For some unknown reason—unknown to us, at least—May kicks off house-tour season, when proud and generous homeowners let utter strangers poke through their kitchens, tromp up their stairs, and tiptoe around their flowerbeds, all in the service of whatever good cause needs funds. Whether you’re obsessed with interior design, fascinated by architectural history, or just plain nosy, southern Orange County offers three chances for you to see how the real O.C.ers live. On May 6, the venerable Laguna Beach Garden Club puts on its Gate & Garden Tour: for $50, you get access to nine private gardens in the central Laguna Village neighborhood. This year, all the properties are on the edge of the 1993 fire zone—renewal and rebirth is bound to be a common theme. On May 12, nearby Newport Harbor holds its annual NHHS Home and Garden Tour—at $95, tickets are pricier, but you’re fed lunch too. And on May 15th, it’s back to Laguna Village for the 44th annual edition of the Charm House Tour ($50). You’ll see inside six houses: some new, some historic, but all, of course, charming.
Charm House Tour Photo Courtesy of Charlotte Masarik
Gate & Garden Tour Photo Courtesy of Visit Laguna Beach
Newport Harbor Photo Courtesy of NHHS Home and Garden Tour