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Laguna Beach


Situated about 90 minutes from both Los Angeles and San Diego, Laguna Beach offers a sophisticated coastal retreat that feels worlds away from the bustling cities nearby. This picturesque town seamlessly blends the laid-back California surf culture with an artistic flair, all set against a backdrop reminiscent of the Amalfi Coast.

Stroll through the charming downtown area, where high-end boutiques and art galleries line the streets, offering a shopping experience as unique as the town itself. The artistic soul of Laguna Beach is evident at every turn with numerous galleries showcasing local talent.

Laguna's beaches are nothing short of spectacular, with golden sands framed by dramatic cliffs and rolling waves. Whether you're looking to surf, explore tide pools, or simply soak in the stunning views, there's a perfect spot for every beach lover but be prepared to navigate numerous steps to reach the beach.

Foodies will delight in the diverse culinary scene, featuring everything from casual beachside cafes to upscale restaurants with ocean views. Many establishments emphasize fresh, local ingredients, perfectly complementing the town's natural beauty.

For families seeking a sophisticated alternative to Anaheim accommodations, Laguna Beach provides an ideal base. Drive between just 30-40 minutes to enjoy a day at Disneyland, then return to your tranquil beach retreat for a luxurious and relaxing evening away from the crowds while listening to the waves crash against the shore.

Laguna Beach truly offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, artistic charm, and coastal sophistication that makes for an unforgettable California experience.


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The Hotel

The Montage Laguna Beach

Indulge in a luxurious vacation at the Montage Hotel where you'll feel like you're on a remote island paradise. The resort boasts stunning grounds and beautiful tropical plants that provide a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. While it can be pricey with additional fees for parking and use of resort amenities, the experience is worth the splurge. The lobby offers breathtaking views of the ocean and live music to provide a truly peaceful atmosphere. You could easily spend 5 nights here without ever leaving the resort but they offer a complimentary house car to take you to destinations within Laguna. Treat yourself to a stay at the Montage Hotel for the ultimate luxury vacation.


The Food

Brussels Bistro

Restaurant recommendations are always a top priority for any traveler, and I've got an amazing hidden gem for you. As a TV producer and lover of travel, I've had the pleasure of trying many delicious meals around the world but Bruges is home to one of my all-time favorites. If you're visiting Belgium, be sure to check out the incredible dining spots the city has to offer. For those of you hoping to get a taste of Belgium while in the states, I highly recommend an intimate below ground bistro on Forest Ave in Laguna Beach. Brussels Bistro is the closest to the authentic Belgian experience I've found in California. The mussels, fries and beer flights are top-notch and the service is truly impeccable. There's a wide range of delicious options available, making this spot perfect for everyone in your group.

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Pool, Spa, Gym, Beach, Shops, Property

Our stay at Montage was unforgettable, thanks to the friendly staff (who all seem to truly love their jobs) and the amazing recreational offerings. The extensive grounds provided breathtaking views that felt like we were on the Almafi Coast. Quick tip: Grab a complimentary coffee from the lobby bar and head outside for a morning stroll. This became one of the highlights of our trip. Though the view was even more stunning at night.

The family pool and adults-only pool were perfect for all types of travelers, and we loved the gym overlooking the adult pool and ocean (though we only admired it as we walked through the spa area). They do have a highly regarded kids club so you can experience the adult pool and spa.

The beautiful beaches with rock coves were a highlight, and Montage offered great beach set up and service (note: this is only available during the summer months and only certain hours of the day).

The shops on site were amazing, and we received great help when shopping for R&R Surplus clothing, the most comfortable casual chic clothes we've ever worn.

Lastly, the spa was a real treat, with great treatments, a sauna, steam room, and cold plunge.


Additional Information

Laguna Beach and Surrounding Areas

I love this area of California. It has an incredible art scene, a very relaxed vibe, great hikes, amazing coves to explore by foot or kayak and stunning vistas.  Consult this link for events and additional info.

Dana Point is another area worth visiting and exploring. It's just a 15 minute drive. There is a fabulous Ritz Carlton there to consider which has a great outdoor lunch spot. You can also catch a ferry from Dana Point to Catalina Island

San Diego Zoo is a 1hr 15 min drive.

Sea World 1hr 5min drive

Legoland is a 45min drive

Disneyland is 35 min drive Knotts Berry Farm is a 45 min drive

Beverly Hills is 1hr 15min drive

Historic San Juan Capistrano is 15 min drive

That should keep you (and the kids) busy ;)

Must Do Magic Moments

We reached this stunning location by boat. The locals called this a Fijian swimming pool

Laguna Beach, CA

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