Spring Into Sun And Fun
The kids are on school break and you’re ready for a family vacation in Newport Beach.
From exciting adventures for the whole crew, to romantic outings just for two, our beautiful coastal city has you covered.
All in the Family
This old boating city beckons water- and wave-lovers with a bustling harbor and more than a handful of places to rent a rudder. Take your tribe out for a spin in an Electric Duffy Boat, which motor around up to 10 family members and friends, are outfitted for picnics out at sea, and are available seven days a week. Also ask the staff about the popular Scavenger Hunt, and turn your boating mission into a competition. The Balboa Fun Zone on Balboa Peninsula is a must-see for the entire family, featuring an old-school amusement park and that iconic Ferris Wheel you spotted from the water, as well as a variety of ‘rides’ like the Tower Drop and Ocean Motion. The aroma of buttered popcorn and cotton candy will entice you here, but be sure to save room for an Original Frozen Banana from Dad’s Donut & Bakery Shop across the way; it’s a longtime favorite among locals.) Curious youngsters — and those young at heart — will enjoy learning about marine life, shipwrecks, and other exciting sea discoveries at Discovery Cube Ocean Quest. A fun way to take in the scenery and get some exercise is by bike: rent one and pedal your way around the peninsulas. An electric bike will let you cover more scenic views of the coast in less time, but a traditional beach cruiser is the more retro way to ride. Kids will also enjoy whiling away an afternoon at The Wedge, where waves can reach heights of 30 feet and only the area’s most experienced body boarders entertain onlookers. On a typical spring day, this spot’s white sandy beaches are a welcome spot for parents, too, where they can rest, relax and get an early start on summer reading.
For the Adventurous Tribe
If you’ve come to Newport Beach for ocean adventure and outdoor exploration, you’ve come to the ideal place. Take to the sea with a surfing lesson, see what swims below the surface from a standup paddleboard or kayak excursion. Foster a love of nature in litter tots from the rocky shores of Little Corona del Mar and Crystal Cove State Park beaches, where they can examine sea creatures like spiny starfish and flower-like sea anemones in the twinkling tide pools. If you don’t have little ones, go anyway — big people love our tide pools, too. But first, read the tide pool rules. Following one of the wettest winters in California’s history, wildflowers are bound to spring up all over the local trails. Be sure to pack a pair of hiking shoes — or your mountain bike — so you can climb El Moro’s colorful canyons and see for yourself. Stop by the Visitors Center first to plan a route with a ranger, pick up a map, and prepare for your adventure.
Rendezvous for Two
Maybe you’ve got teenagers who can be left to their own devices, or have made arrangements for a babysitter at your hotel, and now you’re free to enjoy some ‘adult’ time. Cruise along the coast in style with a luxury car rental, like a Ferrari 458 Italia . Drink in the fresh ocean air, and then get a taste of culture with a tour of modern and contemporary art at the Orange County Museum of Art, where pop art and women’s works are currently on display. Still hungry? Now is your chance to indulge in Newport Beach’s fine dining scene: Cannery Seafood of the Pacific is an old favorite that pleases the seafood-lover’s palate with surf, turf, and libations served with a view of the water; Enjoy organic American fare and craft cocktails, garden-side, at Provenance; step by back in time with a visit to Crystal Cove Historic District’s Beachcomber Café and Bootlegger Bar , followed by a romantic sunset stroll; or throw back a Manhattan and dine in formal, old-school fashion at Five Crowns in Corona del Mar. The Wine Gallery in Corona del Mar also serves seasonal small plates and a bevy of delicious wines.
Take it Home
Whether shopping is your idea of a vacation, or you just want a souvenir from the city, there are a few prime shopping destinations. For the latter, check out the mom-and-pop shops on Balboa’s Marine Avenue, where you’ll find items unique to the area. Monogrammed mugs, local coffee, and vintage postcards for framing are just a few ideas. For more upscale shopping that’s also a cardio workout, head to Fashion Island, an expansive open-air mall that features an eclectic mix of brand-name stores and individual boutiques. A walk along Coast Highway in Corona del Mar features a blend of both places.
Whatever gives you a break this Spring, you’re bound to discover it in Newport Beach.