Surf Staycation - Day Trip to Newport Beach
New Jersey Surfers, Casey Kwiecinski & Kristen Acerra Visit Orange County's Coastal Fantasyland
[ This post is sponsored by Visit Newport Beach. However, all opinions expressed are that of JettyGirl Online Surf Magazine ]
Discovering new reefs or searching for a fun, sand-bottom beachbreak is standard fare for any overseas surf adventure. However, when we're not traveling many of us stick pretty close to our own home breaks, often surfing the same sandbar over and over again. With no immediate travel plans in our future and not much in the way of surf on the horizon, I contacted two visiting surfers from New Jersey, Casey Kwiecinski and Kristen Acerra, to see if they'd like to join in for a quick trip up the coast to the beach town where I learned to surf, Newport Beach.
Less than an hour north from Oceanside or south from Los Angeles, Newport Beach lies in the heart of Orange County's coastline. Due to the curvature of the coastline there, Newport gets waves all year long. Whether you're looking for a mellow longboard wave, a punchy beachbreak barrel, or the Wedge which is one of the heaviest bodysurfing spots on the planet, Newport Beach has a wide variety of surf spots to suit almost any surfing style.
When we left Oceanside we knew there wasn't much swell in the water, but we figured we'd roll the dice and head north anyway. Arriving in Newport right as the tide topped out, Casey and Kristen decided to go for a run down the beach. Since moving to San Diego County twenty-five years ago, I forgot how large Newport's sandy beaches actually are. Before I knew it, the pair was down the beach and out of sight. When they returned from their beach run we went for a quick surf check and discovered a little...really little...wave breaking by the pier. For the next few hours, waves were ridden, laughs were shared, and synchronized hair flips were attempted between one-foot sets.
While Newport Beach has several different spots to surf, the city has a mind-blowing array of over 400 restaurants to choose from that range from the delightfully casual to formal, elegant dining experiences. We decided to head for Ruby's at the end of Balboa Pier for some classic all-American food and their famous pumpkin spice coffee to warm us up after surfing.
Since we were already at Balboa Pier, there was no way we were going to leave without crossing the street and heading to the historic Balboa Fun Zone. I spent tons of time there as a kid playing Skee-Ball and eating ice cream and it was refreshing to see that not much has changed. Casey and Kristen grabbed some cotton candy and we jumped on the ferry so they could check out Balboa Island. After walking the island and even running into Santa Claus strolling along the bay front homes, we decided to start making our way back to Oceanside.
Our Surf Staycation to Newport was only a few days ago, but I'm already itching to go back when the swell picks up. It was fun to return to the waves of my youth and to rediscover a few of the many activities the city offers to its residents and visitors alike. If you're in the area and looking for something fun to do, look no further than Things to Do in Newport Beach. And since it's always cool to save a buck or two, be sure and check Newport Beach Deals & Special Offers for the latest and greatest...
Early morning beach run in Newport Beach - © Chris Grant New Jersey surfers, Casey Kwiecinski and Kristen Acerra, take in an early morning run at Newport Pier - © Chris Grant Casey Kwiecinski basks in a rare mix of clouds and sun in Newport Beach - © Chris Grant Casey Kwiecinski paddles into a little wave at Newport Pier - © Chris Grant New Jersey surfer, Casey Kwiecinski, drives into a nice frontside snap at Newport Pier - © Chris Grant Kristen Acerra duck dives under a wave at Newport Pier - © Chris Grant Kristen Acerra leans into a small wave in Newport Beach - © Chris Grant Casey Kwiecinski hits the lip at Newport Pier - © Chris Grant New Jersey surfers, Kristen Acerra and Casey Kwiecinski, share a smile at Newport Pier - © Chris Grant Casey Kwiecinski, hair flip to close out the surf session - © Chris Grant The world famous Balboa Island ferry - © Chris Grant Casey Kwiecinski and Kristen Acerra share some laughs and cotton candy while riding the historic Balboa Island ferry - © Chris Grant Santa Claus, Balboa Island - © Chris Grant The world famous ferris wheel at the Balboa Fun Zone in Newport Beach - © Chris Grant New Jersey surfers, Casey Kwiecinski and Kristen Acerra, enjoy the sights and tastes of the Balboa Fun Zone - © Chris Grant Sharing a smile at Balboa Pier - © Chris Grant Kristen Acerra and Casey Kwiecinski close out their Newport Beach adventure by leaping from a sand dune at Balboa Pier - © Chris Grant