We kicked off the summer with a getaway to one of our favorite spots in CA, the Dana Point/Laguna Beach/Newport area of Orange County. I roll it all into one location because whenever I’m there I tend to go between the three cities throughout our stay for food, shopping, workouts, meeting up with friends and playing on the beach as a family. It’s a super close destination for us here in AZ and we love every trip we take here. However, it’s often mixed with Russ’ work and this time we were really
We stayed at The Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel for 7 nights, and then headed to Disneyland for 3. The girls were so excited and I have to admit – I was pretty excited, too. I really didn’t get the appeal of Disney – until I had kids. To see their faces light up seeing the characters, going on the rides, watching the parades, it’s seriously just so amazing.
I haven’t done a trip recap as a blog post for a while now so I really wanted to be sure to share some highlights of this trip with you! And now that we’re in Europe for our big summer trip, I’m definitely in the trip-reporting mindset!
L O C A T I O N
We’ve stayed in this area several times over the last few years but this was the first time we stayed at The Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel. It sits on a beautiful cliff overlooking one of favorite beaches in the area, Salt Creek beach! We love staying at Ritz properties and they do a great time anticipating the needs families, too. The grounds were beautiful, the service the Ritz is known for was on point as always, and they had a super convenient “Beach Butler” service to take you down to the beach in a golf cart and then set up your chair, umbrellas, and towels for you. I’ve gone down to Salt Creek beach before with kids and chairs AND an umbrella and it is a HAUL especially on the way up the hill – so that was awesome to have help.
Our room was a one bedroom, two bathroom suite that had a 180 wraparound balcony and a view of the ocean. The Strand/Headlands were to the left and Salt Creek beach to the right. This hotel is in such an ideal location and I cannot tell you how amazing it felt to open all the doors and windows and have the ocean breeze come in. For this AZ girl, it was HEAVEN. A lot of you asked about the little tent that was set up in the room for the kids when we checked in and that is a little extra fun thing you have set up in advance for the girls!
D A T E N I G H T
One of the nights we were there we went to Raya at The Ritz Carlton for a date night. The hotel has sitter agencies on file and we booked a sitter through that. I highly recommend looking into doing a date night when you travel and utilizing the hotels’ concierge to help secure childcare. We’ve only had the best experiences doing this!
We noticed Raya’s menu was familiar and found out it’s menu was created by the same chef who also created the menu back at another restaurant back in AZ called Toro (any locals reading this you have to try Toro, it’s on the 18th hole of the TPC golf course!) If you are ever in the OC area, you have to come to Raya for both the views and the food. I mean, how can you beat this.
You will love it.
M O R E R E S T A U R A N T S :
Because let’s admit it. Travel is often for all the food! Other fun spots in the area :
- Nobu in Newport Beach (went there with friends via boat, you can dock right up at Lido Village, which BTW is such a fun place to shop and explore)
- Driftwood Kitchen (we go for lunch every time we’re in Laguna Beach. It’s attached to The Deck. Oysters, every time)
- Fish tacos from Wahoos to eat on the beach (Pearl Street beach is one of our hidden faves)
- Mastros Ocean Club (we didn’t go this time, but this is one of our regular go-to’s back home and often go for a date night or with friends when in Laguna/Newport. It’s right by Crystal Cove and so pretty)
- Jimmys American Tavern (we discovered this when we stayed in Dana Point two summers ago. It’s a super casual spot and I had to go back this time for their grilled romaine salad)
F A V O R I T E S H O P S , W O R K O U T S , E T C .
SoCal and AZ share a lot of similarities in Favorite spots for shopping, working out, etc. :
- SoulCycle Newport Beach and GritCycle Dana Point (I love taking cycle classes when traveling and we don’t have a SoulCycle in AZ…yet. Grit Cycle is just opposite the Ritz and is also great!)
- McGee and Co (up the road a ways in Costa Mesa but worth the trip if you’re a Studio McGee fan!)
- The Shop at Laguna Beach (beachy clothes and recently picked up a super cute Brixton hat here)
- Cottage Furnishings (such a cute coastal interiors shop right on PCH. I found one of my favorite candles here and buy it every time I’m there)
- Sugared and Bronzed (emergency spray tanning session was needed haha, so went here and had good results)
- VICI (if you’re a fan of their online shopping, their physical storefront is just south of Fashion Island. It’s a fun little visit to see the items actually in person!)
D I S N E Y L A N D
For specific tips for Disney, see my Instagram post here! I also have a post from our last time at Disney with info about strollers and perks of staying on one of the resort hotels. You can find that right here!
Lots of travel info coming up for you guys from France and especially Italy (where we’ll be for the next 4 weeks.)
*This post was sponsored in part by The Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel. Thank you for an amazing experience!1