It’s hard to be a unique traveler in Southern California: you’re either the Disney family, the beach family or the “I will attempt to sustain California’s economy with my personal credit card” family. Both of our parents lived here for a good amount of time, so this is one of our most frequent vacations. When we got married, we had to create our own Newport Beach traditions that were a fair mixture of our favorite things and family favorites. Although we’re occasionally the Disney family, our top 5 Newport moments are a mixture of the other two stereotypes, which results in a well-rounded, memorable vacation.
1. Corona Del Mar Tide Pools: This has been my mom’s favorite activity for as long as I can remember. Entire afternoons have been devoted to carefully inspecting the pools for cool sea creatures. The surrounding beach is gorgeous, so it’s perfect for a backdrop.
2. Fashion Island: Jack and I both enjoy shopping and this gem is our go-to. While it doesn’t boast the size or selection of South Coast Plaza, the addition of Nordstrom has made it our number one shopping destination. Husband’s first stop is for a dulce de leche shakes at Haagen Dazs, while I walk directly to the two pet stores. Honestly though…check out the pet stores.
3. Bike Rides: Renting beach cruisers is about as touristy as you can get, but for good reason: it’s absolutely delightful and such a good time! While it’s great to do around the resort, we make the short journey to the Balboa Peninsula for an hour or two of leisurely riding. We love Balboa Bikes ‘n’ Beach Stuff and always get our rentals there. It’s a family-owned shop and they are beyond helpful! Tip: Do your best to not wake Boo Boo the dog. 14-year-old animals don’t seem to appreciate their rest being interrupted…
4. Marriott Newport Coast Villas: By far our favorite place to stay! This is the only place we’ve stayed as a married couple and it’s going to be so difficult if we have to stay somewhere else! The location is ideal and the resort amenities are so convenient. They have beach and sports equipment rentals, several pools and countless on and off-site activities. Trust me, you’ll never be bored!
5. Sprinkles Cupcakes: We’re not anywhere unique with this must-visit Newport destination, but there’s a reason we always make a stop. These cupcakes are to die for! We always feel ambitious going in and purchase two each, but one is usually sufficient! They have adorable dog cupcakes as well that Bella is quite fond of. Our faves? Black & White, Strawberry and Cinnamon Sugar.