Do you remember watching Dirty Dancing and wishing you could spend the week at a fun resort where there was always something to do? We found a perfect solution that doesn’t require a cross-country trip. The Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa in Dana Point is the perfect getaway for a the family without spending money traveling by plane or endless hours in the car. Located approximately 40 minutes north of San Diego and south of Los Angeles, the resort has everything you need for a relaxing weekend or weekday getaway. Kids will love the activities, which makes parents happy and relaxed.
What to Do at Laguna Cliffs Resort
There’s so much to do at Laguna Cliffs Resort that it’s almost tough to know where to start. The property is located next to Lantern Bay Park, which features pathways for biking, walking and jogging. Don’t worry about bringing bikes; Laguna Cliffs has bikes available to use. There’s also morning yoga in the park (and yes, the Resort has yoga mats available too). You can play table tennis, frisbee, kite flying, tennis and bocce ball (with courts right on site).
If you’re looking to go beyond the resort, all you need to do is travel the 118 steps from the property to Dana Point Harbor and explore the area including the Seaport Mariner’s Village and Shops, the famous Ocean Institute and whale watching adventures.
While the Laguna Cliffs has so much family fun available, the pools and kids splash pad really make it something special. The resort has two pools: the Laguna Pool features quiet and serene surroundings for adults, and the Del Mar Pool for the entire family. Kids go crazy for the Splash Pad, which features water play fountains, surfboards and water cannon, a one-foot kiddie pool and room to run around on the expansive Del Mar Lawn.
The Del Mar pool has plenty of lounge chairs, umbrellas, oversized papasan chairs, and kid-friendly poolside dining is available. We love that the Splash Pad is right next to the Del Mar Pool, which means parents can relax while the kiddos can play to their heart’s content.
One of the highlights of the summer (Memorial Day to Labor Day) is the Laguna Kahuna Movie Night on Saturday evenings. Kids and parents are invited to show up in pajamas and with pillows to watch one of the kid-friendly movies. Some of this year’s features are Frozen, Despicable Me, Toy Story and more. There’s also an old fashioned popcorn machine, drinks and chocolate treats. All of this is complimentary for hotel guests.
Kahuna Laguna Kids Club
One of the hallmarks of the resort is the Kahuna Laguna Kids Club. This fun-filled program for kiddos ages 5 – 12 runs from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Kids participate in supervised arts and crafts, games, outdoor activities, poolside fun in the Splash Zone, treasure hunts, and more. When they check in at the Kids Club, little guests receive a Kahuna Laguna Passport, which they can take to different hotel spots throughout their stay. When the passport is full, they bring it to the front desk and pick a prize from the treasure box.
Each day features a different theme. There’s Pirate Adventures, Wild West Wednesdays, Surfin’ Safari, Make Believe Monday, just to name a few. Kids can attend Kahuna Laguna Kids Club for the full day (9 a.m. – 4 p.m.) for $70, morning half day (9 a.m. – 1 p.m.) or afternoon half day (12 – 4 p.m.) for $45 each. Lunch and snacks are provided in each session.
One of the great things about the Kahuna Laguna Kids Club is it gives parents some alone time and a chance to unwind without leaving the property. We suggest checking out the Spa at Laguna Cliffs for a massage, a workout at the gym, or spend some quiet time in the sauna and the Spa’s relaxing room and patio.
Good to Know
- Laguna Cliffs has different room rates and pricing options to meet your needs as a family. Check out their website for specials or talk with a hotel representative for suggestions.
- During the summer, VUE restaurant at Laguna Cliffs has a family-friendly buffet dinner. Kids can chose from items like chicken tenders, mac and cheese, summer corn on the cob and a chocolate fountain. What picky eater can complain about that? For breakfast, we suggest the Kahuna Laguna Breakfast with scrambled eggs and chocolate chip pancakes.
- Speaking of eating, if you’re dining at VUE, see if your kiddos can spot the bunnies running outside the restaurant on the lawn. It will keep the little ones occupied!
- Another fun option is Movies at the Park in Lantern Bay Park, right next to Laguna Cliffs. Every Friday during the summer, the city of Dana Point hosts a complimentary movie night.
- Laguna Cliffs gets quite busy during the summer, so make sure to book your reservation sooner rather than later.
25135 Park Lantern
Dana Point, Ca 92629
Has your family visited the Laguna Cliffs Marriott? What’s your favorite thing to do at the resort?
— Leah R. Singer (photos too)