Getting out of Vancouver for any amount of time once the rainy winter hits is a treat. Swapping cold, foggy 6 degrees celsius for a sunny, warm 24 degrees feels spectacular. About a 3 hour direct flight from YVR, Orange County is smaller and more laid back than LA. The chilled out beach town of Laguna turned out to be the perfect mini break.

What I liked about staying at Laguna Beach House is the location on Pacific Coast Highway, minutes from the beach and the downtown area and Urth Caffe is just across the street. The boutique hotel is perhaps on the older side but has a cheery surfer vibe, there are literally surfboards in the lobby. The staff were friendly and kept our luggage while we headed out since our room wasn’t ready.

We later checked into a decent size double room with two comfortable beds. The bedroom window looked out to the courtyard, a small pool and fire pit. We didn’t have time to make use of either but it is a nice amenity to have on site. What I didn’t like about our room was how thin the walls were. The noise from the room above always woke us up at the crack of dawn. It started off with loud footsteps of the guests getting ready to leave for the day. Only to be replaced by the noise of the housekeeping staff moving furniture to vigorously sweep the floors.

The absolute best thing about being in Laguna is of course the beach. We took a short stroll along the ocean from Main Beach Park as far as Cleo Street where you can the climb the stairs back up to street level which conveniently pops up right outside Orange Inn Cafe. We ordered Mimosa’s to go from the little take-away window before heading back down the road to peruse a few shops and galleries. I highly recommend Fin restaurant at Hotel Laguna. You can watch them groom the sand from your perch on the patio that looks out to the beach. The sushi is delicious and the gorgeous sunset view is not to be missed.

We ventured 2o minutes down the road from Laguna to Newport Beach and ended up at Lido Marina Village for shopping and dinner. Home to Le Labo, Aesop, and Cos Bar a lux beauty boutique. We tried on a few things at The RealReal and Clare V. Browsed the racks at Jenni Kayne and Elyse Walker and bought sunglasses at Velvet. I am a bit stationary obsessed so I loved the chic stationary at Sugar Paper and grabbed a few greeting cards for my collection. The Marina offers a few good restaurants that are open until 9pm or 10pm (we were hard pressed to find restaurants that stayed open late possibly because of the time of year) There’s a Nobu for fine dining or Circle Hook for a more casual vibe. We opted for Steak frites and wine on the waterfront deck at Zinqué. All in all a speedy but relaxing trip.