After graduation I really wanted to do something to celebrate my hard work, and nothing sounded better than a relaxing trip somewhere. Being fully vaccinated, I feel way less anxious about traveling and being in crowds (totally 180 degrees from last year). My boyfriend and I talked about several places- Hawaii, Europe, New York, and Northern California. We ended up deciding on Laguna, California. We were really aiming for Hawaii, but by the time we decided to do it, flights were way to expensive,
I was actually okay with it and very excited to go to Laguna. I had never been before and all the pictures looked so beautiful. I did a lot of research about things to do, where to eat, and coffee places as well as asked for recommendations from friends. We originally were staying three days, but we had to cut the trip short because my work opened up and we couldn’t afford to stay longer than over night.
Even though it was a short trip, it was honestly so good! I didn’t feel deprived because everything that I really wanted to do we were able to do.
WHERE WE STAYED
The Inn at Laguna | I really wanted something that was walkable to the beach and food places. I also wanted something with a nice looking pool and decent looking rooms. Don’t get me wrong, I have stayed in many a motel throughout my life but, for graduation I wanted something that felt special to me. The Inn not only was very cute, right on the beach, and had a dreamy pool, it was also very affordable (and allowed dogs). I highly recommend it if you are looking for a stay that is affordable but feels more expensive. We spent a few hours at the pool on our first night and it was so nice. I read a little bit, took a dip in the pool, and then spent some time in the jacuzzi before dinner. The best part was hearing the ocean from our room and the occasional meeting of a furbaby.
WHAT WE DID
1000 Steps | Okay the name is intense. There aren’t really a thousand steps BUT the steps will kick your butt (especially if you are out of shape like me) going back up them. The plus side? the stairway is shaded and it leads to a beautiful beach. I honestly was talked into doing this. Did I die going back up? Yes. Am I still sore days later? Absolutely. Would I do it again? 100%. This was one of those things where you just have to commit to it because those steps are a workout but the beach is so beautiful. There are tide pools, caves, and lots of things to explore. We didn’t actually get to explore the cave because we weren’t there at the right time and the tide was too high.
Victoria Beach + Pirate Tower | This beach is a must do. It is a little bit harder to find but, it is totally worth it. My boyfriend was really skeptical about the tower being there because when you first enter the beach you can’t see it. It does require a climb over rocks to see it and to reach it. There is also an abandoned round pool that fills up with water before you hit the tower. Again, you have to be there at the right time for it to be filled. We were there in the morning, and it was empty. The tower is something out of a Disney movie. It is so magical, and we spent about an hour just hanging out around it. I highly recommend bringing water shoes with good grips on the bottom if you plan exploring. They were such a lifesaver and made it so easy to walk around the rocks.
WHERE WE ATE
Wild Taco | This was a recommendation and wow was it delicious! This was our first meal in Laguna and it exceeded our expectations. I had the carne asada, pollo aside, and the potato and black bean tacos. They all were mouth-watering. We also devoured a giant order of chips and salsa.
Laguna Coffee | This was the top priority coffee place I wanted to go to. You know it’s going to be good when there is a line of locals (including cops) out the door. I ordered a cappuccino with oat milk and it was very delicious. I also love the cups so much!
Heidelberg Cafe | This was another amazing recommendation. This was our last meal of the trip. We grabbed lunch before we headed home and I’m so glad we chose this restaurant. I ordered the wagu beef sliders and they were the best sliders I have ever had. The fries were also cooked to perfection– nice a crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. We sat outside with a view of the ocean and soaked up every last second being in Laguna.
While I wish we could have stayed longer, being able to do pretty much everything we wanted to do was amazing. I can’t wait to go back and try out more food places, and explore some more beaches. I would also love to go back to 1000 steps and Victoria Beach at different times to experience what we were able to do this time.
Have you ever been to Laguna? If so, please leave some recommendations down below!