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Southern California Road Trip

October 14, 2013

One of the most fun and efficient ways to go on vacation is a family road trip! And if your driving plans include Southern California, be sure to stop in beautiful and scenic Newport Beach! Newport Beach is centrally located in the heart of Orange County and is the perfect place to visit, beyond the pit stop.

In fact, we’ve mapped out what to do here for 36-hours. You’ll be able to create a picture-postcard-perfect road trip vacation, without breaking the bank!

Buckle up and get ready to experience everything Newport Beach has to offer!

Day 1:

3pm: You and your family have arrived! Check into your hotel, unpack, and get ready for a relaxing, fun, and scenic Duffy Cruise in Newport Harbor.

3:30pm: Rent your easy-to-navigate electric boat and get ready to cruise the Harbor. For extra family fun, play the “Duffy Boat Scavenger Hunt” game (CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD) and find historical landmarks around the Newport Bay. The kids will love it, and adults will enjoy the scenic views, beautiful landscape, yachts, and homes along the waterfront.

5pm: Cruising can work up a healthy appetite, so it’s time to Dock & Dine at one of Newport’s many family-friendly restaurants: Harborside Restaurant. Situated in the middle of Newport Harbor in the “Fun Zone”, you will be amongst all the action while overlooking the stunning views of Newport Harbor. Parents can enjoy exquisite seafood and steak fare while young ones have an array of kid-friendly options to choose from as well, it’s the best of both worlds!

7pm: After dinner, head to Balboa Island and stroll along Marine Avenue to window shop and treat the family to dessert. Indulge in a Newport Beach tradition and order a Balboa Bar at Dad’s or Sugar n’ Spice – a creamy ice cream treat made-to-order with your choice of decadent toppings.

Day 2:

8am: Head to Balboa Island where you can enjoy breakfast at Wilma’s Patio, a Balboa Island family-owned and operated restaurant. Kids and adults will love their homemade pancakes, waffles, French toast, and every kind of egg dish imaginable.

9:30am: Take the Balboa Island Ferry over to the Fun Zone. The kids will go crazy for the Ferris wheel and arcade games. Also be sure to check out ExplorOcean (Home of the Fun Zone). The museum features meaningful collections and engaging exhibits, and offers relevant educational programming that will connect kids and adults to the adventure, inspiration and mystery of the sea!

11am: Beach time! Pack your beach bags and pick your spot along the stretch of beach on Balboa Peninsula. Miles of coastline, filled with shops, restaurants, and beach rentals fill the boardwalk. Make the most of your beach day and rent a surrey bike – the whole family can ride at once!

1pm: Enjoy lunch at Ruby’s, a 1950′s-inspired diner on the Balboa Pier. Everyone will love walking out to the end of the pier and taking in the views over a cheeseburger and Ruby’s famous shakes.

3pm: Take the family to the Pirate Coast Paddle Company at the Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina, and take an introductory lesson in stand-up paddle boarding that will teach you the basics of this fun sport in the calm waters of the beautiful Newport Back Bay.

Sunset: After all of the activities, your family will be ready to relax – and the perfect way to do that is having a picnic on the beach. Go to Gallo’s Deli in Corona del Mar or A Market in Mariner’s Mile to get dinner to go. Grab a blanket and head to the beach for family bonding time at sunset.

Day 3:

9am: Head down to Crystal Cove State Park and eat breakfast on the beach! Park at the Los Trancos parking lot off of Pacific Coast Highway and take the Beachcomber Cafe Trolley down to the restaurant. The kids will love the fun trolley ride, and the Beachcomber Cafe offers great food and spectacular views from its perch on the sand.

11am: After breakfast at the Beachcomber Cafe, walk along the beach and check out the spectacular Crystal Cove tide pools.

1pm: Make sure to stop at Fashion Island before you head home. The outdoor shopping mecca is filled with more than 125 stores – featuring a great mix of boutiques, department stores and designer outposts. Kids will love the water fountains and park areas to run around in. The whole family can dine al fresco at one of the many open-air, family friendly restaurants and reminisce about their amazing time in Newport Beach this summer.


Written by Visit Newport Beach

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