Cafe

Newport Beach, a breathtaking escape on Labor Day weekend or any holiday trip

Newport Beach

An estimated 100,000 people visit Newport Beach daily.

                               This story was first published on Examiner.com

Newport Beach

A big attraction at Newport Beach is the seal.

Newport Beach, which is nestled between Laguna Beach and Costa Mesa is a seaside city in Orange County, California.  Its population was 85,287 at the 2010 census and is fast approaching 100,000). Newport Beach is also home to Newport Harbor.  Balboa Island tucked up against Newport Harbor has a village atmosphere with cool shops, tons of fun and romantic views at night. There is even a late running (up to 10:00 p.m.) three car ferry that shuttles vehicles and tourists on foot across the harbor in less than five minutes. IMG_0342 - Copy

“The weather here is so warm and even,” said Princeton. “We get this kind of weather, in the 70’s year- round. It is home to surfers like me. When I have out-of-town visitors I describe Newport Beach as a total paradise with rugged trails, never ending waves and boutique restaurants to die for.”

Princeton offers to take tourists and visitors to the best Newport Beach hotspots and restaurants. If you love seafood, don’t forget to check into Bear Flag Fish Co. (Crystal Cove Promenade, 7972 E Pacific Coast Hwy, Newport Beach, CA 92657) The clam chowder is so thick the clams nearly standup in a delicious bowl. The fish and chips are just one of the local’s favorite dish, too. The fish tacos are huge servings, especially the “Special Taco- Halibut”, which is a meal in itself. The Bear Flag was named #25 among the best 50 tacos in America by The Business Insider Magazine. Once inside the café you will notice a wall and display of fresh fish you can order to take home and cook yourself, or if love sushi, just checkout the sushi bar. It is owned by Thomas Carson, but goes by the name of “Thos” Carson.

Princeton guides people to some of the best kept secrets and highlights in this city that will be 110 years old in 2016. He loves Balboa Peninsula, a five mile-long tract of beaches from West Newport past Balboa Village, nicknamed “Home of the Fun Zone.” Other highlights include, Cannery Village/Lido Village a former fishing village with nice boutiques, galleries and great seafood cafes. Other favorites Princeton enjoys showing off are: Corona Del Mar, “Crown of the Sea, which lives up to its name; Crystal Cove, Newport Coast, an upscale area of shopping and stylish restaurants on one side of PCH and across street from the historical Crystal Cove State Park. There’s a pedestrian tunnel right under PCH to the park.

Resident tour guide, Buddy Princeton gives exclusive tours of his backyard, Newport Beach.

Resident tour guide, Buddy Princeton gives exclusive tours of his backyard, Newport Beach.

Another huge drawing card is Fashion Island, Newport Center, which has luxury boutiques, restaurants on gorgeous landscaped plazas, palm trees and eye-popping fountains. Other great spots to see include Mariner’s Mile, Westcliff, which is the nautical heart of Newport Beach bursting with brokers, waterfront eateries and boats for hire. And finally the Upper Newport Bay, which is the Back Bay and one of the largest coastal wetlands in SoCal offers 1,000+ acres of active land and water adventures.

According to published reports, The Newport Beach’s median family income and property values consistently place high in national rankings. The Daily Pilot, a newspaper published in the neighboring city of Costa Mesa but which serves the greater Newport-Mesa community, reported in 2010 that more than a quarter of households have an income greater than $200,000, and the median value for homes exceeds $1 million. After you spend time on the beach, you could spend many hours just touring neighborhoods of multimillion dollar homes. And in some neighborhoods, each house has a different look and designs with the neighborhoods surrounded by water. Princeton suggests that the best way to get your maximum holiday or vacation opportunities is to take the scenic Pacific Coast Highway to obtain a full day’s worth of shopping at the world-class Fashion Island or boutique-filled Balboa Blvd. You can also auto-ferry it to the old-fashion Marine Ave of Balboa Island. Every picture you take says Princeton is postcard perfect with images that pop right off the screen.

Third Street Promenade comes alive with musical performers wooing thousands of tourists daily

Third Street Promenade.

Some 40,000 visitors head to Santa Monica for the street performers, delicious food and entertainment that is world famous at the Third St. Promenade, one of the top tourist attractions in SoCal.

This story was first published on Examiner.com

When SoCal residents sweat out triple digit heat they flock to the coastline to Santa Monica or Malibu beaches. When the tourists come to town they follow the locals to the beaches, but the largest crowds head to the Third Street Promenade that’s walking distance from the beach. It is an upscale shopping, dining and entertainment complex in the downtown area of Santa Monica, California. (1351 3rd Street Promenade #201, Santa Monica, CA 90401).

Third Street Promenade

The world famous Third St. Promenade attracts thousands daily to Santa Monica for a real music treat and great cafes. ( click image above ).

The Promenade is known for great specialty, upscale stores from Nordstrom to Forever 21. It’s just walking distance from much to see and do like the like the Santa Monica Pier. But one of the best-kept secrets includes free, raw, street musical talent featuring blues, top 40 to Spanish guitar players that are show stoppers or in this case shopping grabbers. The Promenade offers unique features of the Downtown Santa Monica experience with a variety of street performers strumming, rapping, dancing, juggling and otherwise entertaining visitors. This large tourist attraction gives these performers a chance to showcase their musical acts in front of an audience of thousands. According to Downtown Santa Monica and 3rd Street Promenade, there is an average of 40,000-foot traffic daily.

You have tours of the historical downtown Santa Monica to some of the best restaurants in California. The Promenade even compliments the City of LA’s worst drought in 140 years with water saving imitative through a water drip system and plants that survive with very little water. In fact, there are dinosaurs sculptured out of green brushes with water coming out of the mouth. According to the City of Santa Monica, the watering system, and succulent plants are expected to save about 14,500 gallons of water per year.

Third St. Promenade

The world famous Santa Monica beaches.

For decades, Santa Monica has been “the go-to” beach for people living in or near the City of Los Angles. Tourists are often surprised to see so many activities going on in Santa Monica. Don’t be surprised if you see top-name stars in the movie and television industry.   This energetic beach community throws out the red carpet to everyone and is very close to most of SoCal’s best, major attractions. So in between your itinerary – in trips to Universal Studios, Hollywood, Disneyland, and other top tourist sites be sure to check out the Third Street Promenade and enjoy free music, a natural beach breeze and a day well spent.

If you are visiting the promenade for the first time, you might notice after walking several blocks lined with stores, exhibits, cafes and a newly remodeled mall, that when you come back through the area, the musical talent has changed. The music continues long into the night, where solo artists and small bands take turns playing and singing their heart out. Just don’t forget to drop some money in the tip buckets or hats, because it is the only way these exceptional performers make money.  After all, it cost them $37 a year for permits to play at the Third Street Promenade. And it’s free. Some highlights are published below. Enjoy!