Hidden Laguna

Laguna Beach in the summer is often anything but peaceful. But there are pockets of solitude, especially when you wander south of the Main Street beach area. This lookout at the end of Brooks Street (pictured above) is an idyllic place to watch the sun set or observe some surfing action up close. There’s always lots of elbow room in the tiered sitting area.

Another place to escape the crowds is Splashes restaurant, tucked away at beach level of the Surf & Sand Resort. The views of the ocean rank among the best along the Pacific coast, and after a meal you can walk right down the stairs to a fabulous, often uncrowded, stretch of sand. Go for the views; stay for the mouth-watering cuisine of new chef Jeff Armstrong (chilled tomato and buttermilk soup, BBQ lamb loin, sweet corn ravioli). Or just get a bottomless cup of coffee (it opens early) and regroup for an hour or three.

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