36 Hour Itinerary

So, you've managed to get away for that rare 2-day, 1-night experience in Laguna Beach. You've already booked your lodging ... so now what do you do?

Well, our July and August months in Laguna Beach are definitely busier as we have our famed Art Festivals in play. If you're here at that time, you simply cannot miss visiting at least one of our three festivals -- the Sawdust Art & Craft FestivalFestival of Arts, or Art-A-Fair -- all of which reside at the mouth of Laguna Canyon Road. And be sure not to miss the world-renown Pageant of the Masters, where classic works of art come to life, each evening in an outdoor amphitheater. You'll also find a wealth of activities on the Festival of Arts grounds -- look for live music, docent-led art tours, chef demonstrations, most of which are free to attend with paid entry to the Festival of Arts. If you are interested in hitting them all, be sure to check out the Passport to the Arts, which allows you one-time entry to the Sawdust Art & Craft FestivalFestival of Arts, or Art-A-Fair.

If art just isn't your thing, and you're here in July or August, check the events calendar to see if the famed Victoria Skimboard World Championship is in play -- it's a crazed weekend of the world's top skimboarders in a wickedly tight competition for the skimboarding crown. Or, get into single-session lessons yourself in skimboarding, surfing, paddleboard or even beach volleyball.

Regardless of the time of year, though, you're going to find plenty of activities to suit any mood or ramble. A few suggestions:

Make a point of visiting our local indy coffeehouses and sit and stay awhile. Some high on our list are Laguna Coffee CompanyZinc Café & Market or the Orange Inn). You'll find the locals interesting, colorful and friendly.

Take a stroll through the Montage Laguna Beach grounds and its accompanying beach, Treasure Island (make a point of getting up to the Montage Lobby, too. It's simply breathtaking). Or, stroll the boardwalk at Main Beach in the heart of downtown and wander north, up to the expansive Heisler Park. From Heisler, you can find any number of stairs down to gorgeous beach coves that Laguna Beach is famous for.

Looking for a great breakfast stop? Aside from the coffeehouses we just mentioned (each of which also serves food), consider our more eclectic offerings: Urth Caffé in North Laguna Beach, Anastasia's Café & Boutique in downtown Laguna Beach, our tiny La Sirena Grill for fresh California-Mexican breakfasts, or the Montage's love on Sundays -- the decadent Breakfast Sandwich at its poolside grill, Mosaic Bar & Grille.

Want lunch or happy hour with a fabulous ocean view? Look into The Deck in midtown Laguna Beach, which sits right on top of the water; The Rooftop Lounge atop the historic Hotel La Casa del CaminoSplashes Restaurant and beachside bar at the Surf & Sand ResortMozambique's veranda rooftop restaurant and bar, or Skyloft which offers a rooftop bar in the heart of downtown.

In between all of your eating stops (Oh, and let's not forget Dolce Gelato's homemade recipes on Broadway Street), ramble any of our 100+ art galleries, nose into our Forest Avenue décor shops, and make a point to stop into another set of great shops in the Pottery Place, which includes an award-winning, independent bookstore, Laguna Beach Books, located in the H.I.P. District.

You might need to dial in a heart-thumping hike or a spin class at a gym, before diving into more great dining options to fill your evening. Suffice to say that there are more kinds of culinary opportunities in Laguna Beach than residents. Word to the wise -- go where the locals go and you'll never be disappointed.

Finally time for that after-dinner craft cocktail or cognac in a swank, mellow setting? Try Broadway by Amar Santana, in downtown; or the revamped bar at Driftwood Kitchen, or Selanne Steak Tavern.

Trust us. You'll sleep well after a day of activity in Laguna Beach!