a VirtualTourist member from Miami
I'm going to be in Newport Beach from the 16th to the 20th of April with my wife and three year old. I was hoping somebody who knows the area could suggest ways to keep a 3 y.o. entertained as well as some other must-do's and restaurants? What's the weather like this time of year?
You can go tidepooling at Crystal Cove State Park -- stop at the ranger station first and ask about the low tide times, before you have to pay the10 entry fee. When we were there in March, it was about 5:30 pm. You can see little hermit crabs, tiny fish and such.
Disneyland is pretty close - 55 to I-5.
Spending a day at the beach is good - but coming from Miami you will probably think the beach (not the sights, but the water) is dreadful in California (unless you go to La Jolla in San Diego that is).
Must-do restaurants - take a look at my tip for Arthur's in Downey - worth the drive! Again, 55E to I-5 South.
Crystal Cove State Park is fabulous! We really enjoyed the afternoon we spent there. I have some photos of the park on my Anaheim page.
It is, isn't it Tanis? There were tons of kids with their families beachcombing and enjoying the sunset at low tide; there were myriads of dune sunflowers, so pretty. We had a fantastic time.
Yes, Helen, and I couldn't believe how few people there were on the beach - we practically had it to ourselves!
Lucky you, Tanis! It was pretty busy when we went.
I was thinking Disneyland might be too much for a 3 year-old - you wouldn't get your money's worth for a day pass. This is what happened when my brother and wife took my niece.
There's a wildlife rescue centre somewhere, I'll try to get the info, I have it buried somewhere, as we never ended up going. Fashion Island has some chain restaurants that are family-friendly, such as Cheesecake Factory. There is also a koi pond at Fashion Island that will keep the little one absorbed for hours, plus an old-fashioned carousel.
Apparently the beach behind the Montage Resort is stunning -- it's about a 20 minute drive from Newport Beach.
As far as the beach, remember he's from Miami.
While in my opinion the views in California beaches, with the mountains are awesome - when it gets to quality of the water with a toddler ... uhhhh - can't compare with Miami. Only place I remember I could even see my feet was La Jolla - and this is "circa" 1967 ...
Martha, the beaches I thought were nice. Not hugely spectacular such as near the caribbean, but nice.
We have the magnificent Rockies at our doorstep, but that does not stop us from seeing other mountainous regions or makes us take areas with mountains off our list. We're probably doing Shenandoah and maybe the Great Smoky Mountains this fall -- not the same but different.
The OP may feel the same way.
I agree Helen, they are nice - but I have lived in both places. I am just setting expectations. This is not the clear waters where your kids run in and out of the beach. I have not been to any beach in the LA area or Santa Cruz where you can see your toes if you're in 12 inches of water. Maybe what they used to call "Mother's Beach" in Marina del Rey ... but even that one is murky compared to Miami.
Ok. But you'll have to agree a three year old would love to see some baby seals ;o)
when I get home tonight I'll post the info. In case anyone else is following this posting in the future.
The Balboa Fun Zone would be a great place to take your child--there's a ferris wheel, merry-go-round and arcade among other things. Right there you could rent a Duffy Boat and cruise around the harbor--also really fun. If time and budget permits you can catch the ferry to Catalina Island. You may see dolphins and/or whales on the way. You can check all this out online. Weather will probably be great spring weather--in the 70's. If you are into shopping, nearby Fashion Island is a great outdoor mall which is fun to walk around. Restaurant recommendations--the Cannery, 21 Oceanfront and Roy's. Crystal Cove is great to look at the tide pools, but be aware that nothing can be removed from the beach, including shells.
Forgot to add that about 25 mins up the freeway in Stanton is the perfect place to take your 3 y.o.--Adventure City: www.adventurecity.com. It's an amusement park specifically for small children with little kid-sized rides, a petting zoo, and a small admission price as well! When my kids were small we all loved it! Since you are from out-of-state perhaps a trip to Legoland would also be a must-do. It's about an hour away and awesome for a three year old.
Here's the place I was talking about: The Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center. It's in Huntington Beach, which is about a 10 minute drive away.
Thanks a million to all for the tips. I love this site.
First you have to find accommodation, I recommend for newport beach houses. It is affordable gulf.