Art, Restaurants and Spas
Are all Available in Romantic Laguna Beach
If you live in Southern California, or plan to be there for Valentine’s Day or an anniversary in the near future, there are many wonderful Laguna Beach Valentine ideas that will make this holiday, or any other romantic celebration, feel special. After all, what can be more romantic than a sunset stroll along Cliff Drive in Laguna, watching the sun set over Catalina Island, as the sky turns bright pink and yellow? The lovely artistic community of Laguna is often crowded with tourists in the summer. However, in February it is usually much more subdued, becoming a charming spot for a romantic getaway. Since the weather will be cooler in February than it is in July, and could even be rainy, what are some activities that you might enjoy?Credit: Photo taken by author, Deborah-Diane
Anniversary or Valentine Idea: Off Season Discount Hotel Rates
June, July and August are the most expensive months to stay in Laguna Beach. During the winter, however, the room rates tend to be lower. For example, according to the Hotels.com listings in 2011, you could stay at the Travelodge in Laguna Beach for under $100 a night during the winter, especially if Valentine’s Day falls on a week night. For around $160 to $200 a night, you can stay at the charming, historic Hotel Laguna, which is located right on Main Beach in the middle of the village. On a nice day, the hotel sets lounge chairs out on the beach behind the hotel and the hotel staff is available to serve you lunch or cocktails. If you can afford to stay somewhere more extravagant, you might try the Surf and Sand Resort for around $400 a night or the fabulous Montage Laguna Beach with rooms starting at around $500 a night in the winter. Both of these beachside resorts have fabulous accommodations.
You don’t have to stay someplace like the Montage, however, to enjoy the amenities at this luxury resort. For example, you can still stroll on the grounds of the Montage, eat in their restaurants, enjoy afternoon tea, and even use their spa, without having to pay Montage room rates.
Anniversary or Valentine Idea: Spa Day with Your Valentine
There are a number of private spas in Laguna, as well as spas connected with the local hotels. After one of our daughters got married, she gave my husband and me a gift certificate for a spa day at the Montage Hotel. After the stress of planning and attending a wedding on the other side of the country, it was heavenly to spend a day relaxing at the Montage, having lunch at The Loft restaurant, and getting massages. The St. Regis Hotel and the Ritz Carlton Hotel, both just south of Laguna, have magnificent spas, as well. Some of the other spas in the area include the Athena Day Spa, Casa Laguna Spa, Laguna Canyon Spa and others. There is no shortage of tranquil and relaxing places to enjoy a massage, a facial or other spa treatment in Laguna Beach! If you want to spend some really romantic time with your loved one, ask about getting a couple’s massage.
Anniversary or Valentine Idea: Restaurants
If you want to spend a memorable evening with your Valentine, why not enjoy a romantic dinner for two at Romeo Cucina, an Italian Restaurant on Broadway, just west of the PCH in Laguna Beach? If you’re looking for a spectacular ocean view, try Las Brisas or the Beach House, both just off the PCH in Laguna Beach. Las Brisas is located up the hill from Main Beach, on Cliff Drive, and serves seafood and other dishes with a Mexican flair. If you go to Las Brisas for lunch on a nice day, you may also want to sit on the patio. The views are spectacular. Just south of downtown, tucked away on a side street at 619 Sleepy Hollow Lane, the famous Beach House is another fun spot for a romantic meal. It is located in the former home of 1930’s and 1940’s actor Slim Summerville. He had major roles in “All’s Quiet on the Western Front” and other movies from the period. His former beach house is actually located in a residential area of Laguna, and it is a pleasant setting to enjoy brunch, lunch or dinner. All of these places accept reservations, and I highly recommend you make them if you want dinner on Valentine’s Day!
Many other popular restaurants are also available in the area, and most are generally less crowded during the winter. Between Laguna Beach and Newport Beach you might want to try Javier’s Mexican restaurant, with its lovely ocean views. Splashes Restaurant and Bar, located in the Surf & Sand Hotel, is a delightful place to enjoy a meal. This elegant restaurant feels as though you are sitting at the edge of the ocean. If you want to enjoy fabulous modern French cuisine, check out The Studio at the Montage. It’s expensive, though, so ask about the menu prices before you go. A dinner for two could easily cost several hundred dollars. Other nice restaurants at the Montage are The Loft or the Mosaic, the hotel’s poolside restaurant. Both of these restaurants are open to the public. A few other fun places in the area that are worth mentioning are the Cottage Restaurant, Madison Square & Garden Cafe, French 75, and Mozambique. All of them have excellent reputations and are very popular.
Romantic Evening at the Laguna Playhouse
More than 100,000 theatergoers annually attend performances at The Laguna Playhouse. Their popular Mainstage Theater season usually offers five full-scale productions with about 36 performances each, which means you can enjoy a show there most weekends of the year, as well as many week nights. The theater is located just a few blocks inland from the beach, at 606 Laguna Canyon Rd, and is within walking distance of some of the restaurants mentioned in the last paragraph. Tickets can be bought up to 24 hours in advance online at lagunaplayhouse.com or by calling (949) 497-2787 during their box office hours, which are Tuesdays through Sundays from 10 am to 5 pm. Ticket prices vary. For example, Saturday night tickets to one performance ranged from about $50 to $65 during the 2010-2011 season, but the tickets were also available for less on weekdays, and for matinee performances.
Money Saving Valentine Idea: Cocktails or Dessert with Your Valentine
If spending the night in an area hotel, the day at a spa, or the evening at an ocean view restaurant seems too expensive for your wallet, there are still many less expensive ways to enjoy Valentine’s Day or some other special occasion in Laguna. For example, why not take a picnic dinner to Heisler Park, which runs along Cliff Drive? You can gaze out over the ocean, watch the sun set over Catalina Island, and stroll along the bluff or through the village. Afterwards, you can stop in the Hotel Laguna for cocktails on their patio, or drive down to the Montage for cocktails, coffee or dessert in their spectacular lobby. Whatever you decide to do, just being in Laguna is sure to make the evening special!
If you are looking for other ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day, an anniversary or other special occasion, you may also want to read some of the articles listed below:
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