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Examiner.com – A Perfect Blend of Fun & Relaxation

Laguna Beach: A Perfect Blend of Fun & Relaxation 
By Darlynne Reyes Menkin

July 31, 2012

When most people think of San Diego, thoughts of paradise usually come to mind. It’s no wonder, given our near perfect weather, beautiful beaches and year round outdoor activities. But believe it or not, even San Diegans like to mix it up and try something different. For us, the answer was simple – head up to Laguna Beach. It’s an easy drive straight up Interstate Five and it’s less than two hours away, making it a perfect weekend getaway.

Although the drive was a piece of cake, we were ready to get out, stretch our legs and have some fun! Being true beach lovers, we headed straight for the coast. The city’s seven miles of coastline is breath taking and beautiful, and because of its size, it has an intimate, charming feel. Downtown Laguna Beach is just steps away from the beach so visitors can easily go on a shopping spree, see a movie or try out a new restaurant when they want to take a break from the beach scene. After we wrapped up our beach hike, we headed to Three Seventy Common. We heard rave reviews about this restaurant so we decided to check it out for ourselves. Our table was on the second floor so it had a great vantage point since it overlooked the entire scene. We definitely felt like we were on vacation. Shortly after we arrived, Chef Proprietor Ryan Adams greeted us with a glass of White Sangria which was a perfect choice for a summer night since it was light, tasty and fruity. Chef Adams also took the time to point out his favorites which included a Kale Salad with stone fruit, currant, walnut & citrus. If only ALL salads tasted like this!

Choosing two entrees proved to be a tough task because frankly, we liked it all. In the end, we selected Halibut and Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf. Both dishes were polar opposites but equally impressive and chocked full of flavor. The entrees were also a perfect size – not too big and not too small. When our waiter James started talking up the dessert choices, we politely declined. Why spoil it by eating too much? But James wouldn’t take no for an answer. Before we knew it, there was a delicious looking dessert called Grandma B’s Chocolate Cake, sitting in front of us. To top it off, it came with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream on the side. Yum. Three Seventy Common is located at 370 Glenneyre Street.

After we wrapped up dinner, we decided it was time to check into our room at the Surf and Sand Resort – a luxury hotel that sits right on the beach. From the moment we stepped into our room, we knew one night wouldn’t be enough. Our guest room was spacious and comfortable but it was the huge balcony with its oceanfront view that grabbed our attention. We wandered around the hotel and quickly discovered there was a lot to do. The hotel has a wonderful swimming pool that has a great view of the ocean. It also offers relaxing spa services at Aquaterra Spa, as well as coastal fine dining at Splashes and cool cocktail drinks at 15FiftyFive. When asked why guests fall in love with this resort, Assistant General Manager Joanna Bear hit the nail on the head. “This is a fantastic place to come when you want to unwind, unplug and relax,” said Bear. “But if you’re looking for fun things to do, there’s all sorts of opportunities. We’re literally walking distance from art galleries, restaurants and boutique shops.” Speaking from a visitor’s perspective, that’s a plus. We didn’t use our car once because we didn’t have to. That especially came in handy the next night, when we checked out Laguna Beach’s First Thursday’s Art Walk – which is a must see!

Our Laguna Beach getaway couldn’t have come at a better time and like all working couples know, finding quiet time alone is so important. Of course, if you can do it while listening to the soothing sounds of crashing waves… that’s even better!