The Best Bars in Laguna Beach and Dana Point
Laguna and Dana Point are the stuff happy hour dreams are made of. With ocean views, inventive cocktails, and light bites of California coastal cuisine, the bars here are perfect for drinks after a long day in the sun. Wipe the sand from your feet and step inside to find everything from craft beers and local wines to refreshing cocktails—all within view of the sparkling Pacific.
1289 S Coast Hwy 4th Floor, Laguna Beach, CA 92651, USA
Get a bird’s-eye view of Laguna and its famous sunsets at the Rooftop Lounge, which sits atop La Casa del Camino hotel. Drinks here include a lengthy list of red, white, and sparkling wines as well as specialty cocktails like mojitos in strawberry, mango, and ginger flavors. To pair with your sips, there’s a range of small bites, from barbecue meatballs with blue cheese slaw to bacon-wrapped dates and coconut-breaded shrimp. Just be sure to come prepared with sunglasses and a hat, as shade is limited, and bring your four-legged friend—the bar is dog-friendly.
446 S Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651, USA
With its welcoming vibe and low-key decor, The Saloon is about as close as Laguna gets to a dive bar. A local favorite, it’s ideal for when you’re craving a cold beer, a good glass of wine, or an unpretentious cocktail like the PoPo (The Saloon’s take on an Irish coffee) or the Pino (made with house-infused pineapple vodka). There are very few seats in the bar, so be prepared to stand and mingle with other patrons. That’s what makes The Saloon great, though—and the fact that it’s right next door to Nick’s, making it perfect for a pre-dinner drink or nightcap.
422 S Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651, USA
At this rooftop bar on the South Coast Highway, guests can pair breathtaking ocean views with well-made cocktails and delicious bites. There’s also nightly live music and plenty of high-def TVs throughout the space, making this the perfect place to party the night away or simply catch a game. Drinks range from craft beers and 22 wines by the glass to specialty cocktails like cucumber-jalapeño margaritas, while the food leans Southern, with options like gumbo, butter brisket, and jambalaya. Check the website before you go to see who’s playing that night; it could be anyone from a local DJ to a ’90s rock cover band.
1555 S Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651, USA
Perched on the rooftop of the Surf & Sand Resort, 15fiftyfive is where locals go to drink in the views—and several specialty cocktails. The outdoor space features couches and deep, comfortable chairs for lounging as well as a massive fire pit for keeping warm on cooler evenings. The move here is to order the signature Laguna Sunset cocktail, made with coconut vodka, grapefruit juice, lime juice, and a splash of grenadine. Pair it with bites like fish tacos, baby heirloom tomato flatbread, and “hangover nachos” with spiced chicken and jalapeño crème, then while away the night under the stars.
1833 S Coast Hwy #110, Laguna Beach, CA 92651, USA
At the Wine Gallery, oenophiles and wine novices alike gather to sip old favorites or try new varietals. The team here crisscrossed the globe to curate an impressive menu of limited-edition wines, 25 of which are available by the glass. All are well-priced and accessible to even the most basic of tastes, but should you have trouble choosing, the friendly staff is available to make suggestions and help you discover new flavors and aromas with every sip. Once you’ve picked a wine, pair it with something from the food menu, which is built around the restaurant’s wood-fired oven. Options range from small plates like oven-roasted meatballs to charcuterie boards, crispy pizzas, and entrées like flatiron steak with hand-cut herbed frites. Swing by on a night when there’s live music, or make plans to attend one of the regular tastings to learn even more about the wines on offer.
214 Ocean Ave, Laguna Beach, CA 92651, USA
For more than 75 years, Marine Room has been a local favorite for live music and wildly affordable drinks. Stop by on Whiskey Wednesdays and you can get a half-priced flight or $5 pour of Jack Daniels, Jim Beam, or Jameson while you wait for the show to begin. Sundays are jazz nights, Mondays are for vinyl, and Tuesdays mean country music, but every other evening is reserved for local bands. Check the website to see who’s playing next, or simply swing by for a game of pool and a cheap beer.
340 S Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651, USA
Laguna’s very first restaurant, the White House opened way back in 1918. It’s been updated several times over the years so the menu feels fresh, but you come here for the cocktail lounge anyway. Head straight to the bar for well-made drinks like the Casa Blanca Organico (tequila, lightly muddled organic blackberries, agave, and club soda) and the house Old Fashioned, made with Bulleit bourbon and orange bitters. Some nights bring live entertainment, but there are always several flat-screens going so you can catch the game while you throw back a few drinks.