Highlights Along the Way
Family Travel, Treats, Tips, & Traditions

Laguna Beach ~ SoCal Vacation Spot

One of the great things about living in Southern California is that we are well…. living in Southern California.  We live in a part of the world that millions of people flock to every year for vacation!  Among other things, SoCal is known for their beautiful beaches.  One beach community you should absolutely put on your “must visit” list is Laguna Beach.

Laguna Beach

Seriously gorgeous beach – no filter here – that is what it looks like on just a regular old Tuesday in June!

Laguna Beach Hotel

*Please excuse the extreme paleness of my legs*

Laguna Beach

walking in Laguna Beach

Parking and driving is a bit of a pain in the booty in Laguna Beach – but we are a family that likes to get out and walk.  We loaded C into the stroller and put on our walking shoes to see what was within walking distance of our hotel.  We found quite a bit of awesome along the way.

Laguna Beach Park

Seriously one of the best parks we have ever been to!  This park is right on the beach and is open to the public!

Laguna Beach Park

Laguna Park Swings

C could have stayed on the swings all day long!


Workin’ on his fitness.

SoCal Parks

Obligatory “Russian with the Russian Store Sign” photo.  We don’t often run across Russian stores, so we like to make a big deal out of it when we do.

Russian Store Laguna Beach

Russian Traditions in Laguna Beach had lots of beautiful and authentic Russian items that brought us back to our trip many years ago.  The owner shattered all kinds of “Russians are sometimes grumpy” stereotypes by offering to let our kids take a picture with this gigantic Matryoshka doll.

“Put your arm around her…. like you are friends.” Direct quote.  I hope to visit him again some day.

Russian Store Laguna Beach

The kids especially loved visiting the Wyland Gallery.  We were not allowed to take photos inside, but I thought it was worth sharing this photo and letting you all know you should stop in.  I was super proud of my big kids who are finally at the age where I can reasonably expect them to enjoy themselves while ‘looking with their eyes.’ We aren’t exactly in the market for a Wyland painting, but the loved looking at all of artwork.  Both kids are budding artists and Wyland’s subjects (ocean life) were totally up their alley.  Towards the back of the gallery you can even check out some Disney themed paintings – my kids were tickled to see Ariel and Flounder in with paintings of realistic whales and dolphins.

Wyland Gallery

In the corner of the picture below you can see a little sign advertising cookies in the Wyland Cafe.  I need to point these out.  If you are into bribing your kids like we are (Don’t judge) this is a pretty great feature to the gallery.  I pointed to the sign and said “Everyone who looks with their eyes and acts appropriately will get a cookie on the way out.”  It worked like a charm!  The cookies are really good and get this – they are only 50 cents each!  WHAT?!  That was a very budget friendly treat!

Wyland Gallery Laguna

All of this fun was within walking distance of the Pacific Edge Hotel.  We stayed for one night right on the beach – read all about it in the link!

Pacific Edge Hotel

Laguna Beach is a great place to staycation if you are lucky enough to live in SoCal anyway – but it is also an awesome place to come and visit if you are just looking for somewhere to spend a week or two!  Laguna Beach is less than 30 minutes from Disneyland, and about an hour from San Diego!  Make sure to pick a hotel that is right on the beach (again, I suggest Pacific Edge!).  I can’t wait to go back again!

Until Next Time ~ Kate
Categories:  SoCal, Travel

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