Cocktails With a View at The Inn at Laguna Beach

No matter the season, The Pacific Terrace Bar, located on the rooftop at The iconic Inn at Laguna Beach, is a nice place to find yourself to enjoy a post check-in cocktail with a view. With an average year-round temperature of 72 degrees, you can safely bet your odds that on any given day the weather and views of Main Beach from the rooftop are incredible — nothing but the Pacific Ocean with waves so close you can feel the sea spray on your cheeks. Situated near Heisler Park, restaurants and art galleries, The Inn at Laguna Beach blends into the landscape with an unmatched classic, beach-town charm. A new selection of cocktails at The Pacific Terrace Bar, followed by dinner out on the town, lets you savor Laguna Beach living in style. Inn owner John Grossman shares his tips on what to drink and where to eat.

UNPLUG WITH COCKTAILS FEATURING DRIED FRUIT

The Pacific Terrace Bar’s new cocktail menu begs you to unpack your floppy hat and unfold your sunglasses and enjoy an unplugged moment by the ocean’s edge. The common denominator of this new menu? Dried fruit. It plays into a growing trend in sustainable mixology that showcases fresh fruit garnishes preserved at peak season. Bartenders are floating strawberry chips on top of martinis and creating dehydrated citrus powders for your not-so-average dipped rims.

The truth is, the best part of a dried fruit cocktail is the gummy bear appeal that occurs when dried fruit is soaked in alcohol. One new cocktail featured on this menu is the Papaya Mule. It’s made with diced dried papaya, vodka, lime, ginger beer and mint. The flavor is subtle and refreshing with a prize much better than ice cubes at the bottom. Plus, the color seems to match the sunset which is a very nice touch.

EAT LIKE A LOCAL

Because The Inn at Laguna Beach offers only breakfast, I asked Inn owner John Grossman to share some tips on his top picks for best places to eat nearby. The beauty of this list? No Uber or Lyft needed. Walking is the best way to see this beach town. Lunch? John suggests you head to Rasta Taco for a taco or pick up a picnic from Zinc Café. He has the answer to every vacation scenario, making certain you don’t leave town hungry. Post check-in cocktails at The Inn is a tough act to follow, but these local mainstays have no trouble keeping your vacation vibe alive.

Q: Take me on a walking tour of your favorite restaurants. What’s your top pick for breakfast, lunch and dinner?

John Grossman: Breakfast at Zinc Café. It’s my favorite spot in town and it’s usually buzzing with locals and visitors alike. You can’t beat their Healthy Scramble Plate: egg whites, black beans, brown rice and salsa. Lunch at Rasta Taco. It’s casual, fresh, spicy and quick. My go-to is the Jamaican Jerk Taco, which has the perfect amount of heat. Dinner at Nick’s – You can’t go wrong at Nick’s. It’s just constantly delicious.

Q: Restaurants in Laguna Beach come and go. Any neighborhood mainstays that you can count on to always be there and be the same?

JG: I can’t get enough of La Sirena Grill – great quality, healthy and fresh. It’s always packed too, which is a pretty darn good sign!

Q: Any tips on where to grab the makings for dining al fresco on the beach?

JG: The market at Zinc Café has some great grab-and-go options with a rotating offering of seasonally fresh, pre-made deli-style items. You can easily outfit your entire picnic in one stop. My favorite spot to show friends is Thousand Steps Beach, which is 10 minutes or so, south of Downtown Laguna. It’s a decent walk down (and a slog back up) but a world away and worth the effort. 

Q: Besides cocktails at The Pacific Terrace Bar at The Inn at Laguna Beach, any nightlife hotspots to grab a drink?

JG: I’m pretty simple when it comes to nightlife. I like good drinks and live music. Both can be found at Mozambique, and the view from their roof deck is a bonus! Check their calendar for good shows and work it into your travel agenda. 

Insider’s Tip: Guests at The Inn enjoy a complimentary wine tasting everyday from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Hello vacation… 

The Inn at Laguna Beach | innatlagunabeach | @innatlb | 800.544.4479

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