Above: Laguna Beach - ANDREW HARPER

Video: The Best Beaches of Orange County

I love the beach, but I’m one of those unfortunate people who finds it difficult to relax upon one for any length of time. I can only laze in the sand for so long before restlessness starts to contaminate me, like a virus. Unable to settle for any length of time on one of the sandy stretches between Newport Beach and Laguna Beach, I decided to settle for brief periods of time on many of them.

Each beach has its own character and crowd (or lack thereof), and evaluating the beaches of this scenic stretch of Southern California became my delightful occupation for a time. I visited seven of them, all of which stand within easy striking distance of my recommended resorts in the region, The Resort at Pelican Hill and Montage Laguna Beach. My recent stay at the Hotel Joaquin was also mostly pleasant, but despite the plaudits the property has received from various travel publications, it didn’t merit a recommendation in the June issue of the Hideaway Report.

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