Welcome Home to The Ranch at Laguna Beach

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Nestled in the majestic Aliso and Wood Canyons, The Ranch at Laguna Beach is an oasis where canyon meets sea. Whether you’re visiting California for the first time, stay-cationing, or are simply a local resident eager to enjoy the perks of your own turf, this boutique coastal ranch hotel will give you an idyllic mix of “off the beaten path” combined with the artistry of downtown LB.

The moment you turn off Pacific Coast Highway and wind your way through the canyon, a sense of peace envelopes you. The cacophonous sound of speeding cars is replaced by a soft breeze and chirping birds -- pure serenity.

You’ve arrived at The Ranch, and their welcoming staff and cozy rooms instantly make you feel at home.

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Spread over 87 acres, The Ranch is a quintessential blend of old-world and modern-day Laguna, dating back to 1871 when a set of travelers, George and Sarah Thurston, decided to settle between the picturesque California hillsides. “Located at the site of a historic homestead, the property has evolved as it changed hands over the last 100+ years,” says Christina McGoldrick, The Ranch’s Account Director.

You can truly see the cultural history of Laguna come alive as you stroll throughout the property grounds or retreat to the privacy of your room. Neutral colors, exposed beams, and Tuvalu coastal furnishings embody the cottage-like charm of its famous little beach town. And, as if that’s not enough, most rooms offer expansive canyon views that will literally take your breath away... especially during sunset.

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Experiences at The Ranch are limitless for guests of all ages. The most popular activity is rounds of golf at the resort’s nine-hole Ben Brown’s Golf Course. (Did you know it’s Laguna’s only golf course?) Even if you don’t enjoy playing golf, it’s an absolute must to simply walk the course and take in its scenery.

“Guests also love participating in nature hikes, stargazing with The Ranch’s resident astronomer, and playing sand volleyball and bocce ball,” says McGoldrick. During the summer months, The Ranch introduces the Junior Explorers Kids Program, featuring themed adventures that urge children to explore outdoors while simultaneously learning about the environment. Families and couples can also embark on private excursions to Catalina Island or book a spa treatment (or several) at the resort’s own Sycamore Spa. Additionally, many of the resort’s community events are open to local residents, so be sure to check their calendar for a full list of happenings.

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It’s no surprise that National Geographic picked The Ranch to be part of their prestigious “Unique Lodges of the World” collection. Not only is the resort known for their exceptional service, dream-like rooms, and outstanding amenities, but also for their commitment to sustainability, working with a wide range of organizations, such as Adopt a Channel, Clean the World, Chefs to End Hunger, and the Youth Camping Outreach Program. Since partnering with Adopt a Channel in 2015, The Ranch has removed more than 2,500 pounds of trash debris from the Aliso Creek Channel in Lake Forest, and has also kickstarted many of their own eco-initiatives, like composting, organic gardening, and glass bottle crushing. For instance, their 1.5-acre garden provides seasonal organic produce utilized by their in-house restaurant, Harvest -- if you’re a foodie, dining here is a must!

The Ranch is a sanctuary away from home for families, couples, or simply yourself. (And, it’s totally okay if you never want to leave.)

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Madeline Plucinska is a yoga teacher and world traveler who first visited Laguna Beach 10 years ago. It was love at first site. Follow her travels on Instagram at @madeline.plucinska.

Photos by: Grant Puckett.