Though summer isn’t officially over for twelve more days my kids went back to school weeks ago, and Labor Day Weekend, the unofficial official end of summer here in the States has come and gone. Still, autumn isn’t here just yet, and I’m holding on tight to the last days of what turned out to be a wonderful summer full of carefree and fun filled days. With this in mind and wanting one last hurrah I decided a family day trip was in order.
Laguna Beach, just one hour or so south of Los Angeles, has gorgeous beaches with warm glittering blue water, fun restaurants with delicious food, and street art, so basically all the makings of a perfect day trip!
The Laguna Arts District
A day at the beach was my main objective, really it was, but we needed to eat, so why not in the Laguna Arts District? This way we could grab a bite to eat, tour some murals, and then be on our merry way.
The Hive a newly refurbished complex in the Arts District, offered a number of dining choices along with multiple art markets, boutiques and galleries.
Laguna Beach Beer Company
The Laguna Beach Beer Company is a seat yourself casual dining restaurant. All the food was excellent and the boys devoured their pizzas, but our favorite item was this brie with peaches and honey. In fact we loved it so much we’ve recreated it a few times since and its been a big hit! See below for my version of the recipe.
The Summer of Color
The Summer of Color was created by Laguna Creative Ventures to celebrate the art, music and food in the Laguna Arts District. Artists from around the world were brought in to enhance the area and I’d say they’ve done a fabulous job.
Artist: Okuda – The Palace of Dreams
This mural was so big it covered the entire front and side of the building, which houses the Art-A-Fair. The artist, Okuda titled the piece The Palace of Dreams. Don’t forget to go around the side of the building to see the rest of the mural, it’s immense.
Artist: Brett Crawford
Artist: Beau Stanton
Artist: James Thistlethwaite
This incredibly detailed mural is actually hand drawn with charcoal!
Once we’d had our fill of food and art we set off for the beach. There are many beautiful beaches in Laguna, but Victoria Beach with its Rapunzel like tower was our destination.
Built in 1926 the 60 foot tall Pirate Tower, as it’s known by locals, is actually an enclosed staircase providing access to the beach from the home above. Privately owned, the tower isn’t accessible to the public, but that doesn’t mean one can’t poke around at the bottom.
Note: The Pirate Tower can only be accessed at low tide.
We spent hours at this lovely beach exploring the Pirates Tower, enjoying the warmer southern water, watching the volleyball players and lounging in the sand.
Parking for Victoria Beach can be tricky as there is no parking lot. Be prepared to park a fair distance and walk.
Slice Pizza located in Downtown Laguna Beach was the perfect place to stop for a quick bite before our drive back to LA. Kids will enjoy the make your own pizza and for those who aren’t driving the beer tap wall with the honor system is a fun idea.
Bonus: We found a pair of Colette Miller angel wings on the back wall of Slice Pizza!
One last glimpse of the Pirates Tower as the sun was setting was the perfect end to our day trip, and with it’s fabulous beaches, vibrant Arts District and hip downtown Laguna Beach was the perfect end to our summer vacation.
Brie with Peaches and Honey
Would you like to create this delicious Brie with peaches and honey dish?
Here’s our version:
Ingredients: loaf of crusty bread, brie, just ripe peaches, honey, blackberries, pistachios and arugula
Slice the bread, brie and peaches and shell the pistachios.
Drizzle the bread with honey and then layer with brie and peaches and drizzle with more honey.
Broil in the oven at 450 degrees until the bread is toasty, the brie is bubbly and the peaches are softened, about 5 -7 minutes.
Remove from the oven and arrange on the bed of arugula add blackberries and pistachios and drizzle with more honey. Enjoy!