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Where to stay at beach

Chelmsford, Essex...
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Where to stay at beach

My family and I (husband and 2 teenage boys) will be taking a three week tour of the west coast this July/August. At the end of this tour we would like to spend 4/5 days just relaxing by a lovely beach before we go home. We would like to stay south of LA, preferably within a day-trip distance of Disney and was wondering if anyone had any suggestions. We at first thought of San Diego, but I think this may be a little far as the children would like to visit Disney for the day. Laguna Beach seems nice, but which hotel? Is there anywhere else similar along this coast? We are looking to stay in a nice hotel, directly on the beach if possible, although not too expensive. I would really appreciate it if anyone had any ideas.

San Diego...
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585 posts
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1. Re: Where to stay at beach

As a San Diegan, I know you will be missing out by not visiting San Diego, but Laguna Beach is very nice and closer to Disneyland..... :-)

In July and August anything on the beach will be expensive. This is high season for southern California beaches.

Take a look at the Laguna Rivera. I have stayed there and it was perfect for a couple days at the beach, and as far as beach properties goes, moderately priced.


While in Laguna Beach take in the Pageant of the Masters. This is an art pageant where actors "pose" famous paintings. I know it sounds weird, but it is actually amazing and very popular. It has been going on for 70 years. One of those things you have to see to believe......


Vancouver, Canada
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140 posts
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2. Re: Where to stay at beach

I love San Diego, and it would be sad that you had come so far and missed it. Now Disneyland is a good 2/3 day excursion. If you are staying in the area for 4 days or more, then most definitely spend 2 nights in San Diego. The kids will love it too as they can go to Sea World ( my favorite attraction ) and the Wild Animal Park... much better than the San Diego Zoo, I think! But, you as adults will appreciate the likes of San Diego as well. The restaurants, outdoor shopping malls, and so forth. I agree that hotels will be expensive on the beach during august... especially in Laguna Beach (a lovely place but I think you would get more out of San Diego). Although not on the beach I would recommend staying at Humphrey's Half Moon, located on Shelter Island very close to everything, a resort-tropical feel, nice outdoor pool, and even has an outdoor concert stage where famous people perform all the time. Also on the cheaper end of things, The Dana on Mission bay is lovely, both of these hotels surrounded by water and Marina, this hotel however, is right across from Sea World.

You can drive from Anaheim (Disneyland) to San Diego and it will be a lovely experience. I recommend driving to La Jolla on the way to San Diego, do some shopping have lunch at Georges on the Cove for fantastic oceanside scenery and great food, and then make your way to San Diego (20 minutes away from La Jolla). Half way, you can stop at a place called Carlsbad, where if you have young kids they can go to Legoland for a bit and then you can head over to the outlet shopping which has come great stores at great prices.. what a pitch!

Please go to San Diego.. and its a great time to be in Anaheim as they are celebrating their 50th Anniversary starting May 5th.

Have a wonderful trip!

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3. Re: Where to stay at beach

Everything is expensive on the beach. Try Del Mar, it is beautiful

los angeles, ca
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4. Re: Where to stay at beach

I agree, Laguna Beach is very nice. We were just there last weekend for the Art Studio Tour, where Laguna Beach artists open up their private studios and/or homes in Laguna Beach to give visitors a glimpse of their work. Very interesting! Laguna Beach is an artsy beach town, and has a gorgeous beach,. Downtown Laguna is filled with art galleries, shops and restaurants. We also stayed at the Laguna Riviera for 2 nights, it's ocean/beach front, close to all the activities, restaurants,shops of Laguna Beach, family owned and reasonable room rates! If you do get a chance, spend some of your days in San Diego, as it will be nice during the time you will be visiting CA.

Huntington Beach
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5. Re: Where to stay at beach

You also might want to consider Huntington Beach. The Hilton or the Hyatt resorts are very nice. Both are directly across the street from the beach which is 8 continuous miles. If the Hilton or the Hyatt is out of you budget, you might want to check out the Best Western Huntington Beach Inn. Also across the street from the beach and easy walking distance to the pier and Main Street. No pool though. Doesn't have as nice a view of the beach as the Hilton or Hyatt but it's less expensive.

Laguna Beach is really nice and as an adult, I would prefer Laguna. Your teenage boys will probably prefer Huntington Beach. MTV is suppose to set up a beach house to broadcast from this summer.

Santa Rosa
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6. Re: Where to stay at beach

Stay inland (About 10 miles) at the Quality Suites in Santa Ana. Our family goes there every year for a week of bodysurfing and sun. About $90 a night, includes hot breakfast and happy hour, 15 minutes to Newport Beach (the best), and 15 minutes to Disneyland. Beach it up, and see the Micky man.

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704 posts
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7. Re: Where to stay at beach

to Claire8891: Lived most of my life in CA up until a little over a year ago. Since you mention you have 2 teenage boys may I also suggest you check out Huntington Beach (also know as Surf City USA). The website is hbvisit.com. This area is also a short drive to Balboa Island another neat spot to visit. Hope you all have loads of fun!

Chelmsford, Essex...
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8. Re: Where to stay at beach

I would like to thank everyone who took the time to reply to my question. There are some very helpful suggestions.

The Riviera at Laguna Beach was suggested by Diegodreamer. From looking at the web site it looks as if they only have an indoor pool - am I correct in thinking this, or do they have an outdoor pool as well? Another couple of hotels we have looked at in Laguna Beach are the Inn at Laguna Beach and the Surf and Sand - any comments?!

The arty aspect to Laguna Beach is interesting, as my 16 year old son is just about to sit his GCSE exam in art and he may enjoy visiting some of the galleries, etc.

I would really love to visit San Diego, but if not, we will just have to come back and visit another time!