My family traveled to Newport, California for spring break several years ago. 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. What a fantastic hotel!
Newport Beach’s Filming Locations
If you or your children watched “The OC” on TV, then Newport is the perfect vacation destination. Although only small parts of the show were filmed here, we still toured the highlights that we found in a local magazine. These included the Ferris Wheel, the Diner, the Bait Shop, and Harbor High School.
Near the Ferris Wheel at the Balboa Fun Zone area, where Ryan and Marissa kissed for the first time, our family took a sea lion and harbor cruise. During our tour, we saw many celebrity homes and boats. Our favorite home belonged to actor Nicholas Cage. Some of the lots alone had sold for $10 million, only to be dozed over and rebuilt with new mansions on the property.
A Day Trip to Disneyland
If you can afford the splurge, go to Disneyland. It is about thirty minutes away in the city of Anaheim. For an upcharge, you can visit two parks in one day because Disneyland and California Adventures are across the street from each other. Although Disneyland is small and average compared to Florida’s Disney World (our home state), California Adventure has its own niche. We enjoyed everything about this park.
Our favorite Disneyland ride was Soarin Over California, which virtually takes you to different parts of California. The ride delights the senses through sight and smell as you soar across the state. Smell the trees in the Redwood Forest, the orange groves, and dip your toes in the ocean as you get splashed along the way. This majorly popular ride has now branched out to Epcot at Disney World as well.
A Posh Must-See Mall
A must see is the South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa; my favorite shopping mall in the United States. It is located about ten minutes away and has nearly 300 stores, including Urban Outfitters, Nordstrom, Versace, John Varvatos, and Crate & Barrel. Fashion Island, in Newport Beach, is an aesthetically pleasing outdoor mall near the Marriott. It, too, has upscale stores such as Prada, Neiman Marcus, Chanel, and Louis Vuitton.
Newport Beach is definitely a luxury travel destination you will love. Our kids enjoyed everything about it including the climate, shops, food, and fun.
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: