For most of my adult life, I’ve been fortunate enough to reside either full or part-time in the Southern California paradise known as Laguna Beach. And every time I return, I’m struck anew at Laguna’s inexhaustible beauty—the California Riviera indeed. Not only the ocean, that primal potion flowing deep within us all, but the hills and canyons, riotous wildflowers, stately eucalyptus trees and all those glorious coves. Laguna Beach is a deeply mystical and magical place. It was founded as an artist colony and it’s easy to see why—the plein air majesty of its untamed canyons, the grottoed glamour of its Riviera-esque coasts—cliffs cascading into a dolphin-studded sea. My home for over ten years, and now back again after enough time away to see it with new eyes.
There is so much to see and do in Laguna, so much to explore in both the natural splendors of sea and land and also the created delights of world-class art and artists, dining, shopping and nightlife, that it’s difficult to know where to begin!
I hike the trails of the vast vistas of Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, 7,000 miles of Laguna as it has been for thousands of years; meet girlfriends at Café Zinc for omelets and coffee (and perhaps the odd scone); browse the wonderful boutiques of Forest Avenue and Pacific Coast Highway, unearthing well-curated treasures along the way; stroll along my “home” beach of Woods Cove; lunch al fresco in a friend’s South Laguna garden—her children playing with the neighbor’s children, a Venezuelan feast unleashing its delectable aroma, the dogs drowsing happily in the sea-soaked air; explore the stunningly landscaped parks and coves of North Laguna; enjoy sundowner cocktails at The Rooftop Lounge—watching the sun slink down, silhouetting Catalina; then dine at Sapphire around the fire pit, the laughter of friends creating even more warmth and delight against the jasmine-scented night. An elemental weekend of sun and wind—shoal of fish, rookery of seals, mob of whales, sitting above the darkening waves, watching the moon wash over all. Ahhh…Laguna, how does anyone ever leave you?
For information and resources to plan your own magical getaway to Laguna Beach, please visit: Laguna Beach Activities and Laguna Beach Attractions. And for well-appointed places to rest your weary head, browse: Laguna Beach Hotels & Resorts. Or, if you’d like to explore finding a piece of paradise all of your own, check out: Laguna Beach Real Estate.