Activities & Events
Reach Higher Ground
18751 Laguna Canyon Road | (949) 923-2235
Laguna is the kind of place where you start to see things more clearly and in the instance of its abundance of hiking trails and walking paths, quite literally so. The Dartmoor ‘Water Tank Trail’ in the Wilderness Park is a steady, steep incline through classically So Cal environs, so by the time you reach the polished jade vistas, you’ve worked a bit for your reward. Equally beautiful (and gratifying) are Crystal Cove’s Moro Canyon hikes. There are different trails at varying levels of strenuousness, but all ensure that at least the view takes your breath away.
When it comes to being oceanically inclined, one of us practically has fins, and the other is a ‘landlubber admiring from afar’ kind of gal. Fortunately for us, Laguna’s beaches are a paradise for both dispositions. Thousand Steps takes a bit of determination to access, but your efforts will be handsomely rewarded. Down a long staircase (hence the moniker), sits a sandy gateway to crashing currents, tide pool formations and even a tucked away sea cave. One of the less crowded beaches around, this is a stellar stretch to explore. Another local jewel that is nearest to Gather’s heart is Victoria. An unspoiled tract with an A+ sunset seat urges you down its cliff-hugging path, past tide pools and rock formations until you unearth the veritable buccaneer’s booty: a lone steeple known to locals as “The Pirate Tower”. And finally, Crescent Bay is the waning moon-shaped body visible from the highway, shining unabashedly in all its full-figured beauty. A prime destination for swimming, snorkeling and diving, you’ll also be set to sneak a primo peek at some seriously lust-worthy beachfront estates.
Art For Art’s Sake
307 Cliff Drive | (949) 494-8971
Laguna’s rich history as an artist colony is well documented and thrives to this day. With several established art festivals drawing millions of visitors per year, there are myriad ways to get your visual fix. The Laguna Art Museum is one of the preeminent homes for California art, an homage to the area’s distinctive and well-regarded contributions (not to mention a particularly enriching way to spend a misty afternoon). If you happen to be visiting town during the first Thursday in a given month, the First Thursdays Art Walk is the best imaginable entrée into Laguna’s vibrant art scene. Gallerists city-wide participate, keeping their doors open after hours so you can explore at will. (Tip: admission is free but reservations book up so make plans in advance.)