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Newport or Laguna Beach?? First timers to the USA

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Perth, Australia
posts: 12
reviews: 19
Newport or Laguna Beach?? First timers to the USA

Hi, our family of 2 Adult and 2 boys 9 &10 will head to the USA, California in September for a month. We will spend 5 nights in WEHO, 5 nights in SD and the drive from SD to either Laguna Beach or Newport for a few nights before heading to Anaheim for 3 hectic days at Disney.

I'm so confused, where to stay? We plan to rent a house so we can chill back before the hecticness starts again.

Also, shall we do 4 or nights in Vegas?

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Corona del Mar, CA
Destination Expert
for San Diego, Orange County, California
posts: 30,627
reviews: 338
1. Re: Newport or Laguna Beach?? First timers to the USA

With kids 9 & 10, I really would not do Las Vegas. Spend the extra nights in Orange County split between the Disneyland Resort, Knott's Berry Farm (including their water park) and the beach.

As to which beach city to pick, that is tough, especially if you are looking for a house to rent. I am not sure how readily available houses are for a less than a week stay.

Here is an article on the beach cities of Orange County, see if it is useful.

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g659482-c191228/Orang…

What would be useful for us is what what type of activities do you enjoy as a family?

Edited: 12:41 am, March 02, 2013
Seattle
Destination Expert
for Grand Canyon National Park
posts: 5,423
reviews: 39
2. Re: Newport or Laguna Beach?? First timers to the USA

I will start by saying I grew up in Newport Beach but that was a long time ago. I have returned more recently as a tourist to both Laguna and Newport, and in Laguna it was when my kids were the age of yours.

I would strongly recommend Newport over Laguna for your family. Laguna is a lovely small town, more upscale,,with a smaller beach that we found difficult for swimming because it is so steep. Newport has a long beach that stretches for miles, with varying surf but swimable most places except at the south end known as the Wedge. In the morning you can watch the surfers on their boards, and then later you can go out and bodysurf. The Balboa Peninsula is the place to stay, and there are lots of rental houses. Myou should not have much trouble finding one for a thre- night rental in September ( I will be there myself at that time and have looked at a number of them, so Ihave a sense of the availability). Balboa Island would also be fine; it is short ferry ride from the Peninsula beaches.

One thing that is fun to do is rent sea kayaks or paddle boards for a tour around Newport Bay. Or try the stand-up paddle boards. there's are things you cannot do at Laguna as there is no quiet bay. Lose by, as there is at Newport. You can also rent bicycles to ride the safe traffic free bike path along the beach. Ride out to the Wedge to see the huge waves if the conditions are right.

Huntington Beach...
Destination Expert
for Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach
posts: 4,560
reviews: 140
3. Re: Newport or Laguna Beach?? First timers to the USA

Scott makes a good point that you may find limited availability in rental homes for less than one week. But after the summer season some owners do allow shorter rental periods. There are more rental homes in Newport Beach than Laguna Beach and Newport Beach offers quicker access to the freeways for visiting other locations. Balboa Peninsula and Balboa Island are good but there are also some beach close homes in the northern part of the city closer to Huntington Beach (which your boys will also enjoy). Check the vacation rentals link on TA and VRBO. There are also homes available through local real estate agents.

Whether you visit Las Vegas or not depends upon what you enjoy doing. I know that Australian visitors often include it in their itineraries but personally, I agree with scott that it is more of an adult destination.

Manhattan Beach...
Destination Expert
for Los Angeles, Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach
posts: 14,230
reviews: 3
4. Re: Newport or Laguna Beach?? First timers to the USA

We love Laguna, my husband and I go once a year for a romantic weekend.

With a family, I'd go to Newport and rent a house. As a kid we'd go to Balboa, lots to do as kids, and you can always go to Laguna for a day trip, it's just down the road.

The Balboa Fun Zone has been around for many years. Be sure and try a chocolate frozen banana!

http://www.thebalboafunzone.com/

You'll probably go to Vegas, but your children won't have a great time. My 8 year old went for New Years with the in laws, and could not be in the casino where the adults wanted to be. So one person always had to be there. An hour in a arcade is about all one adult can stand, so noisy and crowded with teens. Shopping at the outlets is good there, however.

Perth, Australia
posts: 12
reviews: 19
5. Re: Newport or Laguna Beach?? First timers to the USA

Thank you for responding to my plight.

I have checked on VRBO or VBRO..lol

Owners do have places for us for 3 nights in both Laguna and Newport :) My boys surf (small waves) and love the beach, my husband and I Iove eating out. We want to be able to tour the day with our car and visit spots with that wow factor when it comes to scenery. Hope this helps? Thank you...Carolyn

Perth, Australia
posts: 12
reviews: 19
6. Re: Newport or Laguna Beach?? First timers to the USA

Thank you so much for replying. Great advice, I'm inclined to take it on board and stay in Newport and do day trips to Laguna and San Clemente etc, places close by. Newport is definetely cheaper to stay than Laguna Beach. Shall we stay in Anaheim or drive to Disney for the day instead as we will be pretty close to it? Thank you in advance. Regards Carolyn

Anaheim, California
Destination Expert
for Anaheim
posts: 23,277
reviews: 13
7. Re: Newport or Laguna Beach?? First timers to the USA

Have you looked at Huntington Beach?

www.surfcityusa.com

I am a fan fo the Newport Beach area, have you looked at the Bay Shores, or even less expensive, the Newport Channel Inn.

tripadvisor.com/Hotels-g32780-Newport_Beach_…

Perth, Australia
posts: 12
reviews: 19
8. Re: Newport or Laguna Beach?? First timers to the USA

I guess we are keen to see Vegas for that Wow factor, as you can imagine, we don't thave anything like it here in OZ. We also plan to renew our wovs with our boys present in some tacky Elvis Chapel and head out to see some of the many great shows :)

Anaheim, California
Destination Expert
for Anaheim
posts: 23,277
reviews: 13
9. Re: Newport or Laguna Beach?? First timers to the USA

Heck, why not do the "re-vows" at Knott's Berry Farm...

Here are some photos of my wedding...

…ocregister.com/tag/david-michael-klawe/

Corona del Mar, CA
Destination Expert
for San Diego, Orange County, California
posts: 30,627
reviews: 338
10. Re: Newport or Laguna Beach?? First timers to the USA

I get the desire to see Las Vegas because there isn't anything like it in Oz, but it really just isn't that kid friendly.

I like Darkbeer's idea of the chapel at Knott's, it is actually a very cool little spot.

If you are finding homes in Newport where you can do less than a week and your boys want to surf, Newport is the obvious choice. If you can find homes just south of the Newport Pier, say 20th Street to 14th Street, your boys would have great access to very gentle waves.

If you are having a hard time finding that area on VRBO, look at a local agency like Burr White to rent a home.

http://www.burrwhite.com/