By this point you know that we love travel and exploring here at ARGAUX. And while we will take any excuse to Gaux Outside, we are lucky to call one of the most fantastic spots in the USA our home base: Laguna Beach.
With its expansive beaches, artistic atmosphere, and quaint downtown, Laguna certainly gives us a good excuse to have a staycation. Check out our favorite spots below!
The Montage – The sweeping views here are to die for – and every single room has one. The outdoor pool overlooking the ocean is and perfect place to unwind. And all the cardio machines in the gym face the ocean, too! We also recommend the Mosaic Bar & Grille for happy hour: pool and cabana service. Need we say more.
La Casa Del Camino Laguna – tucked into the center of Laguna, this Spanish Style boutique hotel in a historic building has a rooftop bar that allows for that perfect cocktail after freshening up. We love to start the night here and watch the sunset before heading out for dinner. A great pick for a stay if you want to be in the center of everything and explore on foot, with all the charm of a bed and breakfast.
Casa Laguna Hotel & Spa – The decor at this hotel is a heavy hitter. A classic mission-style, it oozes Southern California charm and culture, both historically and in the present. A short 10 minute walk to the beach, this escape is perfect for those wanting to have an authentic Laguna experience in an aesthetically historical gem.
The Ranch At Laguna Beach – This massive ranch has its very own golf course, spa, and wedding venue that take you back to the roots of Laguna as a ranch land. Best for a getaway with larger groups or a meeting, it’s modern rustic vibe is perfect for the contemporary explorer. The restaurant, Harvest, is also stellar: you can play a quick 9 holes and then be graciously welcomed restaurant designed by Tuvalu owner and a wine club member of yours truly….But beyond the decor, the classic, hearty American food is a nice departure from the seafood heavy menus of the other restaurants on this list. The classic cocktails with a twist will have you dreaming up combinations you could make at your home bar.
Surf & Sand Resort – a safe choice for the whole family (including your dog!). The beach is the draw – you can walk out of your room and have your feet in the waves in an instant. Splashes is also one of our picks for a great, calm, unhurried happy hour with a view.
Deck on Laguna Beach – Drinks on the boardwalk? Yes please. This casual spot is a great place to grab a beer and some oysters after a long day on the beach.
Driftwood Kitchen – Done with your drinks at the Deck? Head next door to Driftwood. The whisky and bourbon cocktails here are a standout – ask your bartender for advice and maybe explore a little. Hot tip: in case your weekend has a slow start, brunch is served until 2:30pm…bring on the mimosas.
Carmelitas – This Mexican spot is right off the main boardwalk downtown, and is always a hit with out of town guests looking to eat in a popular location. Just tucked away enough to miss the main crowds, it’s a casual place with a buzzy vibe.
Tip: make a reservation before Pageant of the Masters, another OC tradition: it’s just a short walk away.
Broadway – We love the vibe of this spot in central Laguna, around the corner from Carmelitas. Opened about five years ago, it’s a Laguna standout. From the moment you walk in the exposed brick, lofted ceiling, and woody Californian setting make you want to settle in for the night. The active bar and killer drink menu start the evening off right before you even look at the menu. Where you might be looking instead? The open kitchen. But when the food does arrive, it does not disappoint. We love the small plates style of eating – that way we get to taste and share a lot of dishes! After dinner, you may want to stick around the bar and make an evening of it: this is a great weekend spot where you can transition from a leisurely dinner to drinks with ease.
Starfish – When you are this close to the ocean, seafood is always the move. Past the hustle and bustle of downtown Laguna, this pan-Asian spot is our choice when we want to eat something that requires chopsticks. Their creative cocktail list is sure to surprise: nothing boring here! We usually start with a roll from their raw bar, then split a few small plates and maybe throw in a dumpling order or a whole fish to round out the meal. While seafood is the star, this is a great place to bring guests with dietary restrictions as the vegetarian/vegan, gluten free, or dairy free options abound.
Next time you’re in Laguna, be sure to check out these spots. And don’t forget, you can always chat with your Pocket Somms when you’re out at dinner, to make a wine selection you’ll love! We are here to guide you, no matter where you spend your time in Laguna.
Cheers From Your Pocket Somms! – ARGAUX