Out of the Grind and Into the Serene: Newport Beach
Living in bustling Los Angeles has its many perks. There’s always a new restaurant to try or an art exhibit, and then of course, there are the beaches. But, even the beaches have that crowded feel to them, which is all part of living in the city. Sometimes though, you just want to retreat and get away from it all. That’s exactly what my guy and I like to do whenever we can, and our destination of choice is Newport Beach.
The Play by Play
For our weekend getaways, we prefer to wait out the the Friday evening commute also known as Los Angeles traffic, and head in late. A quick hop on the 405 to the 55, and viola, we are in sunny Newport Beach within an hour and a half.
Since it’s just the two of us, we usually love staying at cute boutique hotels as they offer a romantic feel that makes the getaway extra special. This time though, we opted for a beach view room at the Balboa Inn The Resort.The check in was effortless and the staff was very helpful in pointing us in the direction of the Balboa Pier on the Balboa Peninsula. We took a quick stroll around the corner to get a quick bite at local-favorite The Sliding Door Cafe & Bakery, where we indulged on the carrot ginger risotto, crispy seared Scottish salmon and their famous brick grilled chicken. We then went to Cabo Cantina for a quick night cap and called it a night.
The next day, we went to brunch at The Porch. We opted for the Chicken & Waffles and an omelet with Goat cheese, spinach, roasted tomatoes and a hint of garlic along with mimosas.
After walking around for a bit, we went to the beach across from our hotel for some rays and relaxation. Then on the way back to the hotel, we strolled around and took in the cool little shops and scene at Balboa Village – Home of the Fun Zone. I especially loved discovering the shop-lined blocks and how accessible it is to rent a beach bike or hop on a harbor cruise. Once my poking around had subsided, we walked towards Newport Harbor and checked out all the beautiful docked boats, and also took note of the restaurants. After talking to one of the shop owners, we learned about The Cannery Seafood of the Pacific and decided it would be our Sunday brunch spot as we made our way back to the hotel.
After getting ready, we ventured over to the Balboa Bay Resort’s new restaurant, A & O Kitchen + Bar,for dinner and to watch the sunset. It was so lovely to sit and watch the sun go down over the harbor while sipping a cocktail and eating dinner.
Photo Credit: Balboa Bay Resort
Once we were full and satisfied with dinner, we headed over to the newest hotspot in Newport Beach, Aqua Lounge at The Island Hotel. My boyfriend enjoyed a Tanqueray10 Martini, and I went with a glass of bubbly, which felt appropriate for the night. We danced the night away and Uber’ed back to our hotel (*Uber’ed all evening. Drink responsibly).
Photo Credit: The Island Hotel
Sunday morning, we checked out of the hotel with ease and walked over to The Cannery Seafood of the Pacific. As we walked in, we shared a laugh over the mutual daydream of someday docking “our boat” at the restaurant for a leisurely meal. We sat outside and enjoyed the view of the water while gorging ourselves on crab cakes and french toast bread pudding; hey, we’re on vacation, right? The meal and setting couldn’t have been more ideal, so ideal that I easily coerced my man for some light shopping at Fashion Island.
We headed up PCH towards Fashion Island and stopped along the way for a little window-shopping at European Collectibles. I found the perfect car for the Georgia Peach girl within. Yet another daydream for now, I must admit I would enjoy cruising around in a vintage Porsche sooner rather than later. Continuing on after the slight detour, we arrived at Fashion Island.
Once I’d sufficiently explored all the stores and perhaps picked up a thing or two, it was time for us to head back home to Los Angeles. It was an absolute perfect weekend with beautiful beaches, delicious meals and drinks, a delightful hotel, and just the right amount of escape to satisfy our wanderlust…for the moment.
Until next time Newport Beach!
Written By: Paige Yingst