What to do for 24 hours in Newport Beach, California

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The town of Newport Beach with it’s 10 miles of waterfront along the Pacific Ocean. It may be by the seaside but it is as far away from a budget bucket and spades brigade as can be. You’ll find it in Orange County along the sparkling Californian Riviera just a short drive from John Wayne airport.

This beach still releases some of that old-time Hollywood feeling. And one way to capture it is through the history of its past resident celebrity greats and their amazing waterside homes, is by Duffy boat.

Take a Duffy tour

The waterfront at Balboa village has a carnival style Amusement Area with its own colourful ferris wheel. That marks out where you can pick up a Duffy boat to tour the harbour. These blue-topped open-sided boats are a quaint type of quiet bay or lake cruiser powered entirely by electricity. Therefore they are great fun to manoeuvre.

Shop at Fashion Island

On dry land it’s all about the shopping. For those with deep pockets, Fashion Island is pretty stylish with its collection of 200 high end shops such as Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale’s, Urban Decay and Macy’s. Therefore it’s a pretty environment, fantastic designer shops with great views.

Walk along Balboa Pier

Sun screen in hand, you should head for the Balboa Pier Beach and its beautiful sand dunes. It’s easy and cheap to park close to the beach and you can of course pitch up and sunbathe but, you can also see views without getting sandy. The pier stretches 920 feet along the blue waters of the Pacific ocean.

Check out Crystal Cove State Park

Crystal Cove is a hidden arc of beach just off the Pacific Coast Highway. It is famous for two things: The first is for having featured in “Beaches” Hollywood blockbuster starring Bette Midler. The dozens of restored mid-century wooden cottages are hip as rentals and a walk along the beach gives snapshot of how Californian’s used to live. Restoration is ongoing but there are plenty available for rent. Besides It’s inexpensive too starting at $35 a night.