Insider’s Guide to Newport Beach vc_insidersguidetonewportbeach_supplied_afarmedia_poi0120_lidohousenewportbeach_af0136_1280x640
Courtesy of Visit California

Insider’s Guide to Newport Beach

Insider’s Guide to Newport Beach
Shop, dine, and bask in the coastal glow of this Orange County community

Lido House

Location, location, location—it’s an adage that holds true at Lido House. Opened in 2018, the boutique hotel took over Newport Beach’s former city hall complex—putting it in the center of town and, most notably, right down the street from the stylish shopping and dining hub Lido Marina Village. The hotel’s rooftop bar (the only one in Newport), spa, and cabana-lined saltwater pool have also become destinations in and of themselves. An upscale Cape Cod sensibility prevails in the 130 guest rooms and suites; there are also five three-story cottages, each with a private roof deck and one-of-a-kind furnishings selected by a local interior designer. The Lido Limo provides surfboards, bikes, and shuttle service to the beach a few minutes away. At the hotel’s restaurant the Mayor’s Table Pacific Pub & Kitchen, it’s worth splurging on the eight- to 14-course no-menu meal at the chef’s counter, where executive chef/partner Riley Huddleston makes magic with the freshest ingredients available. Fair warning: Morning mimosas from the champagne cart and Dungeness crab doughnuts at night might become hard-to-break habits.

Lido Marina Village

A charming collection of shops on the water, Lido Marina Village would seem of another time, were it not for its completely modern mix of design boutiques and eateries. Built in the 1970s, the outdoor shopping center was revitalized in 2017, attracting a prestigious lineup of Southern California brands—Jenni Kayne’s breezy-chic clothing, the bold leather goods of Clare Vivier, and Broken English’s evocative jewelry—along with Le Labo fragrance apothecary, home goods shop Serena & Lily, and even destination restaurant Nobu. Wooden boardwalks are strung with bistro lights, hand-painted signs direct patrons from shop to shop, and a relaxed savoir faire pervades the village. It’s not all shopping either: Coffee at Zinque, Curl Fitness’s yoga classes, and blowouts at TReSs Apothecary + Salon make it a locals’ hangout too. It’s the kind of place people linger, especially on Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, when a local musician plays on the main deck. Even more fun: Arrive by boat, into one of the 47 marina slips.

A'maree's

A game-changer for Newport Beach when it opened in 1976, this boutique is still Orange County’s arbiter of style. Owned by a trio of sisters—their pioneering mother launched the store to give women a place to buy simple yet elegant designer pieces—the boutique is usually the first to stock labels that are winning acclaim in Europe, but haven’t yet won notice in the United States. Buying trips in Milan, Paris, New York, and occasionally L.A. beget an eclectic array of clothes and accessories that are at once glamorous and accessible. The owners cultivate relationships with their designers—including Peter Cohen, Denis Colomb, Daniela Gregis, The Row, and Sofie D’Hoore—and also host special meet-the-designer events for customers. There’s a homey familiarity every time a patron steps into the spacious shop, with high arching windows revealing yachts outside and glass portholes looking down to the Pacific. Locals’ tip: For a one-on-one styling session, book a private appointment with the sisters on a Sunday.

Marche Moderne

It’s not an overstatement to say chef Florent Marneau has spent more than half his life perfecting his coq au vin. Enrolled in cooking school in his native France at age 13, and classically trained for years, he then brought his talents to Orange County. His bistro, Marché Moderne, opened in 2008, and gained instant unparalleled attention not just from locals but from critics nationally as well. (It was nominated for James Beard Awards for Best New Restaurant, Best Chef, and Outstanding Service.) In 2017, Marneau moved to a fresh, expansive location close to the beach in Newport. Bifold doors open to a casual patio, allowing a sea breeze through the dining room, and a Cruvinet holding boutique French and California wines is the showpiece behind a quartzite bar. Dinner guests can savor steak frites or foie gras and chestnut ravioli, finished with a tableside pour of poulet jus. Marneau’s wife, Amelia—an acclaimed pastry chef who also trained in France—creates the delicate sweets that punctuate every meal. Off-menu specials often include chef favorites like black truffle–stuffed chicken or cuttlefish flown in from France. Locals’ tip: Make a reservation for Monday night, when the three-course Spontané menu is $38 (add a carafe of wine for $18).

In Partnership with Afar.

Insider’s Guide to Newport Beach OC_Hero_HuntingtonCouple_Mansfield_1280x642_sized
Scott Mansfield

Discover Orange County

Whether it’s manicured beach towns or celebrated theme parks, all framed by oceanfront towns and luxury yachts, “The OC” stands out as one of the state’s most iconic destinations. The always-amazing Disneyland Resort, roughly a 1-hour drive south of L.A. and 2 hours north of San Diego, continues to be one of the best-loved theme parks in the world, while Knott’s Berry Farms and other OC attractions amp up the fun meter.

“Surfing is like golf. . . it keeps knocking you down. But when you stay with it and catch that wave. . . magic.” — actor Dennis Quaid

Shop at spectacular South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, or get the surfer look in Huntington Beach, aka Surf City, USA. 

Insider’s Guide to Newport Beach vc_luxuryminute_pelicanhill_supplied_coliseumpooloceanviewday_1280x640
Courtesy of Pelican Hill

The Resort at Pelican Hill

Indulge in Mediterranean elegance, world-class golf courses, and five-star service at this Newport Beach resort

Tuscan elegance paired with panoramic ocean views is central to the eternal allure of...

Insider’s Guide to Newport Beach vc_irvine_irvinespectrumcenter_st_rm_486307227_1280x640
Mitch Diamond/Getty Images

Irvine

This centrally located Orange County city is the perfect home base for shopping, dining, and kid-friendly exploring

Irvine’s central location—45 miles from Los Angeles, 85 from San Diego, and 15 minutes from...

Insider’s Guide to Newport Beach VCW_D_Disneyland_Hero_Disneyland_4_08_DL_09847_1280x642
Courtesy of Disneyland Resort

Spotlight: Disneyland Resort

Insider’s Guide to Newport Beach vca_maps_orangecounty
Just saying the name sets a child’s face glowing

The undisputed granddaddy of theme parks has been leading the way since 1955, inviting visitors to spend the day in the ultimate land of make-...

Orange County

4 Incredible Resorts in Orange County

Enjoy unparalleled views, world-class golf, fine dining, and much more at these high-end destinations

With long stretches of golden sand, prime surfing spots, excellent dining, and top golf courses, the good life doesn’t get much better than along...

Insider’s Guide to Newport Beach VC_IrvineSpectrumCenter_Stock_Irvine-Spectrum-Center-at-Dusk-CMF-8483_1280x640
OC Stock Photos 2016

Irvine Spectrum Center

With a Ferris wheel and Spanish ambience, this shopping center expands the definition of “mall”

Southern California is known for its sunny, open-air shopping centers, but this outdoor mall in the heart of Orange County ups the ante with...

Insider’s Guide to Newport Beach VC_California101_OrangeCounty_Stock_RF_EHT85D_1280x640
Jon Bilous/Alamy

Orange County’s Best Beaches

Visit these four idyllic, sun-drenched stretches of sand in Southern California

With 42 miles of sandy coastline and a string of small, eclectic beach towns, Orange County delivers the quintessential Southern California...

Insider’s Guide to Newport Beach 1_SpotlightAnaheim_Opener_gty_RF_139695934_1280x640_downsized_0
Carsten Erler/Getty Images

Spotlight: Anaheim

Insider’s Guide to Newport Beach vca_maps_orangecounty
Amazing attractions, shopping and dining in the one-of-a-kind Orange County town

With its laid-back vibe and unbeatable attractions, this vibrant city on the northwest side of Orange County has become a popular destination for...

Insider’s Guide to Newport Beach VC_GreatWolfLodge_Supplied_LodgeFlowrider_1280x640
The Howlin’ Tornado water slide at Great Wolf Lodge near Anaheim is as tall as a six-story building.
Insider’s Guide to Newport Beach VC_GreatWolfLodge_Supplied_FamilyFun_1280x640
Courtesy of Great Wolf Lodge

Great Wolf Lodge

The hotel-meets-water-park chain brings its all-weather family fun to Orange County

At first glance, a completely indoor water-park hotel might seem unnecessary in sunny Orange County. Fans of the Great Wolf Lodge brand, however,...

Insider’s Guide to Newport Beach FF_VCW_D_OC_T10_BalboaBeach_Mansfield
Mission San Juan Capistrano, founded in 1776, was the first winery in California.
A Surfer in Newport Beach, California
David Marano/Getty Images

Newport Beach’s Surf Scene

Check out an epic bodysurfing mecca along the O.C. coast

Back in 1971, a Sports Illustrated article about bodysurfing not only anointed Southern California “the cradle of the sport,” but...

Insider’s Guide to Newport Beach VC_DanaPoint_Stock_RF_184148413_1280x640
Behind The Lens/Getty Images

Dana Point

Begin your Highway One odyssey in this scenic town with views over the ocean bluffs

The southern origin of California’s Highway One offers some gorgeous drama, like beach town...

Santa Ana
Liz Boyd/Alamy

Santa Ana

Orange County’s largest city boasts a walkable downtown with an emerging arts and culinary scene

Not showy or sassy like some of Orange County’s more touristy towns, Santa...

Insider’s Guide to Newport Beach VCW_D_OC_T4_Shopping_Manley1280x642
Harriot Manley/ Sunset Publishing

O.C. Shopping

Discover boutique brands and bargains

Shopping in The O.C. is almost as legendary as surfing. Start at expansive South Coast Plaza, California’s largest luxury shopping complex, with...

The magic of Disneyland, walking through the tunnel underneath the train station to Main Street, it just transports you to other places and other times.
John Lasseter
Orange County is the cultural center of the surf world and Huntington Beach is like the heartbeat.
Corky Carroll (Orange County surf legend)
Insider’s Guide to Newport Beach VC_Questionnaire_BrianHuskey_Supplied1_1280x640
Courtesy of Brian Huskey

California Questionnaire: Brian Huskey

The Top Chef alum loves riding his bike to work, taking road trips, and vacationing at Lake Tahoe

Brian Huskey first came to national attention in 2013 when he competed on season 11 of Bravo TV’s Top Chef, set in New Orleans. The...

SPECIAL FEATURE
Where to release your inner fashionista

Shopping is an art form in California. Whether you're in search of the perfect cocktail dress or an authentic Mexican piñata, you'll find it here. Want to sample fresh produce? Try our farmers...

Insider’s Guide to Newport Beach Shopping_SpecialFeature_preview_686x885_0
Insider’s Guide to Newport Beach VC_Questionnaire_GregLong_Mason-Mashon-Photo_California-Day-Dream-LR-338_1280x640
CLIF Bar/Mason Mashon

California Questionnaire: Greg Long

Although he’s traveled the globe in search of big waves, this professional surfer will always call California home

California native Greg Long has carved out a name in the world of competitive big wave surfing by conquering the most challenging waves on the...

SPECIAL FEATURE
Unleash the kid within at California’s ultimate playgrounds

From Disneyland classics to beachfront carousels, the Golden State’s best-in-class theme parks deliver something for everyone. Take a tram ride to tour movie back lots at Universal Studios...

Insider’s Guide to Newport Beach AmazingThemeParks_preview_868x686
Lucas Himovitz
Insider’s Guide to Newport Beach CTTC_Pelican_Golf3-047_sized_0

Golf in Orange County

Tee up at top courses, with some ocean views

With ideal Southern California weather and some of the country’s most celebrated courses, Orange County justly earns the nickname “California Golf...

Insider’s Guide to Newport Beach RitzCarltonLagunaNiguel_1280x642
Courtesy of Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel

Orange County's Luxury Resorts

Live like a star at posh getaways

The good life might have been invented in “The O.C.”—especially when it comes to resort destinations. With spas, elegant dining, posh lodgings,...

July/August

With a nickname like “Surf City, U.S.A.,” Huntington Beach is the obvious place for this 9-day, sun-and-wave extravaganza, the world’s largest surf event. Top pros including Kelly Slater and Rob...

Insider’s Guide to Newport Beach VansUSOpenSurfing_preview_686x885
William Fovall/Flickr
Insider’s Guide to Newport Beach vca_maps_orangecounty
SPECIAL FEATURE
Get into the coastal vibe

Maybe it’s the sun-streaked hair, the frequent smiles, the eyes always gazing west, looking to the horizon to see when the next set might roll in. It’s the unmistakable look and vibe of a...

Insider’s Guide to Newport Beach VCW_TI_8_hero_Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 11.35.53 AM
Insider’s Guide to Newport Beach vcw_ti_6_hero_cc_bigsur_coast_ts_1280x642_0

Trip 5-7 days 10 stops

Highway One Classic

Take the trip that captures the heart and soul of the Golden State
SPECIAL FEATURE
Discover the awesome sports scene in the Golden State

With nearly twice as many professional teams as any other state, California is big league all the way. But the state’s sports scene goes far beyond football and baseball, with a diverse line-up of...

Insider’s Guide to Newport Beach PebbleBeachProAm_ChristinaLauren_preview_686x885
Christina Lauren/Flickr
Insider’s Guide to Newport Beach VCW_D_OC_T7_IMG_5467_1280x642
Harriot Manley/ Sunset Publishing

Crystal Cove State Park

Stroll a perfect beach with an intriguing past

In 1912, an early Laguna Beach artist described finding a rugged coastline “with cove after cove and headland after headland, golden cliffs and...

SPECIAL FEATURE
From Gold Rush history to the 8th wonder of the world, visit these favorites

If there was ever a box of chocolates—and all of them delicious—it’s the rich collection of natural treasures, fascinating...

Insider’s Guide to Newport Beach McWayFalls_JPB_SP_preview_686x885
Amy Meredith/Flickr
Insider’s Guide to Newport Beach VCW_TI_8_hero_Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 11.35.53 AM_v3
Myles McGuinness

Trip 4-5 days 10 stops

Pacific Coast Highway - South

Beach Towns, Iconic Theme Parks
Insider’s Guide to Newport Beach VCW_D_SantaBarbara_Hero_CC_SBarbaraPier_KG_1280x642

Start your coastal cruise in this elegant city hugging the coastal mountains, where classic Spanish architecture gives the region a sun-washed European look straight out of the Riviera. Santa Barbara, nicknamed “the American Riviera,” may have a burnished antique look of much of the...

SPECIAL FEATURE
Check these amazing experiences off your bucket list

Kiss a beluga, see cool movie props, and learn about Walt’s secret hideaway on exclusive and behind-the-scenes tours at California’s theme parks and attractions. Here’s a roundup of worth-the-...

Insider’s Guide to Newport Beach VCW_SI_VIP_T1_MichaelSaechang_preview_686x885
Michael Saechang/Flickr
Insider’s Guide to Newport Beach FunFact_Great Park Balloon above the Palm Court Arts Complex_sized
Every year, the Orange County Great Park Balloon dons a smiling jack-o-lantern mask, marking the unofficial start of fall in Orange County.
Insider’s Guide to Newport Beach VCW_D_T9_Great Park Balloon above the Palm Court Arts Complex_sized
Courtesy of Orange County Great Park

Orange County Great Park

Explore an impressive urban park

Turning former military land into a roughly 1,300-acre/526-hectare green space, this Irvine park is as ambitious as it is...