Fight the Recession with Affordable Fun in Newport Beach 10 Ways Under $10 To Enjoy the Laidback Sophistication of One of California’s Favorite Getaway Destinations Visitors and residents alike can fight the recession blues with a stroll through beautiful Newport Beach that won’t strain the pocket book or wallet.
As spring break approaches, there are many inexpensive ways to fully experience the fun, style and charm of Newport Beach.
Here are ten great ways to have fun in one of southern California’s favorite getaway destinations:
1. Gourmet Cuisine for Under $10
Palm Terrace Lounge at The Island Hotel Newport Beach offers guests the ideal place to unwind, enjoy the company of good friends and the sublime stimulations of an eclectic bar menu. It’s a lively yet intimate spot for enjoying refreshing signature cocktails and Executive Chef Bill Bracken’s signature “small bites.” A special mid-week “Social Hour” series from 4 to 8 p.m. includes the following: Tuesday’s “Burgers and Beer” (including five mouthwatering sliders), Wednesday’s “Pizza and Pinot” and Thursday’s “Tacos & Tequila”. Sliders, mini-pizzas and tacos (Ahi or duck confit) are 2 for $5 with choice of cocktail.
For more information, please visit: www.theislandhotel.com
2. Comedy Tonight for Under $10
Every first Friday of the month follow the sound of laughter to the Sapphire Lounge at the Radisson Hotel Newport Beach where “First Fridays” Comedy Night starts at 8:00pm (now thru Dec. 25, 2009). Featuring professional comedians and stand-up comics in the intimate setting of the Sapphire Lounge, “First Fridays” is Orange County’s new comedy hot spot. Admission is $10 at the door for the 90-minute show. Radisson hotel guests are free (must show room key), 21 and up with ID. This is a no drink minimum and a full menu is served until 10:30pm, plus free parking.
Please visit: www.myspace.com/firstfridayscomedy for more information.
3. Taco Tuesdays for Under $10
If your taste runs to Mexican cuisine check out “Taco Tuesdays” at Avila’s El Ranchito. The taco bar has tacos with three different kinds of meat, chips and salsa, burritos, taquitos and quesadillas. It’s all-you-can-eat for only $5 (they also offer a late night “Happy Hour” from 9pm – 12 Midnight). Avila’s El Ranchito is a 40-year old tradition in southern California. Mama Avila brought delicious recipes from Guanajuato, Mexico that had been in her family for generations with each restaurant under the personal care of a family member.
4. Chocolate Heaven for Under $10
For under $5 you can savor a Balboa Island original – the frozen, hand-dipped chocolate-covered banana. Balboa Island is where the frozen chocolate banana was first-ever marketed in the U.S. The frozen banana jetted to a whole new level of fame when the popular TV show “Arrested Development” focused on a family who owned a Balboa Island frozen banana stand. The island also the birthplace of the Balboa Bar – a slab of rich vanilla ice cream on a stick lathered in thick dark chocolate, rolled in nuts or candy – a vintage pre-cursor to today’s Dove Bar. These irresistible confections can be found at Dad’s Donuts or Sugar n’Spice on Balboa Island.
5. Movie Going for Under $10
The nostalgic Lido Theatre offers contemporary art house, independent and mainstream films (plus a trip back to the “Golden Age of Hollywood) for only $7.50 (matinees) or $9 for evening shows. The Lido Theatre opened in 1938 with the classic Bette Davis film “Jezebel”. The Lido seats 622, of which 410 seats are downstairs and 212 are in the balcony. The theatre has a waterfall red velvet curtain that rises with each show with no pre-show advertisements allowed. The entire theatre has been restored, down to the tile work done in the 30’s and the installation of a highly praised sound system.
For more information, please visit: www.regencymovies.com
6. Go in Circles for Under $10
$10 will get you five trips ($2 tickets) on the beautiful, custom-made Venetian-themed carousel at the shopping destination of Fashion Island. With its 32 antique horses and a menagerie of animals with views of the blue Pacific Ocean in the distance the carousel is sure to bring a smile to “kids” of all ages. Fashion Island, Orange County’s premier open-air retail center, boasts nearly 200 specialty shops, world-class department stores and a vast array of restaurants and cafes, in a sophisticated yet relaxed atmosphere that is distinctively Southern California.
7. “Sweet” Fun for Under $10
Balboa Candy, where barrels of colorful and appetizing confections can be found, provides an opportunity to indulge your sweet tooth with vintage candies from yesteryear and one of the largest selections of salt-water taffy in the world. Balboa Candy is a family owned establishment that is nestled in the center of the island where families come experience the fun and nostalgia of a real “Old Fashioned” candy Store.
For more information, please visit: www.balboacandy.com
8. Go on a “Date” for Under $10
After a long day at scenic Crystal Cove State Park take a break from the beach at Ruby’s Shake Shack just off Pacific Coast Highway. Founded in 1945 as the Crystal Cove Shake Shack, the Shake Shack provided a refreshing pit stop for weary travelers on PCH and thirsty beachgoers. The “Shack” offers the perfect way to cool off - the sinfully sweet “Date Shake” for $4.95 – an incredible combination of crushed California dates, rich vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and topped by a cherry!
9. Savor Wine for Under $10
Sign up to be a member of the Insider Club at Wine Lab Newport Beach and experience wine tastings for $10 ($13 for non-members). There is also an abundant selection of inexpensive wines to choose from that deliver impressive QPR (quality price ratio) – most for under $10. The Wine Lab strives to be a trusted source for discovering and purchasing wine, a comfortable place for wine novices and lovers of all kinds.
For more information, please visit: www.winelabnewport.com
10. Have “Fun” for Under $10
For $10 or less anyone can find “Fun” at the Balboa Fun Zone, with rides on the popular Ferris Wheel ($3 per rider), Merry-Go-Round ($2 per rider) or a visit to the Newport Harbor Nautical Museum ($5.00 suggested donation for adults - children under 12 are free). The Balboa Fun Zone is one of Southern California’s oldest and last great coastal amusement areas, dating back to 1936.
For more information, please visit: www.thebalboafunzone.com