We’re really trying to make the most of our summer here in California as it could be our only one. Kristian was back in the UK at the end of June so I decided to book a nice weekend away for when he got back. As summer is well and truly here (hello 42 degrees) we planned a weekend at the coast.
We haven’t spent much time on the Orange Coast (OC) so I booked a hotel near to Newport Beach for the weekend. I actually changed the hotel the day before we went as I was browsing the Hotel Tonight app and found a gorgeous hotel for the same price we were paying for a very basic one. If you haven’t used the Hotel Tonight app then you definitely should. It’s amazing for getting great deals on last minute bookings. You can only book up to 7 days in advance as the whole point of it is late availability, and all the hotels have been vetted and rated by the company (basic, solid, luxe). You can also get $25 or £15 off your first booking with my code NAPARRY.
The hotel we booked was in Costa Mesa, about 15 minutes from Newport Beach and about 20 minutes from Laguna Beach. We find we end up driving everywhere in the US anyway, so paying an extra few hundred dollars to actually stay in Laguna was not going to be worth it. It was called The Avenue of The Arts Hotel, and as we booked the day before we got a bargain.
We spent the first day at Laguna Beach, wandering around the town and checking out the shops. We don’t actually shop for clothes very often, so it was nice to look round, try a few things on and treat ourselves to some new bits. I picked up a new bikini and a few other things in Roxy so I was very pleased with that.
After a late lunch and more exploring of Laguna, we made our way to our hotel. It had a really nice pool so we wanted to spend a little bit of time there before heading out for the evening. We only ended up getting about half an hour of sun before it disappeared behind a building, but it was nice to have a little swim too, before Happy Hour cocktails on the terrace at the hotel bar.
The hotel was about a 10 minute walk from South Coast plaza, a huge shopping mall with lots of restaurants, so we decided to check it out and find somewhere for dinner. We must have been in a shopping mood as we ended up buying a few bits in the Abercrombie sale! That is one thing I love about shopping out here, there is always a sale on and everything seems a lot cheaper than the UK, even with the crap exchange rate.
We found a Taiwanese restaurant, Din Tai Fung, for dinner and enjoyed dumplings and various noodles before heading back to the hotel.
We spent almost all of Saturday sat on the beach at Laguna. It was so nice to switch off, sit in the sun and take a little dip in the ocean. We very rarely spend a whole day sat on the beach as we usually have Charlie with us and dogs are not allowed on most beaches in California. Plus he would be too hot and most likely bored! We knew this break wouldn’t be that great for him so I had booked a dog sitter for the weekend.
I had booked a groupon deal for wine tasting in Newport Beach, so we did that on Saturday evening, before heading to the beach to watch the sunset. I’m not sure what I expected, but Newport Beach was lovely. That really soft sand that you don’t mind finding in your shoes days later. I love watching the sunset, no matter where we are in the world it’s one of my favourite things to do, but I particularly love them on the California coast.
We weren’t particularly hungry, but found a nice spot for dinner and cocktails on the front before heading back to the hotel.
Sunday was our last day, which we spent down at Newport Beach. Another day relaxing on the beach was exactly what we both wanted. The waves were incredible, I could sit and watch them all day! We had such a nice weekend. After a stressful couple of weeks it was just what we needed and I can’t wait to head down to the beach again soon.