At Docent Brewing in San Juan Capistrano, you can grab a well-crafted beer while playing a game of oversize Jenga, shuffleboard, foosball or kick back in the lounge while ordering some food. Photo: Eric Heinz

By Daniel Ritz and Eric Heinz

In Southern California, especially South Orange County, a day off is often the only day busier than a day at work. The region is full of active people, looking to make the most of the opportunities provided by the abundant sunlight, beautiful natural surroundings and easy-going lifestyle.

That being said, everyone needs to kick back and relax from time to time.

Here are a few locations to get out but stay engaged, leave the children and responsibilities at home and bring out your own inner child.

Docent Brewing, San Juan Capistrano

 Docent Brewing, co-founded by Brian Hendon, Joe Wilshire and Scott Cortellessa, has the sense of a schoolyard playground soaked in adult class where there’s something for everyone, and everyone is on recess.

Walking into Docent Brewing, the attention to detail and emphasis on community is evident. The bar, lined with smiling locals, is surrounded by massive vats where their beer is brewed on site. Around the bar is a large sitting area, where groups gather as if patrons are visiting in a friend’s living room.

After grabbing one of the more than a dozen types of beer (or wine), guests are able to challenge a friend in a game of shuffleboard, or engage in a raucous high-tension game of oversized Jenga.

Founded on the pillars of craftsmanship, community and independence, Docent Brewing is one of San Juan’s finest examples of a place to spend a day reconnecting with friends or meeting neighbors.

“One of the best things in life is being able to love what you do and inspire others,” a message reads on Docent’s website. “It means finding your passion, learning that skill, mastering the trade and teaching others. A craftsman honors creativity and quality above all else and wants to share their experience.”

Rooted in community, the sign above the bar reads, “Eat, drink and be local.”

Be sure to check into their regular trivia nights and weekly bike rides too.

Docent Brewing is a great place to feel at-home, away from home. It’s located at 33049 Calle Aviador, Ste. C, San Juan Capistrano. More information can be seen at www.docentbrewery.com.

The Point, Dana Point

Commonly a sports bar might bring to mind locations that offer a space conducive to watch sports. At The Point, patrons can certainly do that, but also partake in a friendly game of cornhole, or enter into the ping-pong tournament while overlooking the serene Pacific Ocean below.

With breathtaking views, delicious food and a welcoming atmosphere, The Point raises the bar in providing a variety of adult-friendly activities.

The Point is located at 34085 Pacific Coast Hwy., Dana Point. More information can be found at www.thepointrestaurantandbar.com.

Lost Winds Brewing Co. provides a relaxed atmosphere as well as events throughout the summer to check out. Photo: Eric Heinz

Lost Winds Brewing Company, San Clemente

Lost Winds, similar to Docent Brewing, is a local brewery quickly making a name for itself in the regional craft beer community. Opening in 2004, Lost Winds has been able to grow while maintaining its San Clemente patronage.

This brewery, handcrafted inside of a relatively unsuspecting industrial park, has an open-air neighborhood feel when the high back doors are made accessible and the natural light sparkles off of the brewing vats. Children playing games, and dogs reaping the benefits of food dropped from one of the regularly featured food trucks, provides a family-friendly atmosphere where people can alternate between tasting any one of the hand-crafted brews as well as keeping the little ones entertained and in the sun.

“We are welcoming to all walks of life,” Lost Winds Manager Rachael Cosmakos said. “We want to be accessible, where everyone can feel like they can come and just hang out.”

Lost Winds Brewing Company is located at 924 Calle Negocio, Ste. C, San Clemente. More information can be seen at www.lostwindsbrewing.com.

Bocce Ball

If an alcohol-free day sounds more appealing, there’s an abundance of opportunities to get that much needed weekend Vitamin D before returning to the office on Monday.

The city of Dana point constructed three full-size, 13-foot by 91-foot bocce ball courts in 2014 in the shadows of the Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa. Take advantage of the open space and bask in the sun while enjoying this multi-generational game.

Volleyball, Beach Activities

Even on an exceptionally warm summer day, the ocean breeze will keep beach volleyball players cool. Some of San Clemente’s and Dana Point’s most popular recreational activities are located on or near the beach.

The trails and bike paths along the beach also offer ample opportunities to people-watch and get exercise too.

To read more of the 2018 summer Go.See.Do. special section, click HERE:

About The Author Dana Point Times

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