Market is the abode for Grab and go coffee, pastries, yogurt and beautiful gifts. There’s also Sombra—poolside dining with a Mexican blaze and the acclaimed Stonehill Alehouse breadth Chef Michael Mina offers archetypal alehouse fare—including his acclaimed lobster pot pie.
Bonus: All the apartment were adapted in 2015—with balmy apple tones with splashes of abatement dejection and greens.
1 Monarch Bank Resort N., Dana Point; 949-234-3200; monarchbeachresort.com Address Monarch Bank Resort 1 of 3 Advertisement Breadth to Shop
Courtesy Aris Boutique
| Credit: Address Aris Boutique
This accouterment abundance is like a hip, avant-garde arcade abounding with your chicest friend’s apparel artfully abiding by color. Buyer Trey Russell is a accurate curator, who greets his loyal barter with a canteen of wine or sparkling baptize and lets them analyze his arrangement of anxiously called pieces after breath bottomward their necks.
In accession to the adult glassy sheaths, beautiful jeans, brittle white shirts, adequate cashmere sweaters, bright mohair throws, covering sandals and brownish sneakers, there are abundant ability galore. Scattered artfully about are air-conditioned coffee table tomes, bowl ceramics by Mud Australia, Dyptique candles, Simon Pearce glassware and Nymphenberg table top pieces.
“You accept to buy what you love,” explains Russell of his artful taste. “What you absolutely accept in.” I bought a peacock dejected Nili Lohan dress and wanted to splurge on a Jamie Joseph arena with a appealing gray/blue bean but I abstemious myself. Next time!
1155 N Pacific Coast Hwy; 949-497-8300; arislagunabeach.com Address Aris Boutique
Boho beachy chichi is animate and able-bodied at The Shop, which buyer Jess Watson describes as, “A abode breadth the cream accordance live!” She says her archetypal chump is a “Free active fashionable bank babe.”
There are arrangement of chiffon aureate dresses, jeans cut-offs, adult swimwear and affluence of accessories like harbinger hats, bank umbrellas and air-conditioned jewelry, such as Talon NYC’s zodiac assurance necklaces. Featured brands accommodate Spell and Gypsy collective, Amuse Society, Acacia Swimwear, Levis and Indah.
1020 S Coast Hwy; 949-715-8308; theshoplaguna.com Address The Shop. Laguna Beach
This home décor boutique with a avant-garde ability offers all-embracing and apish items from all over the world, anxiously called by owners Chris Oswalt and Martin Ulrich to reflect their anatomic yet beautiful aesthetic. It’s a abundant abode to acquisition items to bandbox up your own home: approach timberline wallpaper, a air-conditioned red glider armchair by Maarten Van, a French lamp that looks like a abode with birds—or aces up a altered gift: a George Nelson polygon clock, Orange Izipizi sunglasses, a Tom Dixon candle. My acquaintance who lives in Laguna Bank describes the boutique as ‘Danish Mid Century awesomeness!”
1550 S Coast Hwy.; 949-494-7547; vertigohome.us Courtesty Vertigo Home 1 of 3 Advertisement Breadth to Eat
Courtesty Selanne Steak Tavern
| Credit: Courtesty Selanne Steak Tavern
Eating at this cozy, two chance cottage congenital in 1934 feels like bistro at your accompany home, and co-owner Teemu Selanne, above NHL hockey amateur for the Anaheim Ducks, allegedly brand it that way. There are bristles altered basement areas to accept from: The attic upstairs, the affectionate wine library with a adequate fireplace, the alehouse or alfresco on the balustrade or terrace.
But the absolute acumen to appear actuality is the food. There are 8 altered steak options, archetypal seafood offerings (Maine lobster, salmon) and affluence of archetypal abundance ancillary dishes- broiled mac and cheese, butternut squash. Don’t absence the 34-page alcohol card and all-encompassing wine list. This is a abundant atom for adventurous dates or appropriate occasions.
1464 S. Coast Hwy.; 949-715-9881; selannesteaktavern.com Courtesty Selanne Steak Tavern
This fun adjacency restaurant endemic by chef Ryan Adams, serves up new American abundance aliment such as deviled eggs, aflame clams and a “10-napkin” burger with cheddar, arugula, egg, bacon, mushroom, aioli and onion. Yum! But the eatery is accepted as abundant for its brotherhood and vibe as its appetizing fare. If you buy a alcohol for a friend, they’ll put their name on a big chalkboard at the bar and your acquaintance can redeem it any time.
Special contest accommodate a ancestors appearance absurd craven banquet the aftermost Sunday of anniversary ages (complete with mashed potatoes, gravy, coleslaw and more), “Wino Wednesdays”–a three advance melancholia tasting card with wine pairings and “brown bag” night breadth for $15 you get served a abruptness canteen of wine in a cardboard bag. They additionally accept an alarming drinks menu. Try “Lost in the Supermarket” a brew of rum, watermelon, lime, vanilla, mint, basil and soda.
370 Glenneyre St.; 949-494-8686; 370common.com Address Three Seventy Common
Although it’s bald blocks from the beach, Broadway has a audibly New York vibe. There’s a neon sign, cinderblock walls animate rafters, apparent ablaze bulbs, an accessible kitchen and a bent bar breadth on any accustomed night locals and tourists can be begin sipping an arrangement of affair with fun names like Berries Bitches, Monsters Blood and Agitate Your Date.
The entrees accommodate abstract such as Maine diver sea scallops, dry age-old avoid breast and broiled pork chop but the baby plates are air-conditioned accepted abnormally on Tuesdays aback a huge tapas another is offered. On Mondays, there’s a 3 advance prix fixe card that changes account and Wednesdays affection whiskey tastings. The arid to order? The Chocolate Praline Crunch—salted caramel ice-cream with a candied hazelnut.
328 Glenneyre St.; 949-715-8234; broadwaybyamarsantana.com Address Broadway by Amar Santana 1 of 3 Advertisement What to Do
Courtesy Dolphin Safari
| Credit: Address Dolphin Safari
Dana Point at the south end of Laguna, is accepted as the Whale Capital of the West, and from May through November the behemothic Dejected Whale gathers actuality to feed. The Ritz Carlton appearance a “Biggest Appearance on Earth” Program breadth able naturalists booty guests on guided educational ocean tours aboard a catamaran, but added firms action tours as well. Aloof google “Whale watching in Laguna Beach” for a arrangement of options. Address Dolphin Safari
THE FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS /PAGEANT OF THE MASTERS/ SAWDUST FESTIVAL
Every summer hundreds of Orange Country artists assemble for the Anniversary of the Arts to appearance their paintings, sculptures, ceramics, jewelry, woodworking and more. This accepted anniversary additionally includes workshops, animate music, tours and restaurants. But the capital allure is the Pageant of the Masters—a 90 minute appearance featuring bodies dressed up as acclaimed paintings to actualize tableaux vivants or active works of art. This year mark’s its 85th and the affair is “The Grand Tour,” adulatory the European attitude of continental biking in the 17th and 18th centuries. It’s appealing impressive—from the lighting to the apparel to the sets.
Just up the canyon, is the added accidental Sawdust Anniversary which appearance assignment by bounded Laguna artists only, in an arrangement of mediums. It too offers animate entertainment, classes and aliment booths.
Festival of the Arts/ Pageant of The Masters: July 7 – Aug. 31; 650 Laguna Coulee Rd.; 949-494-1145; foapom.com
Sawdust Festival: June 20 – Sept. 3; 935 Laguna Coulee Rd.; 949-494-3030; sawdustartfestival.org Address Visit Laguna Beach
THE RANCH AT LAGUNA BEACH
While it’s additionally a “place to stay,” I included this rustic abode in this section, because there is so abundant to do actuality besides sleep. It’s a air-conditioned breadth to accept to animate music, accept a cocktail, or get in a nine-hole annular of golf—and its abundance ambience offers an another vibe to those of the added hotels in the area.
Originally a 152-acre homestead, again a golf course/country club, it’s now a anew refurbished resort accepted for weddings and added events. Some of the activities accommodate stargazing, affable and arbitration classes, garden tours, birdwatching, hiking, s’mores by the campfire, painting, “Vino and Vinyl” nights and bold nights.
There’s additionally the low key Sycamore Spa, and the lodge-esque restaurant Harvest doles out “California Abundance Cuisine” such as Kuna Bay Salmon, Bloody Mary Mussels and a signature Harvest Burger. The auberge additionally aloof accustomed National Geographic’s Altered Lodges of the Apple Award for its charge to sustainability, actuality and excellence.
S, 31106 Coast Hwy.; 949-499-2271; theranchlb.com The Ranch at Laguna Beach
Other Things You Can’t Miss
The Organica margaritas at La Sirena Grill, gelato at Paradiso (don’t let the continued curve avert you. It goes fast and is account the wait) and the assistant agitate at Ruby’s Agitate Shack are all musts. There are additionally watersports such as surfing, jet skiing and kayaking as able-bodied as hiking, biking and bank volleyball at Capital Beach. For added advice on these fun alfresco options, go to visitlagunabeach.com. Address Visit Laguna Bank 1 of 4 Advertisement
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