Best Of :: Shopping & Services
As a worldwide travel destination for our beaches, golf courses, amusement parks and gorgeous-year-round weather, Orange County offers a wide range of hotel options. We've got everything from oceanfront luxury properties charging $700 per night and hosting Hollywood celebrities and the super-rich to cheap but frightening motels that proudly boast of rooms with AC, TVs and shag carpeting. Thankfully, there are places such as Anaheim's Hotel Indigo, a medium-sized property that easily lures vacationers as well as business travelers. The rooms are always clean and feature simple, comfortable but classy furnishings you'd have in your own home. Unlike so many hotels that nowadays charge ridiculous parking fees, it's free here. Plus, Disneyland is a 10-minute walk away. We recently checked rates and found rooms for a reasonable $118 or about $40 to $80 less per night than its competitors.
It's really the only mall that showcases everything Orange County has to offer: ocean views, sunny skies, expensive restaurants and lots of dogs. On top of four major department stores—Bloomingdales, Macy's, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom—Fashion Island is home to more than 100 other retailers. From affordable wear, designer goods and body-care products to cars, furniture and electronics, this shopping haven has you covered. Not in the mood for shopping? Take a ride at SoulCycle, relax at Big Newport, or kick back and watch people nearly trip into the koi pond—it happens more often than you think.
Readers’ Choice: South Coast Plaza
All the boards UsedSurf takes in on consignment are in excellent condition and available via an online catalog—they have around 400 at any given time and will ship nationally. Or go to the San Clemente warehouse, a.k.a. the Factory, to browse in person or order a custom design from Edit Industries. UsedSurf stocks an extensive array of board fins and offers a board-rental service, too. Ask for Mo.
Readers’ Choice: The Frog House
The name says it all, kids: SAVAGE!
Readers’ Choice: E-cig Emporium
Ditch the time-consuming mess that happens daily with mascara and schedule an appointment with Megan Dunning at Luscious Lashes. Relax in a big, comfy recliner with a super-soft blanket while Dunning, who is somewhat of a perfectionist, works her eyelash-extension magic. When she's finished, be ready for all the compliments, as well as the questions as to where you got them done. The long, full lashes will last three to four weeks, and the best part is it looks as if you're wearing make-up when you're not.
A thousand pounds of Epsom salts will get anyone, no matter how dense the bones, a feeling of weightlessness. You will float. In your own private room, you step naked from the shower to the tank. The water is warm, and while you float, no sound or light will distract you from a trip into a theta-wave state of mind. Claustrophobes can float with the tank door wide open and advance to it being propped open a little bit with a towel. That zero-gravity sensation isn't only for space travelers.