Welcome to the #NookNeighborhoods series, where every Wednesday you’ll find cool history and culture to make sure you don’t overlook an area that could have the best nook for you.
If you’re lucky enough to be at Newport Beach this Valentine’s Day, romance awaits. Whether during a couples spa treatment, by a cozy fire pit in a seaside restaurant, or with an intimate gondola ride by sunset, everything you could possibly want in a romantic evening is here at Newport Beach. (Now that I’ve written that, I am seriously reconsidering the Valentine’s Day plans I already made. Is it too late to change them?)
Honestly, who wouldn’t want to bring their sweetheart to what’s been described as a “coastal fantasyland,” with its ten neighborhoods that bring a distinctive flavor to the longest recreational coast in Southern California? You know how much we love Lido Marina and Cannery Village - so much that we moved our office there - and those are just two of the very cool nooks to experience in Newport Beach.
It’s a surfing town, a beach town, a chic shopping area. It’s a business haven, a vacation spot, a place to relax. In short, Newport Beach is any kind of beach destination you want it to be. For one thing, it had long been hailed as one of the cleanest beaches in the United States (by Heal the Bay, National Resources Defense Council, CNN), which accounts for the great reputation of the coastal offerings alone. Newport Harbor is also rumored to have inspired Pirate’s Cove in Walt Disney’s classic Peter Pan. And it’s no wonder. Standing on one of the sunlit beaches and encased in the best scenery that Orange County has to offer, I bet anyone could believe in fairies.
This area holds a very special place minutes from the Orange County/John Wayne Airport and in between Los Angeles and San Diego. Since 1905, when the Pacific Electric Railway connected it to downtown Los Angeles, visitors have flocked to Newport Beach for a gorgeous getaway, but it’s the locals who create the magic inherent within.
With everything new you can find there, Newport Beach also boasts no fewer than twelve buildings that are cited as historic on one list or another. Among these is the stylish Balboa Inn, a perfect Spanish Colonial representation from 1929. The Crystal Cove Historic District is truly a special place for the architectural nerd, as it holds around 46 coastal cottages that remind us of the early Southern Californian developments. Where some iconic structures could not last the ages, like the Balboa Island Bridge and McFadden Wharf, pieces of their history were repurposed for Wilma’s Patio on Balboa Island.
Some people visit just for Fashion Island, often called the best shopping district in Orange County. It’s really a bit of a spa for the chic shopper. You will find all of the big chain stores here, as well as the only Neiman Marcus in Orange County. Sushi and steak and Mexican cuisine alike have happy hours to take the edge off all that money you just happily spent.
Contrast that with Lido Marina Village, who prides themselves on not having a chain store within eyesight, or Cannery Village, building itself into the work/live paradise for entrepreneurs. They really have a spectrum of lifestyles available here. The accessibility is a marvel as well. Newport Beach is one of the first cities in the United States to be certified as Deaf-friendly, offering equal access to all City services and attractions. There’s whale watching, dolphin sighting and deep sea fishing every day, refreshing nature walks, art galleries and museums - and that’s still just a small sample of the joy you can find wherever you look.
I’m sold. It may be hard to get me to leave. Try Newport Beach for yourself; just Search With Style© and find your perfect home.