Trip Time: 3 days
Time your visit to Newport Beach for April 19–29 and you’ll experience cinematic magic at the Newport Beach Film Festival . Can’t make the festival? Salve your disappointment with a bout of upscale shopping on Balboa Island .
Or head north to Costa Mesa where, at the South Coast Plaza’s 2.8 million acres of retail, you’ll find every accoutrement required to turn heads. Don your finery and make a beeline for Hollywood Park and a day at the horse races. In the evening, dine with Hollywood’s shakers—maybe Al Pacino, perhaps Sean Penn—at Musso & Frank Grill on Hollywood Boulevard.
Visit the Museum of Television & Radio in Beverly Hills, browsing its library of 75,000-plus radio and TV programs. Head to Universal Studios and take a Warner Bros. Studios VIP tour. Put it all in perspective by visiting the recently renovated Griffith Observatory to see the stars that will last.
The Route: From Newport Beach, take State 1 north to State 39 north, then catch I-405 north. Take U.S. 101 north to Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and Burbank.