Credit: Lukas Souza

15 Reasons We Love Laguna Beach for a Summer Vacation

From Rooftop Restaurants to Quaint Boutiques, This Eclectic Beach Town Has It All

While Southern California is chock-full of amazing escapes, destinations and stays, no place captures the essence of the SoCal living better than beautiful Laguna Beach. Settled between lush canyons and crystal clear waters, Laguna has won the adoration of locals and tourists alike with its unrivaled display of both natural and artistic beauty. But what many don’t know is that this small but mighty beach town is also home to some of the best waterfront hotels, charming boutiques and rooftop restaurants in the entire state. You don’t need to travel far; Laguna Beach is a premier staycation destination for these 15 reasons.



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Laguna Beach Staycation
Credit: Mozambique

Perched above the crashing waves of the Pacific, dip your fork into the exotic, colorful cuisine of Southern Africa at Mozambique. The alluring aroma of South Africa’s famous chili pepper (the Peri-Peri) isn’t the only greeting guests will receive—you’re more than likely to encounter a squawk or two from their loquacious macaws. Mozambique’s tiered restaurant offers more than one venue to feast on samoosas and Durban curry (with a Laguna Sky on the side, please)! 

Credit: Mozambique

The Parrot Room and Garden Patio are drenched in whimsical colors and lush vegetation, with a splash of tropical textiles thrown in to elevate the jungle ambiance. What’s that you hear? It must be the Peri-Peri Chicken Pops calling your name for Patio Hour from 5 p.m. to close Wednesday-Sunday! You’ll find a dueling duo of live serenades and whiskey in the Durban Room while their rooftop deck takes the crown as the star of the show with unparalleled views of the Pacific Ocean.

Local Insight: Stay tuned for the grand opening of Mozambique’s new second-level music venue called Moz’s House in July!



Credit: AMĒNAH

Strutting down the streets in style is sort of a requirement when visiting Laguna Beach (this town is trendy, folks!). Spice up your wardrobe with a few functional pieces from AMĒNAH. A true Laguna Beach boutique, AMNAH offers natural fiber Tencel trousers, sun dresses, cotton crochet and linen pants to help you achieve that effortless coastal-chic look. Match your style to your living space and beautify your home with their organic modern home decor, ranging from marble trays and locally made candles to stunning ceramic vases.


Heisler Park

Can we talk about the views from this stunning oceanfront trail? Wedged between the aquamarine waves and Cliff Drive, it’s easy to see why Heisler Park receives a constant flood of attention. We can’t think of a better place for a morning walk or sunset stroll than along the manicured walking paths framed by botanical gardens and lush, native flora. When sunset rolls around, a picnic blanket, some sandos and a bottle of prosecco are all you need to create an Instagrammable picnic spread on Heisler Park’s manicured verdant lawns. 


The Salt Horse

Whole Foods is cool, but have you been to The Salt Horse? It’s a little too easy to become obsessed with this organic local grocer’s trendy spread of seasonal greens, fruits and small-batch baked goods. Encouraging a back-to-the-land lifestyle, The Salt Horse’s locally sourced produce celebrates the symbiotic relationship between humans and simple whole foods (with an elevated flair). Fresh-cut flowers and home decor make this mercantile feel more like a home than a grocery store. Oh, and sign up for the Farm Box for a routine supply of simple weeknight meals!


Jedidiah Coffee

Laguna Beach Staycation
Credit: Yelitza Mendoza

Keeping Laguna Beach caffeinated, Jedidiah Coffee, which opened earlier this year, has already made itself right at home in this quaint beach town. Armed with a passion for cultivating community through coffee, this family-owned coffee shop knows that a true coffee experience is just as much about the space as it is about the brew. Plush pillows lining the window seat create a cozy nook to sip your brew, while the umbrella-dotted patio is the perfect place to chill with your pup and catch some morning rays.



Laguna Beach Trolley

Laguna Beach Staycation
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When you can’t find the motivation to get those extra steps in, the Laguna Beach Trolley has proven itself to be a nifty neighborhood essential for Laguna Beach locals and visitors. This shuttle service traverses the coastline from Northern Laguna to Dana Point, stopping at Heisler Park, downtown, South Laguna and The Ritz-Carlton. With free on-demand service between residential districts, your favorite Laguna Beach stops are all just a seashell’s throw away. Passengers can also download the Laguna Beach Trolley Tracker app to receive real-time updates on active routes.



Table Rock Beach

We love a good beach day—particularly one secluded from the crowds that permeate much of Laguna Beach’s coastline in the summertime. Table Rock Beach is a hidden gem in South Laguna, tucked behind a steep case of wooden stairs leading to its distinctive rocky outcropping that gave this beach its moniker. Small without feeling too small, Table Rock Beach was designed for the all-day beach dweller. Flanked by elegant seaside mansions owned by some of Laguna Beach’s most affluent, this beach in Laguna invites you to spread out your beach towel and soak up the sun.


ARTime Barro

Bind, shape, mold, repeat—there’s something so soothing about the art of pottery. ARTime Barro in downtown Laguna Beach aspires to help creatives find their flow through a mindful and cathartic pottery-making experience. Tap into your artistic side with their community classes that range from one-time classes that introduce newbies to the core curriculum of pottery to niche topics, like their Wheel Thrown Planter Class. Independent artists will feel right at home with a monthly open studio membership that allows aspiring and experienced potters to let their creative energy flow freely.



Credit: Sharon Williams

When in Laguna, there’s no better place to enjoy the summer weather than Skyloft. Between the ocean views from the rooftop and weekly live musical performances, Skyloft is the ultimate place to kick back and let loose with good tunes. That said, no rhythm and blues are complete without some craft cocktails. Keep things crisp and relaxed with the cucumber basil cocktail, or turn up the heat with a spicy cucumber jalapeño margarita. When it comes to food, what better place to enjoy fresh seafood than steps from the sand? From the ceviche mixto to the ahi tuna tower, the selection of tasty appetizers will start your meal off on a high note. For entrees, you can’t go wrong with the ribs (smoked in-house!) or the prosciutto-wrapped scallops.


Business and Pleasure Co.

Credit: Business & Pleasure Co.

Ready to stock up on some beach day essentials? Stop by Business and Pleasure Co. for everything from pinstriped umbrellas to stylish swing chairs with bohemian fringe. This truly is a one-stop shop for all of your beach picnic needs, and they even sell coolers and bottle openers so that you can bring the party to the beach with ease. The store is located right on Pacific Coast Highway, making it easy to hit the sand immediately after shopping.


Las Brisas

outdoor dining orange county
Credit: Las Brisas

One of the many things that makes Laguna Beach so special is the renowned lineup of amazing restaurants—and Las Brisas is no exception. Located just above the blue waters of the Pacific with stunning panoramic views of the ocean, this sea-to-table restaurant in Laguna Beach features an inventive menu that infuses fresh-caught favorites with authentic Latin flair. Grab a table on the patio and indulge in their decadent lobster enchiladas, or stop by for brunch; their eggs Benedict is always a winner.


Hotel Joaquin

Credit: Roger Davies

Paying homage to California’s Spanish roots, Hotel Joaquin is a charming boutique hotel located just above the blissful bluffs of Shaw’s Cove. With a passion for art and antiquity, which permeate the grounds of this hotel in Laguna Beach, Hotel Joaquin is perfect for those seeking serenity off the beaten path. The rooms feature record players, and the hotel even has an on-site Adventure Outpost with complimentary bicycles, bodyboards and beach games. In addition, the property’s proximity to the beach, hand-crafted sandalwood furniture and on-site bar and restaurant make it a trendy escape.


The Deck

Credit: The Deck

Taking full advantage of the pristine beaches Laguna has to offer, The Deck takes guests closer to the shore than any other restaurant in the area. This open-air restaurant and bar specializes in seasonal seafood favorites, such as their ever-popular Laguna Cioppino, and serves up some of the most unique cocktails in the city. And with shimmering sapphire water just feet away, it’s almost impossible not to be mesmerized when dining at The Deck. Pro tip: go at sunset!


Surf & Sand Resort

Credit: Surf & Sand Laguna Beach

The very essence of charm and luxury, the Surf & Sand has been providing an unrivaled oceanfront escape for over half a century. Drawing inspiration from the idyllic coastal towns dotting the Mediterranean, this Laguna Beach hotel is an airy, open-concept oasis. Plus, with an award-winning waterfront restaurant (that reopens in June 2024!) and over 170 rooms that each have an ocean view, it’s easy to see why this iconic hotel has drawn in locals and visitors for decades.


Laguna Beach Certified Farmers Market

No weekend in Laguna Beach would be complete without a trip to the bustling farmers market. Located just off Forest Avenue and featuring over 40 vendors of fresh, self-grown produce, spices, honey, hummus, coffee, tea and more, walking between booths, chatting with locals and indulging in the best empanadas has never been more delightful. The market takes place every Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon, so plan accordingly!




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