With the closure of the famed Boom Boom Room and Coast Inn
, which anchored the Laguna Beach gay scene for many years, this arty, liberal seaside town in Orange County has become a bit lower-profile as a gay vacation spot. Still, the town's one cozy bi-level gay nightclub, Bounce
(1460 S. Coast Highway
, 949-494-0056), is an enjoyable spot for mingling, cruising, and - especially on weekends - dancing. Early in the week, just the lower basement space is open, and there's karaoke down here. The main-floor has a decent-size dance floor that's open much of the time. Bounce is popular with tourists and weekenders from nearby San Diego and Los Angeles as well as many of the gays and lesbian who reside right in Laguna. The crowd is eclectic - men and women, some straights, and relatively few patrons under 30, in part because this upscale community doesn't have the younger, collegiate population that's more common in other parts of the region. On weekends, you'll encounter more younger revelers as well as a greater number of visitors from other places.
Bounce is across the street from the former Boom Boom Room and right next door to the town's gay-popular Koffee Klatch coffeehouse as well as the romantic restaurant, French 75 Bistro and Champagne Bar. There are also a handful of gay-friendly accommodations within walking distance.