With long stretches of golden sand, prime surfing spots, excellent dining, and top golf courses, the good life doesn’t get much better than along the Orange County coast. That’s especially true at its luxury resorts, where you can get pampered at lavish spas and marvel at colorful sunsets over the ocean.
Montage Laguna Beach
If you’ve ever dreamed of having your own beach house, it might look something like the art-filled, Craftsman-style Montage Laguna Beach. Elegant yet relaxed, the oceanfront resort is home to the Spa Montage Laguna Beach, where locally inspired treatments include the California Wildflower Massage and the Seaside Renewal body treatment. Afterward, indulge in a dry redwood sauna or soak in the spa’s waterfall whirlpool.
The Resort at Pelican Hill
Newport Beach's Resort at Pelican Hill blends the romance of a Mediterranean villa with the best of the California coast. This is heaven on earth for golfers, with two courses created by master designer Tom Fazio, including the Ocean North Course, where all 18 holes have ocean views. Let the experts at the resort’s Golf Academy help you work the kinks out of your game. But leave time to relax along the resort’s Coliseum Pool, which is spectacularly decorated with more than a million hand-laid glass mosaic tiles.
Monarch Beach Resort
Live life in the moment at the Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point, where you can rejuvenate at the California branch of the world-famous Miraval Life in Balance Spa. Meditation sessions help promote increased mindfulness, while fitness classes, including aerial yoga, will challenge both body and mind. Hike along the ocean cliffs, and to find a different kind of balance, take a surfing class or stand-up paddleboard lesson.
The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel
Commanding an oceanfront bluff overlooking a graceful stretch of coastline, The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel lets you immerse yourself in California’s beach lifestyle. Take in sweeping Pacific views as you work out in the fitness center. Spend the day surfing, or stretch out with a Pilates class in the shade of an oceanfront gazebo. And be sure to catch spectacular sunsets that light up the waves while you savor cocktails and small plates alongside a firepit on the balcony at 180blũ, a beach-casual restaurant.
Whether it’s manicured beach towns or celebrated theme parks, all framed by oceanfront towns and luxury yachts, “The OC” stands out as one of the state’s most iconic destinations. The always-amazing Disneyland Resort, roughly a 1-hour drive south of L.A. and 2 hours north of San Diego, continues to be one of the best-loved theme parks in the world, while Knott’s Berry Farms and other OC attractions amp up the fun meter.
“Surfing is like golf. . . it keeps knocking you down. But when you stay with it and catch that wave. . . magic.” — actor Dennis Quaid
Shop at spectacular South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, or get the surfer look in Huntington Beach, aka Surf City, USA.
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