THE RITZ-CARLTON, LAGUNA NIGUEL

One Ritz-Carlton Drive, Dana Point, California 92629 USA
Phone:  +1 (949) 240-2000   •  Map & Directions
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Attractions



The Best of Southern California, Right Here
Discover the many unique points of interest within minutes of The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel – which perfectly reflects its cherished Laguna Beach and Orange County surroundings. Explore a new world, or just leave your old one behind. With its sun and sand, Hollywood glamour and laid-back lifestyle, California is among the most popular and diverse destinations for an array of activities. Allow our resort to provide the perfect list of what to do on your trip – accessible to all that Southern California offers.
 


Art Festivals

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Festival of Arts
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Shop for one-of-a-kind artwork by more than 150 of The O.C.'s finest artists in a beautiful open air gallery setting.  Enjoy free art workshops, artists demonstrations, art tours, special events, fine food and much more.  There's something for everyone.  And, every night during the summer season at 8:30 p.m. the Festival of Arts presents its world famous Pageant of the Masters, featuring re-creations of classical and contemporary artworks with live models accompanied by a full orchestra and live narration.   Website
Sawdust Art Festival
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Two hundred Laguna Beach artists create a one-of-a-kind artists' village in Laguna Canyon each summer.  Shop for original artist-made art glass, ceramics, fine jewelry, paintings, and more.  Artist demonstrations including glass blowing, printmaking and ceramics.  Art classes for all ages.  Plus three stages of music and three cafes.   Website
Art-A-Fair
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The Art-A-Fair Festival is celebrating its 42nd season this year!  Located in Laguna Canyon between the Sawdust Festival and Festival of Arts in a beautiful, shady garden setting, the Art-A-Fair features more than 125 artists, plus live entertainment, fine food by Tivoli Too!, demonstrations and workshops. This year’s theme is Venetian Carnival.  The Art-A-Fair is the only one of Laguna’s three summer shows with exhibitors from outside the immediate area. Artists apply annually and are accepted through a jury system, which contributes to the high quality of art and master crafts among participants.   Website

Theme Parks

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Drive time varies depending on traffic conditions.


Disneyland
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From the charm of Main Street, U.S.A to the whimsy of Mickey's Toontown, explore eight fantastic "lands" of nostalgia, color and delight. Let your imagination run free in a Magic Kingdom where life is a fairy tale and dreams really do come true.  32 miles/40 minutes / Website
California Adventure
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Immerse yourself in a magical festival of shows, parades and attractions celebrating California's storied past and exciting future. From the gold rush and Hollywood's golden era to the timeless allure of the beach, discover the vast and diverse Golden State.  40 minutes / Website
SeaWorld
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SeaWorld is San Diego’s No. 1 tourist attraction and one of the most popular marine parks in the world. Spread out over more than 189 acres on beautiful Mission Bay Park, SeaWorld is known for its spectacular animal shows, interactive attractions, aquariums, rides and dining facilities.  1 hour / Website
San Diego Zoo
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Located just north of downtown San Diego in Balboa Park, this 100-acre Zoo is home to over 4,000 rare and endangered animals representing more than 800 species and subspecies, and a prominent botanical collection with more than 700,000 exotic plants.  1 hour / website
San Diego Wild Animal Park
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Located 35 miles north of downtown San Diego in the San Pasqual Valley near Escondido, the Wild Animal Park is an expansive wildlife sanctuary that is home to more than 3,500 animals representing more than 400 species. Its renowned botanical collection represents 3,500 species and 1.5 million specimens.  75 minutes / website
LEGOLAND
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LEGOLAND is a 128-acre theme park located in Carlsbad. Created by the Danish LEGO Company, LEGOLAND California offers interactive attractions, family rides, shows, restaurants, shopping and beautiful landscape features. 40 minutes / Website

Beaches

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Salt Creek Beach
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Salt Creek Beach is a popular surfing beach and is located directly in front of the resort. A small, offshore reef creates some of the best-left swells along the entire shoreline. Guests can enjoy swimming, body boarding, or just relaxing in the sun. 
Main Beach
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Main Beach, the largest stretch of beach in Laguna, is located in the heart of Laguna Beach. The beach is known for its white lifeguard tower located in the middle of the beach. This beach is mostly sand bottom with shorebreak type surf, making it popular for swimming, body boarding and surfing.  Surfing is not permitted during the summer months because the surf can be dangerous with strong rip currents and heavy shore break waves.  The beach offers basketball , volleyball and a variety of sand activities. There is also a boardwalk runs the length of the beach.
Doheny State Beach
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Doheny State Beach is an excellent location for barbecues and family gatherings. Its offers beautiful grassy lawns, tables and grills, as well as volleyball courts and a pristine sandy beach. Doheny offers more than a mile of beach with some of the warmest water and best swimming and surfing in Southern California.  A rocky area at the beach's western end is perfect for divers and anglers and during low tide, the tide pools are available for exploring.

San Onofre Beach
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San Onofre Beach has several surf breaks on its more than three miles of coast, ranging from the beginner’s gentle breaking waves to one of the premiere surf breaks, Trestles.

  • Trestles surfing area is known for its consistent waves.
  • Surf Beach is divided into three breaks spots known as The Point, Old Man’s and Dogpatch (named from north to south). All perform best on a south swell, though the beach takes any surf and slows it down to a very slow pace.
  • Trails is the most southern of surf spots at San Onofre and includes both rock bottom and sandy breaks.

 


Aliso Beach
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Aliso Beach offers an area for swimming, surfing and stand up paddle boarding.  You can also enjoy fishing or exploring the tidepools. A concession stand offers rentals for fishing, food and beverages and other beach supplies. 31131 South Pacific Coast Highway.
1000 Steps Beach
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1000 Steps Beach is located between 9th and 10th streets in South Laguna.  The beach features sand volleyball courts and is a great location for body surfing.

Community Events

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Turkey Trot
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Held on Thanksgiving Day, The Turkey Trot is an amazing, one-of-a-kind Thanksgiving Day race, benefiting the Second harvest Food Bank of Orange County.
Tall Ships Festival
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Every September, the Tall Ships sails appear off the Dana Point Headlands as the fleet gathers in preparation for entering the harbor. From shore, watch the crews of the tallships furl the sails and make preparations for entry to the harbor, all while defending themselves from the cannon blasts of renegade vessels. Participating Tallships and Great Schooners will include the Pilgrim, the Pilgrim of Newport, the Bill of Rights the Swift of Ipswich, Spike Africa and more.
Pageant of the Masters
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Pageant of the Masters, presented July through August, is a presentation of "living pictures" — incredibly faithful art re-creations of classical and contemporary works with real people posing to look exactly like their counterparts in the original pieces. Presented in an outdoor amphitheater, Pageant of the Masters has been recognized as the best presentation of its kind. The theme for this year's Pageant is All the World's a Stage.
Independence Day Fireworks
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There are many places to watch fireworks near the hotel. There are fireworks above Dana Point Harbor, Laguna Beach presents fireworks from Monument Point and Crown Valley Community Park features fireworks and a live musical performance.
Doheny Blues Festival
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There is no finer location than Doheny State Beach to celebrate true American Music... plus enjoy tasty food, shop in the expanded Vendor Village and have a picnic with your friends.  The Festival is held annually in May.
Festival of the Whales
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The Festival of the Whales, held in March, is an annual community event designed to celebrate the return of the Gray Whales off the coast. Sample the best of Dana Point through more than 120 booths, displays, and fun activities in the Dana Point Harbor. Festival highlights include parades, street faires, art exhibits, concerts, environmental activities, educational opportunities, crafts, and of course, whale watching excursions that will allure even the most steadfast landlubber out to sea. 

Cultural

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Mission San Juan Capistrano
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Mission San Juan Capistrano, the Birthplace of Orange County, was founded more than two hundred years ago. Today it is a monument to California's multi-cultural history, embracing its Native American, Spanish, Mexican and European heritage. Originally built as a self sufficient community by Spanish Padres and Indians, the Mission was a center for agriculture, industry, education and religion. Sites of interest include the Serra Chapel, Padres Quarters, Industrial Area, Soldiers Barracks, Cemetery and The Great Stone Church.  10 minutes / Website
Ocean Institute
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Immerse yourself in a magical festival of shows, parades and attractions celebrating California's storied past and exciting future. From the gold rush and Hollywood's golden era to the timeless allure of the beach, discover the vast and diverse Golden State. 5 minutes / Website
The Richard Nixon Library & Birthplace
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The Richard Nixon Library & Birthplace is a privately supported, non-profit institution dedicated to educating the public about the life and times of the 37th President and encouraging interest in history, government and public affairs. The nine acre Library & Birthplace is a three-dimensional walk-through memoir featuring a 52,000 square foot museum, 22 high-tech galleries, movie and interactive video theaters, the spectacular First Lady's Garden, the President's faithfully restored 1910's birthplace, and the flower-ringed memorial sites of President and Mrs. Nixon. 60 minutes / Website
Huntington Beach International Surfing Museum
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The Huntington Beach International Surfing Museum is an international surfing museum that salutes surfing around the world, its pioneers, its culture and its evolution. The museum includes more than 100 years of surfing history in displays, artifacts and information.  30 minutes / Website
Laguna Art Museum
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Laguna Art Museum focuses on the cultural heritage of California and on the unique history and accomplishments of Laguna Beach.  The Museum's collection consists of more than 3,500 works from the early nineteenth century to the present day. Significant examples from all periods of California art are represented. 15 minutes / Website

The Bowers Museum
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The Bowers Museum is an internationally-celebrated institution of art and culture dedicated to the preservation, study, and exhibition of fine arts from around the world. To achieve its mission to “enrich lives through the world’s finest arts and cultures,” the Bowers Museum offers exhibitions, lectures, art classes, travel programs, children’s art and music education programs, and other community events. The museum's guiding philosophy is to help people learn about other cultures through their arts, and offer a greater understanding of ourselves and appreciation of the world in which we live. 40 minutes / Website
Pageant of the Masters
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Pageant of the Masters, presented July through August, is a presentation of "living pictures" — incredibly faithful art re-creations of classical and contemporary works with real people posing to look exactly like their counterparts in the original pieces. Presented in an outdoor amphitheater, Pageant of the Masters has been recognized as the best presentation of its kind. The theme for this year's Pageant is All the World's a Stage. Website

Horse Racing

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Santa Anita Park
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Santa Anita Park is a thoroughbred racetrack in Arcadia, 60 miles north of the resort. It offers some of the prominent racing events in the United States during the autumn and in winter. Santa Anita's season runs the end of September through early November.

The track is home to numerous prestigious races including both the Santa Anita Derby and the Santa Anita Handicap. Santa Anita Park was opened on December 25, 1934 and is the oldest racetrack in Southern California.  Website
Del Mar Racetrack
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Del Mar Racetrack is an American Thoroughbred horse racing track at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in the seaside city of Del Mar, California, 20 miles north of San Diego. The trace is open from mid-July through early September.

Operated by the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, it is known for the slogan: "Where The Turf Meets The Surf." It was built by a partnership including Bing Crosby, the actor Pat O'Brien, Jimmy Durante, Charles S. Howard and Oliver Hardy.

When Del Mar opened in 1937, Bing Crosby was at the gate to personally greet the fans. On August 12, 1938, the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club hosted a $25,000 winner-take-all match race between Charles S. Howard's Seabiscuit and the Binglin Stable's colt, Ligaroti. In an era when horse racing ranked second in popularity with Americans to Major League Baseball, the match race was much written and talked about and was the first nationwide broadcast of a Thoroughbred race by NBC radio. In the race, Seabiscuit was ridden by jockey George Woolf and Ligaroti by Noel Richardson. In front of a record crowd that helped make the fledgling Del Mar race track a success, Seabiscuit won an exciting battle by a nose.  Website

Parks

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Aliso & Wood Canyons Regional Park
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Aliso & Wood Canyons Regional Park offers approximately 4,000 acres of wilderness and natural open space land with hiking, mountain biking, and equestrian use.  The Park is located at the south end of the Laguna Greenbelt. Its canyons harbor a pastoral feel unmatched in Orange County. Favored with petroglyphs etched by native people, Aliso & Wood Canyons are natural wonders.
Aliso & Wood Canyons Regional Park offers approximately 4,000 acres of wilderness and natural open space land with hiking, mountain biking, and equestrian use.  The Park is located at the south end of the Laguna Greenbelt. Its canyons harbor a pastoral feel unmatched in Orange County. Favored with petroglyphs etched by native people, Aliso & Wood Canyons are natural wonders.
Lantern Bay Park
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Lantern Bay Park is noted for its spectacular view of Dana Point. The Smythe Brothers Amphitheater is located within the park. Picnic tables, basketball courts, physical fitness cluster, turf areas and a playground are also available.

Shopping

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South Coast Plaza
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Southern California’s premier shopping and dining destination includes Macy’s, Macy’s Home Store, Macy’s Men’s Store, Nordstrom, Robinsons-May, Saks Fifth Avenue, Sears, as well as designer shops such as Christian Dior, Cole Haan, Donna Karan, Gianni Versace, Gucci, Hermes, Polo/Ralph Lauren, Prada, St. John, Yves Saint Laurent, Coach, Louis Vuitton, Salvatore Ferragamo, Baccarat, Bvlgari, Cartier, Chanel, Judith Leiber, Porsche Design, Tiffany & Co., Tourneau, Jose Eber Salon, Montblanc, and scores of others.  3333 Bristol Street, Costa Mesa
Fashion Island
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Located in Newport Beach at Pacific Coast Highway and Newport Center Drive, Fashion Island features more than 200 stores and restaurants in a beautiful outdoor garden setting complete with fountains and Koi ponds.  Anchor stores are Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s Women’s Store, Neiman Marcus and Robinsons-May along with specialty shops including Hugo Boss, Kenneth Cole, St. Croix, NIKE Goddess, Greenhouse Spa, and Sharper Image.  401 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach
Shops at Mission Viejo
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The Shops at Mission Viejo are conveniently located in the heart of South Orange County.  Located within the Shops are Macy’s, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, plus more than 130 other fine stores and restaurants including Banana Republic, Forever 21, bebe and Apple.  555 The Shops at Mission Viejo, Mission Viejo
Laguna Beach
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Originally established as an artist colony, the downtown area of Laguna Beach is wonderful to explore on foot.  Fine art galleries, street-front cafes and unique shops specializing in California casual wear, jewelry, antiques, home furnishings and craft art line the street along Pacific Coast Highway and at the crossroads of Forest and Park Avenues.  Be sure to visit the new “Pottery Place” one-mile south of town and “Gallery Row” located north of the Laguna Art Museum as well as downtown’s “Laguna Village” and “Peppertree Lane.”
Carlsbad Company Stores - The Ultimate Outlet
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The best names in designer fashions, home furnishings, footwear, jewelry, toys and accessories all at up to 65% off everyday prices. Experience the ultimate outlet shopping experience with more than eighty stores including Barneys New York, Bose, Coach, Cole-Haan, Dooney & Bourke, Crate & Barrel, Guess, Izod, Jones New York, Kenneth Cole, Polo Ralph Lauren, Reebok, Rockport, Skechers, Tommy Hilfiger, Swarovski and Zales. 5600 Paseo del Norte, Carlsbad.

Sports

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Basketball
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Los Angeles Lakers  website
Los Angeles Clippers  website
Baseball
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Southern California is home to the Los Angeles Dodgers (website) and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (website).
Hockey
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Los Angeles Kings  website
Anaheim Ducks  website
Soccer
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Los Angeles Galaxy  website