Our Perfect Beachfront Family Escape

View from our room at the Pacific Edge Hotel

View from our room at the Pacific Edge Hotel

After a few long-haul trips, I was keen to spend quality time with my husband and son that didn't involve tickets, passports, and speaking another language. Four nights in Laguna Beach at the extraordinary Pacific Edge Hotel was the perfect answer. Just a couple of hours from our home in Hollywood, California, the hotel is positioned on the beachfront but also located near the center of town, which meant we could park the car and explore the surrounding areas on foot (coming from Los Angeles that's a vacation in itself).

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Gems and Treasures in Newport Beach

Sunset on Newport Harbor

Sunset on Newport Harbor

Hollywood is not the only famous city that boasts celebrities and stars. Just 44 miles south of Los Angeles, the city of Newport Beach, California, has attracted the rich and famous for years to reside in one of the wealthiest areas on the coast. From legends to modern day film stars, the list includes Rock Hudson, Shirley Temple, Nicholas Cage, Jay Leno, Kobe Bryant, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Candace Bergen. Reasons are simple: sunny weather almost all year round, oceanfront living, a sense of privacy, and luxurious island lifestyle without leaving the mainland. But there’s more to Newport Beach than meets the eye.

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Laguna Beach: An Art Lover’s Paradise

Public art on display in Laguna Beach

Public art on display in Laguna Beach

In the early 1900s, painters such as Frank Cuprien and Edgar Payne found themselves drawn to the isolated coastline and scenic beauty of Laguna Beach, California. Together with other plein air artists they established the Laguna Beach Art Association in 1918, kicking off the city’s lasting reputation as an artist community. Today, art creators and admirers alike are drawn to Laguna and the city’s art offerings in a variety of forms and mediums.

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Sunday Brunch at Orange County’s Sidedoor

Tender fried chicken and dense waffles with real maple syrup

Tender fried chicken and dense waffles with real maple syrup

I had the pleasure of enjoying an amazing Sunday brunch at Sidedoor, the sister restaurant of Orange County gem Five Crowns, located in Corona Del Mar, California. Although Five Crowns and Sidedoor share the same building and kitchen, the similarities end there. At Sidedoor, chef Ryan O’Melveny Wilson strives to provide Lawry’s quality, small-plate meals in a relaxed English gastropub atmosphere.

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