Thursday, April 4, 2013


(includes Central Coast, Corona del Mar, Costa Mesa, Dana Point, Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, Orange, San Clemente, Seal Beach & Tustin)

Dirty Cookie – 2493 Park Avenue (Tustin); 949-324-1574;; famous for making cups out of cookie dough from which you drink milk.
Kean Coffee – 1733 Monrovia Avenue (Costa Mesa); 949-515-3882;
Kean Coffee – 2043 Westcliff Drive, Suite 100 (Newport Beach); 949-642-5326;
Kean Coffee – 13681 Newport Avenue, Suite 14 (Tustin); 714-838-5326;
Orange Inn – 703 South Coast Highway (Laguna Beach); 949-494-6085;; breakfast and brunch location; juice bar known for smoothies; coffee.
Zinc Cafe – 350 Ocean Avenue (Laguna Beach); 949-494-6302;; where to “follow locals” for mostly vegetarian favorites; well-priced breakfast or lunch; patio seating.

Crow Bar & Kitchen – 2325 East Coast Highway (Corona Del Mar); 949-675-0070;; gastropub.
Huntington Beach Beer Co. – 201 Main Street, Suite E (Huntington Beach); 714-960-5343;; 2nd story brew pub.
Juliette Kitchen + Bar – 1000 Bristol Street North, Suite 11 (Newport Beach); 949-752-5854; trendy French “resto.”
Sharkeez – 211 Main Street (Huntington Beach); 714-960-5282;; loud and cheesy.
Side Door – 3801 East Coast Highway (Central Coast); 949-717-4322;; British gastro pub.

Blue Lantern Inn – 34343 Street of Blue Lantern (Dana Point); 949-661-1304 or 800-950-1236;
Casa Laguna Inn & Spa – 2510 South Coast Highway (Laguna Beach); 949-494-2996;; seemingly unimpressive, if campy, from exterior; delightful balcony views, courtyard garden, and simply best breakfasts (for guests only) in southern California.
Crystal Cove Beach Cottages – 35 Crystal Cove (Newport Beach); 949-494-3539, 949-492-0802, or 800-444-7275;; built between 1920-1950; painstakingly restored; 13 available for rental for up to 7 days yearly (Shell Shack (best), Sand Castle, South Sea Shanty); must call on 1st of month at 8 a.m. PST promptly, 7 months in advance.
Hotel Hanford – 3131 Bristol Street (Costa Mesa); 714-557-3000 or 877-426-3673;; boutique.
Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa – 21500 Pacific Coast Highway (Huntington Beach); 714-698-1234 or 888-591-1234;; somewhat fancy.
Montage – 30801 South Coast Highway (Laguna Beach); 949-715-6000 or 866-271-6953;; 3 outdoor pools; phenomenal food.
Pacific Edge Hotel – 647 South Coast Highway (Laguna Beach); 949-777-6328 or 800-843-6895;
Pelican Hill – 22701 Pelican Hill Road South (Newport Beach); 949-467-6800 or 800-315-8214;; Tuscan-themed coastal resort with suites and villas; ask for Bungalow #344 (it’s glorious) – crammed with furniture, wood-burning fireplace, Pacific Ocean view.
Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel – 1 Ritz-Carlton Drive (Dana Point); 949-240-2000 or 800-542-8680;; Mediterranean feel; fountains and French doors on private terraces.
Shorebreak Hotel – 500 Pacific Coast Highway (Huntington Beach); 714-861-4470 or 877-744-1117;; boutique atmosphere within minute’s stroll from pier.
Sun ‘n Sands – 1102 Pacific Coast Highway (Huntington Beach); 714-536-2543;; easy ocean access with old school motel charm.
Surf & Sand Resort – 1555 South Coast Highway (Laguna Beach); 949-497-4477 or 888-869-7569;; beachfront property with virtually all 167 rooms facing sea.

AnQi – 3333 Bristol Street (Costa Mesa); 714-557-5679;; sophisticated, Asian fusion, Vietnamese bistro.
Beachcomber Cafe – 15 Crystal Cove (Newport Beach); 949-376-6900;; enjoy Cocktail, sitting on deck; grab breakfast for under $20; fabulous fries; more tables outside than inside, but inside’s treat for period-style buffs: walls and ceiling paneled with light pine, some taken from original cottage; meal comes on bright Fiesta-style dinnerware and drink served in plastic cup that bears motto, “Where every night is Saturday night and Saturday night is New Year’s Eve.”
Broadway – 328 Glenneyre Street (Laguna Beach); 949-715-8234;; considered best area restaurant.
Crab Cooker – 2200 Newport Boulevard (Newport Beach); 949-673-0100;; old-school, pier-type seafood locale; shrimp skewers.
Crow Bar & Kitchen – 2325 East Coast Highway (Corona Del Mar); 949-675-0070;; gastropub that serves great burgers.
Don Beachcomber – 16278 Pacific Coast Highway (Huntington Beach); 562-592-1321;; kitschy tiki bar & tropical-themed eatery serving Polynesian-influenced American fare & cocktails.
Duke’s – 317 Pacific Coast Highway (Huntington Beach); 714-374-6446;; Hawaiian surf theme; seafood and steaks on beach beside pier.
Five Crowns – 3801 East Coast Highway (Corona Del Mar); 949-760-0331;; standby that caters to old-school Newport crowd with Continental plates (prime rib and Yorkshire pudding); try Sunday brunch on patio.
Harbor House Cafe – 34157 Pacific Coast Highway (Dana Point); 949-496-9270;; 24-hour spot opened in 1939 offering big menu of down-home fare, from egg dishes to Mexican food.
Juliette Kitchen + Bar – 1000 Bristol Street North, Suite 11 (Newport Beach); 949-752-5854; trendy French “resto.”
Las Brisas – 361 Cliff Drive (Laguna Beach); 949-497-5434;; upscale Mexican food; great seafood.
Pete’s Mexican Food – 213 5th Street (Huntington Beach); 714-960-8797; Spartan, hole-in-wall place.
Raya – 1 Ritz-Carlton Drive (Dana Point, at Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel); 949-240-2000;; Mediterranean feel; fountains and French doors on private terraces.
Side Door – 3801 East Coast Highway (Central Coast); 949-717-4322;; British gastro pub.
La Sirena Grill – 347 Mermaid Street (Laguna Beach); 949-497-8226;; original location; seafood.
La Sirena Grill South – 30862 South Coast Highway (Laguna Beach); 949-499-2301;; seafood.
South of Nick’s – 110 North El Camino Real (San Clemente); 949-481-4545;; popular Mexican restaurant.
Stand – 238 Thalia Street (Laguna Beach); 949-494-8101;; try avocado sandwiches or vegetarian burritos.
Sugar Shack CafĂ© – 213½ Main Street (Huntington Beach); 714-536-0355; old, family-run favorite for breakfast and lunch; ask for table on patio.
True Food Kitchen – 451 Newport Center Drive (Newport Beach); 949-644-2400;; vegetarian.
Zimzala – 500 Pacific Coast Highway (Huntington Beach, at Shorebreak Hotel); 714-960-5050;; Mediterranean cuisine in stylish location.

Bike Hut – Pier 40 (Embarcadero); 415-543-4335;; bike rentals.
City Kayak – Pier 40 (Embarcadero); 800-725-0790;; kayak rentals.
Zack’s – 405 Pacific Coast Highway (Huntington Beach); 714-536-0215;; rents whatever beach equipment you need.

A’maree’s – 2241 West Coast Highway (Newport Beach); 949-642-4423;; high fashion at low cost.
Antique Depot – 155 South Glassell Street (Orange); 714-633-3934;
Antique Mall of Treasures – 109 South Glassell Street (Orange); 714-997-4320;
Antique Station – 178 South Glassell Street (Orange); 714-633-3934;
Aris – 1155 North Coast Highway (Laguna Beach); 949-497-8300;; affordable high-end fasion.
Factory Records – 440 East 17th Street (Costa Mesa); 949-722-8101;
Macalistaire at 1850 – 1850 South Pacific Coast Highway (Laguna Beach); 949-497-9080;; vintage.
Muff’s Hardware – 135 South Glassell Street (Orange); 714-997-0243;; antique hardware and old house items.
Orange Circle Antique Mall – 118 South Glassell Street (Orange); 714-538-8160;
Rolling Greens – 3315-A Hyland Avenue (Costa Mesa); 714-444-4025;; nursery.
Sound Spectrum – 1264 South Coast Highway (Laguna Beach); 949-494-5959;; vintage records since 1970s; memorabilia and music.
South Glassell Street – East Almond & East Chapman Avenues area (Orange);; antique malls.
South Coast Plaza – 3333 Bristol Street (Costa Mesa); 714-435-2000;; upscale, luxury mall.
Zinc Cafe & Market – 350 Ocean Avenue (Laguna Beach); 949-494-6302;; goods – including breads, cheeses, coffee – to go.

Balboa Fun Zone – 600 East Bay Avenue, Suite R (Newport Beach); 949- 673-0408;; amusement park.
Balboa Pavilion – 400 Main Street (Newport Beach); 949-675-1905 or 800-830-7744;; fishing and whale-watching charter terminal; historic structure; boardwalk.
Corona Del Mar State Beach – Poppy Avenue (Newport Beach, at Pacific Coast Highway); 949-644-3309;; very narrow road leads to cliff above ocean; go down paved path to beach; desirable spot for divers and picnickers; seclusion and tide pool are highlights; great beach for families because relatively protected from large waves and undercurrents.
Crystal Cove State Park Historic District – 8471 North Coast Highway (located off Pacific Coast Highway between Corona del Mar and Laguna Beach); 949-494-3539;; 3.2 miles of beach and 2.4K acres undeveloped woodland; offshore waters designated as underwater park; tide pools and sandy coves.
Heisler Park – 361 Cliff Drive (Laguna Beach); 949-497-3311;; oceanside park.
Huntington Beach – Pacific Coast Highway (Huntington Beach); known as “Surf City.”
Isamu Noguchi Scenario Garden – 611 Anton Boulevard (Costa Mesa, 3200 Park Center Drive); stunning 1.6 acre sculpture garden; winding stream carved out of sandstone ground, redwood forest; worth special trip.
Laguna Beach – Pacific Coast Highway (Laguna Beach); artists community with galleries.
Laguna Canyon Road – Route 133 (Laguna Beach); best way to enter community from east; winds through towering sepia-toned wilderness expanses before tapering out close to Pacific Ocean.
Main Beach – 107 South Coast Highway (Laguna Beach); 949-497-3311;; Laguna Beach’s largest and most popular stretch.
Seal Beach – Pacific Coast Highway (Seal Beach); quaint seaside community with tree-lined Main Street, which becomes wooden pier (2nd longest in California), where you can eat.

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