Photo source: AnaheimOC.org
The views along the coast in the Orange County town of Laguna Beach are so spectacular they look like they belong in a painting. Perhaps that's the reason this picturesque place has had such a close relationship with the art world over the years as artists can't help but be inspired by the beauty that surrounds them. Here are the best ways to combine the waves and the arts in Laguna.
Leave the beach and drive a bit up Laguna Canyon to find the famed "Pageant of the Masters" which is held every July and August. The 2015 edition runs July 8-August 31 with the theme of "The Pursuit of Happiness."
The Pageant is unique in that it creates "living pictures" of famous paintings throughout history by having live people in costume and makeup pose in settings to recreate iconic, classic and contemporary paintings. The 90-minute show takes place each night at 8:30 p.m. in the cool of the evening as the sun sets.
In addition to the Pageant, the "Festival of Arts" grounds are also host to an art show during the summer and shows and events throughout the year, including a number of events for kids.
The Sawdust Summer Art & Craft Festival has featured local artists since 1966. Its calendar is similar to the Pageant - for 2015 it runs June 26-Aug. 30 - and the grounds are located just across the street from the Pageant on Laguna Canyon Road so it's easy to access both.
The Summer Festival features over 200 Laguna artists and crafts-people. There is also a Winter Festival that runs on weekends in November and December as well as classes, celebrations and activities throughout the year.
The motto of Surf & Sand Resort is "Our best asset is our loudest asset." That asset is the sound of the waves breaking on the sand, which guests don't have to strain to hear since the balconies of the rooms sit right over the beach. If you're the type of person who finds the sounds of the ocean soothing, you'll sleep like a baby. If not, don't worry, they provide earplugs in every room.
When you're not sleeping, walk right on to the beach from the hotel, lounge by the pool overlooking the ocean, get a treatment at the Aquaterra Spa, or take advantage of onsite dining options that provide great views.
Visiting Las Brisas restaurant, located on a hilltop at the north end of town, is worth a visit for the views alone, but you'll also find yourself marveling at the Mexican Riviera seafood dishes. The restaurant has been drawing visitors for decades by offering fresh seafood as part of its breakfast, lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch menus.
In addition to the restaurant, Las Brisas has a large patio that is a popular spot for stopping in to enjoy drinks and appetizers while watching the sun set into the Pacific Ocean.
Whether it's painted or natural, travelers will find themselves surrounded by beauty in Laguna Beach.
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Kathleen Curry and Geoff Griffin are hosts of The Travel Brigade Show - a weekly travel and destination podcast. Kathleen Curry is experienced in both the travel industry and broadcasting. She has worn the hats of travel writer, photographer, travel agent and hospitality evaluator. Her advice of, “No excuses, just travel!” reaches out to listeners who pick up on her enthusiasm for travel and benefit from her savvy advice. Her travel guilty pleasures are eating at a street-cart vendor so she can splurge later to order room service, finding deals to rack up sky miles so she can book her next flight and hoping her social security comes through some day because she has spent her future retirement savings trekking the globe.
Geoff Griffin is a reformed attorney turned travel junkie with over two decades of experience as a journalist and editor specializing in sports, outdoor recreation and travel. His current philosophy is that there are two stages in life - You’re either on a trip, or you’re planning your next trip. His travel guilty pleasure is trying recreation adventures that require the use of an expert guide to keep him from harming himself or hopping on a plane knowing nothing about his destination other than the airport code and wandering about a new town while relying on the locals to point him to the best places.
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