Credit: The Deck
Credit: The Deck

12 Reasons We Love Laguna Beach for a May-cation

From Ocean-View Restaurants to Craft Cocktails, Head to Laguna Beach for Your Next SoCal Getaway

While Southern California is chock-full of amazing escapes, destinations and stays, no place captures the essence of the SoCal coast better than beautiful Laguna Beach. Nestled between lush canyons and crystal clear coves, 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 boutique hotels and resorts in the entire state. You don’t need to travel far; Laguna Beach is a premier staycation destination for these 11 reasons. Laguna Beach Staycation

 

Rum Social

Credit: Kevin Tackett

For an upscale, boozy lunch in Laguna Beach, we recommend taking a trip to Rum Social for delicious bites and craft cocktails in an atmosphere that is equal parts evocative speakeasy and tropical escape. Order the yellowtail mini crisps, Rum Social salad and steak banh mi for a fresh and flavorful lunch. Featuring an extensive array of signature cocktails, each highlighting a variety of specialty infused rums and liqueurs, Rum Social transports its guests to the shores of the Caribbean. Whether you’re sipping on a fresh Mojito Smash or find yourself sinking into a suede booth with a Hemingway in hand, Rum Social is sure to please.

 

Las Brisas

Credit: Mary Carol Fitzgerald

One of the many things that make Laguna 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 staple features an inventive menu that infuses seafood favorites with authentic Latin flair. Be sure to indulge in their decadent lobster enchiladas or even stop by for brunch as their eggs Benedict is always a pleasant surprise.

Laguna Beach Staycation

The Drake

Credit: Drake

If you’re seeking a truly one-of-a-kind dining experience, we love The Drake, and you will too. This popular spot pays homage to the classic, New York-style supper clubs of ages past by providing a unique, art-deco ambiance, great contemporary American cuisine and some of the best live entertainment in the area. With a decadent menu featuring gourmet steaks and seafood, plus hand-crafted desserts and a soothing lineup of jazz, blues and R&B musicians, The Drake transports guests to another decade, allowing them to escape back in time.

 

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 that permeates the grounds of this lovely hotel, Hotel Joaquin is perfect for those seeking serenity off the beaten path. The property’s proximity to the beach, hand-crafted sandalwood furniture and on-site bar and restaurant make this retreat an excellent escape for adventurers from all over.

Laguna Beach Staycation

Mozambique

Credit: Katie Nguyen

Adding to the growing list of impeccable spots to stop and grab a bite or drink, Mozambique takes the rooftop-dining concept to a whole new level. Featuring an expansive menu inspired by wood-fired cuisine from all over the world, Mozambique is as scenic as it is delicious. And with three unique dining atmospheres to enjoy, including a patio garden and a panoramic rooftop lounge, this spot is sure to help any traveler escape the day-to-day.

 

The Deck

Credit: The Deck

Taking full advantage of the pristine beaches Laguna has to offer, The Deck takes guests closer to the warm waters of the Pacific than any other restaurant in the area. This beachy oceanfront 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 on nearly all sides, it is almost impossible not to be mesmerized when dining at The Deck. Pro tip: go at sunset!

Laguna Beach Staycation

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, the Surf & Sand is an airy, open-concept oasis. Plus, with an award-winning restaurant and over 170 rooms that each have an ocean view, it’s easy to see why this iconic spot has been praised for decades.

Laguna Beach Staycation

Pirate Tower

@localemag Have you ever been? #piratetowervictoriabeach #piratetower #victoriabeach #lagunabeach #laguna #localemagazine #orangecounty #ocdateideas ♬ Ocean Eyes – Billie Eilish

For those seeking a bit of mystery as well as a bit of history, we recommend taking a trip to Victoria Beach to see the ever iconic “Pirate Tower.” Stretching 60 feet above the sand and into the golden bluffs, this tower, believed to have once been used by pirates and surveyors alike to scout out the coastline, has been around for nearly a century, inviting guests to come explore a little piece of this shore’s history.

Zinc Cafe

A staple in the Laguna Beach community for over 30 years, Zinc Cafe serves up some of the freshest and finest brunch and lunch bites around. With an expansive menu featuring decadent artisan salads, omelets, sandwiches and more—along with an endearing and inviting sun-soaked patio area—it’s no wonder so many consider Zinc a quintessential part of the Laguna Beach community.

 

Saturday Farmers Market

Credit: Iñigo De la Maza on Unsplash

No Saturday morning in Laguna Beach would be complete without a trip to the bustling farmers market. Located just off Broadway St (adjacent to city hall) 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.

Laguna Beach Staycation

Rum Social

For an upscale, boozy endeavor, we recommend taking a trip to Rum Social for craft cocktails in an atmosphere that is equal parts evocative speakeasy and tropical escape. Featuring an extensive array of signature cocktails, each highlighting a variety of specialty infused rums and liqueurs, Rum Social transports its guests to the shores of the Caribbean. Whether you’re sipping on a fresh Mojito Smash or find yourself sinking into a suede booth with a Hemingway in hand, Rum Social is sure to please.

 

Bianchi Wine Tasting

@localemag #bianchi #tastingroom #lagunabeach #pasorobles #localemagazine #orangecounty #ocfoodie #orangecountydateideas #ocdateidea ♬ Tom’s Diner – AnnenMayKantereit & Giant Rooks

What many don’t know is that, while known for its beachfront luxury, Laguna is also home to a vibrant and growing community of wine lovers and connoisseurs. New to the neighborhood, Bianchi Wine Tasting is the perfect spot to experience this blossoming part of the town’s culture. Featuring an upscale, modernized tasting room with over a dozen signature Bianchi family wines (from Paso Robles) to taste and purchase, this hidden gem is perfect for those looking to experience a different side of this ever-evolving city by the sea.

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