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10 Best Spots for Sunset Cocktails in Orange County

Living in Southern California,
I typically gravitate towards cocktail spots
with gorgeous ocean views!

Although there is a wonderful amount of coastline here,
in reality there are few oceanfront properties that truly give you
an incredible oceanfront experience.

After spending years trying out various spots,
I have rounded up my
top 10 favorite sunset beach cocktail locations
so you can experience the best the SoCal Orange County coast has to offer!


Before I share my top ten spots
I just wanted to add my best sunset tip.
Did you know that some of the most spectacular parts of a sunset
happen after the sun goes down.

So often I see the crowds leave a sunset
once the sun dips past the horizon line into the ocean.
But for me this is when the light show can begin.
Jeff and I sit there for almost an hour
watching the sky being painted in so many changing colors!
So don't forget there is time before and After the actual sunset!

The Montage Hotel in Laguna Beach
is one of my
all time favorite locations
for sunset cocktails.

The pristine property is situated on one of the
most beautiful beaches in Southern California,
and there are several key spots for drinks at the hotel.

My favorite spot to visit, however, is The Studio,
which can be found after walking through the hotel’s gorgeous farm-to-table gardens.

If you’re lucky, you can grab a spot on
one of their two patio couches overlooking the ocean,
which come with fire pits, blankets, and incredible service.

Prices are on the high-end since The Montage is a five star resort, but the amazing property and gorgeous views always make it worth the splurge!

No matter the season, the outside patio at Hotel Laguna
is always a great choice for sunset cocktails!

With stunning views in both directions,
this historic Spanish-style property offers
cocktails and appetizers at fairly moderate prices for Laguna Beach.

Though the aesthetics of the patio itself may be slightly lacking,
the view of the sun setting into the ocean make up for it!

The Splashes Bar at the Surf and Sand Hotel in Laguna Beach
is one of the closest ocean views you can get in Orange County!

The small bar is just about
25 feet away from the surf,
and from my favorite spot by the window
you can watch both the sunset as well as the immaculate beach life happening below.

Drink prices are what you would expect for an upscale hotel,
but they come with a breathtaking view.

This hidden gem in Laguna Beach
is located right on beach,
offering a remarkable oceanfront dining and cocktail experience!

As with most beach front spots, The Deck can be busy,
but tables are worth the wait.
The bar also offers standing room
where you still have a panoramic view of the ocean.

This off-the beaten path restaurant can be found
nestled within the
Historic District of Crystal Cove State Park.

While it’s a bit of a trek to get to,
the ten minute walk from the parking lot to the beach
takes you through the gorgeously renovated 1930s beach resort town.

For the ultimate ocean view,
sit on the deck for dinner.
However, we usually opt for drinks at their side bar
and walk around to the beach right at sunset.

Prices at this laid-back spot are mid-range, and while it can be busy at peak times,
the limited parking helps to keep the beach
from being overrun with crowds.

If you’re looking to have a sunset picnic,
China Cove in Corona del Mar is a must.

Packing drinks and a meal for the beach
is one of my favorite ways to experience the SoCal sunset, and can be made even easier by
grabbing a bottle of wine and sandwiches at a local deli.
(As with any public beach,
make sure to check local alcohol laws or be discreet!)

This hidden beach can be accessed by a flight of stairs
in the waterfront neighborhood,
which then take you down to an intimate beach facing Newport Harbor.

Located on the San Clemente pier,
Fisherman’s Bar
is an old-school oceanfront spot with a daily cocktail hour.

While their interior and basic wine list might not be the greatest draw,
come for the magnificent ocean view, painterly skies, and incredible clam chowder.

Keep in mind during summer months especially, finding a spot on the patio
(or even a parking spot)
can be difficult since it’s first-come first-served.

Monarch Beach Resort, formerly The St. Regis,
is a gorgeous upscale property in Southern California
that offers several spots for sunset cocktails and a view.

While it’s technically located across the highway from the beach,
the hotel is set up high enough so you get
180 degree views of the water!

Aveo Table + Bar is their Mediterranean
“farm-to-bar” restaurant with a gorgeous view,
while 33 Degrees North offers a living-room style vibe
with spectacular views as well.

Tucked on top of the
Casa Del Camino hotel in Laguna Beach,
this vibrant cocktail spot is one of the few rooftop options in Laguna Beach.

Their prices for cocktails and appetizers
are moderate for the beach
(they even have a happy hour during the week),
which makes it a very popular destination.

Make a reservation for one of the tables near the railing
to get a magnificent sunset view.

Another one of my favorite beach picnic spots, 
Crystal Cove is the perfect place for an intimate sunset cocktail.

 Sunsets and cocktails shouldn’t just be limited to the rich 
several of the best spots can simply be found on the sand! 

Since it’s a state beach, 
you’ll either need a beach pass or pay $15 for parking. 
To get to the beach, 
there is a tunnel that runs beneath Pacific Coast Highway, 
but make sure to check the weather beforehand 
since the tides can affect the passageway! 

Even though it’s one of the busiest beaches in the summer, 
it clears out by sunset so you practically have the beach to yourself! 

Keep in mind that you need to be very discreet with your wine here 
since you can get a ticket if it’s too noticeable 
(a Corksicle bottle works wonders!)

To read more about each of these fabulous locations, you can read my full posts here:

As always my friends

I wish you love and joy
as you style your life


  1. This is so timely, Tamera!!
    My step mom (the 60+ model on my blog) is meeting some friends in California later this year in October!! These could be some perfect areas for them to take advantage of!!

    1. Jodie these really are some great spots to see SoCal sunsets at their best! Hope your step mom has a fabulous time in California! Thank you for visiting and commenting darling!!

  2. I'm so glad I read this...we were just in Laguna Beach last weekend and plan to go there again next Spring so I will definitely take your recommendations. It's so easy to get stuck on the PCH traffic and have no idea where to go when you're not from there so these are great suggestions. Thanks Tamera!


    1. Dale isn't Laguna Beach so fabulous! These are definitely my favorites that I've gleaned over the years. I hope you enjoy the recommendations dear! Thank you for visiting and taking the time to comment darling!