Mary Hurlbut is a 3rd generation Laguna local. For the past 34 years she’s exhibited artwork at the Sawdust Art Festival, switching from stained glass to portraiture in 2008. Recently, she launched a series called "Laguna Life and People" for StuNewsLaguna.com in which she finds new subjects each week and photographs them somewhere in town.
This week, Mary leads on a tour through her Laguna Beach, sharing her favorite breakfast spots, tide pooling secrets, and thoughts on the “Hip District.”
The ocean is my “soul place.” In the summer, when I'm not at my booth at the Sawdust Art Festival or creating or editing portraits, I'm swimming in the ocean. In the winter, I'm hiking up on the ridge trails or down in Laguna Canyon.
Here’s a secret: Sunday mornings in Laguna, before 11am, are still blissfully quiet. The roads are empty and parking is quite easy.
I like to recharge with empty places and spaces, so I do a lot of my adventuring on weekdays. I look forward to the time from November to March, when tides are more extreme and there are wonderful tide pools to explore. If you're visiting Laguna Beach, just stop by any surf shop to ask about the tides, go to the new Laguna Beach lifeguard building on the north end of Main Beach, or download Visit Laguna Beach’s Laguna Beach Travel Info app to view tide tables.
I enjoy going out to breakfast in town. My current favorites for meeting friends are the Penguin Cafe, the Orange Inn, or Zinc Café. For an affordable lunch you can't beat Papa's Tacosin South Laguna, where it’s easy to carry your food next door and eat in the Community Garden!
The "Hip District" has become my downtown. It's right down the hill from my home on Temple Hills. Everything is right there: my gym the Art of Fitness, Laguna Nursery for plants and gifts, Active Culture is my spot for sugar free, frozen yogurt with almonds and blueberries, and I stop by Laguna Coffee Company for its rich, micro-roasted coffee (I’m addicted to their lattes). When I need beach or surf gear, the guys at Laguna Surf and Sport are always helpful. Right across PCH is the Oak Street View Deck for checking the surf, taking a break, or catching a sunset.
The Sawdust Art Festival is a wonderful place for young artists to get started and you don't have to go through a jury process. You learn by doing what you love and then listening to the feedback from visitors, customers, and fellow artists. I got in by the luck-of-the-draw two years after college and I've been exhibiting there ever since! When I grew bored with stained glass, I had the freedom to switch mediums and start showing photography!
I take my camera everywhere I go in Laguna. There’s always something to photograph in this town. If you want to see more of #MyLagunaBeach please give me a follow on Instagram (@MaryHurlbutPhoto) or visit www.MaryHurlbutPhoto.com