Susan Grau was four years old when she had a near-death experience and discovered she could communicate with the other side. She brings an immense amount of sensitivity to her readings as an emotional medium. She, like many of us, has grappled with grief. Her mother and two brothers died by suicide. She’s on the board of directors of Eric’s House, a nonprofit focused on supporting people who have been impacted by suicide or addiction loss, work that she says has changed her understanding of her psychic abilities, grief, and the afterlife. Grau is based in Tustin, California.
Like most psychic mediums in our guide, Tim Brawn discovered his ability to connect with the other side at a young age. He was the youngest of six siblings, and around the age of six, he started hearing and seeing spirits—which he tried to ignore. At twenty-two, he finally opened up to their messages. And for the last two decades, Brawn has been connecting people with their loved ones who have crossed through one-on-one sittings or spirit circles, which are more like workshops. In individual readings, he starts with a guided meditation before diving into the reading through clairvoyance (seeing), clairaudience (hearing), clairsentience (feeling), and clairscent (smelling).
2301 San Joaquin Hills Rd., Big Canyon
What originally began as a humble Costa Mesa gardening center back in 1965, Roger's Gardens has grown over the past five decades to be one of the country's most well-known landscaping, gardening, and florist companies. Having been located in its current Newport location since 1975, it's become a destination for visitors seeking incredible plants and flowers, authentic pottery, gifts, and furniture. Best yet: The staff is knowledgeable and friendly, and Farmhouse, a local farm-to-table restaurant, is situated in the middle of the gardens' gorgeous grounds.
Thalia Surf Shop
915 S. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach
This unique shop, located on Pacific Coast Highway, is a nod to Laguna's rich surf history by offering a trusted mix of clothing and gear (most of which is from independent brands) that exist solely for the sport. The team is knowledgeable and friendly, so if you're in the market for a board, or simply want to learn more about surfing, this is a good resource. It's also an unexpected goldmine for retro surfer tees, vinyl records, and art books.
Laguna Art Museum
307 Cliff Dr., Laguna Beach
This museum originally came to fruition in 1918 as the Laguna Beach Art Association, where local artists met in a rustic cottage. A decade later, after a successful fundraising run, the arts collective moved the works into a custom-built gallery—a building that still exists today within the newest structure. All the art on display comes straight from California talent.
Pageant of the Masters
650 Laguna Canyon Rd., Laguna Beach
Thanks to an incredibly driven and talented artistic community, Pageant of the Masters has long been an OC tradition that's gained global recognition. Actors pose as art subjects to literally bring well-known works of classic and contemporary art to life on the stage. It's both mesmerizing and magical to see the unparalleled effort—and attracts art enthusiasts in droves.
Ruby’s Crystal Cove Shake Shack
7703 E. Coast Hwy., Crystal Cove
An OC classic, Ruby's has been serving up the best burgers, to-die-for milkshakes, and killer clam chowder since the early 1980's when Doug Cavanaugh and Ralph Kosmides opened their first location on Balboa Pier. Several southern California locations followed, including this Crystal Cove shake shack location, which is a local favorite for grabbing a burger and fries after a day at the beach.
Broadway by Amar Santana
328 Glenneyre St., Laguna Beach
Chef Amar Santana has rapidly gained a following in the OC culinary world since the 2011 opening of his namesake restaurant. A Dominican Republic native and longtime New Yorker, he infuses a mix of the two worlds in both his menu and space: the food is worldly and inventive, from potato pierogi to grilled quail, and the space is a nod to industrial New York with dark wood and rustic concrete. And the team is pretty serious about their wine. It's fun to score a seat at the chef's table to get a look into what's happening in the kitchen.
448 S. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach
A quintessentially southern Californian restaurant with its open windows and ocean views, Watermarc serves up a menu of New American dishes–appetizers like charred octopus, fried goat cheese, and mains like diver scallops and Chilean sea bass are among the standouts. For date night, request a table upstairs on the patio.
210 Beach St. Space, Laguna Beach
In a small, light-filled boutique owners Laura Hart and Dana Marron apply a strong sense of what OC women want to wear to their edit at Laguna Supply. Look for breezy Isabel Marant prints, Ulla Johnson dresses, and Nili Lotan trousers, plus made-in-LA Janessa Leoné hats and Rachel Comey shoes. Equal parts beachy and upscale, you can just as easily find something here for the beach as you can for a night out.
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