If you had told me five years ago that I’d be living out my SoCal dreams in Laguna Beach, California, I would have said that you were nuts—but here I am, and it’s every bit as amazing as I thought it’d be. Today, I’m sharing my guide to Laguna Beach featuring my favorite places to eat, drink and shop. Whether you are just a drive away or looking for your next vacation destination, I hope this will inspire you to come visit and spend some time in this wonderful beach town.
Where To Stay
Casa Laguna: I had the pleasure of taking a little staycation at this newly renovated boutique hotel and it was absolutely amazing. Recently renovated by designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard, this décor is an interior lover’s (and Instagramer’s) dream! Aside from the design, the hotel has a gorgeous pool with ocean views, spa service and, to top is all off, it’s just a few steps away from the beach. It’s a little further south from the center of town, which means it’s less touristy and is just a (very) short ride on the free trolley to all the bars, restaurants and shops!
Where To Eat & Drink
Laguna Beach has an abundance of fabulous places to eat and drink!
Beach and Ocean View Dining
- The Deck & Driftwood Kitchen: Delicious dining practically right on the beach! Such a great weekend spot!
- The Rooftop Lounge: My favorite for sunset drinks and appetizers.
- Skyloft: A hip downtown spot with delicious food, drinks and a rooftop bar with excellent views.
- The Cliff Restaurant: Dine on the cliff of the Laguna Village and take in spectacular views at this restaurant.
- Carmelita’s: Crowded and sometimes hard to get into, but totally worth it.
- La Sirena Grill: With two locations in Laguna, this is a great place for affordable and delicious food and drinks. My go-to order is the Lime Cilantro Salad and a house margarita.
- Papa’s Tacos: This is a small taco stand in South Laguna Beach, which we frequent at least once a week. Steps away from Table Rock Beach, it’s quick, inexpensive and great for bringing down to the beach in time to catch the sunset or to fuel up after a long day in the sun on the sand.
- Zinc Cafe & Market: With a few locations in SoCal, this adorable café is perfect for healthy, but delicious, fare and a lot of vegetarian options. I particularly like its brunch menu!
- Urth Caffé: An LA favorite that recently opened a location in Laguna, this café typically has a line, especially on the weekend, but it seems to move fairly quickly. It has delicious coffee and is great for brunch and lunch!
- Nick’s Laguna Beach: Enjoy traditional American food in a relaxing and comfortable atmosphere.
- Tortilla Republic: This restaurant serves updated Mexican classics made with fresh seasonal ingredients.
- Broadway by Amar Santana: A new hotspot serving American fare.
Laguna Coffee Company: If you want to venture outside of Starbucks, try Laguna Coffee Company!
Gelato Paradiso: Even though it’s a little hidden down a cobblestone alley, this place is a must-visit for any dessert and ice cream aficionado.
The Loft or Studio at the Montage: For an indulgent meal, check out The Loft or Studio at the gorgeous Montage hotel. Make sure to take a walk around the property and check out the beautiful pool and absolutely stunning ocean views.
Where To Shop
Similar to its food options, Laguna Beach has a ton of cute shops in town that are fun to pop into after a day at the beach. Below are a few of my favorites:
- Tuvalu: If you are into home décor—and beach décor in general, you need to stop by this store! I’m pretty much obsessed with everything in it, but it’s on the pricier side.
- Twig: A quirky fun store a little further away from the main hub. It has some cute clothing along with accessories and cards that make for great gifts.
- The Shop: If you are looking for on-trend boho and surfer-chic clothing and accessories, this is the store for you. Just beware, the pieces can be pretty expensive!
- Isla Boutique: I love this little local boutique because it has a mix of new and vintage pieces! I scored the coolest straw bag there and vintage chain belt.
- La La: La La is a beautiful local boutique filled with the most beautiful bohemian-printed textiles by designer Kerry Cassill. If you are looking for unique pieces of clothing or home décor, this store is definitely worth a visit.
- Areo: I love this little boutique for finding fun and unique gifts!
- Yolk: Another cute boutique that originated in LA. It’s filled with cool homeware, accessories and gifts.
- Brass Tack: This shop is filled with the most beautiful U.S.-made, artisan and vintage goods! I especially love the homeware pieces.
- Beach House: I love all the beach-themed home décor and clothing pieces in this darling boutique.
- Pearl St. General: This darling family-owned general store has a mix of delicious food, drink and delicacies along with some pretty SoCal home décor items.
What To Do
Being a beautiful beach town that’s nestled next to the San Joaquin hills, there is an abundance of outdoor activities to fill your time with.
- Explore the beaches: There are quite a few beaches to visit in Laguna. My personal favorite though is Table Rock Beach. It is quite a steep staircase down to the beach, but totally worth it in my opinion. See more beach options here.
- Spend time in the parks: I love a nice walk around Heisler Park and Treasure Island Park. Treasure Island Park is located near the Montage hotel, so not only are there beautiful views of the Pacific, but you can get a good glimpse of the luxurious hotel.
- Hike: Explore Laguna Beach’s hiking trails.
- Enjoy water sports: Surfing is huge in Laguna Beach (as you might imagine), so it’s a great place to take a lesson or two. Along with surfing, you can also enjoy paddle-boarding and kayak tours!
- Visit art galleries: Laguna Beach has a significantly large artistic and creative community, and therefore, has a bunch of amazing art galleries to visit. As you enjoy a walk around town, make sure to pop in and admire (or buy) a local artist’s work.
- Pageant of the Masters: Takes place in July and August
- Sawdust Art & Craft Festival: Takes place in June through August
- Laguna Playhouse: A great place to see concerts and shows.