Get Out of Town!
Summer Fun on a Spring Day in Newport
April, 2012 - Issue #90
"We were soon enjoying a basket of fresh beignets
topped with whipped cream while
we watched WAVES roll ashore."

Standing at Newport Beach's Crystal Cove, I can't help but feel sorry for those poor souls who live in places that boast four real seasons. Summer is still months away, and while they're shoveling snow, I'm here with my toes in the sand.

A walk along the beach gave us a chance to stretch our legs and let breakfast settle. We needed some movement after having just stuffing ourselves at The Beachcomber Cafe.

We arrived about 7 a.m., which meant we were seated immediately and soon enjoying a basket of fresh beignets topped with whipped cream while we watched waves roll ashore. The kids downed golden buttermilk pancakes while I tried my best to finish the Farmers Market Frittata - egg whites, spinach and onions topped with roasted tomatoes and melted asiago cheese.

Suitably stuffed, we wandered south in search of tide pools. It was the wrong time of day. But the kids didn't care. They hunted for shells and scrambled up the rocks jutting from the sand at the water's edge to escape the oncoming waves.

"Hurry and get up here, or you'll be toast!" Drew shouted to his sisters. Their screams marked the arrival of each wave.

After playing on the beach for awhile, we decided to get more educated about it. The Back Bay Science Center sits on the edge of the 752-acre Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve and is open to the public on Sundays between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. A staff member introduced the kids to the horn shark, leopard shark, scorpion fish and other residents of the two salt water aquariums.

A trip to Newport wouldn't be complete without visiting iconic Balboa Island. And nothing says summer like a sweet frozen treat. So that's how we found ourselves at Dad's Donuts ordering chocolate-dipped bananas. Eating them on the bench out front was a messy endeavor, but the pigeons were more than willing to clean up stray Oreo bits and rainbow sprinkles.

There is so much more to do and see in Newport but the kids really wanted to swim in the hotel pool again.

So, we headed back to the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa, which is an ideal headquarters for a family get-away. In addition to the spacious pool and adjacent interactive water play area, it features comfortable, newly remodeled guest rooms and a full-service Starbucks.

Plus, it's just across the street from the abundant dining and shopping options of Fashion Island - close enough to walk to the Cheesecake Factory and order take-out for hungry little pool-goers who should not have to endure a Saturday night wait for a table. Balboa, Crystal Cove, the Peninsula and anything else you might want to experience in Newport are within a short drive.

I was more than happy to pull up a lounge chair and watch the kids splash in the pool. It was another chance to soak up the sun and make the best of another tough Southern California winter day.
Eric Harnish lives in Castaic.

The Kid's Take on Newport
by Laurel Harnish. age 9
We got to the hotel after a long car trip. We walked into the Marriott and it was very fancy. Once we checked in, we headed out to the pool to play for awhile. It was huge! I thought it was cool that the underwater lights changed colors.
We got up the next morning and went to the beach. I climbed on rocks and made a rock stack. We also collected shells.
We went back to the hotel to go to the pool and play around. Then we packed up to go home.
I just love being with my family!

Find Your Own Summer in Newport
Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa

The Beachcomber Cafe

Back Bay Science Center

More Info
- What is the sum of 8 + 8?
This is a required value
to protect against spam
community events