Irvine, California, might be best known as a technology and educational hub for southern California, but its roots go far deeper. Spanish explorers settled the area in the late 1700s, but the Gabrieleño indigenous people inhabited the region over 2,000 years ago. Despite the long history of inhabiting the region, the City of Irvine wasn’t officially incorporated until the end of 1971.
While Irvine remains a cultural hub in the region, the area has some of the finest destinations in all of California to get away from the hustle and bustle of your life and relax. Whether you live in Irvine or are planning a visit from Los Angeles in the north, or San Diego to the south, there’s plenty to see and do. That’s why we’ve put together this list of the top four weekend destinations around Irvine to help you plan the perfect weekend getaway.
Situated in the heart of Laguna Beach, Capri Laguna offers beautiful sandy beaches while only steps away from downtown. Capri Laguna offers 45 elegant guestrooms, most with fantastic views of the Pacific. Guestrooms are well-appointed with kitchenettes and feature distinctive designs and soothing textures to aid in your relaxing getaway. Suites are available that provide ample space and expansive views.
Step out onto Laguna Beach and enjoy surfing, paddle boarding, and snorkeling. Or you can simply relax and work on your tan while the beach goers around you frolic. This Mediterranean-inspired boutique hotel embraces the simplicity and calm of coastal life, allowing you the perfect place to retreat from your busy life.
Dining out becomes an adventure for the senses in Laguna Beach. Breakfast options like Driftwood Kitchen and Zinc Cafe offer traditional eggs and bacon fare alongside modern dishes like avocado toast and quiche. You might consider brunch at Nick’s, where you can enjoy mimosas with your fried chicken and waffles.
Treat yourself to the flavors of Baja with lunch at the Coyote Grill. Their menu features a selection of tostadas and caught fresh fish dishes spiced to excite the palate. You can keep it simple with one of their eight types of tacos or specialty burgers, or get adventurous with menu items like the zucchini enchiladas and veggie burritos. You can find a more casual atmosphere with upscale food at The Deck overlooking the beach. Ask about the daily catch or enjoy the chilled seafood tower while you gaze across the Pacific and sip on one of their signature beach-inspired libations.
You can while away your afternoon with a stroll to the Promenade on Forest. With this walking-only shopping experience, local businesses have created a one-of-a-kind experience of retail, art, and food.
Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and Spa
You’ll be surrounded by Spanish-inspired architecture and expansive ocean views while staying at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach. Hyatt furnished the guestrooms elegantly and many offer private patios with fire pits to enjoy the coastal breeze in comfort. Suites are available, offering spacious comfort, or you can book the Presidential Beach House with over 2,500 square feet of luxurious oceanfront living space and spectacular views.
Spend your days sunning on Huntington Beach or get yourself a cabana by the pool and relax. Speaking of relaxing, the Pacific Waters Spa offers a wide array of services designed to relax and rejuvenate. Surfing, paddle boarding, and more, await the adventurous water lovers. You’re only steps away from the historic Huntington Beach Pier.
Disneyland, Legoland, Universal Studios, and Disney’s California Adventure Park are only minutes away if you love amusement parks. Ride the roller coasters, water slides, and movie-themed rides all day before returning to the beach to refresh and have a sumptuous dinner. You can dine at the Hyatt Regency’s award-winning restaurant, Watertable. Contemporary American fare with a flair for the innovative describes the menu, and the atmosphere has no peer on the beach.
Ayres Hotel & Spa Mission Viejo
The Ayres Hotel & Spa Mission Viejo lies nestled at the feet of the Saddleback Mountains. Stylish decor and attention to detail create a distinctive modern California vibe at the Ayres Hotel. Warm earth tones and comfortable furnishings offer soothing relaxation. All guests enjoy the Celestial Sleeper beds in Queen or King sizes. For additional space, you can book a suite with a kitchenette.
A visit to the Athena Day Spa should be on everyone’s calendar while staying at the Ayres Hotel. The spa offers various massage packages and facial treatments that will relax your body and invigorate your soul. After you’ve enjoyed the spa, you can get lunch at the Old Camp Bar and Grill. Inspired by campfire recipes and cooking techniques, the menu at Old Camp Bar and Grill serves up classic dishes and some modern twists on old favorites.
Get out and explore Mission Viejo and its shops after lunch with a round of golf at Tijeras Creek. Visitors can enjoy swimming, boating, and other water activities at nearby Mission Viejo Lake. Hiking enthusiasts will love an excursion to the Modjeska Canyon. Or you can relax by the pool, sipping cocktails, and watch the sun slowly set.
Blue Lantern Inn
If you want the entire bed and breakfast experience, a trip to Blue Lantern Inn should be at the top of your list. Located only 30 minutes from Irvine on Dana Point along the southern coast, you’ll find this elegantly furnished seaside B&B overlooking Yacht Harbor.
You won’t be disappointed with the inn, named a Top U.S. Seaside Inn by Travel and Leisure Magazine. The inn features all the amenities of a luxury hotel and spa with the creature comfort and idyllic architecture of a cozy bed and breakfast.
At Capistrano Volkswagen, we strive for perfection in every interaction. We hope you found our list of top weekend destinations around Irvine informative and helpful. If we missed one of your favorite weekend getaways, we encourage you to let us know. We will happily add it to our list so others from Irvine and surrounding communities can also enjoy these favorite spots.
Image via Flickr by oanastan