Despite living the entirety of my life on the east coast, every time I visit out west I feel very much at home. This trip to Los Angeles to Laguna to Dana Point was no different. The weather was, as always, lovely for the duration of our trip and the vistas, beautiful. We left behind the heat and humidity of the east and soaked up the sun and enjoyed the beauty of the beaches of the west. Some salient points from our visit:
Where we stayed: Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa. The resort is beach front and reflects a Southern California sophistication with its decor.
Resort Activities: The resort itself proved to be a great fit even with a toddler. The children’s pool was a huge hit with its sprinklers, motion activated surf boards, and hoops that as one runs through is doused with water. There are easy options for poolside drinks (e.g. Coconut margaritas!) and food. Drinks and/or breakfast/lunch/dinner al fresco was delightful (e.g. Oceanfront patio at OverVue–I enjoyed a baby spinach and blueberry salad, complete with farm fresh goat cheese, candied pecans, coconut, topped with a shallot vinaigrette). We also enjoyed the spa with its full service menu of options and views of the historical city of Dana Point.
Other Activities: We were able to enjoy a couple of the local beaches, including 1000 Step Beach, in Laguna (note: we think the very steep staircase leading to the beach is closer to ~300 steps vs. 1000). This beach was stunning to walk along with magnificent waves. On the day when we were there, we saw a number of surfers. A better fit for the toddler set, we also went to Baby Beach, well named for this low key, waveless beach, which is perfect for little ones or paddle boarding. A fun off-resort spot for dinner, Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern a/k/a J. Fat, with its beer and wine menu, as well as open air SoCal feel.