A summer staple of Laguna Beach since 1966, Art-A-Fair corrals creative works from around the world, unfurling them across the apropos, color-splashed gardens of Laguna Canyon. Festival visitors meander leisurely through the web of imagination, stopping to soak up content that is as rich in quality as it is in diversity. Between brush strokes and spontaneous games of frisbee with their palette, working artists take a breather to chat about their pieces and the inspirations that drive their craft. From year to year, the festival features a wide spectrum of 2- and 3-D art, and, should one of those gems seduce the heart of a passerby, everything at the festival is available for purchase.
Dedicated to spreading nautical know-how, Aventura Sailing Association has been supplying aspiring seafarers with sailing instruction, boat rentals, and knowledgeable skippers since 1976. Captain Mark Howe helms the association's sailing school, which instills students with safety guidelines and sailing theory in a classroom setting before taking to the waves for hands-on experience with navigation and popular pirate songs. Instead of suffering the expenses of boat ownership, Aventura Sailing Association members are free to rent vessels from the association's stable of well-maintained 30- to 43-foot sailboats, paying only for the time spent atop the waves. Membership ($55 for each additional month) also grants discounted pricing on sailing school, access to various sailing events, and the opportunity to shadow more experienced sailors and glean subtle tricks of the trade.
The idea for Newport Pontoons started in the same place it ended: the water. As the business’s founders spent their leisure time in Newport Harbor, they noticed that countless others shared their love for relaxing aboard watercraft. But typical rental boats were often too confining, restricting each person to his or her seat. Hoping to remedy this situation, the entrepreneurs tested numerous boat designs and one dolphin with a couch strapped to its back until they assembled a fleet of vessels that stood apart from those of competitors.
Each of Newport Pontoons’ easy-to-drive pontoon boats enables a floating party along the harbor waters. The decks allow ample room to socialize, grill out, or gaze at waterfront properties through 360-degree windows. Newport Pontoons also caters boat outings with sandwiches and cheese platters, saving customers the work of fishing for lost shoes.
Newport Pontoons' rates fluctuate throughout the week and depend on the type of boat.
Dana Wharf Whale Watching's expert crews and skippers glide their watercrafts on the open seas so visitors can soak up sunshine while searching for rare and endangered whales as they migrate south to avoid tax season. Expert captains steer crafts through frothy spumes and narrate each trip, educating passengers on the abundant life beneath the glassy waters. Voyagers can either venture into the boat's full-service galley for a hot meal or bring their own food and nonalcoholic drinks to stave off hunger and resist eating the ocean's jagged, hamburger-shaped coral.
For 21 years, CA Surf Shop has dispatched legions of wave riders into the watery blue yonder fully equipped with sturdy boards, proper technique, and plenty of sure-footed confidence. Owner Rod Greenup heads a team of trained instructors that leads private and semiprivate surfing and standup paddleboarding lessons from atop a floating lectern. Students learn the proper way to position their bodies, find their footing, and train their boards to bark at any jet skis that come to steal their waves. Back on shore, the shop's storefront supplies surfers of all levels with board rentals, wet suits, and stylish beach clothes. A retinue of meticulous craftsmen can also sculpt custom surfboards tailored to customers' skill level and surfing style.
SUPCO was built on the enthusiasm of owner and standup paddleboarder Tommy Donnelly, who chose the golden shores of Laguna Beach to instruct mainlanders on the activity. From the start Tommy has been committed to putting the sport's best foot forward, assembling a staff of eight World Paddle Association–certified instructors to teach comprehensive lessons and lungfish CPR. The paddle faculty includes second-generation watersport competitor Chuck Patterson and pro surfer and actor Kala Alexander. Tommy and his team promote both the Hawaiian watersport's wave-riding thrills and the vibrant culture that surrounds it by stocking their beachside retail space with hats, T-shirts, and other paddleboard-related apparel.