When you live in Texas in August, you have one goal- to get out of Texas in August! For the past two summers, we have gone to the Laguna Beach/ Dana Point part of California in August and it is officially my “Happy Place.”
We love this part of California because:
It is an easy trip. The Orange County Airport is small and stress-free. My kind of travel!
The weather is glorious. Sweatshirts in the morning and evening and shorts and bathing suits by day.
The sun is shining and the beach is beautiful.
The restaurants are GREAT!
The art galleries and art festivals in Laguna are right up our alley.
For the past two years, we have stayed at The St. Regis Monarch Beach. In my humble travel snob opinion, it doesn’t get any better than this hotel. It is way pricey so we scrounge together every Starwood point we have in order to maximize our time at this fabulous hotel. (On a side note, we have the Starwood American Express- a great way to accumulate hotel points for fellow travel snobs.) This hotel, while over the top nice, is so kid-friendly. My kids are greeted at the door with beach buckets with their names on them and cookies in our room- what more can little travel snobs ask for? On Saturday nights, they do a lovely ceremony releasing Monarch butterflies with champagne for the adults and S’mores by the fire for the kids. (Ok, I ate a S’more too!)
The hotel is a popular spot for summer weddings. When we were there one Saturday, we watched four outdoor weddings in a row. The most fascinating was an Indian wedding. If you follow this website, you know I am a bit obsessed with Indian fiction. Thus, I see a fancy Indian wedding with beautiful guests from all over the world wearing glorious saris, and I had to go talk to many of them. My husband joked that I was their cousin from Texas. Isn’t it beautiful?
The St. Regis has a lovely beachfront restaurant where we sat and watched dolpins jumping in the surf. This is the outdoor fire pit by that restaurant- the colored glass is gorgeous!
We made the short drive to Knottsberry Farm, a smaller version of Disneyland. It was fun though much hotter than at our hotel as it was inland. Mrs. Knotts’ Fried Chicken Restaurant is not to be missed!
One of my favorite outings last summer was to Mission San Juan Capistrano. The Mission was so interesting. I fell in love with San Juan Capistrano- a quaint town that had an AMAZING outdoor farmers market. We will definitely be going back there!
Finally, our new favorite restaurant is Ristorante Ferrantelli at the Dana Point Harbor. Glorious setting with lovely, well priced food. And, it made the kids and the parents happy- a win win dining experience!
Come August, if you can’t find me in Texas, you know where I’ll be!
What are you reading and where are you going?