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My Mini-Vacay ( A Little Laguna Recap )

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Laguna Beach Recap: Favorite Hotel, Restaurant, Shopping Spot, and More!So last Thursday, I took a mini, one-night vacation to Laguna Beach in Orange County. The best part? I was a llllll alone. Call me a loser but I absolutely love traveling alone. Nothing beats a little getaway by yourself. I got to do everything on my own time & do exactly what I wanted to do. AND no one was talking to me constantly….. anti-social but a dream.

Okay, so my version of a vacation was: shooting for a bit with Maya & having a secluded, quiet place to work, work, work, but I did get some time to explore and relax ( kinda )! Just being in the OC makes me more relaxed, though. The good vibes are real. I mean, I love LA, but its a ‘go, go, go’ kinda place. Orange County is more slow-moving.

Somewhere in between sending e-mails & writing posts, I got some time to do a little research on the area/ do some recon for a future post! I’m planning on putting together a full-on Guide to Orange County, btw, so trying out all of these restaurants/ shopping/ chillin’ on the beach is actually working, right?

My friend Lauren ( the head-honcho of Bond Twenty.. a badass new website, coming soon! ) gave me a TON of suggestions for the area, so I started in on that list a bit while I was in Laguna. So here’s my faves:

HOTEL: Pacific Edge Hotel (A Joie de Vivre Hotel)
I stayed at a JDV hotel when I was in San Francisco last year, and I really dig them! As a college student, I can’t really dish out a ton of cash on a hotel room ( help me, Mom ), but I don’t want to stay in a freakin’ dump either. The Pacific Edge Hotel was on the beach, in the middle of Downtown Laguna Beach, AND it was affordable ( also, they had a huge bowl of saltwater taffy at the from desk… read on for details ). Yeah, call me thrifty, call me a genius, because I am all of the above ( I mean….. ish ).

Laguna Beach Favorites: Hotel, Restaurant, Shopping, & More! Laguna Beach Favorites: Hotel, Restaurant, Shopping, & More!

EATS: Driftwood Kitchen
Ohhhh my G, first of all, Driftwood Kitchen is a dream breakfast/ lunch/ dinner spot. Luckily for me, DK is attached to the Pacific Edge Hotel, and I could walk about 10 feet to the restaurant. Driftwood seems like its kind of a cult-favorite in Laguna, as I heard about it from like 20394-million people. The food is amazing & healthy, but the location/view from the balcony is the shining star of this place. You HAVE to call ahead & reserve one of the very few tables outside, overlooking the ocean. Worth it. I had a little yogurt, fruit & granola with Green Tea for breakfast ( yeah… I was so painfully good/healthy ). Another thing I can’t wait to try: The Deck is a little spot thats attached to DK, and its apparently a go-to for drinks and casual food ( also overlooking the ocean ). I’m comin’ back to spend a drunken sunset with you, The Deck.

Laguna Beach Favorites: Hotel, Restaurant, Shopping, & More!

EATS: The Candy Baron
So, I bought 2 ( or 10 ) pounds of saltwater taffy, chocolate covered gummy bears ( my FAVORITE ) & honeycomb, legit/homemade sour straws, & a few other sweet things at this classic candy store. I forgot how much I freaking love saltwater taffy until I discovered this place. Well, I was diggin’ my hands into the candy bowl at the front desk of my hotel, and I pretty much cleaned them out of all taffy they had, so they directed me to the source of this happiness, The Candy Baron ( probably to get me tf away from their candy-stock ). Had to get my hands on a lifetime supply of this stuff. I totally recommend stocking up on candy here! You have to get the chocolate covered gummy bears & a whole bunch of saltwater taffy ( my faves were red velvet, salted caramel, grape, & cupcake ).

Laguna Beach Favorites: Hotel, Restaurant, Shopping, & More!

DRINK: Laguna Coffee Co.
Some bombbbb iced coffee/lattes & wifi! I did a little ( or a lot of ) work here. I love cranking out posts/ doing homework/ sending e-mails/ etc. in coffee shops. For some reason, it makes me 20x more productive.

TO-DO: Hike Laguna Canyon Road
I woke up early one morning to do a little hike before breakfast at Driftwood, and I was so pleasantly surprised by how peaceful/charming it was! Okay, yeah, it was also kind of a bitch ( the hike is no-joke ), but it was quiet and relaxing at the same time. It was a very at-one-with-nature kind of experience. Not going to lie, I was kinda picturing myself being attacked by a bear ( really looked up what to do in that situation ), but once I got over that fear, it was relaxing AF. Definitely, DEFINITELY do this!

TO-DO: Shop at The Shop Laguna
The Shop stocks For Love & Lemons, Flynn Skye, Stone Cold Fox, & pretty much every other clothing/swimsuit brand that you would give up a limb for. Their buyer is ON POINT, for real. This is probably why The Shop is sorta Insta-famous… this ish is good.

Laguna Beach Favorites: Hotel, Restaurant, Shopping, & More!

TO-DO: Bask in the Sun
Because, duh. I make sure to wear a hat & sunnies and lather on some SPF before ( & I only lay out for like an hour in total ), because, no thank you, skin cancer & wrinkles.

Overall, my mini-vacay to Laguna Beach was a much-needed, chill little break from LA. Like I said before, I’m planning on doing a sweet guide to Orange County in the coming months. When I get time, I’m going to spend almost a week in that area to try out and report on the best of da best.

Orange County Residents– any suggestions?? I’m an outsider, so I definitely need a local’s perspective. Laguna, Newport, Corona Del Mar, Costa Mesa, & all those surrounding areas.. What’s the best-of-the-best ( eating, shopping, activities, etc )?? Definitely on my list for next time? The Stand in Laguna Beach. It looks so cute & California-y.

Fill me in, y’all.


Laguna Beach Favorites: Hotel, Restaurant, Shopping, & More!




5 Responses
  • i’m going to have to try laguna coffee co! always looking for new places to grab an iced latte.

    definitely agree that LA is so much more fast-paced than OC- it’s nice to slow down every once in awhile!

  • gracie wulff
    11 . 03 . 2016

    I already commented on another one of your posts but yeah i go to A&m right now but am from laguna! I live in a neighborhood on the south side, close to dana point, called three arch bay! Next time you’re in town go grab a velvet acai bowl or whole bowl from active culture, it is a fro yo place but their menu of healthy eats is amazing! I also really love their rustic kale salad! its on the left (facing away from the ocean) of the shop. You have to try out the restaurant Nicks, it is on the same side of pch as the shop and it is one of my favorite restaurants, the margaritas at tortilla republic are also amazing. They are super unique. Love the deck too, can the view get any better?! shopping- check out laguna supply, its on te corner or beach and ocean in downtown, I actually work at a store called tuvalu which is also downtown on forest ave, we have incredibly cute home decor and furniture! Ill be in town thanksgiving and christmas season when im out of school so hit a sista up and ill give you a discount! Going out for sunset drinks i recommend going to this new place called skyloft. I got their peach sangria this summer and it was incredible! They also have great little appetizers- their brussel sprouts are so yummy! Sorry i can talk on and on about how much i love laguna!! But yea if you are ever in college station or laguna, let me know! Id love to grab a drink or coffee sometimes-youre blog is awesome! p.s. i just bought an ice roller off amazon to help my morning chin!

    • paytonsartain
      11 . 04 . 2016

      OMG– Thank you SO much for this!!!! For Real!!!

      I definitely need to give these places a try! And YESS, when you’re back in this area, let’s definitely get together!! Thanks so much, again, for all the info.

      PS: I have a shoot this morning & am currently ice rolling my face and its the best and you’re going to love it ok bye.

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