When I think of magical places, Laguna Beach comes to mind first.  This small artist’s colony is nestled between the San Joaquin hills and the majestic Pacific Ocean.  A unique mix of rough and refined, beachy, but with an urban, cultured population.  The people who live here are well-traveled, well-read, earthy and artistic- well, artists, really. Or at least, art lovers. Here is An Insider’s Secret Guide to Laguna Beach.


“There is no place like home, except for the beach.”

Unknown

AN INSIDER’S SECRET GUIDE TO LAGUNA BEACH

A PLACE FOR ART LOVERS

For those who love design, art, the ocean and café life, this is a haven… A juxtaposition of design aesthetic and inspired people-   a perfect breeding ground for art and design.

ART

FIRST THURSDAYS ART WALK

Whether you like abstract paintings, plein-air work, hand-blown glass or jewelry, First Thursdays Art Walk is for you.  This once a month event is exactly as the name states, on the first Thursday of each month year-round, most galleries in Laguna (and there are a lot) open their doors, serve wine and small snacks, and educate the public about their work.  It’s a fun event for locals and visitors.

SAWDUST FESTIVAL

In celebration of Laguna’s 100th year history as an artist’s colony, the Sawdust Festival has turned from a summer event to a year round display of art and artists showcasing their work and their design process.  Watch as glassblowers, painters and other artists do what they do and buy their pieces, if you really love them.

LAGUNA ART

LagunaArt.com- This gallery was started by a group of artists in 2008 and is dedicated to connecting artists with art buyers (giving artists 100% of sales). 1000 artists are represented.

LAGUNA ART MUSEUM

A small, but nice collection of work by California artists. They also have a Laguna Art Museum At Home program where artists of all ages can be inspired by the art in the museum and make works of art of their own. Still life, watercolors, textural art, sculptures.

SLEEP

MONTAGE LAGUNA BEACH

This is my favorite place to stay in Laguna.  The grounds are impeccable, the interiors a blend of light/bright modern Craftsman Style with enough of a nod to the adjacent beach, without being kitschy.  Service at the Montage Laguna Beach is nice, too.

*Grab lunch at the poolside café, Mosaic Bar & Grille, for a beautiful view of the ocean.  Although the other restaurants on the property are fancier, this is my favorite for beach views and a relaxed, but still pampering experience.

MONARCH BEACH RESORT

This resort recently underwent a major overhaul and it is a nice, family-friendly place to stay.  Still luxurious, but not over the top.  The suites here are spacious, with a modified beach décor. 

*Attached golf course and beach-front restaurant.

HOTEL JOACHIN

This property has become an Instagram darling.  Hotel Joachin is an old roadside motel turned chic, Laguna Beach boutique hotel.  Each room is decorated with one-of-a-kind vintage pieces and reflects the beachy vibe of  St. Barths, but California-style. 

*They have what they call an “Adventure House,” which is a collection of gear to enjoy the beautiful Laguna Beach outdoors; boogie boards, paddle boards, bikes, kayaks, surf boards and snorkel equipment.  All equipment is included in your stay, plus a beautiful breakfast.

RITZ CARLTON

So this property is officially one or two blocks from Laguna Beach in neighboring Laguna Niguel, but it’s so close, it’s a place to consider. It’s a bit more formal than the other hotels, but still a beautiful, luxe place to stay.   

EAT

Zinc Café, Main Beach, and the Laguna Beach Farmer's Market.

ZINC CAFE

Always at the top of my list, this outdoor café is as close to a European café as you will find in the US.  It is truly a gathering place for the community, with gourmet food, coffee and desserts.  It took me months of going there daily to finally realize it’s vegetarian (the food is that good that I didn’t realize).  Breakfast, lunch & dinner. 

*Sometimes during the summer they have a live music happy hour.

LA SIRENA GRILL

This is a casual taco shack, of sorts, that serves eco/sustainable Mexican food.  It’s popular with businesspeople, students and surfers alike.  Pop in here for a burrito or a few tacos to either eat there (very limited outdoor seating) or my favorite, walk to nearby Main Beach to have your Mexican food while watching the sunset and people. 

*The Dawson Cole Fine Art Sculpture Garden is across the street and a few doors down from La Sirena Grill.  During the week, their sculpture garden is open to the public.  With fountains, unique sculptures and benches, this is a perfect, peaceful place to enjoy your meal and admire art at the same time.

MOSAIC BAR & GRILLE

This is the most casual restaurant at the Montage Resort, but it is my favorite. Sit near the pool and enjoy a gorgeous view of the nearby ocean.

SHOP

ARIS

The most chic shop in Laguna. They carry ALC, Nili Notan, Frame and Beautiful People.

ARIA

Bohemian home accessories and gifts.

LAGUNA SUPPLY

A longtime favorite for jeans, sweaters and accessories. Brands: Isabel Marant, Raquel Allegra, Sundry, Mother, and A Piece Apart.

BLACK BOUGH

The cool newcomer, Black Bough has a mostly black and white color palette. Minimal decor. Very nice. Unfortunately, this store is now closed.

ROOTS the BEAUTY UNDERGROUND

The best place in town for clean, non-toxic beauty products. Brands: Indie Lee, Josh Rosebrook, One Love, and my very favorite, Tata Harper. They also have a salon.

THE GARAGE COLLECTIVE

A fun collection of bohemian, neo-hippie and vintage home accessories and clothing. Think Moroccan rugs, rattan baskets, oil paintings, mud cloth pillows, raw wood benches.

LAGUNA BEACH FARMER’S MARKET

It’s small, but it has everything you need. Organic fruits and veggies, fresh flowers, local honey, seafood, tamales and beautiful pastries. This is my Saturday morning ritual.

LAGUNA ART SUPPLY

A small, cram-packed art store with a quirky collection of new and used supplies. The owner picks up odds & ends (vintage iron locks, doll parts, Indian wood printing blocks), in addition to standard art supplies. I love wandering the store– I never know what fun thing I might find that will inspire an art project or prompt me to try a new art medium.

YOGA/HEALERS

NATURE

  • Walking Heisler Park
  • Explore coves along the beach
  • Hike El Morro
  • Standup Paddle
  • Pacific Marine Mammal Center

FINAL THOUGHTS

For more Southern California mini guides, see our 24 Hours in Montecito guide or our Art Day in Downtown Los Angeles.

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Office vibes— modern combined with a little bit of fancy. My office/studio is more maximal than minimal… The only place in the house where things aren’t reined in…

This is where I display artwork my grandmothers painted, coveted watercolors that my dad gave me, my children’s artwork and notes (my priceless treasures), and baskets full of projects in various stages. Paintbrushes, paint, clay, beads, stone and fabric samples all take center stage here. *More photos to come— including BEFORE & AFTER shots.

Do you have a room that reflects your interests and personality? I would love to hear about it. ☺️
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Another entry shot, but with new dogwood blossoms, my favorite new crystal from @spadescrystals and a stack of books given to me by my children. 🤍

Visit link in bio or copy and paste https://www.brendaburdette.com/ for the latest in design, art, architecture, travel and amazing chocolate desserts!

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When I’m on vacation, I stop long enough to reflect on life, love, my design business.

Thanks to each one of you for following along! It’s been great making new friends, finding new clients (who most often turn into friends🤍) and sharing all of the things that make me happy— travel, design, art, architecture and, of course, family and friends.

Have a wonderful week! .
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Is anyone else ready for the weekend? Have a great one! ...

It’s that time of the year to pamper Mom… Give her a comfy chair, a stack of good books, a candle and fresh flowers to make her day extra relaxing.

Check out our Mother’s Day Gift Guide on my LTK shop! Link in our stories. 🤍

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