Spring Break fun in Newport Beach
Whether you’re a college student on spring break, or a couple springing for a romantic getaway or fun family adventure, Newport Beach is the perfect seaside escape this season.
School’s Out For … Spring.
You’ve completed your last final exam and are ready to hit the sand, sea and saloon. From beautiful beaches and ocean adventures to top-shelf nightlife, Newport’s got you covered. By day, ride the surf at Newport Pier, watch extreme body boarders challenge The Wedge’s epic waves or soak up some sun at the mellower Little or Big Corona beaches. If you came with a group of 10 or fewer, board an Electric Duffy Boat, available for rent by the hour or all day, and cruise the water with packed coolers and preferred company. The area also offers plenty of locations to sign up for a surf lesson, or rent a kayak, paddleboard or beach cruiser. (One of the best ways to take in all the sites is behind the handlebars!) Need some new digs for the second half of second semester? Head to Fashion Island, an open-air mall featuring hip clothing boutiques, plus tech, athletic-wear and dorm-room décor shops. Here you’ll find tasty, on-the-go snacks and house-brewed coffees to sustain your shopping adventures. For a sit-down meal, grab a flight, bite or watch the game at Muldoon’s Irish Pub or Yard House. If dining and drinking near the water sounds more appetizing, try Rusty Pelican on Pacific Coast Highway, or Mutt Lynch’s, Sharkees or Beach Ball on the Peninsula.
A Family Affair
For parents of younger kiddos, the Balboa Fun Zone in Balboa Village is a must-experience for everyone in the family, and features a retro amusement park complete with an iconic Ferris Wheel that spins high above the water. Little ones will enjoy a variety of classic boardwalk rides and games, plus carnival foods like cotton candy, snow cones. Across the harbor on Balboa Island you can find Dad’s Donut & Bakery Shop where you must-try one of their famous Original Frozen Banana.
An electric bike or beach cruiser is a great way to roll together as you take in the many sites, and stop for the several activities that Newport Beach has to offer. With the family you can also watch the excitement at The Wedge, rent kayaks or paddleboards, or while away the day in an Electric Duffy Boat. If you have an adventurous, outdoorsy tribe, there are so many fun things to try. Learn about the vast sea and its deepest secrets at Discovery Cube Ocean Quest, where kids can even embark on their own marine-discovery adventure. If you really want to get wild, sign everyone in the family up for a surfing lesson, or challenge the swells and take in the scenery on a standup paddleboard or kayak excursion. This fun physical activity is complemented by spectacular scenery, whether you hit the harbor, ocean or Back Bay. Nature-loving families will also fall in love with Crystal Cove State Park, which boasts canyon and wooded trails, and summits with panoramic ocean views. After all the rain this winter, you’re bound to see a bounty of colorful wildflowers springing up across the canyons too! (We recommend El Moro Canyon, where you can first stop by the Visitors Center to speak with a ranger, review a map of the park, refill your water bottles and better prepare for your adventure.) Explorers with littler legs might prefer sticking to Crystal Cove’s rocky shores, where, at low tide, they can observe an array of sea creatures like anemones, starfish and even octopus in the sparking tide pools. (Before you go, please be sure to read our tide pool rules.)
Whether you’ve got the entire week away from the kids, or just a few hours, this picturesque resort town sets the mood for romance. What better way to start the day than a quiet café breakfast or to-go coffee and a stroll along the beautiful coast? Zinc Café, Lighthouse Bayview Café, The Beachcomber Café and Wilma’s Patio are a few favorite spots among locals for steamy brew, hotcakes, omelets and other early-morning delights. For a more leisurely way to spend the day on the water, local yacht companies feature luxury boat rentals or chartered cruises; float out to sea for a few hours or even the entire day, if you wish. If you’d prefer to take in the coastal sights from Pacific Coast Highway, Ferrari 458 Italia features a swanky rental that’s more your style. Or, you can peddle or walk the Peninsula, PCH or sandy shores hand-in-hand.
Newport Beach features fabulous romantic dining options, from dock-and-dine restaurants like The Dock (where you can pull up your boat rental and dine aboard) to romantic restaurants, like Cannery Seafood of the Pacific, Waterline Newport Beach, A&O Kitchen+Bar and Bluewater Grill, all serving a spectacular sunset view. More romance can be found at Corona del Mar’s Five Crowns, which offers an old-fashioned dining experience with a modern twist on classic cocktails and cuisine. No night in Newport with your amore is complete without a little stargazing; sink your toes into the cool sand while you listen to the sound of waves lapping over the rocks at Little Corona or Crystal Cove.