Regular contributor to The Vacation Gals, Kim Tracy Prince, was recently treated to a great girlfriend getaway at Sunset Cove, in Laguna Beach, California. Laguna is well known for its beaches and local arts scene; Sunset Cove appears to be a comfortable, relaxing alternative to hotel-style lodging for a long weekend there. – Ed.
If you’re going to go on a girlfriends’ getaway, you might as well do it in a home-away-from-home in Laguna Beach. In fact, a great girlfriend getaway at Sunset Cove in Laguna Beach may be just what the doctor ordered.
I recently found myself in need of a place to crash for two nights while my husband and kids were away and my house was being fumigated for termites. You know what they say: when life gives you lemons, you head to the beach. I figured I might as well use those nights to further explore Laguna Beach, California, just a few hours’ drive from my home. My pal Melanie came along for the adventure.
Although I have stayed at Sunset Cove in the past, bunking with a girlfriend is a wholly different experience from vacationing there with my husband and kids.
For one thing, I could wake up or fall asleep to the sound of the waves crashing onto the shore, not the plaintive cries of “Mommy…?” or “Where’s the coffee?” My companion was content to part with me for a few hours while I explored the hiking trails along the coastline. And when we were together we enjoyed relaxed conversation, cocktails, and food both on our own deck and on those of the fine dining establishments in the area.
The eight vacation apartment units at Sunset Cove, perched right on the beach, are all island-themed. We sampled two: a one-bedroom unit, and a two-bedroom unit. Each was fully stocked with everything a couple of gals need – a full kitchen with all the tools (wine opener? Check.), TV and sound system, lush bedding, and plenty of room to spread out.
Located off Cleo Ave. at Pacific Coast Highway just up the street from the heart of downtown Laguna Beach, Sunset Cove is just a short walk away from a grocery store, coffee shops, restaurants, Main Beach, art galleries, bars, and a rocky outcropping where you can watch the waves crash and say hello to baby sea lions. The range of activities here is pleasing to families and child-free travelers alike. Sunset Cove supplies guests with beach gear if needed, and convenient garage parking so it’s easy to come and go. If you must. It’s pretty nice to stay there all day, too!
We arrived on a Monday evening and once we settled in, gazed at the incredible 360 degree view, and marveled at our good fortune, we strolled up Sleepy Hollow Lane to The Deck, a patio restaurant and bar where we enjoyed the sunset with artisanal cocktails, shrimp tacos, and a groovy musician singing covers as he strummed his guitar. Sleep came easy with the lullabies of the ocean waves.
Our perfect Tuesday began with coffee and muffins at The Orange Inn, about 20 strides from Sunset Cove’s front gate. Later, while Melanie tapped away at her computer, I set off to hike the affectionately named Disneyland Trail, which starts at Moulton Meadows Park and reveals views like this:
Our travels included lunch at Laguna Coffee Company with a near-perfect cappuccino and a snuggly table aside the cafe’s cool bean grinder, a stare at the curious missile in the front yard of the American Legion, and dinner at the sublime Raya at Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel, just a ten-minute drive from our lodgings. Yes, it was worth taking the car out of the garage.
Checking in and out of Sunset Cove is very easy – there’s no front desk, just a property manager who arranges a hand-off of your key and garage-door opener. It really is like visiting your own vacation apartment for a little while. With the right company, even just a two-night stay was enough. It’s more than a short break from “real life.” It’s a great girlfriend getaway at Sunset Cove in Laguna Beach, California.
Sunset Cove Villas
683 Sleepy Hollow Lane
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Melanie and I stayed as guests of Sunset Cove Villas, and enjoyed dinner at Raya courtesy of the Ritz-Carlton. All opinions are my own.