Coastal Charms and Artistic Delights: A 3-Day Escape in Laguna Beach, California

Advisor - Julie Guaderrama
Curated By

Julie Guaderrama

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  • Laguna Beach

  • California

  • Beaches

  • Active Travel

  • Food & Wine

  • Coastal

  • Foodie

  • Sightseeing

Laguna Beach is a picturesque coastal paradise blending stunning beaches, artistic charm, and Southern California allure.
Curator’s statement

Laguna Beach is the jewel of Orange County, California. Situated on stunning sea-side cliffs the town attracts both locals and tourists throughout the year. This beautiful coastal town is known for its spectacular beaches, art scene, fabulous dining, and scenic landscapes.

The Fora Difference

Book with Julie to access exclusive perks and experiences on your trip.

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Killer perks

Free upgrades, spa credits and more—we got you

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Insider knowledge

Expert advice from people who’ve actually been there

Where to stay

Montage Laguna Beach

Montage Laguna Beach welcomes guests into the heart of Southern California’s preeminent artist colony and features two outdoor pool decks, two spas and three signature restaurants with spectacular views.

Fora Perks
  • $100 resort / hotel credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Casa Laguna Hotel & Spa

Dreamy boutique stay designed with Moorish tiles and terra cotta details along California's Pacific Coast Highway.

Fora Perks
  • $25 hotel / resort credit.

  • Welcome treat in room on arrival.

  • Upgrade & guaranteed late check-out.

Hotel Joaquin

A Laguna Beach gem above Shaw’s Cove, with a tranquil beachy style and a palm tree-lined saltwater pool.

Advisor - Julie Guaderrama

Unlock perks by contacting Julie to book your trip.

Day 1: Beach exploration and art galleries

Heisler Park is an oceanfront oasis offering panoramic views, serene gardens, and a peaceful escape in the heart of Laguna Beach.

Morning

Start your day with a hearty breakfast at a local cafe, such as the Orange Inn or the Zinc Cafe & Market, both known for their delicious offerings.

Head to Main Beach Park, the heart of Laguna Beach. Take a leisurely stroll along the sandy shore, dip your toes in the Pacific Ocean, or simply relax and soak up the sun.

Afternoon

Walk up to Heisler Park, which offers breathtaking views of the coastline and art installations scattered throughout the park.

For art enthusiasts, visit the Laguna Art Museum, showcasing California art and contemporary exhibits.

Explore the various art galleries on Gallery Row along North Coast Highway, where you can find an eclectic mix of paintings, sculptures, and other artwork.

Evening

Enjoy a sunset dinner with ocean views at one of the restaurants along Coast Highway. Driftwood Kitchen and The Deck on Laguna Beach are popular choices.

After dinner, take a short drive to Top of the World, a scenic viewpoint where you can enjoy panoramic views of the city lights and stars above.

Day 2: Outdoor adventure and local flavors

El Moro Canyon Loop Trail is a 2.9-mile loop trail near Laguna Beach.

Morning

Grab a quick breakfast or coffee at a local bakery or cafe.

Spend the morning at Crystal Cove State Park, just north of Laguna Beach. Hike along the various trails, such as the El Moro Canyon Loop Trail or the Moro Ridge Trail, which offer stunning ocean vistas and opportunities for wildlife sightings.

Afternoon

Head back to Laguna Beach for lunch at one of the many seafood restaurants along the coastline. Try Nick's Laguna Beach or Slapfish for a taste of local flavors.
In the afternoon, relax at Thousand Steps Beach, a unique and less-crowded spot known for its picturesque setting.

Evening

Indulge in a fine dining experience at a restaurant like Studio at Montage Laguna Beach, known for its culinary excellence and ocean views.

After dinner, take a stroll along the quaint streets of downtown Laguna Beach and stop by Gelato Paradiso for some delicious gelato.

Day 3: Cultural heritage and outdoor recreation

Pacific Marine Mammal Center is a rescue center for sea lions & seals, with pre-booked educational tours & a butterfly garden.

Morning

Start your day with breakfast at a beachside cafe like The Beachcomber Cafe, located at Crystal Cove Historic District.

Visit the Laguna Beach Historical Society and explore the city's cultural heritage through exhibits and artifacts.

Afternoon

Spend the afternoon at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center, a rescue and rehabilitation center for marine mammals. Learn about local marine life and conservation efforts.

Head to Victoria Beach and check out the iconic Pirate Tower, a historic landmark that provides excellent photo opportunities.

Evening

For a unique experience, take a sunset kayak tour along the coast, offered by various local tour companies.

Enjoy your final dinner in Laguna Beach at a restaurant like The Cliff, known for its stunning views and delectable cuisine.

This itinerary should give you a taste of Laguna Beach's natural beauty, art scene, and culinary delights. Remember to check the operating hours and availability of activities beforehand to make the most of your trip!

Need to Know

For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Julie Willhide’s guide, Local's Guide to Picture-Perfect Laguna Beach.

Advisor - Julie Guaderrama

Travel Advisor

Julie Guaderrama

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to California.