Winter Arrives Early in Laguna Beach

Shop for handmade goodies at one of California's quaintest markets.

Sawdust Winter Fantasy

THAT STORYBOOK SCENE: One way to call upon a darling little village, the sort of place that boasts twisting, walkable lanes and wee nooks filled with treasures, is to crack open the fairy tale-filled tome you loved as a kid. The pages will instantly transport you to such a locale, as they did when you were small, but once you close the cover you'll have to bid it goodbye as you acknowledge that such a spot probably doesn't exist on this particular plane. Oh, but it does, and it comes with a ho-ho-ho costume on in November and December, which ups the "fantasy" part of its name. It's the Winter Fantasy at the Sawdust Art & Craft Festival we quite obviously and on-the-nose-ly refer to, the colder weather outing of Laguna Beach's popular summertime handmade fair. The Winter Fantasy typically falls, like the most delicate of snowflakes, onto the calendar just around Thanksgiving, so shoppers can begin to shop as they cross loved ones' names off their lists. But you'll have just...

FIVE WEEKENDS... to browse all of the nifty earrings and pretty headbands and striking photographs and glass ornaments and hand-painted wearables among the many booths (and we do mean many, as some 175 artists show and sell at Sawdust). Santa makes a showing at the annual to-do, and carolers, too. First day? Crunch-crunch along the sawdust beginning on Nov. 19 (the Saturday before Thanksgiving). It all bids goodbye on Dec. 18, the Sunday before Christmas. And in that time period? Gifts to buy, music to hear, and storybook quaint-o-sity to soak up. It's charm-plus-plus-plus, all a short walk from the heart of Laguna Beach.

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