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36 Hours in Newport Beach

Family Fun in Newport Beach

Newport Beach is the ultimate family playground with something for everyone. Here are two itineraries for a perfect 36-hours in Newport Beach, one for romance perfect for newlyweds and couples, and a second for families, including tots, teens and parents.

Family Fun, Day 1:

3pm: You and your family have arrived! Check into your hotel, unpack, and get ready for a relaxing, fun, and scenic Duffy Cruise in Newport Harbor.

3:30pm: Rent your easy-to-navigate electric boat and get ready to cruise the Harbor. For extra family fun, play the “Duffy Boat Scavenger Hunt” game on your smart phone and find landmarks around the Newport Harbor. The kids will love it, and adults will enjoy the scenic views, beautiful landscape, yachts, and homes along the waterfront. Download this tour.

5pm: Cruising can work up a healthy appetite, and if you didn’t bring snacks on board, Newport Beach has you covered! Simply Dock & Dine: dock your boat at one of our many family-friendly restaurants such as Harborside Restaurant, Bluewater Grill, Woody’s Wharf or Billy’s at the Beach, then dine inside or on your boat!

7pm: After dinner, head to Fashion Island before you head back to your hotel. The outdoor shopping Mecca is filled with more than 125 stores – featuring a great mix of boutiques, department stores and designer outposts. Kids will love the water fountains and park areas to run around in, and there are movie theaters and restaurants for all to enjoy.

Day 2:

8am: Head to Balboa Island where you can enjoy breakfast at Wilma’s Patio, a Balboa Island family-owned and operated restaurant. Kids and adults will love their homemade pancakes, waffles, French toast, and every kind of egg dish imaginable.

9:30am: Take the Balboa Island Ferry over to the Fun Zone. The kids will go crazy for the Ferris wheel and arcade games. Also be sure to check out ExplorOcean/Newport Harbor’s Nautical Museum. The museum features meaningful collections and engaging exhibits, and offers relevant educational programming that will connect kids and adults to the adventure, inspiration and mystery of the sea!

11am: Beach time! Pack your beach bags and pick your spot along the stretch of beach on Balboa Peninsula. Miles of coastline, filled with shops, restaurants, and beach rentals fill the boardwalk. Make the most of your beach day and go on a Segway tour or rent a surrey bike built for four.
1pm: Enjoy lunch at Ruby’s, a 1950′s-inspired diner on the Balboa Pier. Everyone will love walking out to the end of the pier and taking in the views over a cheeseburger and Ruby’s famous shakes.

3pm: Take the family to one of the many surf or stand-up paddleboard companies for an introductory lesson in these fun water sports. For beginners, head to Newport Aquatic Center or Pirate Paddle Company located in the beautiful and scenic Back Bay to learn stand-up paddleboarding or kayaking in calm waters.

Sunset: After all of the activities, your family will be ready to relax and enjoy the perfect Newport Beach sunset. Some popular vantage points are Lookout Point in Corona del Mar, Castaways Park in the Back Bay or from any spot on the many miles of beaches. Then, end your evening at “Movies on the Beach” at Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina. Movies start after the sun goes down, projected on a giant big screen and snacks and drinks are available for purchase. Parking is $10 and we recommend you bring jackets, blankets and chairs.

Day 3:

9am: Head down to Crystal Cove State Beach and eat breakfast on the beach! Park at the Los Trancos parking lot off of Pacific Coast Highway, take the Beachcomber Cafe shuttle or walk the path under Pacific Coast Highway to the Crystal Cove Historic District. Beachcomber Cafe offers great food and spectacular views from its perch on the sand.

11am: Walk along the beach and check out the spectacular Crystal Cove tidepools teeming with life. Some of the cottages have been converted to shops, and a portion of the proceeds goes to Crystal Cove Alliance, which is dedicated to the preservation of the District.

1pm: By now you’ve worked up an appetite, climb the stairs to Ruby’s Shake Shack, which overlooks Crystal Cove State Beach for one last look at the beautiful coastline of Newport Beach while eating a classic burger, fries and a shake.

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