Chris Keller has launched a number of successful hotel and restaurant concepts in Laguna Beach—including K’ya Bistro, The Rooftop Lounge, and La Casa del Camino hotel.
Recent projects include the freshly updated Marine Room (with live music seven nights per week) and his new downtown venture Juice & Shakes (serving organic, cold-pressed juice plus bowls, shakes, and coconut ice cream).
This week, Chris sat down with us to gush about the town he loves, share his favorite hiking spot, and spill his number one Laguna Beach secret. 

Laguna Beach views
My love for Laguna is all encompassing. It’s not just one thing—it’s about the people, the environment, the walkability, and the small town vibe. It’s about being able to find great shops, restaurants, and bars without needing a car, and the fact that life in Laguna can take on that slow-down-and-savor-every-second feeling. There’s a certain appreciation for the moment that makes Laguna Beach unique to Orange County. 

My all-time favorite hike is one that the South Laguna locals call Mt. Zion [it’s officially called the Valido Trail and starts where West Street meets Rico Road-ed.]. It’s tricky to find, but so worth the walk. At the end, you reach a peak with a view over Aliso Creek beach that can’t be described with any term other than breathtaking.  
Valido Trail

When I get a chance to slow down, you’ll find me on the sand. The beaches here are unique and I feel like I’m constantly discovering new coves. Watching my young son, Rocco, wander along the shoreline is literally the best thing that I can imagine. 

If I were giving a tour of Laguna, I’d start with breakfast at The Rooftop. I hesitate to shout out my own place, but there’s something pretty special about starting your day with that view. Afterward, we’d head to the beach—Cress St. because it’s beautiful, not overly trafficked, and close to my house. At dinnertime, the tour would finish up at home, eating on the patio. That’s the Laguna life: time at the beach punctuated by meals, snacks, and maybe a concert in the park or gallery walk. It’s tough to beat that day.
Cress Street Beach
If I’m not at one of my restaurants, I’m probably at La Sirena Grill. They have mastered the fast-casual atmosphere. It’s a fun, easy place to hang out and I love the blackened salmon salad. 

Seriously, I don’t know how to imagine a place that’s better than Laguna. When I was a kid and we’d go to the beach for vacation and I wouldn’t want to leave. Now, no matter where I am in the world, when it’s time to go home I always feel like “ahhhhhh Laguna! Yes!” That’s pretty awesome. 
Rooftop Lounge_Laguna Beach
Okay one more secret: 5:30pm half-priced sandwiches at Zinc Café

Keller Family
My Laguna Beach' is a new series of interviews in which some of the city's most prominent fans give us a virtual tour and share their Laguna Beach secrets. TWEET or INSTAGRAM your own Laguna faves to us @VisitLaguna with the hashtag #MYLAGUNABEACH.