By Chelsea Madren

With Mother’s Day coming up, it should not be the only time we celebrate mom. Plan a day of mother-daughter fun here in Orange County. Three great cities with activities and places to eat all in close proximity are Costa Mesa, Laguna Beach, and Newport Beach. Here are some ideas to get you started.

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Day Date Ideas for Costa Mesa

Start with brunch at Old Vine Café. From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., you can enjoy dining al fresco on their beautiful outdoor patio. Choose from many brunch favorites like omelets, crepes, and biscuits & gravy. Feeling adventurous? Try their Rabbit Mole – braised rabbit served with two eggs, pasilla & cashew mole, queso fresco, and fresh baked corn bread. Pair your meal with a brunch cocktail like a Bloody Mary or Mimosa.

Hop in the car and drive north on Bristol Street to South Coast Plaza and walk off those calories. Visiting the major anchor stores like Macy’s, Nordstrom, Sears, Bloomingdale’s, Saks Fifth Avenue along with so many boutique shops to choose from, you will have so much fun wandering around and peruse at your own pace. After a few hours of shopping, take in a late lunch/early dinner at Casa Barilla. One of the newest restaurants in South Coast Plaza, Casa Barilla extends the Barilla brand pastas that you see in grocery stores to a whole new level while cooking healthy per the Mediterranean Diet. Start with a Panzanella Salad of romaine, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, croutons, goat cheese, sweet onion, and balsamic dressing. Choose a main dish like Orecchiette Pugliesi made with Italian sausage, broccoli, cherry tomatoes, and pecorino cheese. End with Tiramisu – espresso-soaked cookies in espresso, mascarpone cream, and cocoa powder.

If your daughter is over 21, hop in the car and end your day at Wine Lab where you can taste a variety of wine flights out of test tubes or plan on attending an upcoming wine event where different wineries showcase their wines. Check Wine Lab’s website for more details.

Old Vine Cafe
2937 Bristol St., Suite A102
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(714) 545-1411

South Coast Plaza
3333 Bristol St.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(800) 782-8888

Casa Barilla
3333 Bristol St.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(800) 782-8888

Wine Lab
2937 Bristol St., Suite A101B
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(714) 850-1780

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Getaway Ideas for Laguna Beach

Start out your morning with a Mexican-inspired Breakfast Buffet at Las Brisas. A stunning view of the Pacific Ocean and fresh sea breeze are the perfect backdrop while eating wonderful creations from the buffet like omelets, waffles, eggs benedict, avocado toast, yogurt parfaits, fresh fruits, baked goods, and more. On Saturdays, they also feature a prime rib carving station and seafood bar.

After breakfast, hop back in the car and head north to Crystal Cove State Park. Walk off those breakfast calories while exploring Moro Beach which is popular with body boarders, stand-up paddle boarders, surf fishermen, and kayakers. Reef Point has a quarter-mile of multi-use trail that goes north and descends to the beach which is a great area for body surfers. Pelican Point has a one-mile multi-use trail that follows the coast line with views of coastal bluff vegetation and wildlife. Historic District is a restored collective of 46 vintage rustic coastal cottages dating back to the 1930’s. The cottages provide visitor services, educational, and community programs, a restaurant, and 21 are available for public overnight use.

After a few hours of walking around, hop back in the car and drive to Downtown Laguna Beach for afternoon tea service at Harmony Tea Bar (served from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.). Relax your feet and legs while snacking on delicious finger sandwiches and pastries and sipping on Turmeric Mango Green Tea or Black Pearl Oolong Tea.

It is check-in time at La Casa Del Camino. Located on the Laguna Beach coastline, breathtaking panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean await you at this quaint hotel with individually themed rooms. The hotel is equipped with wi-fi (just in case you want to share your day’s events on social media), Art of Fitness Gym, and all the gear you would need at Cress Street Beach – just steps from the back door. In case you want to bring along your pup, La Casa Del Camino is a pet-friendly hotel.

After relaxing/napping in your room, head to K’ya Bistro Bar for dinner. This in-hotel restaurant is a charming, chef-driven, tapas-style dining experience. Make your own little tableside buffet of Golden Beet Salad, Deviled Eggs, Short Rib Rigatoni, Grilled Portabella, and Seafood Garlic Noodles. End your evening with a Vanilla Bean Crème Brulee or Banana Bread Pudding.

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After a restful night’s sleep, wake up for a breakfast buffet (which is included with your stay) before heading back home.

Las Brisas
361 Cliff Drive
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(949) 497-5434

Crystal Cove State Park
8471 N. Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(949) 494-3539

Harmony Tea Bar
305 Forest Ave., Suite 103
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(949) 353-5005

La Casa del Camino
1289 S. Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(855) 634-5736

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Day Date Ideas for Newport Beach

Start out the day with the 9 a.m. Whale Watching & Dolphin Cruise at Newport Landing Whale Watching. You will have a chance to view giant blue whales, gray whales, humpback whales, minke whales, several species of dolphins, and more. A special option for your special day is Captain’s Seating – limited to 6 spaces per cruise which reserves you seats in the captain’s quarters with their whale watching captain.

After your two-hour cruise, head northwest on Balboa Boulevard to Lighthouse Bayview Café for lunch. Enjoy waterfront dining along beautiful Newport Harbor! Start with Slow-Roasted Garlic Hummus made with chickpeas, olive oil, smoked paprika, and chives served with pita chips and crudité. For your main course, try the Braised Short Rib Grilled Cheese with Muenster, smoked Gouda, and parmesan sourdough served with tomato soup or Chile de Arbol Seafood Pasta with clams, mussels, shrimp, and spaghetti tossed in spicy tomato sauce. End your meal with an order of Cinnamon Sugar Beignets with vanilla cream cheese icing.

Hop back in the car and head over to Fashion Island. Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, and Macy’s anchor this center with many stores and restaurants in between. Walk off those lunch calories while perusing at your own pace.

How about some mother-daughter spa time? Spa Gregorie’s is across the street from the southern side of Fashion Island. They offer full-body renewal with their Head to Toe Renewal Package – includes two of Spa Gregorie’s signature treatments, a relaxing one-hour massage, a revitalizing Ultimate Signature Facial, and a decadent Sole Scrub Enhancement. Spa goers also enjoy complimentary champagne all weekend.

Now that you are relaxed and refreshed, it is time for dinner at Five Crowns. As you walk up the to the restaurant, you will feel as if you have traveled half way around the globe and back in time to an old country inn in England, befitting any fairytale. Start with a Bone Marrow with melted sweet onions, mostarda, and toast. Choose a main course like Lawry’s Prime Ribs of Beef served with Yorkshire Pudding, whipped cream horseradish, and your choice of Lawry’s creamed corn, creamed spinach, or mashed potatoes or Roasted Goose served with wild grains, mushrooms, cherry, and brussels sprout leaves. End your evening with a Dark Chocolate Souffle made with 68% chocolate and Devonshire double cream.

Newport Landing Whale Watching
309 Palm St., Suite A
Newport Beach, CA 92661
(949) 675-0551

Lighthouse Bayview Cafe
1600 W. Balboa Blvd.
Newport Beach, CA 92663
(949) 933-1001

Fashion Island
401 Newport Center Drive
Newport Beach, CA 92660
(949) 721-2000

Spa Gregorie’s
200 Newport Center Drive, Suite 100
Newport Beach, CA 92660
(949) 644-6672

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Five Crowns
3801 E. Coast Highway
Corona del Mar, CA 92625
(949) 760-0331