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Opinions on itinerary and hotels

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Melbourne
posts: 20
Opinions on itinerary and hotels

I am travelling with my husband and 16 month old son in mid May two weeks, I have some meetings in the Newport Beach area and am just deciding on our itinerary. We will be hiring a car.

I am looking at 6 nights in Huntington Beach (I have a couple of meetings during this time)

Then 3 nights in Los Angeles over the weekend

Then 3 nights at the Surf and Sand in Laguna Beach for a bit of a splurge (I have only 1 meeting during this time)

My questions are:

1. I believe traffic along the PCH can be pretty congested, what sort of drive time can I expect mid week in May from Huntington Beach to Newport Beach?

2. Roughly how long will it take to get to and from LA? It doesn't look that far but is the traffic very bad and is the drive quite straightforward? We can go anytime so plan avoid rush hour.

3. For Huntington, I am looking at the Shorebreak or the Waterfront. The Shorebreak has a better rate but the cost is not the most important factor, I want to choose the best place for us. The lack of pool there is what puts me off, at The Waterfront my husband and son can swim while I am working. We'd like to walk to the shops and restaurants too. Any thoughts on which might be better?

4. If anyone can recommend any activities in the general area that would be much appreciated. My son is too young for Disney and the like but if anyone knows of any play areas/play grounds nearby that would be helpful.

Thanks in advance.

Corona del Mar, CA
Destination Expert
for San Diego, Orange County, California
posts: 33,961
reviews: 339
1. Re: Opinions on itinerary and hotels

1) It depends specifically where to where. Assuming the Waterfront Hilton to Newport Center, 20-30 minutes. Because of the signals, traffic moves pretty well. For the Airport business area, add 10 minutes.

http://goo.gl/maps/YXoOD

2) Again, it depends specifically where to where in LA, Downtown is roughly an hour, 90 minutes with thick traffic. Hollywood, add 15-20 minutes.

http://goo.gl/maps/SP9Fc

http://goo.gl/maps/2VLNK

3) Waterfront, duh :)

4) Edison Community Park, Santa Ana Zoo (maybe), playground on the beach next to Newport Elementary School and the Tide Pools at Little Corona del Mar State Beach.

http://goo.gl/maps/YTCBX

http://goo.gl/maps/VTsJE

http://goo.gl/maps/sbPCL

http://goo.gl/maps/gbOFG

Huntington Beach...
Destination Expert
for Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach
posts: 4,780
reviews: 144
2. Re: Opinions on itinerary and hotels

RE the Shorebreak vs. Waterfront Hilton. Both are good hotels. Shorebreak's location is in the "downtown" area and it is surrounded by shops and restaurants. It is right across from the H.B. Pier. Waterfront Hilton is about a 10 minute walk to the downtown area. The rooms at the Waterfront Hilton are larger and almost all have ocean views. At the Shorebreak only the front row rooms have direct ocean views and the rooms are relatively small. Given that your husband likes to swim, I think I would choose the Waterfront Hilton. The Shades restaurant at the Waterfront Hilton is also better than Zumzala at the Shorebreak (IMO) and there is a lovely outdoor seating area by the pool (with ocean view) at the Waterfront Hilton. The few outdoor tables at Zumzala face Main Street and you inhale the auto exhaust fumes.

You can take your son up to Huntington Beach's Central Park. Also our beautiful library has a fantastic children's area. You can call for the regular "story time" schedule.

Melbourne
posts: 20
3. Re: Opinions on itinerary and hotels

Great info, thanks to you both.

I think we'll go with the Waterfront. It's good to know it's only a 10 min walk from the action. Far enough away but close enough too.

Thanks also for the playground locations and the idea of the library, that is something I never thought of but I know he will enjoy that.

Thanks again!

Huntington Beach...
Destination Expert
for Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach
posts: 4,780
reviews: 144
4. Re: Opinions on itinerary and hotels

Roscat, I often take visitors to the library. They are always thrilled. While you are there, check out the art galleries that showcase local artists. And the Friends of the Library run a continuing book sale where you can pick up great finds for 25 cents to $3. The Friends run a gift shop there too. The library is located off Goldenwest Street Between Ellis and Slater. Go inland on Goldenwest St. (one mile north of the Waterfront Hilton) for about 2 miles. You will see the imposing Richard Neutra building on your right.

The Pier and Main St. are exactly one-half mile from the Waterfront Hilton. Since PCH at that location is not very interesting, I prefer going across to the beach and walking along the boardwalk.

Edited: 11:33 pm, April 01, 2013
Fremont, California
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
posts: 13,576
reviews: 1,151
5. Re: Opinions on itinerary and hotels

We usually stay at the waterfront when we stay in Huntington Beach.

If possible, I would recommend getting a room on a higher floor - on the west side of the hotel.

(note: either side is ok - I just like the west side as you can see the sunsets at night better from your room and the sun does not wake me up in the morning as much).

Huntington Beach...
Destination Expert
for Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach
posts: 4,780
reviews: 144
6. Re: Opinions on itinerary and hotels

While you are in Huntington Beach, be sure to experience Surf City Nights: www.hbdowntown.com/SURF_CITY_NIGHTS.html

Melbourne
posts: 20
7. Re: Opinions on itinerary and hotels

Thanks again everyone, so much great local knowledge. I can't wait for this trip!

8. Re: Opinions on itinerary and hotels

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