My family traveled to Newport, California for spring break. We flew into the John Wayne Airport, rented a car, and stayed at the gorgeous Newport Beach Marriott Hotel and Spa. The concierge floor level was a must. It provided access to three food presentations per day, unlimited beverages, and free assistance in planning your trip.
If you or your children watched “The OC” on TV, then Newport was a perfect vacation destination. Although only small parts of the show were filmed here, we found the highlights in a local magazine where you can still visit sights from your favorite scenes. These included the Ferris Wheel, the Diner, the Bait Shop, and Harbor High School.
Near the Ferris Wheel at the Balboa Fun Zone area, we took a sea lion and harbor cruise. During our tour, we saw many celebrity homes and boats, our favorite belonged to Nicholas Cage. Some of the lots we saw sold for around $10 million, only to be dozed over and rebuilt with new mansions on the land.
Other Activities Close to Newport Beach
If you can afford the splurge, go to Disneyland, which is about thirty minutes away in Anaheim. For an up charge, you can visit two parks at the same time because Disneyland and California Adventures are across the street from each other. Although Disneyland is very small and average compared to Disney World, California Adventure has its own niche, and we enjoyed everything about this park.
Our favorite Disneyland ride was Soarin Over California, which takes you on a virtual travel that delights your sight and senses through different parts of California. It includes smells of the redwood forest and orange groves as well as splashes of water as you dip your toes in the ocean. This majorly popular ride has now branched out to Epcot at Disneyworld in Florida as well.
A must see was the mega mall at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa; my favorite shopping mall in the United States. It was located about ten minutes away and has a total of nearly 300 stores, including Urban Outfitters, Nordstrom, Versace, John Varvatos, and Crate & Barrel. Fashion Island, in Newport Beach, an aesthetically pleasing outdoor mall near the Marriott, has upscale stores such as Prada, Neiman Marcus, Chanel, and Louis Vuitton.
Newport Beach, California Photo Gallery:
(Several people have asked me if I have ever written for anything prior to blogging. The answer is yes. I had submitted several travel articles to the Charleston Sunday Gazette-WV which were published. This is a modified version of one of those articles.)
Check out our other articles about California: