Neighborhood Spotlight: Corona del Mar
You’ve just arrived in Newport Beach. With its many neighborhoods and beach spots, how do you decide which part you should explore first? Searching for the perfect beach spot can be tricky, and there are a few characteristics that you should look for to determine whether it would be a good fit:
– What is the atmosphere on the beach? Crowded? Quiet? A little of both?
– What are the waves like? Massive swells? Friendly ripples? Somewhere in between?
– What’s the scenery like? Vast stretches of sand? Lots of hills full of trees and greenery?
Enter Corona del Mar, a place known to locals as “CdM.” With streets named after flowers, quaint restaurants and boutiques, and homes that are a mix of modern flare and traditional comfort, Corona del Mar is distinct in its sophisticated nature and offers a range of activities for visitors and locals alike.
It is rare to find mega-chain restaurants or shops in Corona del Mar, in fact several shops and restaurants are owned by locals. Hit the chic and stylish shops, like On Que Style and Holly Sharp. Or locally owned restaurants such as The Bungalow or Five Crowns.
To find the beach, make your way to Marigold Avenue going south towards the coast and you’ll be taken through beautiful neighborhoods that lead you to Ocean Boulevard, a street atop a vibrant, green hill with a view that shows the meeting of sky and sea — a blend of blues that will really leave you breathless.
Wander down the paved path towards Big Corona and you’ll hear the buzz and bustle of children running on the sand, adults playing beach volleyball, and families enjoying the day’s warm weather. The waves are just big enough to allow kids of every age to swim or body board. The atmosphere here is playful and energetic, ideal for outings with family and friends.
If you’re in the mood for a space that’s more intimate and secluded, head back up the hill and down Ocean Blvd. to a spot that locals sneak off to for a day of quiet relaxation.
This small strand of beach not known to most visitors is Little Corona Beach. You’ll find that this spot is hidden amongst rocky cliffs and green foliage, making it ideal for romantic sunset viewings or beach picnics.
There is a simplicity and effortlessness about Little Corona even during its busy afternoon crowds. But when most everyone has gathered up their belongings and headed home (I find this to be around 5 p.m.) that is when you can see Little Corona for all that it truly is: a hidden gem that makes up for its relatively small size with big views.
The beauty of it all? You feel like the beach is all your own.