explore orange county // laguna beach, ca

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

hi guys!  today i wanted to share one of orange county's greatest little treasures: laguna beach.  i'm sure the first thing that pops into your head when you hear laguna beach is the mtv show we all used to love.  i hate to break it to you, but that's really not what laguna beach is all about (shocker, i know!)  there are so many wonderful hidden little gems in laguna, as well as tourist must dos, it's the perfect little so cal beach town to get lost in. 

sites to see
- main beach (as seen above):  always a hustle and bustle, especially during the summertime when tourists seem to flock from around the world to claim a spot on the sand.  there are always volleyball and basketball games going on, people walking and surfers catching some waves.  it's a landmark in laguna and definitely worth snapping a few touristy pictures.
- wyland art gallery: wyland is a well known marine artist who is an active supporter of marine life preservation.  the gallery in laguna beach overlooks the ocean and has some beautiful pieces of art, including a huge mural on the side of the building.  the gallery is one of the most well known in laguna beach, which is known for it's rich art community.
- sawdust art festival: every summer, laguna beach hosts the sawdust festival, an outdoor showcase of local artists and merchants.  the purpose is to celebrate the laguna art community and educate visitors.  they hold hands on demonstrations such as pottery spinner, water coloring and crafts - they even have glass blowing demonstrations!  i look forward to visiting every summer! (check out more from me about the sawdust festival here)

the beachcomber - crystal cove

where to eat
- asada:  i went to asada for the first time on my birthday this year and fell in love.  i love how open and airy the restaurant is, and if you can snag a seat on the patio, you get an ocean view.  their food is great - a modern spin on mexican classics!  i highly recommend their blackened fish tacos - YUM!
- the beachcomber: nestled right on the beach in crystal cove, just north of downtown laguna, it's a picturesque dining location.  they have amazing breakfast & their lunch is just as good.  if you're visiting during the summer, be prepared to wait for a table, it can get busy.  so bring your suit and enjoy the beach why you wait.  insider tip; they have a beach side take out and a back bar with smaller menus, but quicker service!  (read more from me about it here)
- taco loco: this little taco spot brings me back to my high school days.  they have delicious mexican food & even have great vegan and vegetarian options.  i love the sidewalk atmosphere and the fact that it's a bit tucked away.  if you're craving something unique, try out taco loco!


don't forget 
- candy baron:  if you're in laguna beach, you have to stop here.  they have salt water taffy as far as the eye can see.  and not to mention any throwback candy you might crave.  i love walking in and heading straight to the back of the store and taking in all the candy i used to love as a kid.  i always leave with a huge back of candy, usually full of warheads and sour patch kids (and maybe a cigarette cigar just for fun).
- the montage:  one of the most beautiful hotels in all of orange county! it's a great place to walk around and explore.  i love walking the grounds and dreaming of my fantasy wedding or event that would be held there, overlooking the ocean as the sun sets.  there's beach access and tons of perfect picture spots both down on the beach and on the cliffs. (as seen above)

so if you ever find yourself in laguna beach, soak it all up and take it all in.  and if you're planning a trip to southern california, let me know, i'd love to let you in on some of my favorite must sees!  i might even play tour guide, if you ask nicely ;)


Katherina said...

OMG. That last picture is heaven! :)


Oliviaaa said...

i love me some laguna. day trip this summer???

Hayley said...

TACO LOCO! Blackened Chicken Nachos... they are so goooood!

Summer said...

My husband loves Taco Loco!

Kasey Lynne said...

Ahhhh, if only I was rich enough to get married at The Montage. Such a beautiful resort!!

The Beachcomber is definitely on the list for my fiance and I...

Unknown said...

The Beachcomber is my very favorite spot on the coast! It's so charming and unique.... and yummy!


cynthia said...

I love Laguna, too. My boyfriend and I went for a weekend many years ago (in college) and stayed at a B&B that was RIGHT in the village and on the beach side. (I think it was called Ivanhoe? or something European sounding...) Sadly, it is no longer in business. It was so great to be able to walk around to the shops, galleries, and restaurants. We even saw a movie at the one screen theater. (Titanic, which tells you how long ago it was, and how old I am!) :) A perfect romantic getaway weekend.

Anna said...

Ah, my husband and I were just in Southern California this past September and stopped by Laguna Beach. I wish I could have read this post before then so we could have checked out all these awesome recommendations! Looks like we'll just have to go back... ;)

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