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 ).
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.
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 ).
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.
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.