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  • Round Trip with Colleen Kelly

Guide to Southern California

Updated: Jun 23, 2021

With sunny beaches, vineyards, national parks, and hubs of entertainment, the state of California is sure not to disappoint, no matter where you decide to go. This guide is specifically geared toward Southern California’s Dana Point and Laguna Beach; as they are only around 8 miles from one another, you can plan to visit these 2 places if you’re traveling to the region of Orange County.

Here’s a guide for Dana Point and Laguna Beach transportation, food, and activities:


When it comes to booking a flight, you can easily fly into Orange County from John Wayne Airport. And it’s well worth it: Sometimes airports can be confusing and daunting (not to mention all the bustle during busy travel seasons), but John Wayne is a breeze to get through.

If you’re going to stay in one town or a small region only, you don’t need a rental car. Rental cars are especially expensive at the moment; instead, bring your best gym shoes! California is super walkable. Biking services, such as Laguna Bike Rental, Pedego Dana Point, and South Coast Bicycle Rentals and Tours, are also great options. There are, of course, opportunities to rideshare, and some hotels even offer cars that will take you around for free—as long as it’s within so many miles of the hotel premises.

If you do decide to rent a car, then definitely reserve an afternoon or evening to take a drive down the coast to see all the beach towns and soak in the views…


When it comes to food, outdoor dining is a must, as you will want to enjoy the sunny skies and California breeze. Many local restaurants along the coast source their food locally, so you’re guaranteed to get a true taste of Southern California. If you’re staying at or grabbing a drink from a resort, such as Montage Laguna or the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel, their well-known restaurants have amazing views and fresh cuisine. Many others are family-owned and/or practice farm-to-table.

Finally, do check out the Happy Hour deals before going to a restaurant you’re interested in dining at. You will never know just what you might miss out on if you arrive late!


Before diving into the plethora of things to do, here’s a quick reminder to dress in layers. You’re by the ocean, so it will get slightly chilly at night!

If you are planning on surfing, you can check out these lists of recommended beaches and surf lessons: Laguna Beach and Dana Point. Kayaking, paddleboarding, snorkeling, and even skimboarding will scratch any itch to do even more water sports while on the coast.

Southern California is made up of Marine Protected Areas, which means there are rules and restrictions in regards to boating and fishing in certain areas in order to protect the ecosystem. Make sure you follow the rules in order to preserve the beautiful and essential wildlife.

What season will you be visiting California in? If you do a whale watching tour, you can see different animals depending on their specific migratory patterns. Dana Point Harbor is home to Dana Wharf, where you can check this unique activity out.

Last but not least, if you’re looking for some art and culture, Laguna Beach is known for its annual arts festivals, including the iconic Pageant of the Masters. These occur throughout the summer months.

Got any Southern California questions? We’d love to hear from you! Contact us.


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