Stunning Summer Sunsets
As someone who lived in Georgia most of my life, watching the sunset was never really high on my must-do list. But ever since I moved to Southern California about six years ago, it’s been something I rarely miss. No matter where I am when the sun sets, I always try to catch a glimpse of it. A majestic site, every evening brings a different beautiful view … from the vivid red, pink and orange sunsets to the brilliant yellow sunsets slowly dropping into the ocean. And while anywhere on the sand in Newport Beach is an ideal spot to watch the setting sun, there also are numerous other places to enjoy the perfect sunset experience as well. Here are some of the favorites.
Come to the Points
Two Corona del Mar spots have become big favorites among the locals when it comes to watching the sunset. Grab someone special and head to Ocean Avenue, and hidden away once you pass through a residential area, you’ll discover two points that should be high on your list. Snag one of the benches or a spot on the grassy area at Lookout Point, (overlooking the Newport Harbor entrance at Heliotrope), where you can not only watch the sunset but also get a stunning view of the ocean, cliffs, harbor and Catalina Island as well. There’s even a telescope for a closer look. You may even want to keep your eyes peeled for a whale sighting! Nearby, Inspiration Point (at Ocean Boulevard and Narcissus Avenue) is aptly named for its inspiring panoramic ocean views of the Newport Beach channel, ocean and rocky cliffs below. Stay up top, where you’ll find grass and benches, or take the “Disappearing Path” to a lower level sporting rocks, benches and small stone bleachers for seating. Feeling adventurous? Continue on down the path to the beach.
Dinner with a Side of Sunset
The Andrea Ristorante, bar and ocean-view terrace at The Resort at Pelican Hill is the perfect location, at the heart of the resort, to capture some of the best vistas of the coast and the sun setting over the Pacific. It’s open daily for the afternoon and evening (although specific hours vary each week and month). Many people plan their dining reservations so they can enjoy Chef Marco Criscuolo’s classic Northern Italian cuisine — from imported white ruffles to pasta handmade daily in a temperature-controlled pasta room to artisan-style gelato featuring seasonal flavors —as the sun sinks over the horizon.
At nearby Crystal Cove (on the ocean side of Pacific Coast Highway), another ideal setting is The Beachcomber Cafe at Crystal Cove. Arrive before the sunset and enjoy a walk on the beach, and then head to the restaurant for waterfront cocktails and a delicious dinner of grilled swordfish, barbecue baby back ribs and more.
Yet other dining spots all around Newport Beach offer the perfect vantage points for viewing the setting sun … along with tasty tidbits and libations. Some of the favorites can be found along Restaurant Row — including Rusty Pelican and Billy’s at the Beach — as well as Ruby’s Diner at the end of the Balboa Pier.
Fun and Sun
The Balboa Fun Zone (on Balboa Village across from Balboa Pier off Balboa Boulevard) offers the perfect place to take in the sunset (along with the striking ocean and harbor views) from atop a Ferris wheel. Afterward, hit the coastal amusement area’s arcade, tour ExplorOcean and browse the shops while enjoying your favorite beach treat. This also is a popular place to board a sunset harbor cruise.
Photo Credit: Jason Anthonisen Photography