- Things to Do
- Plan Your Trip
Looking for a romantic getaway at the beach? Look no further than Laguna Beach, a city that is made for romance.
From an adults-only boutique hotel and epic sunsets on the sand to active hiking during the day and chef-driven meal and cocktail experiences, Laguna Beach has it all. Below is a sample itinerary that can serve as a guide to help inspire you and your loved one to plan a trip to Laguna Beach.
Casa Laguna Hotel & Spa was built in the early 1920s with all 23 rooms having been beautifully restored in 2016 by famed interior designer Martin Lawrence Bullard. This adults-only boutique property gives off Moroccan vibes with Moorish tiles and ceramics and an eclectic array of furnishings. After checking in, spend some time at the pool with a cocktail, or consider a spa treatment for two. Or, just hit the ground running and head to some of Laguna Beach’s best shopping options. Located on gallery row in North Laguna, check out Adam Neeley Fine Art Jewelry, a custom jewelry designer, before going off and exploring a slew of galleries. Thalia Surf Shop is the place to pick up any last minute beach looks you may have forgotten to pack, while Tuvalu, Areo and Hobie are amazingly curated shops for special home goods and unique + quality novelty items. Vertigo, Nuance Home and Huit are great home design stores worth checking out.
Depending on the time of year and your dinner reservations, consider watching the sunset from the sand at West Street Beach. This pristine stretch of beach is located at the southern end of Laguna Beach. Once parked, follow the path down to the beach from West Street. Just remember that you will need to walk back up the staircase in the dark, so keep your cellphone flashlight handy.
Inspired by Argentina, appreciate pure simplicity over the lost art of cooking over an open flame at Maro Wood Grill. Enjoy mesquite wood-grilled and grass fed beef, organic chicken and a handcrafted menu designed around available and unique products, before indulging in some of their award-winning desserts. After dinner, head to award-winning and Top Chef 13 runner-up, Broadway by Amar Santana, for some cocktails (or consider dinner here as well). Another great cocktail spot for inventive cocktails is Nick's Laguna Beach.
Grab a made to order breakfast at Casa Laguna that is only offered to registered hotel guests, or visit La Sirena Grill (South), a family-owned and operated Mexican eatery that serves some really great breakfast burritos like the Green Chile Burrito or the Veggie Breakfast Burrito, both will provide you with the energy needed to hit the hiking trails afterwards.
Laguna Beach has many amazing hiking options, which is a great way to spend some time alongside the one you love. Consider Top of the World, a scenic lookout point that offers some of the best views in the city. Or Crystal Cove State Park, which has 3.2 miles of beach and 2,400 acres of undeveloped woodland, perfect for hiking. Also consider a hike to Barbara's Lake, the only fresh water lake in Orange County. The hike is flat and easy and totally worth your time if you want to see something different that typically isn't high on a beach lover's itinerary. You can also hike Willow, making the hike as hard or as easy as you want from the trailhead. There are several points along the way, where you can use your smartphone to call in and learn about interesting facts and info about the area. Make sure to hike to "ghost rock", a fascinating sandstone rock formation.
If hiking doesn't appeal to you but you still want to experience a bit of nature, consider a visit to Nix Nature Center where you can take part in several interactive displays. They also have a lot of helpful information on what to look out for when walking around in nature. The Pacific Marine Mammal Center is another great option where you can see marine animals up close. Seals and sea lions are rescued from the 42 miles of Orange County coastline and are rehabilitated here before being released back into the wild. Docents are available daily to answer questions, and best of all, it's free. If you happen to go around 3pm, you may catch a feeding. Please note, this center relies heavily on donations, so if you have an enjoyable time, be sure to consider giving a few bucks in return.
After all that hiking and exploring, it’s time for lunch. Head over to Active Culture, a family-owned natural foods café that offers some organic frozen yogurts, shakes, acai smoothies and bowls, salads, wraps, organic rice bowls and more. They also have raw, vegan and gluten-free options available. Sergio’s Empanadas is another great option for a fun lunch. Here you can enjoy fresh, handmade ]empanadas that are free of preservatives. From sweet to savory, vegetarian or meat varieties, there are empanadas here for everyone. Or, if you are in the mood for some tacos, head to Rasta Taco, where you can pick up food from the take-out window and enjoy it on their outdoor patio or at the beach. The menu includes tacos with fillings such as carne asada, carnitas and Jamaican chicken, burritos and salads.
After lunch, head to The Hive (which also has dining options to choose from) where you can enjoy some local shops like Laguna Candles which features custom hand poured candles. The Hive is also home to some amazing restaurants like Oliver’s Osteria Mare e Monti, an authentic Italian dining experience, and Kitchen in the Canyon, a central gathering point that features pastries, soups, sandwiches and specialty salads, and Another Kind Cafe, featuring incredible Vietnamese cuisine. But, a standout at The Hive is the Laguna Beach Beer Company, a great place to enjoy some local brews, and McClain Cellars, focusing on top-quality wines and gourmet snacks.
Located in the heart of downtown Laguna Beach, Rebel Omakase is a sensory experience that combines all your senses, resulting in a 19-course omakase dining experience. After dinner, head to Driftwood Kitchen which features a classic California Coastal vibe with breathtaking oceanfront views in addition to lively hand-shaken drinks. Or, head to The Seahorse, a neighborhood (speakeasy-like) beer and wine bar that is located inside Pearl Street General Store in the Pearl District of Laguna Beach.
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before checking out or head over to Zinc Café & Market. The seating here is mostly outside, in a beautiful garden setting. The market offers gourmet take-out food in addition to unique gifts. Zinc Café features California cuisine with healthy options for most diets. After you are fueled up, take a self-guided Laguna Beach Walking Tour and learn more about the make up of the town; including the history behind some of Laguna's most iconic locations. Or, book a kayaking trip with Laguna Ethos or La Vida Laguna. Experience Laguna’s gorgeous Pacific coastline, a marine reserve brimming with sea life, via kayak. Paddle the hidden coastline and visit a sea lion sanctuary, and also see a dolphin or two (if you’re lucky) along the way. The tour companies also offer hiking, biking, surfing and SUP tours.