For many Angelenos, driving to the beach can feel like a roadtrip in itself; hours spent on the road, snacks and sunscreen in tow only to travel a few miles, praying that the parking gods are in your favor so you can join the masses crowding Santa Monica beach. Next time you’re craving a day trip and open to adventuring outside of city lines, take a turn and head down the coast to Southern California’s scenic, less crowded coastal cities, arguably equidistant from Los Angeles.
We wandered south to Orange County to meet up with SoCal cool girls, models and our resident tour guides, Cait and Shannon Barker to see and do as the locals. They took us to some of their favorite weekend hang spots, showing us the best places to eat and adventure, and above all, how to party like a true OC native.
Cait and Shannon’s thirst for thrill is obvious the moment you enter their home; entire walls decorated with polaroids documenting their adventures, friendships and captured moments of genuine spontaneity, it’s easy to feel welcomed. The oversized American flag in their kitchen is a crowd-favorite photo opp for friends and guests as well.
Alta Coffee: A local brekkie favorite, Alta Coffee, is a dismantled bookstore turned coffee roaster with a beautiful patio space in Newport Beach just blocks from the coastline. Enjoy a full breakfast or linger over one of their many delicious, house-roasted coffees.
Catch Cait on the back of her boyfriend Taylor’s bike, badass and adventure bound to one of their favorite weekend destinations below.
The Wedge: This local surf spot coined The Wedge, is located on the tip of the Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach, and is known for its monster waves and enthusiastic surf crowd. In the right conditions, waves here can reach almost 30 feet high, with unpredictable patterns and breaks, making this a favorite destination for surfers and spectacles alike.
Laguna Tide Pools: Laguna Beach is teeming with sea life. Head a bit further south to spend the day observing sea critters and playing in tide pools at one of the many beaches along the coast. “The pools are kind of a locals secret spot; we like to go on the weekends and it’s never too crowded!”
Banzai Bowls: If you’re craving a refreshing and healthy treat, hit up Banzai Bowls in Costa Mesa. “This is definitely a favorite – we always order the ‘Maui Sunrise'”
Beach Hut Deli: Right next door sits the Beach Hut Deli, a beach-themed sandwich shop complete with surfboard tables and a tiki-inspired counter. “Our Roommate Kayleigh works at Beach Hut so we find ourselves there quite often,” explains Cait. Shannon recommends the “Surfin’ Bird” (lettuce wrapped) and Cait swears by “The Woody“!
Cait and Shannon work hard, and that deserves time to play hard. On weekend evenings, you’ll likely find them surrounded by close friends and strangers, lighting a BBQ and enjoying good company. Although this may seem like the quintessential California evening, Cait and Shannon share a genuine love for living in the moment and enjoying good company. We’ll bring the beer next time.
Cait Barker & Shannon Barker
Photography: Tyler William Parker
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