WHERE: Laguna Beach, California
WHY GO? On a 30-acre blufftop setting overlooking the Pacific near the vibrant arts community of Laguna Beach, this 250-room Arts and Crafts-style resort offers oceanfront luxury. At the critically acclaimed Studio restaurant, executive chef Craig Strong produces modern American cuisine that combines Mediterranean flavors with classic French techniques. The Loft serves more-casual fare, including an “interactive cheese gallery.” In the spa, the two-hour Surrender Program is tailored to your whims.
HOLIDAY FUN: An enormous Christmas tree on the lawn overlooking the Pacific, artfully lit palm trees, Santa tuck-in for kids with cookies and milk, cooking classes, holiday-themed storytelling around the fire pit, ’Twas the Night Before Christmas reading, twilight search for Santa’s sleigh; 888/715-6700 or montagelagunabeach.com