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Where the Canyon Meets the Sea, Sustainability is a Priority and Endless Amenities Exist 

Written By: Taylor Gorski
Photography Provided By: The Ranch at Laguna Beach 

Tucked in the Aliso and Wood Canyons, just a turn off of Pacific Coast Highway, lives The Ranch at Laguna Beach—a dreamy, iconic Laguna Beach resort. With the beach across the street, mountains surrounding the rooms and endless amenities, 87 acres of pure bliss makes for an unforgettable stay. There’s an endless list to choose from, but these are our 10 favorite things we love about The Ranch LB

 

1 | Sustainability Ranch Laguna Beach

All of the glass bottles on the property are recycled into sand using the GL Sand machine—and The Ranch was the first place in the U.S. to use it. “Sand is becoming a really problematic resource. It’s being excavated from beaches in Mexico and other places,” General Manager Kurt Bjorkman explains, ”It’s a big problem, it also keeps us from having to recycle glass, which only 40% of glass bottles you put in your recycling actually get reused. The rest get thrown into the dumpster. All the trucks and waste of the carbon footprint of handling that heavy glass is pretty big, so we eliminated that.” The sand made is used on the golf course bunkers, for bocce ball courts and also in sand bags. The sand they make has a green color because it tends to take the color of the bottles used. All of the water served in the guest rooms is Mountain Valley, which is in a green glass bottle. 

 

2 | Local Perspective Ranch Laguna Beach

Partnering with the Ocean Institute in Dana Point, The Ranch at LB hosts an educational camping experience for children from the Inland Empire during the summer months. Most of the children have either never seen the ocean or have never camped. “We close the golf course a little early and we get to walk at night on the golf course…which is crazy fun. And then we cook them this amazing camp dinner, and they spend the night, which is fun by itself. And then the next morning, pancake breakfast and hang out at the beach,” says Bjorkman. The Ranch has led this experience for 3,000 kids since they started five years ago.

Waterman’s Ball, hosted by the Surf Industry Manufacturer Association, takes place on the golf course every year. Around 400 people attend and it’s been going on for 30 years! Fundraisers for the Ocean Institute, Pacific Marine Mammal Center, SeaLion rescue and a lot of other smaller local charitable fundraisers are hosted on-site. 

 

3 | Ben Brown Golf Course 

The 9-hole Ben Brown golf course is surrounded by nature. Keep an eye out for deer, rabbits and squirrels as you swing for your hole-in-one. All of the water on the course is reclaimed water—saving 90 million gallons of water a year. That water normally would’ve just gone out to the ocean, but now they’re using it to water the golf course. “If you’re a golf course in California and you’re not using reclaimed water, you’re going to have a really tough time, especially during drought season,” Bjorkman says. 

Native Knowledge: Hobie Alter, inventor of the fiberglass surfboard and surfing legend, used to play golf at The Ranch. He met the owner of The Ranch, Mark, through playing golf here and eventually purchased the property. 

 

4 | Rich in History Ranch Laguna Beach

“The Thurston family homesteaded this entire canyon. There were just existing cattle ranchers and a little hut. They took that, and they had the official homestead deed in 1871. They were here for a long time and then eventually moved into Laguna,” says Bjorkman. Towards the back the property is a two-acre parcel that is home to the very first Girl Scout Camp in California, dating back to the 1920s.

Native Knowledge: “The family grew watermelons, walnuts, grapes, etc. They made their money by taking their watermelons every summer, going to the beaches and selling cold watermelon to the beach-goers,” says Bjorkman. 

 

5 | The Tree House

Stay above the course where the owner, Mrs. Brown, used to reside. Book your romantic getaway in this 1600 square foot paradise. The Tree House is gated, has a downstairs living area, fireplace, kitchen and multiple bedrooms. 

 

6 | Water Fun Ranch Laguna Beach

A tunnel from the resort to one of the best beaches in Laguna? Count me in. During the renovation back in 2015, The Ranch decided to keep the original shape and size of the on-site saline water pool. Next to the pool is a large palapa bar. “No one else in Laguna has an actual palapa bar with a thatched roof,” explains Bjorkman, “It was very complicated to build, make fire-proof and it is super heavy.” 

 

7 | Glamping

On occasion, The Ranch will host a boujee glamping experience with a canvas tent and full bar on the grass area. Contact the property for this special insider experience. 

 

8 | Sycamore Spa

Zen out at and forget about all of your worries with a Calming Canyon Massage at the quaint, intimate spa. Next to the spa is the fitness center. The gym even has reusable water bottles—rather than plastic bottles—that you can take home after your visit!

 

9 | Harvest Restaurant

Many ingredients are sourced from the on-site garden, and local fishermen provide the freshest seafood. Leo, the farmer on site, is a certified master gardener. Sprouts, lettuces, herbs and other fruits and vegetables can all be found growing in the half acre garden. 

Native Knowledge: Anyone can come here, you don’t have to be staying at the hotel. There’s live music on the patio 7 days a week. You can get food and beverage during the day– it’s self service but after 3pm there is table side service and it’s more of a lounge. The restaurant is open to everyone for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

 

10 | Coastal Cool Rooms

Relax, what’s not to love about a warm cottage feel that overlooks the lush green property? The Ranch recently switched to Steeped Coffee, coffee bags that disintegrate in your cup, to eliminate the waste of Keurig K-Cups. 

 

The Ranch at Laguna Beach
1106 S Coast Hwy
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
949.499.2271