Laguna beach is one long stretch of gloriously golden shoreline. Once you cross the Pacific Coast Highway, 1,000 Steps Beach and Victoria Beach are two of the area’s best and are less than a 10-minute drive along the coast. California is famous for its surfing and Laguna Beach has plentiful schools where you can book lessons: try La Vida Laguna, whose intimate sessions are limited to just three students. Before hitting the surf, head to Molly Brown’s on the South Coast Highway to buy the latest designer swimwear. Hike or drive up to the Top of the World for panoramic views of the Pacific and surrounding mountain ranges. Held every summer, the Festival of Arts showcases the work of 140 top local artists. Stroll along the makeshift path that winds around the alfresco Sawdust Art Festival; another popular art fair in the area, but with more affordable finds to take home. The Laguna Art Museum has a large collection of Californian art from the 19th century right up to the present day. While in town, catch a show at the Laguna Playhouse.