Hey LSPACE fam, Lead Apparel Designer Sunny here! Today I’m sharing my local guide to my hometown of Laguna Beach, California. Laguna is a charming little beach town with so much to offer. On the surface, Laguna is paradise found with its cute walkable downtown right on the water, and covey beaches nestled in the cliffs that line the coast. Growing up in Laguna and living there now, I can say it is exactly that and so much more. Laguna is filled with hidden gems – from awesome restaurants to coastal hikes, secret beaches and cozy hillside escapes.
Keep reading for a list of my must-see spots in Laguna Beach. I hope you get the chance to enjoy one from the list or even better, all of them!
ABOVE: Sunny wears the Topanga Sweater Knit Cover-Up
Active Culture – Man, these guys make a mean Acai bowl. Also serving grain bowls, frozen yogurt and delicious vegan shakes, you really can’t go wrong here. Whatever you decide on, take it to go and head over to the benches above Oak St. beach to enjoy a snack watching local surfers ride the waves.
Ahba – Hands down my favorite restaurant in Laguna! Located on PCH on the south end of town, sits the quaint little cottage style building with a charming patio. Ahba specializes in Mediterranean-inspired cuisine, serving small plates that are easily shared, so you can really taste the menu! My go-to menu items are the herb salad (try it), hummus and pickled veggies.
Zinc Café – This is a long-time favorite of mine. Zinc has a lovely outdoor patio and great coffee. Everything is vegetarian. I love their limey avocado toast and the black bean chili is in a word, YUM. Enjoy a seat in the sunshine or check out their premade salad bar for gourmet grab-and-go.
Gelato Paradiso – My favorite sweet treat from my favorite place! Gelato Paradiso serves up super authentic gelato with so many flavors to choose from and it is d-lish. It’s located downtown in a charming little brick alleyway that will make you feel like you’re in Italy. Walking distance from lots of yummy restaurants, it’s the perfect after dinner sweet-stop.
ABOVE: Sunny wears the Fronds Forever terry set (almost gone!)
The Seahorse – A local favorite beer and wine bar with delicious food tucked away behind Pearl St. General store. During the day, Pearl St. General offers a variety of wines and snacks as well as a coffee bar with a full menu serving up Verve coffee.
Shaw’s Cove – Grab your flippers and head down this North Laguna cove for some great snorkeling in the warmer months. This beach is somewhat protected from wind making the water clear and calm. There is a lot to see underwater from tide pool animals like starfish and sea urchins, to Garibaldi, eels and other colorful fish. You may even spot a seal on a good day!
Queen’s Pools – It is a must to time this right, as it can be dangerous to climb the rocks if the tide is high or rising, but oh is it worth it to make the trek at low tide! The Queen’s pools are man-made pools set into the rocks at a secret beach located just south of 1,000 Steps beach. To get to the beach, walk down 1,000 Steps to the sea cave at the south end. Through the cave you’ll find a large sandbar and more tide pools to climb around until you see the Queen’s Pools! I recommend wearing water shoes as the rocks can be rough on bare feet.
Valido Trail – This hike is so great! Right up the street from West St. Beach, this trail winds up and around the hillside until you find yourself at Aliso Peak; an awesome lookout overlooking the ocean and charming south Laguna! It’s a quick little hike, and a great workout as it is very steep 🙂 The view is well worth the incline, trust me.
ABOVE: Sunny wearing the Driftwood shirt
The Ranch – Once upon a time this was a just a shabby old hotel no one in town really batted an eye about. A few years back it was completely re-envisioned, transforming into the beautiful coastal resort it is today. The Ranch boasts an impressive indoor/outdoor restaurant overlooking a 9 hole golf course. Tucked into the hillside, this is a great place to grab a drink and get cozy sitting outside around one of the many firepits.
Hotel Joaquin – Easily the cutest boutique hotel in south Orange County. I checked this place out a few months ago, and I’m dying to plan a staycation! Hotel Joaquin is a gem hiding in plain sight right off PCH in North Laguna. The décor is modern bohemian with an open air lobby and of course, a great pool!
The Shop Laguna – Uhg. One of the cutest shops in Laguna, and really in Southern California! Located in the center of town (or the village as the locals call it), the shop carries apparel, lounge, swim and accessories from all the cutest beachy brands…including LSPACE of course 😉
Get to know more about Sunny and what inspires her in our Q&A blog!