family travel guide: laguna beach, ca

laguna beach scenery

welcome to my charming hometown of laguna beach, ca. 
seven miles of beautiful coves and beaches nestled in the cliff, with one road in and out — the pacific coast highway! a truly unique typography for orange county, that almost feels european. a laid-back artist’s village infused with surf culture, once under the radar, has now gathered the attention (and visits) from many. hop on the laguna beach trolley, and come tour the town with me.
to stay in laguna beach

montage resort

grab hot chocolate for the kids at the hotel, sit by the outdoor fires and enjoy the sunsets public grounds with the breathtaking views of the laguna coastline! 

minnow boardie, sweatshirt, and pajamas

unisex pink and cream stripe french terry sweatshirt | boys navy boardie | unisex powder blue stripe pima pajama set

marriott newport coast villas

two bedroom villas, comfortable for families with multiple pools and family entertainment amenities, including a free shuttle down to crystal cove beach.

rent a house

i love north laguna, because it’s walkable to downtown or crescent bay beach and only a short drive to the shake shack at crystal cove or newport beach.

where to eat in laguna


my grandmother used to take me here after walks along the beach when I was younger. my menu favorites are the breakfast burrito bowl served with homemade chips and salsa. if you're in the mood for something more simple, go for their poached egg on toast with a side of avocado. my kids love the freshly baked cinnamon popovers and washing it down with the sunrise, a kid-friendly drink.

la sirena grill

an organic mexican taco stand with outdoor seating. my go-to is the avocado lime chicken salad and my husband orders the carnitas torta. if you're in the mood to splurge on a big appetite, i recommend the nachos! they are killer!

bear flag fish co.

a great kid-friendly restaurant with the freshest seafood and great atmosphere.

active culture cafe

craving something sweet after the beach? we love a frozen yogurt stop here. they also have the most refreshing coconut shakes. 

gelato paradiso 

located on peppertree lane, a charming little brick alley close to downtown. keep in mind, this hot-spot comes with long tourist lines, so be prepared!--kids eating ice cream

south swell 

an ice cream lover's dream. each treat stars with a dip in warm, smooth chocolate, topped with your choice from anything classic to ultra indulgent. 

ride the trolley

we highly recommend jumping on the free year-round trolley! it rides up and down the coast of laguna from the north tip all the way down to the ritz carlton in dana point. it's a hit for the children and an activity in itself to jump on and off to explore!

minnow backpack

navy stripe everyday backpack

family night

visit the sawdust art festival, and check out the art and ceramic pottery classes offered for kids of all ages during festival season.

date night

located at the festival of arts grounds in laguna beach, the pageant of the masters is a must-see production bringing to life famous works of art on stage.

kids playing on beach

bluebird park

this park has a lot of special features including, slides built into the hills and tunnels built into the ground and a giant rocket ship that children can climb to the top. they also host concerts in the summer on sunday nights. 

kids wearing minnow in polaroids

victoria beach

one of my favorite spots. if you want to skip-out on some of the crowds at the main beach, go here. parking rough, but the haul is definitely worth it! there 

are beautiful tide pools including a natural rock pool for kids to play in and a history 'rapunzel' tower, as we like to call it, that will make you feel like you've been transported to southern france. pro-tip: we usually have my husband drop us off at the top of the stairs, and he will go and find parking.

minnow brief and yellow bucket

boys navy gingham brief | sunnylife citrus silicone bucket sand toy set

other beaches

treasure island beach is below the montage (which is public) and also aliso beach that comes with public parking and a playground set on the sand, are great options. thousand steps beach has a beautiful cove if you can brave the climb! 

where to shop in laguna beach

some of my favorite places to visit while in town are…

LALA by kerry cassill

good together

laguna supply

thalia street surf shop

minnow polaroids