Laguna Beach, an upscale, coastal, & artistic Orange County community in Southern California, is famous for a variety of reasons: the “Laguna Beach” reality television show, the Festival of Arts Pageant of the Masters, the Sawdust Art Festival, it’s gorgeous, snorkel-worthy beaches, the list goes on and on…
There’s no denying it’s a beautiful place any direction you look. It’s also chock-full of great food, great shopping, and great views. Here are some of my favorite things to do on a day-trip to Laguna Beach.
So grab your mom, your dad, your boyfriend, your girlfriend, your husband, your wife, your best friend, your dog, your grandma, your grandpa, your daughter, your son, your pet rock! Grab them and enjoy a day here with my best recommendations to get the very most out of your day in Laguna Beach.
What better way to begin a day-date than with… a movie.
The small Laguna South Coast Cinema is a cool place to catch the latest flick. Adult tickets are only $8.50, or $6.00 for a matinee (before 5:15).
Afterwards grab a bite at my absolute favorite restaurant in Laguna Beach, The Cliff, located in the Laguna Village. The restaurant offers a reasonably priced valet parking service for your convenience.
Here is one of the many reasons I love eating at The Cliff. Just let that view sink in.
If you can tear your eyes away from the turquoise waves long enough to take a glimpse at the menu, you’ll find a variety of delicious seafood options, as well as sandwiches, burgers, salads, and so on.
Did I mention the view?
Alright alright, back to the food.
I recently ordered two “Scallops Wasabi” for the first time. They’re described as “raw scallops on the 1/2 shell topped with seaweed salad, pickled ginger and wasabi cream sauce”. As of March 2014, pricing is $3 ea. / $25 doz.
Now… let me just say… I love seafood. I love sushi. I love scallops.
These scallops were the BEST scallops I’ve ever had. They were SO GOOD. If you like raw seafood (i.e. sushi), you have to try these. I could eat these everyday for the rest of my life. A little tang, a little spice, a little crunch, a lot of YES.
My mom ordered Fish N Chips ($16), minus the chips, plus fruit. So. Fish N Fruit you could say. I had a bite of hers and it was ALSO some of the best fried fish I’ve had. Light, not oily, and flavorful.
For my main entree I had Halibut Laguna ($25), “fresh grilled halibut filet topped with mango and papaya tropical salsa served with rice and fresh mixed greens”. Also fabulous!
That view again. I can’t help myself.
The rest of the Laguna Village is filled with cute, little specialty & art shops. I bought a gorgeous gold-filled anklet from Shelby’s and my mom bought some coral and shells from Rudi’s (located on the eastern side of the Laguna Village, near the street.
Meeting and chatting with Rudi and Linda was a highlight of our day! Rudi is from Vienna, Austria and Linda is from Cape Town, South Africa. Since I have previously visited both of their original hometowns we had a blast discussing our favorite parts of each destination. They told me about the under-rated Tokai wine region in Cape Town, a place I’ll most definitely be visiting on my next visit to Cape Town (which is hopefully sooner, rather than later)!
Their adorable dog, Bear, greets customers with a wagging tail when he’s not lounging in his cushy bed.
My mom was so inspired by Bear’s haircut that she requested I groom up our Pomeranian/Papillon pup just like him. I tried. But I’m saving you from the visual. I’ll leave it at that. Admire Bear’s handsome looks, instead.
After checking out the Laguna Village I recommend taking a stroll along the sand… because everyone likes long walks on the beach. Am I right or am I right?
I also highly recommend heading to the main downtown streets, Forest Ave and Ocean Ave.
Here, you’ll find Scandia (248 Forest Ave, Laguna Beach, CA 92651), an awesome bakery popular with locals.
It’s filled to the brim with salads, pastries, and a comfy warm coffee aroma.
From cookies, to tarts, to danishes… they have something for every sweet craving.
Choosing between a danish and a coconut macaroon was next to impossible. I ended up “eenie-meenie-minie-mo”-ing it.
You’re lucky I paused to take a quick photo before gobbling this baby up! Ain’t she a beaut?
ANDDDDD… MORE SHOPPING! Because shopping. Duh.
I was ecstatic when I came across Tuvalu (295 Forest Ave, Laguna Beach, CA 92651), a home furnishings store with a shabby chic/oceanic theme. Totally my style!
Being that I semi-grew up in Orange County (die-hard beach baby since birth, just ask my mama), and sailed around the world on a ship, I have a deep LOVE for coastal interior designs.
Tuvalu is the epitome of unique, rustic and beautiful. Their furniture, lighting, dining, bedding, art and accessories have even been featured in Coastal Living, Sunset Magazine, Ocean Home, Real Simple, and InStyle.
(Heads up: Their website is currently under construction, but Pin this and come back to it later! Even if you can’t make it out to Laguna Beach, you can still browse/shop online when their website is back up!)
Tuvalu also has a fun and eclectic book section towards the back of the store.
And it gets better. The owner/buyer, Laurie Alter, is totally awesome! She’s very hands-on in the store and one of the most helpful and cool business owners I’ve come across since I started blogging.
Be sure to check out the Tuvalu blog and Pinterest account! I’m already obsessed.
Next up, one of my favorite clothing boutiques in Laguna Beach: Muse!
Muse, formerly known as Ivory Moon, has been around for fifteen years. I’ve been coming here for at least five of those years.
The clothes are consistently interesting and desirable. This is because Muse sees itself as more than just a clothing store; they aim to be an art and fashion gallery by showcasing up-and-coming designers.
After speaking with the owner, I learned that he is inspired by the casual, artistic feel that the Laguna Beach community is known for. The boutique/gallery hopes to inspire it’s customers to be different and unique.
The clothing and accessory pieces are discovered and brought to the shelves and racks of the store from all over the world. For example, the canvas bag (on the left in the photo above) is from Madagascar!
Muse is a fun place to explore the future of the fashion world. I’ve often wondered if fashion-mogul Lauren Conrad gained inspiration from the boutique as she was growing up in Laguna Beach. (Shout out to LC! Her blog is to-die-for!)
If you’ve been to LB, what are your favorite things to see, eat, and do? Have I missed anything note-worthy?