Laguna Beach Daydreaming
Laguna Beach, a bit of history
Laguna Beach is a place that most people experience as a myth. On vacation, on television, on film -- the beachside community is often visited but very few people stay. It was originally ruled by the Tongva people, then Mexico, until it was won by the US in the Mexican-American War in 1848. Officially founded in 1887, Laguna Beach is now home to nearly 23,000 people. It’s a home to artists and bohemians, surfers and real estate agents, the wealthy and the working staff. And a good friend of mine that I recently visited for a long dreamy vacation.
“...as a child of that deathless search, particularly by persons who devote their lives to painting or writing, or for some place where beauty and cheapness and a trifle of remoteness hobnob together in a delightful companionship” -Hildegarde Hawthorne, describing Laguna Beach
What to do in Laguna Beach
Even though Laguna Beach is relatively small, there is a lot to do even if there isn't an art festival going on. There's hiking, dining, shopping, surfing, dancing and creating (like KMala Studio's Wine + Watercolor workshops!). You can also just spend all day at the beach. My day usually went like this: running on the beach, taking Mr. Bailey to the local coffee shop, stopping by my friend's studio, exploring, working on my projects for Etxe, then meeting my friend for dinner or drinks. Sometimes we'd go dancing, sometimes we'd watch movies and chat. The weather was perfect every single day.
Here are some of my favorite spots:
Laguna Coffee Co - 1050 S. Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, CA 92651 - This is a real neighborhood gem. I loved the chill atmosphere and the fact that I could sit on the patio or inside for long periods of time reading or working on my computer. There's a nice mix of people that frequent this spot, so you'll get a good feel for the community. On the weekends they have live music.
Hiking in the Canyon - ask a local - I was lucky to have a guide! We hiked on the south side of the 133 highway up to the top. There are breathtaking views of the ocean. We even had a moon view!
Driftwood Kitchen & Stateroom Bar - 619 Sleepy Hollow Lane, Laguna Beach, CA 92651 - If you are at all a fan of brunch you cannot miss this dining spot. Everything is delicious and it overlooks the beach. Fine dining and sunbathing? yes.
Sourced: a California Collective - 950 Glenneyre St, Laguna Beach, CA 92651 - Half retail space and half offices for creative businesses, this is a really unique spot that is super inspiring. You will want to buy everything in this store!
Broadway - 328 Glenneyre Street, Laguna Beach,CA 92651 - My friend raved about this place and we somehow didn't go until my last night. She didn't exaggerate! This restaurant/bar has amazing cocktails and delicious desserts. They also have rotating art on the walls that is just as fabulous.
Brussels Bistro - 222 Forest Ave, Laguna Beach, CA 92651 - This is where we spent most of our NYE and it was perfect. Just the right amount of people and great music. It's a bistro during the day and an 'european electro music' club on Friday and Saturday night.
Oh! I almost forgot -- Cafe Zoolu! I had one of the best meals here thanks to my friend's mom's recommendation. It's normally filled with reservations and is a bit pricey, but really all you need to do is sit at the bar and order the calamari. It may ruin all future calamari orders as nothing will be as delicious, but it is totally worth it.
Ah, so much fun in Laguna! I kept tagging my instagram photos a found location someone else made up -- 'fun and sun in Laguna'. I'm not sure how anyone gets work done here because I can't really put anything above sunshine. This is why I don't live in SoCal anymore--I need my winter! Seasons! But, with the end of winter almost upon us, here I am daydreaming about Laguna Beach.