The pandemic brought our plans for 2020 to a halt—including much-needed vacations. Whether you’re looking to have fun with your family, unwind with your beloved, explore the outdoors, or clear your mind with yoga or meditation, O.C. has many spots where you can play tourist right now. Read more from this cover story at orangecoast.com/ocstaycations.
The Ranch at Laguna Beach
Leave it to the resort best known for sustainability practices to pivot quickly and offer peace of mind to guests when it comes to health and safety requirements. Because of all the outdoor space at The Ranch at Laguna Beach, you’ll feel comfortable restoring your spirit in a canyon getaway where you might not be able to get cell service—a real vacation! Let the sound of the wind moving through the canyon and the sights of ducks in the creek and deer on the golf course separate you from tension in O.C. without leaving the county ($269 and up). Details such as wooden discs as keys instead of plastic, comfortable cushions on outdoor lounges for dining, and multiple charging stations for electric vehicles around the property prove the commitment to guest comfort and the environment by the resort, a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World. The warm and friendly staff members are the perfect antidote for high stress levels. Sycamore Spa by Hudson has moved its services to outdoor cabanas for plein-air massage that makes it feel like you’re in Bali.
Hyatt Regency Newport Beach
If you’re looking to decompress while keeping up with your fitness routine, Hyatt Regency Newport Beach ($176 and up) will make sure you don’t skip a beat. The resort on the Upper Newport Bay Reserve offers plenty of options for trails to run or bike. The hotel’s Fitness Concierge can assist with a bike rental. There are also maps of trails and GPS watches available. If you prefer to work out in the comfort of your room, you can opt for YogaAway, which provides yoga workouts from your entertainment unit. Choose from programs focused on fitness, stress reduction, and more. Is golf your choice for unwinding? There are several courses nearby, including Oak Creek Golf Club, Tustin Ranch Golf Club, as well as the resort’s own par-3 course.
Monarch Beach Resort
For nearly two decades, this property has offered locals and visitors a relaxing, Mediterranean-inspired retreat in Dana Point ($400 and up). Although its expansive Miraval Life in Balance Spa is temporarily closed for massages, facials, and other treatments, the resort still hosts a full roster of exercise, yoga, and meditation classes. Guests can choose from more than 50 complimentary fitness classes per week, all held outdoors on the lawn or right on the beach. The resort’s StaySafe program also extends to every other aspect of your stay. Extensive cleaning protocols, contactless check-in, mandatory masks in public spaces, and limited capacities are just a few of the steps to safeguard staff and guests. Guests can also take advantage of the 18-hole championship golf course, watersports rentals, and the Beach Club, which provides complimentary towel and umbrella service on the sand. Pools are also open, with physical distancing measures in place. End your day with dinner at AVEO Table + Bar, which specializes in healthy and flavorful coastal cuisine, or indulge at Bourbon Steak. Both restaurants offer seating alfresco.
Things to Do
Dana Point and Newport Beach
Vibe Organic Kitchen and Juice
The dishes at Vibe are all organic, gluten-free, and plant-based, as well as fresh and flavorful. Sit outdoors and try the Fiesta Bowl with jackfruit “carnitas” or one of the smoothies with house-made coconut milk.
One of the few places in Orange County to get a private outdoor massage at the moment, Aquaterra at the Surf and Sand Resort offers a variety of options—from deep tissue to aromatherapy—starting at $150 for 50 minutes.
iHeartYoga in the Park
Get your Zen on at Lantern Bay Park every day at 10 a.m. and Monday to Thursday at 5:30 p.m. Classes must be booked in advance and are $8 or $5 for members. Yoga mats will be spaced 15 feet apart, and masks and gloves are encouraged.
At its only location in Orange County, SkinSpirit offers many services and beauty treatments for your face and body, including the DiamondTome exfoliating facial, CoolSculpting, Kybella, and more. You can also shop skincare brands such as Obagi, IS Clinical, and more.
Here, trained flexologists assess your mobility ($49) and help you on your flexibility journey with one-on-one assisted stretch sessions. They identify imbalances in your body and customize a stretch routine. Stretching has been shown to improve posture and reduce stress as well as muscle and joint pain.
Tucked away in a business park, Magnolia Wellness offers various services for healing and relaxation including acupuncture, herbal consultations, cupping, gua sha, labor preparation and induction acupuncture, ear seeds, and more. New patients can opt for acupuncture and a consultation, which includes a nutrition consultation, acugraph, and more ($175).
Relax while you burn up to 400 calories in a private infrared sauna. Whether you want to watch Netflix for 40 minutes, listen to music, or meditate, you’ll likely experience several benefits including decreased inflammation, a boost to your immune system, and improved sleep.
Newport Beach yoga instructor hosting donation-based outdoor yoga classes
“I started teaching beach yoga and (stand-up paddleboard) yoga because it combines my two favorite things in the world: fitness and the outdoors. It’s helping not just our physical, but our mental aspects as well and still creating that community feel. Being able to do yoga outdoors adds a new element and layer of relaxation and just connecting with nature. I think, with this pandemic, it’s helping people realize that we actually live in such an amazing place and we can find that peace and serenity right here in our backyard. My favorite thing (to do on a staycation) is anything on the water—I love doing SUP and SUP yoga. I utilize the beach as much as possible.”
by Alan Gibbons, Astgik Khatchatryan, Michelle Pagaran, Chelsea Raineri,
and Barbara Neal Varma