Bobby and Alli from Traveling Newlyweds, here! We are big fans of going on dates. In fact, we make time in our schedule to go on a date one night a week, and it's done wonders for our marriage. (Hence why we still consider ourselves newlyweds!) :) Now, going on weekly dates can add up - but we're writing today to tell you it doesn't have to. Some of our favorite dates have been extremely affordable, and here in Laguna Beach the options are endless! Today we're sharing with you one of our favorite date days in Laguna (at the end of this blog we share other ideas too!)... and it cost us under $40!
First things first. We recommend parking at Heisler Park. It's easy, convenient, and you can (pretty much) always find a parking spot! The parking is metered and easy to pay, with coins or credit cards, at $3.75 per hour. Heisler is one of our favorite parks to walk around with our pup and look out at the surf - the views are unparalleled! We were there during an epic swell of surf and Bobby was dying to get out there! Aside from the surf, you can often find plein air artists creating their masterpieces right before your eyes (It's pretty spectacular... and the artists are friendly!). If the tide isn't too high (and you're feeling adventurous) you can head down to the shoreline and explore some tide pools too! After a nice walk and some great scenery, we walk across the street to our new favorite spot for lunch... Zeytoon Cafe.
Here's the deal with Zeytoon...it's a hidden gem. We're honestly hesitant to share about it, because it's THAT good and it has never been too crowded... but now the secret's out! ;) It's authentic, family-owned and operated Mediterranean cuisine and you can't go wrong with anything on the menu. We've tried almost everything now, and it's all amazing. Some of our favorites are the Chicken Panini Sandwich, the Baba Ghanoush, the Falafel Bowl, the Mezzo Platter, and the Fattoush Salad. Everything is fresh, flavorful, beautifully presented, and key word: AFFORDABLE! Most dishes are $8-15 and are hearty portions.
But there's another reason why we love Zeytoon... the rooftop patio! It boasts colorful textiles, ocean views, and it's dog friendly! (Our dog loves it!) It's also extremely romantic - we oftentimes have the patio to ourselves. What more could you want?! Maybe some baklava? They have that too. And it's a dream. One of the most convenient things about Zeytoon is the parking - it's FREE!
After a healthy and hearty meal at Zeytoon, it's time to walk off our food.. One of our favorite Laguna Beach activities (besides eating) is wandering through the local galleries. One of the best and most iconic is The Cove Gallery. It's a long walk from Zeytoon (1.5 miles) but it's a great way to explore the city and enjoy the sights. If you happen to visit on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday take the FREE trolley. There's a stop in front of Zeytoon and one near Cove Gallery.
At Cove Gallery they're always bringing in new local artist's work, and the art is always jaw-dropping. From modern and abstract to stunning beach landscapes and portraits, they do an incredible job curating their pieces and highlighting local talent. We love the local artists that paint the places we know and love, like the beaches of Laguna and Balboa Peninsula! It's fascinating to see the different styles and techniques - and guess what - it's FREE!
As the late afternoon/early evening rolls around, it starts to get chilly (Laguna Beach in the fall is the BEST!) and we're usually ready for something warm to drink! There's no better place in town for a hot coffee or hot cocoa than Laguna Coffee Co! This local coffee shop is quaint and charming, and boy is their coffee good! They roast all their beans right on site, and many weekends you can see (and smell!) them roasting. Bobby loves their standard drip coffee and their Mocha, and Alli's a big fan of their chai. If you're worried about having caffeine late in the day, you're in luck because Laguna Coffee also offers local beers and wines. Everything is under $10, making it the perfect after, or before, dinner treat. Most visits we'll take our drinks and head across the street to reminisce about the day and watch the sunset at Oak Street Beach lookout.
There are countless lookout spots in Laguna Beach with a variety of perspectives of the beautiful coastline. We rotate between some of our favorites, and on this night, we chose Oak Street Lookout. This outlook is the perfect spot to cuddle up, enjoy your warm drink, and watch the sun drop behind the Pacific. If you're lucky, you'll catch some local kids putting on quite the show skim-boarding into the waves, as this is one of the local hotspots for skimming and the sport born in Laguna Beach! Sunsets here are unreal, and again... they're free. ;) Some of our favorite memories from dating revolve around sunsets - it's hard to beat the colors, vibes, and romance!
Whether you make a day out of it like we did, or you head to Laguna Beach for a romantic date night, it's possible to do so without breaking the bank. And trust us - the memories you make will be priceless!
Our other favorite budget-friendly Laguna Beach spots:
Restaurants: La Sirena Grill, Orange Inn, Banzai Bowls, Slapfish, Penguin Café, Wahoo's, Taco Loco
Lookout Points: Heisler Park, Crescent Bay Point Park, Top of the World, Treasure Island Park, Moss Point, Main Beach Boardwalk
Galleries: Laguna Beach is considered an art colony, with more than 100 galleries... get info on them all right here!
Events: Sawdust Art Festival, First Thursdays Art Walk
Did we miss one of your favorite budget friendly date-night/day spots in Laguna Beach? Tell us in the comments.