The oceanfront resort is smack in the middle of bustling Laguna Beach, which means you can wander around town and easily pop back to the hotel for some chilling on a chaise lounge by the beachfront pool. Rooms have a luxe contemporary feel and, depending on what you want to spend, some have ocean views, balconies, and fireplaces.
What to do: Laguna Beach is so over-the-top picture perfect you feel like you might mess something up just walking through it. But get over it and mosey through Downtown, checking out the requisite surf shops, candy stores, galleries, and Saturday farmers market, before winding up along the beach. And if you need an extra dose of art, you can visit the Sawdust Art Festival, which runs through the end of August.
Where to eat and drink: The craftsman-style cottage and sprawling patio is home to the cool and casual Sapphire, which serves global-inspired dishes like Malaysian black pepper prawns and Kalua pulled pork quesadillas. They also offer picnic-y stuff to go next door at Sapphire Pantry. A half-mile away, the Wine Gallery has a solid selection of good vino as well as a handful of craft beers, a menu of small plates and pizzas, and live music a couple nights week.