Ashley Tarkington Jackel Shows Us Where to Stock Our Closets and Stomachs in Laguna Beach
Written By: Ashley Tarkington Jackel and Tamara Philips
Photographed By: Adam Gentry
Hair & Makeup By: Lauren Scaccia of Toni & Guy Newport Beach Ash n’ Fashn
With its gorgeous coastline and quaint small town feel, Laguna Beach is unlike anywhere I’ve ever been. I grew up in a neighboring city and have always loved the sense of escape I feel when I’m in Laguna. Clearly, I’m not alone as this once small artist village has become a tourist hotspot in recent years. Thanks in part to Pageant of the Masters, The Sawdust Festival and, of course, a little reality show that helped put this once hidden gem on the map.
I now live up the coast a bit with my husband, French bulldog and soon-to-be baby girl. My name is Ashley Tarkington Jackel, and I’m a celebrity stylist and author of the fashion and lifestyle blog, Ash n’ Fashn. I’ve always been infatuated with fashion, in fact when I was in second grade I purposely failed an eye exam so I could get reading glasses as an accessory. Even at seven years old I was looking for different ways to change up my look, and I haven’t stopped since. Follow along with me as I share some of my favorite local spots in Laguna Beach.
Beachfront dining has to be on everyone’s bucket list, right? Whether you choose breakfast, lunch, or dinner, the views are always stellar at Splashes Restaurant at The Surf and Sand Resort. Though spring can still be quite chilly, the outdoor heat lamps will wrap you in warmth as you sip your bubbly and enjoy your meal.
1555 S Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651
LuxeElle Nail Boutique is a must stop for pampering. They have the best polish selection and really make you feel welcomed and relaxed with complimentary champagne or hot tea. I indulged in a pedicure and relaxing hand massage with one of their amazing exfoliating scrubs. At nine months pregnant it was just what I needed.
690 S Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Our next stop was a little way down the road for lunch at Taverna. Located on Ocean Ave, this is a spot you don’t want to miss on your next trip to Laguna. The restaurant is gorgeous, and if you come on one of the many sunny days, you can enjoy a meal al fresco on their sundrenched patio. Their menu has so much to offer from salads, antipasti, pizzas, fish, and more. I enjoyed the most delicious sea bass of my life, it was cooked to perfection and my mouth is still watering thinking back to it. I washed it down with a refreshing green juice mocktail, but if you’re looking for something a little stronger, their Aperol Spritz is one of their most popular cocktails. I can’t wait to try it post-pregnancy.
222 Ocean Ave, Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Finally, let me introduce you to your new best friend, Blue Eyed Girl. This boutique is just south of downtown on Pacific Coast Highway. They carry some of my favorite Southern California brands like Gorjana, Show Me Your Mumu, Misa Los Angeles, Wildfox and more. It’s the perfect place to pick out an outfit for your next date night, girls night out, a gift for your bestie or just stock up on some great basics to get you through the season. It’s truly a one stop shop for whatever fashionable find you’re on the hunt for.
1200 S Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651
To elevate your wardrobe, you’ll need to cruise in Fetneh Blake along North Coast Highway. This spot is a one-stop-shop for either a night out or weekend getaway. Full disclosure, Fetneh Blake is a bit more of a runway look rather than your everyday v-neck and jeans type of place, but hey, you deserve to make a statement when you walk in the room!
427 N Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651
This is a perfect place to stop in on a sunny day when walking around Laguna with an acai bowl and your girlfriends. It has such a cute window front! The Shop. is Laguna Beach’s ultimate boho chic shop with beachy vibes. From swimsuits to tunics and oversized pullovers to midi and peasant dresses, you’re sure to find the perfect outfit for spring and summer.
1020 S Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Brussels Bistro offers a fun ambiance to meet up with friends after work. Some Belgian beers, a bucket of mussels, and a side of fries create a recipe for a good time! They even have a replica of the “Manneken Pis” statue from Brussels, Belgium that depicts a little boy peeing into a fountain. Cover the kids’ eyes for this one!
222 Forest Ave, Laguna Beach, CA 92651
When planning your home with your significant other, this is the most dreamy home store to pick items from. Nuance has beautiful pieces of furniture, lighting fixtures, draperies, and more—even cute little items you can give as gifts like candles, jewelry, and dainty little jewelry dishes.
1200 S Coast Hwy #103a, Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Brunchers rejoice! With an epic ocean view on the rooftop patio, this is a blissful way to spend a weekend morning. The Climb Over is a new breakfast flavor for me, but I loved it! It has slow cooked ribs in salsa verde served on top of garlic sticky rice, fried egg, and corn tortillas. With a touch of sour cream, chives, and cilantro atop it makes for a pleasantly tasty dish. Add an orange juice on the side to sip, and voila, perfection!
422 S Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651
There’s no comfort food like good Mexican food. This little hole in the wall has the tastiest tacos, burritos, tortas, and nachos in Laguna Beach. There isn’t a ton of room to sit, but if you’re eating all of the aforementioned items, you may want to stand and eat to burn the calories off! However, if you’re trying to behave, La Sirena Grill doesn’t make it difficult. The Avocado Lime Salad and blackened Wild Salmon Salad are absolutely delicious!
347 Mermaid St, Laguna Beach, CA 92651
While Urth Caffé boasts some of the healthiest and tastiest breakfast food in Laguna Beach, beware—this spot fills up incredibly quick in the morning. Be sure to get there early! If you don’t make it there before the sun, don’t worry, you’ll be able to sip one of their organic coffees while you wait for a table. And if you’re lucky, you’ll be graced with one of the beautiful works of latte art by the talented barista staff.
308 N Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Thanks for letting me play tour guide for the day and hopefully you’ve added these spots to your list of places to visit on your next trip to Laguna Beach.
Welcome to the World! During this editorial, Ashley was still pregnant. On March 14, she welcomed her baby girl, Crosby Brave Jackel.
Laguna Art A-Fair: Beginning June 30, you can explore artwork not just from Laguna Beach locals, but from around the world. And on the weekends, there is live entertainment hosted for art-goers at Tivoli Too!
Laguna Beach Electric Bike Rental: With an electric bike rental you can explore the Laguna Beach area at your own pace. And the best part? You won’t have to deal with beachtown parking!
Tamara is SoCal born and bred with Dutch roots. With an English degree from Vanguard University, she is thrilled to be part of the LOCALE editorial team. She enjoys reading, eating green bell peppers, petting other people's dogs, and cooking/baking while singing into a kitchen spoon to Broadway show tunes.