Last week I mentioned that we had just returned from our family road trip. As I posted on Instagram, we were gone for 10 days, traveled 3200 miles, and stayed in 4 different hotels. We're quickly running out of summers before our kids are gone from home, and have so many places that we'd like to travel to as a family. This trip knocked out several! Although it was all a blast, by the time we arrived back in Oklahoma City, home never looked so good.
I have several portions of our trip that I would like to share with you, beginning with a fun day half way through our trip that we spent at Newport Beach.
We began our trip with a few days at Disneyland (tips coming soon), but other than making those arrangements before hand, we planned to totally wing the rest of our trip, finding hotels along the way as we went wherever we ended up. That ended up working perfectly for us. So, as you all made a few suggestions while we were gone, we were able to alter our schedule if we wanted to. Upon seeing that we were heading south once leaving Anaheim, one sweet reader sent me a link to a Groupon for a whale watching tour out of Newport Beach, and we thought that sounded like a perfect activity for a day.
Newport Beach was a quick trip from Disneyland and we arrived mid-day. After locating the shop where our tour would begin (Davey's Locker, they were great!), we had a few hours to kill and ventured over to the beach for a picnic lunch. The pier is gorgeous, complete with a Ruby's diner for hungry guests (recommended by another reader).
However, we brown bagged our lunch that day in order to save a few dollars (or a lot of dollars... 30 meals on the road adds up!). Perched on an empty lifeguard platform with a priceless view, the finest of restaurants couldn't have been better.
This was the kids' first time to the Pacific, and although they dipped their toes in, I begged them not to get soaked before our whale tour. That was next to impossible!
After checking in for our tour, we had a little more time to roam the boardwalk. Newport Beach is a darling little town with fun shops and a small carnival-type atmosphere along the harbor.
After boarding our boat, I couldn't resist photographing all of the gorgeous beach houses as we headed out to sea. (I might have even enjoyed house-watching more than whale-watching-ha!)
Some favored stately Southern or Mediterranean manors,
(there's many more photos, please click through to finish the post)
others contemporary modern estates,
and many appeared to be transported right out of the Hamptons.
The variety of all of the designs was certainly impressive.
For some reason, I immediately thought of Leave it to Beaver when I saw this one. I love it!
Yes, please! Can you imagine the fabulous parties that could be hosted here? The navy, white, and yellow along with the details like the trim on curtains made my heart go pitter pat!
One thing I noticed and absolutely loved, also, was that almost every dock was proudly flying the red, white, and blue.
The tour groups earlier in the day saw some amazing animals on their outing, but we missed out on the whales. We did get to see Pacific White Sided Dolphins and Sea Lions, which was a treat for these Okies, along with the experience itself of being out on the open water.
After the tour concluded, we returned to the beach to let the kids actually get in the water for a bit. Although colder than the Gulf water we're more accustomed to, the water was absolutely gorgeous and they didn't seem to mind the temperature at all.
We ended the day by traveling south along the Pacific Coast Highway, one thing that I wanted to do on the trip for sure. All of the little beach towns were so charming, and of course the views were stunning.
We only scratched the surface of things to do in the area, but Newport Beach is definitely a fun, family friendly destination worth a visit if you're ever in the area!