Spread out along a particularly scenic stretch of coastline is Southern California's artsiest resort town, Laguna Niguel and Laguna Beach. It has been a popular tourist town since the early 1900s, thanks to seven flawless miles of golden crescent beaches, caressed with a perfect climate in the stunning coastal foothills.
The privileged spot has famously attracted bohemian types since the 1920s, and remains best known for its major arts festival, Pageant of the Masters. Since 1932, locals have used elaborate costumes and settings to "recreate" the world's most famous paintings, remaining perfectly still for 90 minutes while a soaring orchestra plays. Other arts fairs, including the Sawdust Art Festival and Art-a-Fair (also held in July and August, to coincide with the Pageant of the Masters), Plein Air Painting Invitational, Festival of Arts, and other art shows draw crowds. Can't make it? Scores of art galleries, fascinating shops, wineries, and even a couple of art museums should keep you inspired.