Orange County Laguna Beach

Trip Start Apr 05, 2008
Trip End Mar 20, 2009

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Flag of United States  , California
Sunday, May 25, 2008

Our next destination was the famed OC, a spot I had wanted to check out since the TV series 'The OC' set in Newport Beach, Orange County, portrayed as a rich, young, beach town with pizazz.  On the way we passed through Malibu which to be honest was a little disappointing.  The houses are nothing short of impressive but the beach was really small with the tide coming right up to the beach front homes and the town was nothing more than a few shops, gas stations and eateries set along the busy stretch of pacific coast highway.  It seems to be built more upon the name than anything else.  Not able to spot Pamela Anderson or Jennifer Aniston's pads we continued on through LA and Santa Monica.  Keeping up with the tradition of this trip so far where my navigation skills were rarely present, we took the suggested detour via Palos Verdes peninsula and the South Bay which passed through the beach areas of Manhattan, Redondo and Hermosa.  Stretching our legs in Long Beach (and to ask for some directions ;-) we were asked "why are you visiting here", which kind of sums up Long Beach.  Finally entering the OC, Huntington Beach was a welcomed sight.  An interesting combination of oil drills on one side and miles of golden beach with oil rigs off the coastline.  It had a great vibe and is a spot loved by surfers.  We had decided to stay in Laguna beach which is about 12 miles further south.  Needing to get out of the car (it's been a good 5 hours by now) we opted to come back and check out Newport in the next day or so.  We arrived in Laguna and went to check out the town and refresh (Margaritas are calling).  Made up of stretches of beach broken into lots of coves it's a town that definitely grew on us the longer we were there.  In need of a day off of driving and navigating we opted for a spot of sun baking.  We had brunch at 'Sapphire' where as well as serving great food our waiter, Bruce, gave us some great tips for Mexico.  We're hoping he'll put us in touch with a friend of his who is a professional surf photographer.  With our final stop on the Pacific Coast highway, San Diego, in our sights we doubled back from Laguna beach to check out Newport first.  It definitely lives up to the TV series and more with glamorous home, miles of golden sands and hip young gorgeous people living it up.  Gareth wanted to check out 'The Wedge' (a world famous body-surfing spot).  We sat and watched a few local skim boarders 'rip it up' before driving the remaining 76 miles to San Diego.
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