Fun for the Labor Day Holiday
Have friends and family in town for the Labor Day holiday in early September? Plenty of exciting events are taking place all around the Newport Beach area during that time frame, as well as a ton of other fun things to do. Here’s a look at just some of the many activities to experience while your guests are in town.
Satisfy a hankering for grilled goodies like corn on the cob and delish drinks (sangria, margaritas, bloody marys and Champagne, anyone?) at the Summer Sunday “Fundays” Afternoon Barbecue Sept. 6 from 1-5 p.m. on the patio overlooking the harbor at the A&O Kitchen+Bar gastropub at Balboa Bay Resort. There’s also a live DJ for your entertainment.
Or grab your blankets and beach chairs and head to the Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina for Movies on the Beach every weekend at dusk, with “Earth to Echo” Sept. 4 and “Monsters University” Sept. 5.
Like a little live music to go with your Labor Day festivities? Enjoy legendary Grammy-winning performer George Benson Friday, Sept. 4, at 6 p.m. as part of the Hyatt Regency Newport Beach’s Summer Concert Series. The Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa also offers its annual Sunset Jazz at Newport series in the Rose Garden through Sept. 16 at 6 p.m., featuring popular artists from the Newport Beach Jazz Party and The Jazz Cruise. Coming up: Barbara Morrison and the Rickey Woodard Quintet Sept. 9. And Lido Live theater presents the blues, soul and rock ‘n’ roll band Family Style Sept. 5 from 8-10:30 p.m.
A trip to Newport Beach just wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Balboa Island, where you can stroll the shady, tree-lined main drag of Marine Avenue filled with numerous shops, restaurants, ice cream parlors and art galleries. Some of my (and my guests’) favorites include Art for the Soul, with an unusual collection of hand-crafted jewelry and gifts; Wilma’s Patio, which has been serving up a tasty blend of everything from the Balboa Belly Bomber (a warm French roll stuffed with egg) to Mexican dishes for more than 15 years; and Olive Oil & Beyond, known for its rare and fresh virgin olive oil and ultra-premium balsamic vinegars. Oh, and be sure to try a Frozen Banana!
Once you’ve thoroughly explored the Island, make your way to the auto ferry for a ride across the Newport Harbor to the Balboa Peninsula and Balboa Fun Zone area complete with Ferris wheel and the Balboa Village encompassing retail shops; restaurants (don’t miss The Crab Cooker and the original Ruby’s Diner); Balboa and Newport piers; beach; and boardwalks. While there, be sure to take advantage of the plentiful outdoor activities from surf and standup paddleboard lessons to whale watching.
If shopping is more your style, make a beeline straight to Fashion Island and Crystal Cove at Newport Coast for upscale shopping and dining options including Fig & Olive, Mastro’s Ocean Club, Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdale’s, just to name a few. Right across the street from the Crystal Cove shopping center you’ll find Crystal Cove State Park, featuring historic cottages (even one that was used in the Bette Midler movie “Beaches”); Beachcomber Café (which raises the martini flag daily at 5 p.m.); tide pools, three-and-a-half miles of pristine sandy beach and two-plus acres of canyon wilderness.
Finally, don’t even forget about leaving Newport Beach without a cruise through the harbor on an electric Duffy boat or taking part in one of Pirate Coast Paddle Company’s SUP Glow Night Tours , held every Friday and Saturday through September from 8:15-9:30 p.m.
For information on even more fun things to see and do while in Newport Beach, be sure to check out www.visitnewportbeach.com/things-to-do/.