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Old 07-20-2010, 04:18 PM   #1
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day trip - Newport or Laguna Beach??

6 of us. In-laws and kids ages 8 & 12 .

Which is the better day trip beach? Is there others we should consider?

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Old 07-20-2010, 05:12 PM   #2
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I've only been to Laguna, it is beautiful and would be my choice.
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Old 07-25-2010, 02:53 PM   #3
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It depends on what you would like to do. Our family has vacationed in Newport Beach for over 30 years, and we always take at least one day trip to Laguna. We've been swimming, shopping, walking and dining in both. Our three boys are ages pre-school to pre-teen and they absolutely love Newport - they think Laguna is just OK.

If you are interested in spending the day on the beach, swimming/boogie boarding, walking on the beach or riding bikes on the beach and a more family beach atmosphere, I'd recommend Newport. Ruby's restaurant on the Balboa Pier and the Balboa Fun Zone are both fun for kids. And we love the ferry ride over to Balboa Island and the walk to the quaint Marine Avenue shops and restaurants. For a day on the beach, the 15th street area is great - the Stuft Surfer is a fun burger spot (picnic tables out on the sand) and the bathroom facilities are close and (relatively) clean and the beach itself is super clean. Newport stretches for miles and it's just amazingly clean and uncrowded because there is just so much beach.

If you are looking for shopping, dining and spectacular views, then I'd suggest Laguna. We don't care for the swimming/boogie boarding at Laguna. It doesn't have the long stretch of beach that Newport does. It's small, so it's always been very crowded and not as well kept up as Newport - lots of seaweed on the shore at Laguna. But the restaurants (especially Splashes in the Surf and Sand) are very good, and the shopping is definitely better. And you can walk up the cliffs for some amazing views of the ocean - really beautiful. While Newport has great views from the Wedge at the tip of the peninsula, I'd have to admit that the views from the Laguna hills are really incredible.

We have always preferred Newport, but that's in part because it's a family tradition and we spend lots of time on the beach and in the water. So it really depends what kind of day you are looking for at the beach - but I'm happy to answer additional questions!
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Old 07-26-2010, 09:45 PM   #4
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Newport. The pier with all the fishermen. The shopping and eating. The long stretch of CLEAN beach means you'll always find a place to set up. No rocks or seaweed to hurt your feet. Bike riding. Roller blading. Nice.

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Old 08-02-2010, 04:18 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Stefan View Post
6 of us. In-laws and kids ages 8 & 12 .

Which is the better day trip beach? Is there others we should consider?

Are you taking the day trip from Disneyland? Or just touring So CAL in general? Huntington Beach is another option, and closer to DL if you that's where you're staying. It is very similar to Newport. It has a pier, surf shops and restaurants. Wide sandy beach. It is "Surf City USA" because they hold annual surfing championships there. So if you are planning to spend a lot of time in the water that is a good one, in addition to Newport. Parking will be on the street with meters or in a paid lot.

Balboa Bay (part of Newport) is fun if you want to rent a kayak or small boat. Because it is protected by the peninsula the water is totally calm. As the other poster mentioned, Balboa also has the "fun zone" which is basically a couple of rides and some arcade games, but it is fun for kids. Parking will be on the street with meters or in a paid lot.

Editing to add: the "boardwalk" sidewalk connects Balboa Peninsula all the way to Huntington. If you have bikes, rent them or just love to walk you can try it! Think about round trip for where you parked though!

Laguna is more scenic. The city is in a canyon that butts up to the beach, so there are cliffs everywhere around. There are also shops and restaurants on PCH, just like the others. Parking will be on the street with meters or in a paid lot. Driving from the freeway to the beach through Laguna Canyon Rd is beautiful.

Couple more options to confuse you...
South of Newport, North of Laguna is Corona del Mar. "Little Corona" is a small protected cove with tide pools and rock structures out in the shallow water. It is a popular place to take portraits because it is very pretty. It is a very steep walk from the street parking above, down to the beach so be warned. I go there often and take my daughter in her wheelchair though, so it's not rough and wild terrain. Just steep. Parking is free on the streets above if you can find it. Not hard if you go during "non peak" beach times. Impossible on a warm weekend in the summer.

One last one. Crystal Cove State Beach is also in between Laguna and Newport (just south of Corona del Mar). It is also somewhat rocky and beautiful but much more secluded than the others. You drive in and pay a small fee for day use to the guard shack. There is a casual (moderately priced) restaurant right on the sand, and there are beach houses that you can rent through the park system. This is where the Better Midler movie Beaches was filmed. (Last house to the south).

Have a great visit whatever you choose!
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Old 09-17-2010, 02:47 PM   #6
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I prefer Laguna or Dana Point myself
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Old 10-04-2010, 05:15 PM   #7
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I would suggest Newport since it has Balboa Island across the street. You can take a Ferry across to it. Cute little island with great restaurants and shops. The pier has a place to rent bikes and some good food options as well. I love Baja Rockin Lobster as well.

If you choose Laguna go to Breakfast at Las Brisas. Make reservations best view in the area and its a buffet. They also have a free art tour once a month but not sure what day it is. Laguna also has cute shops as well.

You really cant go wrong with either location.
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Old 10-04-2010, 06:56 PM   #8
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Newport definitely. Corona del Mar is a just a minute farther south as well. Great family beach. Perfect spot to swim for the day and play in the water. Million dollar homes right behind you on a cliff. Then you can drive back up to Newport and hit the balboa island. Think boardwalk with corn dogs, cotton candy and sunset cruises.
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Old 10-25-2010, 02:28 AM   #9
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Your all wrong - I live in Costa Mesa and have my pick of Newport, Huntington and Laguna....Huntington is the most tourist friendly for an all ages group. Kids don't want to see boring art in Laguna, but they do like watching surfers and kites from the pier. Newport is more "locals" oriented but Huntington holds the title of "Surf City USA".
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