Charming Laguna Beach

Friday, May 1, 2015

Charming Laguna Beach, an artistic haven in Orange County, California

Yesterday Chelsea and I decided to visit Laguna Beach for lunch and a little wandering around. Laguna is one of the more peaceful little beach cities around, full of restaurants, shops, and galleries galore. Finding parking can be a hassle during the summer months, but on a weekday during the off-season it's easy to find an affordable hourly lot or on-street metered parking. I love to park somewhere on or around the northeast end of Forest Avenue, allowing a walk past many shops and galleries on the way toward the oceanfront and on the way back to the car. This walk also brings you right by Chantilly Ice Cream, and who doesn't want a heaping waffle cone of ice cream while they walk along the beach?

Charming Laguna Beach, an artistic haven in Orange County, California
Change4Homeless.com Donation Parking Meters in Laguna Beach, California
Charming Laguna Beach, California

Fingerhut Gallery currently has a collection of prints, sketches, statues, and faux-taxidermy from the private collections of the estate of Dr. Seuss. It was wonderful to see these pieces up close and to see sketches from the process of illustrating Dr. Seuss' books. My favorites were some of the pen and ink prints created of some of his most loved characters.

Our next stop was The Cliff Restaurant for lunch. Their covered outdoor seating is literally on a cliff overlooking the ocean with great views of Main Beach and the gorgeous mansions surrounding it. After a short wait we were seated "glass-front" so that we could watch beach goers and boats alike as we enjoyed our meal. The restaurant shares a space with various jewelry and trinket shops so the wait time is easy to pass, and although it does own prime real estate, their lunch prices are typical of other places all around Orange County.

Handpainted Russian Nesting Dolls Laguna Beach, California
"Shake Station" sign found in Laguna Beach, California
Laguna Beach, California
Laguna Beach, California

We found a small public alleyway just north of The Cliff which had an incredible view as well. I felt like it was a special hidden gem, as I'm sure people walk past the entryway frequently without even noticing it. I would love to spend an evening just watching the sunset from this overlook, especially if it's a sunset as magical as this quote, which was the matching banister to the one below.

Charming Laguna Beach, California
Charming Laguna Beach, California | Em Busy Living
Charming Laguna Beach, California | Em Busy Living