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Christmas: Newport versus Laguna Beach

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Oct 12th, 2010, 07:44 AM
  #1
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Christmas: Newport versus Laguna Beach

We're going to CA XMAS week. We plan to spend a few days in the Santa Monica area and a few days in the Newport or Laguna Beach area. I'd be interested in knowing what you all think about Newport versus Laguna as a place to stay. We'll have 5 days (arrive LAX morning of the 20th and leave morning of the 25th).
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Oct 12th, 2010, 08:31 AM
  #2
 
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Newport has an entertaining Christmas boat parade at that time,but I think Laguna is more scenic.
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Oct 12th, 2010, 08:34 AM
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The Newport Beach boat parade finishes on Dec. 19.

http://www.christmasboatparade.com/
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Oct 12th, 2010, 09:16 AM
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I highly recommend staying at Marriott's Newport Coast.

http://www.marriott.com/hotels/trave...-coast-villas/

It is a very upscale area (directly across the street from the 5 star Pelican Hill resort)and is one of the nicest timeshares with plenty of room for the whole family. Has many nice pool options and you can see the ocean and Santa Catalina Island from many rooms. Nery short drive south to LAguna on fun to drive PAcific Coast Highway w/views of the Ocean to Dana Point and beaches everywhere & restaurants and grocery stores all within reach.

We got a bargain in September for under $200.00 a night.
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Oct 12th, 2010, 12:12 PM
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Laguna Beach, hands down!
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Oct 12th, 2010, 01:08 PM
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The key word with the Marriott is drive. You have to drive to get anywhere other than the hotel.
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Oct 12th, 2010, 04:35 PM
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Yes..5.4 miles to Laguna Bch.
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Oct 12th, 2010, 06:51 PM
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Ijar - I have also stayed at the Newport Beach Villas/Marriott and enjoyed it. I lived in Orange County for 13 years. Although I enjoyed it I would not recommend it unless someone was a timeshare owner and swaping into it.

There is no full service restaurant on site and you must drive to get any place at all... you cannot even access the beach directly. With many different options of where to stay, unless you got a great rate or as I said were able to swap into it I would pass.

At Christmas I would choose to stay in Laguna Beach. You did not mention a budget? If money is no issue the Montage is wonderful, Surf and Sand is also great - and more "right" in the village of Laguna. I have stayed at the Best Western right across from the Surf and Sand and while it is not a high end property I was pleased over all. I would request an "outside" room. The one we had is hard to explain but it was sort of like an interior on a cruise ;-) - there was a window but it was very dark and looked out at other rooms - not really "outside" (I know I am not explaining it well).

How many people and what is your budget?
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Oct 12th, 2010, 08:07 PM
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Laguna has much more beauty and personality.
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Oct 13th, 2010, 05:49 AM
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MomDDTravel,

Our budget is flexible but we'd like to keep the room rate below $250. There are two of us.

Appreciate your comments.
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Oct 13th, 2010, 08:07 AM
  #11
 
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Laguna, definitely. I would stay at a hotel in town so you can walk to restaurants, galleries and shops. I've always liked the Surf and Sand. Laguna is charming (and touristy) but apart from going to the beach there isn't much to do, which may be exactly what you want!
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Oct 13th, 2010, 10:56 AM
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I agree with Laguna Beach. I have stayed at the Inn at Laguna, Casa del Camino, the Best Western that MomDDTravel recommends, Hotel Laguna, all for under $150. All were good (but not perfect).

I like Inn at Laguna best for its location, right at the main beach and downtown. It's on Heisler Park which is a gorgeous place to walk. This is the website I like for searching for hotels, and it offers a discount if you mention the name. http://www.lagunabeach.com/hotels.html

[Here is a long post I wrote awhile ago about things I like in or near Laguna]

Explore Victoria Beach and its castle turret. (you can google for images)

Heisler Park for a walk at sunset or anytime. It's fun to watch all the plein air painters as well as the engaged couples getting photographed on the beach.

Crystal Cove is fun to explore. http://www.crystalcovebeachcottages.org/ It's a national park with restored beach cottages and a restaurant, and is where the movies Beaches was filmed.

The first Thursday of the month is the gallery art walk, with lots of great snacks and chances to talk to the artists. http://www.firstthursdaysartwalk.com/content.htm

I like the Laguna Art Museum, and with my reciprocal membership I can go often.

You can go up in a big orange balloon at the new "Great Park" (free). http://www.ocgp.org/visit/balloon/

Balboa Island is pretty great http://www.balboaisland.com/, especially the ferry across to Newport Beach http://web.mac.com/caseyjones/Ferry/Welcome.html.
Have a world famous frozen banana or Balboa Bar at one of two "original" places on Main Street.

Corona Del Mar is also a very pretty place to watch the sunset at the beach.

I like to visit Dana Point, and you can catch a boat to Catalina Island, which is lots of fun.

The Laguna movie theater is good too.

For restaurants, I go to Zinc http://www.zinccafe.com/locations.htm for lunch and eat outside. The Cottage used to be so good for breakfast, and I love the atmosphere and history. http://www.thecottagerestaurant.com/

The Hortense Miller Garden http://www.hortensemillergarden.org/ is free, but you need reservations.

Laguna Beach is so beautiful to stroll and explore. There are many charming and quirky cottages along the side streets, little beaches to explore, and surfers to watch.
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Oct 13th, 2010, 10:59 AM
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Where are you staying in Santa Monica? (Inquiring minds ;-) -

If you arrive into LAX on the 20th and drive straight to Laguna and spend two nights - the surf and sand has an offer right now for 275.00 a night for ocean "view" for 275.00 a night. With tax it will put you well above 300.00 a night - not sure if your budget is flexible. I would stay in Laguna to begin with just because of Santa Monica being closer to LAX.

http://www.surfandsandresort.com/

Best Western Laguna Beach - which is right across from the Surf and Sand is 149.00 plus tax with AAA card. for a king room. same time period.

I always wanted to stay here:
http://www.casalaguna.com/index.htm

I parked by this place often when going down to the beach and would also check it out.

http://www.carriagehouse.com/carriagehouse/history.html
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Dec 9th, 2010, 09:46 AM
  #14
 
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I will be in Newport for Christmas ... does anyone have an opinion about taking one of the boat tours that take you right out into the Boat Parade? Any thoughts about which one is best?
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Dec 9th, 2010, 10:55 AM
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If you are open to Dana Point, the Marriott Laguna Cliffs is walking distance to all the downtown Dana Point restaurants. Has a full service restaurant and an excellent fitness-spa facility. Beautiful setting, great rooms, nothing but positives about this location. You might catch a room at your price point. All depends on what nights you're trying.

I was there two years ago Christmas week, and once you got close to the Rose Bowl and Holiday Bowl, the hotel filled up with alumni attendees.
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