Recently, I was visiting out-of-town family at an O.C. resort when a friendly man at the pool mentioned he’d spent the previous day at “the Laguna pier.” I didn’t correct him—he probably went to Balboa Pier. But it provided a good reminder as to how many tourists come to Orange County: more than 50 million of them in the best years. The bigger takeaway for me? We get to enjoy this all the time!
July is our annual Best Of issue—a chance to highlight the joys of living here. We have an abundance of fun things to do, unique places to shop, and delectable food and drinks to devour. Take in the views at renovated coastal resorts such as Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa and VEA Newport Beach, which opened in June. Join international shoppers at South Coast Plaza, which celebrates its 55th anniversary this year. Theater lovers will swoon at the shows our local arts venues are trotting out over the next year. Of course, there are miles of coastline and fantastic beaches, where elite athletes will compete later this month at the Vans US Open of Surfing. If your goal is to escape all those crowds for the summer, we have some suggestions for where to do that, too—all put together in our annual bonanza of the Best.
One of my favorite places to escape is Sherman Library & Gardens, where the grounds are gorgeous and welcoming all year. In August, the venue provides the perfect excuse to dress to the nines or challenge your creative side with its annual garden party and hat contest. I’ve been honored to judge the contest in the past, and the entries are innovative, frivolous, and delightful. It’s a marvelous way to appreciate the outdoors in style. Speaking of outdoor parties, don’t miss the amazing scene and plentiful fare at our annual
Best Of celebration July 28 at Rancho Las Lomas (orangecoast.com/bestof2022). See you there!