The Beachcomber at Crystal Cove, California

Lunch at Crystal Cove, California

How long would you wait to still down at a restaurant? 30 minutes?  40? How about and hour? Well, I waited an hour and a half for a table at The Beachcomber, a charming restaurant with an outside patio that overlooks the sparkling ocean at Crystal Cove State Park in Laguna Beach, CA.

For this Two-Day Getaway I was spending a relaxing weekend visiting family in Southern California.

It might seem insane to spend so much time waiting for lunch when my whole trip will be over in 24 hours, but let me tell you, it was worth it. In the 90 minutes while I waited, I got to explore the historic district at Crystal Cove and walk the coastline, watching for whales who might be passing by.

When you check into The Beachcomber, you’re handed a device that will buzz, flash, and play a tune when you’re table is ready. That way you’re free to enjoy the area. But if that’s still too long to wait, you can climb some wooden stairs to a Ruby’s Shake Shack for fries and a milkshake. But be warned, Ruby’s can have a long line as well.

Crystal Cove began as a popular vacation spot in the early 1930s when the Pacific Coast Highway connected Laguna Beach and Corona Del Mar. Crystal Cove sits between these two cities. Soon visitors began to take out annual leases and set up tent cabins on their favorite site. Eventually, tents turned into 46 permanent cottages, that were artfully strewn along the beach, each with their own charming personality.

Currently, twenty-nine of the cottages have been restored and seventeen of those are available to the public to rent overnight. I hear you have to plan well in advance because they fill up quick! The largest cottage, the Painter’s Cottage, can host up to nine guests people, while the smallest, Paradise Lodge, can host two people.

When our buzzer finally went off we were seated inside the restaurant, which resembled the inside a ship’s hull. The menu is short but full of flavor. I went for the roasted turkey sandwich and side salad with a champagne vinaigrette.

With our bellies full, we slowly started to leave this oasis. But not before wandering through the visitor’s center, which was fittingly inside one of the bungalows. We learned Crystal Cove was the set for many silent films.

Looking over our shoulders as we left, we somehow managed to get into the car and drive away from this new-found paradise.

As we drove away and through Laguna Beach, we passed a restaurant so busy, people were waiting in line on the sidewalk along a busy street. Now wouldn’t you rather be soaking up the sun and watching the waves roll in while you wait for your table instead of feeling cars rush by you? Me too.

I was blown away by this hidden gem. It’s truly a one of a kind place. You quickly forget the Pacific Coast Highway is just a few hundred feet away. Crystal Cove makes you feel like beach royalty, while treating you like family. I highly recommend visiting for your next Two-Day Getaway.

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