Laguna Beach & Palm Desert

IMG_2780_1 A mere 3 weeks ago I was in California enjoying my first full day in Palm Desert post three nights along the coast in Laguna. For those long-time followers you’ll know I’m quite the fan of California. The weather, incredible coast lines and vast opportunities for adventure means you can easily get lost in all the endless possibilities. Not ready to forget about my most recent trip I thought I would share some holiday snaps with you today including a few recommendations of places to visit should you be planning a similar excursion.

IMG_2774_1IMG_2769_1Let’s start in Laguna. The home of Laguna Beach: The Real OC and everyone’s very first LC aspirations. We flew into LAX & picked up a hire car to drive across the 405 to our first destination. With a flight arrival time of 7pm it was a long old day but luckily the drive over to Laguna took under an hour. Although we had a car it isn’t a necessity for Laguna. If you stay central aka around Main Beach Park the majority of the restaurants & shops are a mere walk away. We only used the car to drive across to Newport and my home away from home – Fashion Island. If you do have a set of wheels whilst in Laguna I highly recommend the short 20 minute trip across to Newport. Not only are there a plethora of shops, restaurants and Ulta, there is also a Cheesecake Factory praise!

IMG_2801_1Although we were only in Laguna for a handful of days we still had time to indulge in an ice cream whilst watching the sun set if you’re looking for a sweet treat go no further than Gelato Paradiso – it is simple incredible! Sunday lunch was booked at The Montage with cocktails, crisp blue views out over the ocean and a fun trolley ride back into town. A popular breakfast spot is Urth Caffe or for something more budget friendly with those ocean views give The Cliff Restaurant a try.

IMG_2816_1Next up was the drive over to Palm Desert. More meaty in distance this took just over 2 hours with varied traffic and no stops. Throughout the drive we witnessed some of the most incredible views, endless mountains, vast landscape and a pretty impressive windmill farm just outside of Palm Springs! If you’ve never ventured into the desert expect wide roads, multiple strip malls and the most serene and relaxed atmosphere. What struck me the most was the 360 degree view of mountains. No matter where you looked, out in the distance you were greeted with that soon to be familiar horizon line of mountains. Pretty spectacular.

Whilst in Palm Desert we kept things pretty chilled. A car is a must for getting around but everything is less than 10 minutes away. For a hearty Mexican meal head to Fresh Agave alongside freshly made guacamole that will leave you asking for seconds. Within El Paseo one of the central shopping areas you’ll find Pacifica Seafood Restaurant. Delicious food, fab views and great waiters that make you feel right at home. For those who love steak or something a bit more fancypants we headed to Mastro’s. An American classic, expect the bill to be high but the steak to be perfection.

IMG_2855_1IMG_2851_1IMG_2838_1IMG_2841_1For a more adventurous excursion make sure you visit the Air Tramway. A 30 minutes drive out from Palm Desert you get taken up in a rotating tram car over two and a half miles to the top of some of the most breathtaking cliffs of Chino Canyon. If you love hiking you can explore the trails at the top or simply take some pictures and head back down.

Overall this has been one of my favourite California trips with the perfect balance of activities against time to relax. On our final day we drove across into LA to hit up the Grove, with our flight not until 9pm this was a fab way to make the most of our final day and get in some last minute shopping! California – I hope to see you soon <3

I’ve also gone through and updated my categories – you will now see ‘Travel’ appearing! If you are interested in any of my travel posts just click on the category under the lifestyle section.