South of Los Angeles, where the famed Pacific Coast Highway winds past sleepy surf-and-beach towns, life takes on a slower rhythm. Seagulls swoop over cascading mountains, sea lions sunbathe on rocky outcrops, and the crashing surf provides a soothing soundtrack. Here, nestled amid coastal canyons, the Ranch at Laguna Beach pays homage to its history as a 19th-century homestead, while also treating guests to a quintessential SoCal experience. Bask in the golden glow of Laguna’s world-class beaches, and enjoy classic California water sports like kayaking, surfing, and stand-up paddleboarding. When you can tear yourself away from the sandy shorelines and canyon trails, the lodge invites you to kick back and relax at the pool or spa, both offering postcard-worthy ocean views.
When entrepreneur and lifetime Laguna Beach resident Mark Christy heard that one of his beloved childhood haunts was for sale, he jumped at the chance to preserve and revitalize an iconic piece of Laguna history. The modest motel was where Mark celebrated special family events as a child; but the history of the coastal property dates all the way back to 1871, when some of the first settlers in Laguna Beach built a watermelon farm here known as “the ranch.”
Inspired by the property’s history, Mark rebuilt the ranch from the ground up, creating a retreat that paid homage to vintage Laguna Beach—but also embodied a modern eco ethos. To that end, the lodge installed a system utilizing reclaimed water for irrigation of the resort grounds, a project that is expected to save more than 21.2 million gallons of water annually for a region plagued by chronic droughts in recent years.
Each of our lodges has created a special complimentary experience offered exclusively to guests who visit through a National Geographic expedition. At The Ranch at Laguna Beach, join a representative from the Ecology Center of Southern California for a private tour of the lodge’s half-acre organic garden, the largest in Laguna Beach. Sample some of the seasonal ingredients that are incorporated into the restaurant’s dishes; then delve into California’s storied wine tradition during an al fresco wine tasting, savoring rich varietals amid a stunning canyon backdrop.
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