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Drive from Santa Monica beach area to Dana Point and Laguna

Toronto, Canada
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672 posts
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Drive from Santa Monica beach area to Dana Point and Laguna

Can anyone tell me the time it would take to drive from the beach area of Santa Monica to Dana Point and from there on to Laguna Beach, please?

Lomita, CA
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1. Re: Drive from Santa Monica beach area to Dana Point and Laguna

Via freeway, non-commute hours, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

San Clemente...
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for Buenos Aires, Argentina
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2. Re: Drive from Santa Monica beach area to Dana Point and Laguna

Dana Point is next to Laguna Beach. The travel time from Dana Point Harbor to the center of Laguna Beach is around 10minutes.

Toronto, Canada
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3. Re: Drive from Santa Monica beach area to Dana Point and Laguna

To avoid rush hour traffic, what time is best to leave Santa Monica to arrive in Laguna Beach/Dana Point? For the trip back to Santa Monica, what time is a good time to avoid rush hour traffic going back? We will be staying for dinner/sunset so we'll be going back after the rush hour...

** we will be visiting in mid January so I know that the sun sets around 5pm**

Thanks so much for your help!!

San Clemente...
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for Buenos Aires, Argentina
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4. Re: Drive from Santa Monica beach area to Dana Point and Laguna

I would leave Santa Monica after 9am, then use the carpool lane on the 405 then merge into 5 freeway;exit PCH/DAna Point Harbor;then make your way North to Laguna Beach on PCH.

If you leave Laguna after 7pm for Santa Monica then you will be fine.

Toronto, Canada
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5. Re: Drive from Santa Monica beach area to Dana Point and Laguna

Thanks very much. It seems like leaving Santa Monica anytime after 9 am will keep us out of traffic no matter where we're going. ie: Laguna Beach, Palm Springs or where ever. You've been a great help, thanks a bunch:)

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6. Re: Drive from Santa Monica beach area to Dana Point and Laguna

You will love Laguna Beach, is this your first visit to the area? If so, I would love to help you with some great restaurant recs, we have several in the area that we love. We will be Laguna over the 4th of July weekend again this year, can't wait! :)

Toronto, Canada
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7. Re: Drive from Santa Monica beach area to Dana Point and Laguna

This will be our first visit to Laguna Beach. We always seem to run out of time to make any kind of plan that includes Laguna Beach. So this next trip we are putting it on our agenda for sure... I remember last year, when I was doing some research for our trip, you suggested that we should check out the tide pools behind the Montage Resort. We want to do that for sure. We went to the tide pools at Leo Carrillo beach, in the Malibu area, last year and there was nothing at all to see. A major disappointment...

We always stay in Santa Monica for most of our 2 week visits every January and then we've either gone north to Santa Barbara or south to San Diego. This year we are going to stay put in Santa Monica and just do day trips. Palm Springs, Laguna Beach, and Catalina Island are this years "side trips". When we visit Laguna Beach, I want to visit the tide pools and go whale watching. We also want to have lunch where there is a nice view of the beach/ocean. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.

Thanks for your help!

San Clemente...
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for Buenos Aires, Argentina
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8. Re: Drive from Santa Monica beach area to Dana Point and Laguna

Have lunch at Las Brisas. It is located next to Heisler Park and overlooks Main Beach and the entire coastline to the South. Be sure to telephone for a reservation and request a table next to the window.

The tide pools are located in the coves below the restaurant so you can keep you car parked there and enjoy the pools either before or after lunch.

Toronto, Canada
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9. Re: Drive from Santa Monica beach area to Dana Point and Laguna

Perfect! You've come through again.... Thanks so much:)

10. Re: Drive from Santa Monica beach area to Dana Point and Laguna

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