Newport Coast/Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
*tip State Park Annual passes are going from 120.00 to 195.00 this MAY !
This time we stopped to check out an area that runs just below the trail, almost hidden. A little area known as Crystal Cove. They have their own restaurant, the Beachcomber at Crystal Cove (seen in the movie "Beaches" with Bette Midler. the Bootleg bar, an artsy merchandise store, called "The Store" at Crystal Cove, a visitors center for getting info on the history and renting out cabins and beach houses (always sold out and a waiting list at least a year out) see map. We decided to rest and enjoy some lunch at the Beachcomber (1 hour wait!) so we opted for our second option of just sitting in the adjacent bar and ordering appetizers and Longboard beer, the food was amazing ! We had the Roasted French Feta served with marinated oven roasted tomatoes, olive tapenade, and rustic crostinis. Baked Bleu Tomato Soup A Beachcomber Classic! Slow roasted organic tomatoes pureed and laced with creamy bleu cheese then served with a puff pastry crown and the Tiny Ahi Tacos mini wonton “taco shells” filled with sashimi style Ahi tuna accented with a creamy sriracha chili sauce and served with a colorful Asian slaw (MENU)
Then it was time to take a stroll down the beach to the tide pools. What a beautiful day. A bit crowded for a monday, due to Spring break vacationers. We headed back and stopped in at the visitors center to ask questions about cabin rentals and ended up with a story about the history of the coastal beaches that were privately leased back in the early 30's-70's and how the state took back control turning the beaches into public access and how the Crystal Cove Alliance was formed to keep this area the way it was with just a little TLC, refurbishment, the adding of the restaurant and turning the homes into rental units for profit for the state, THANKFUL for that ! [WEBSITE]
We did some shopping in the little gift shop for a token sovenier. I bought a 2.00 sand dollar/starfish charm, what a deal! Who knew this was here all these 35 years that I've been living in the OC and this was my first visit and believe me it won't be my last. :)