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Newport Beach, Huntington Beach or Laguna Beach.

Newport Beach, Huntington Beach or Laguna Beach.

Old Apr 30th, 2008, 04:21 PM
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Newport Beach, Huntington Beach or Laguna Beach.

Hi,
We want to stay in one of these 3 Beaches this coming summer. Can anyone give me some pros and cons. If they aren't to far from each other it may not make much difference where we stay. If they are easily drivable, that would be great. We're looking for something laid back, easy beach access, great shopping, great food (no jackets), both upscale and "beachy" type food.
Thanks in advance for any help.
Frank
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Old Apr 30th, 2008, 04:32 PM
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I posted this on your other thread, too:


I am not an expert, but have been to all three of those areas at least a couple of times. I'd skip Huntington. It strikes me more of a beach where local kids go to hang out and surf.

My impression of Laguna vs. Newport, is more upscale at Laguna. More laid-back at Newport. I could be wrong.

Newport Beach is adjacent to Balboa Island, which is a great little place full of shops and gorgeous little multi-million dollar homes. It's fun to walk all around the little island and gawk at the homes. Some of them rent out for summer visitors, and I've always thought that would be great idea. You probably need to stay longer than a week. Try realtors in Balboa Island and see what you can find, if you're interested.

Near Newport Beach is my all-time favorite laid-back and funky place for the best fresh grilled seafood: The Crab Cooker. Lobster tails, shrimp, scallops-- all fresh grilled. Very inexpensive for those dishes, too.
 
Old Apr 30th, 2008, 05:42 PM
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Hi Frank,

Newport Beach, on the strand (beach side) is full of college students crammed several per bedroom into beach apartments drinking as much beer as they can. Some vacationing families.

Try for Balboa Island or one of the other small islands if you have really, really big bucks. Those lovely multi-million dollar homes, the ones that are rentable, are booked up usually a year in advance.

Laguna Beach is beautiful, also expensive, not as much party central. Fewer rental properties.

Huntington Beach is Surf City USA, but not beachy at all to me. At least not since about 20 years ago.

Warning: traffic at all beach locations is a nightmare all summer, even worse on the weekends. Definitely try for somewhere you can walk to restaurants, etc. Make SURE it has a private garage or reserved parking.

PCH is bumper-to-bumper all summer, so just plan on that, especially in Laguna. Everybody and their dog drives down PCH in the summer. Also, Laguna Beach's small downtown area is like a NYC sidewalk in summer - that thick with tourists.

I would recommend 2 smaller beach towns further north - Seal Beach and Sunset Beach. Very small beach communities with their own small town feel.

There are a couple others further south too. Maybe some of the San Diegans can recommend.

Good luck!
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Old May 1st, 2008, 03:37 AM
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>>here are a couple others further south too. Maybe some of the San Diegans can recommend.<<

We've done Carlsbad, Del Mar, etc and loved it. Were thinking of trying the Laguna area.. just to try it.

Used to live in Pacific Beach in the '70's, but obviously, that was a LONG time ago. Loved PB.

We're actually thinking of retiring somewhere along the coast. Not exactly sure where. That's part of why we are just checking out beach areas.

Frank
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Old May 1st, 2008, 11:28 AM
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Definetely do Laguna and Newport.
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Old May 1st, 2008, 12:06 PM
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Huntington Beach is a flat, featureless beach.

Newport Beach is also flat, but is associated with the Newport Beach harbor, Balboa and Lido Islands.

Laguna Beach is a rocky, much smaller beach associated with accomodations on the cliffside.

Laguna is probably more upscale than Newport, and both are nicer than Huntington Beach.

If you are considering retiring and looking at properties, make sure to bring you nitroglycerin and health insurance information. Even with the depressed housing markets, the prices are scathing.
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Old May 22nd, 2008, 07:33 PM
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I grew up in Laguna....years and years ago..cough cough.. and I still go back and visit twice a year. It is amazing. It doesn't really change like the rest of California.
It is still quaint and artsy with great lil places to eat out and have fun beachy dinners.
Laguna has charm in a different way than Newport.
I would vote Laguna!
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Old Jul 8th, 2008, 04:16 PM
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We just spent time this past weekend in all of the areas you mentioned, our all-time favorite is Laguna Beach. Newport was fun for the shopping at Fashion Island. All of the beaches were packed this past 4th of July weekend but not horribly so. We found the surfing to be the best at San Clemente. Dana Point is another area we really liked! ***kim***
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Old Jul 8th, 2008, 04:31 PM
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Definitely Newport Beach. Nice area. Great shopping (Fashion Island). Balboa is fun little place.
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Old Jul 8th, 2008, 06:05 PM
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Newport matches your qualificatin list best of the three. Fashion Island, South Coast Plaza and Balboa Island offer the gamut of shopping.

Oysters and Crab Cooker are only two of several good food stops that meet your list. Drive up to Huntington for Dukes and down to Laguna for Las Brisas for other enjoyable stops.

From Newport, you are only 15 minutes to either Laguna or Huntington. So, if you want to do a gallery hop or watch the dudes surf under the pier your drive is minimal.

Have fun.
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Old Jul 8th, 2008, 06:26 PM
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I have spent a bit of time in Laguna recently, and I think it's just wonderful. If you stay in a hotel close to downtown, it's easy to get around without driving, and you can explore a variety of beaches, lots of shops and restaurants. There is a movie theater in town, and of course the Pageant of the Masters, the accompanying art show, and the Sawdust Festival. I also love the Art Museum, and Heisler Park is simply gorgeous to stroll at sunset or early morning.

I have stayed at many of the mid-tier hotels, and I can often find something affordable.

Check out Crystal Cove Beach (there is a restaurant there).

You can easily drive to Dana Point or Newport Beach or Balboa Island for the day, and they are all fun. Check out the calendar events to see what is going on. In Dana Point there is a Tall Ships Festival that I hope to go to some time.

Traffic is terrible on PCH during the summer, and Laguna Beach sidewalk traffic has been influenced by the reality show craze, but it is kind of fun to watch all the cute teenagers trying to impress each other.
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Old Jul 9th, 2008, 01:25 AM
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Hi there,
we are also considering a stay at one of these places but in December.
We have 3 nights before and after our big trip, to stay in LA.
On the way home we thought we would stay nearer the airport / city but our 3 nights prior, we are tossing up between a beach area or Anaheim.
( we have stayed near the airport, West Hollywood and Anaheim before )
What are your thoughts and suggestions??
Donna
Australia
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Old Jul 9th, 2008, 03:10 AM
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Donna:

No question that I would opt for a beach city over Anaheim. Unless you intend to spend a long day at Disneyland or Knotts and don't want to commute; the beach cities are much more pleasant.
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Old Jul 9th, 2008, 09:20 AM
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Stay in a beach area! The Casa Laguna Inn was wonderful for our anniversary trip this past Dec. We stayed 3 nights here and loved this property! This past weekend we stayed 2 nights at the Laguna Reef which was nice and right across the street from the Montage where we have also stayed.

Newport was wonderful for the shopping at Fashion Island, too bad the surfing was black-balled the afternoon we were there. ***kim***
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Old Jul 9th, 2008, 09:31 AM
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My family has stayed at the Innatlagunabeach.com twice and enjoyed both stays.. very relaxing.

One early morning, we bought coffee and strolled up the beach, and were lucky to see many dolphins in the water.
Friendly people, dog owners, and people dancing.. loved it.
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Old Jul 10th, 2008, 09:54 AM
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We have booked our stays at the Montage, Casa Laguna Inn and the Laguna Reef on lagunabeachdotcom, this is a great website with good prices for all budgets. ***kim***
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Old Jul 12th, 2008, 06:05 AM
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Thanks for your suggestions.
I think we will stay near the beah for the first 3 days before our trip and then near the airport afterwards.
We will be hiring a car and driving to Lake Arrowhead from where ever we stay and then to Red Rock resort. We will have a cruise from Miami, onto Mexico and then back to LA before we come home.
Look forward to checking out your hotel suggestions.
Donna
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