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Best Local Scene in Newport Beach

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Sherman Library and Gardens is located on Pacific Coast Highway and has extensive botanical collections with examples of plant life from desert regions to tropical regions. The gardens are a veritable outdoor museum of plants. You can walk along the paths, smell the fragrant flowers and listen to the bubbling fountains. An oasis that will take you away to a calmer, more peaceful realm, it also has a library on site which is a delight for art lovers and bibliophiles.

For those who can make only one stop in Corona del Mar, make it the Corona del Mar State Beach. This area alone can make everyone fall in love with CdM, a laid-back multi-million-dollar neighborhood accented by the Pacific, with streets lined by palm trees and flower beds. On the bluff, three signs mark beach access: Lookout Point, Main Beach, and Inspiration Point. Each point has a different view, but all share Catalina Island in the background, with Newport Bay and Balboa Island in the foreground. A few steps towards the south end of Ocean Boulevard is a secluded cove near the Robert E. Badham Marine Life Refuge, and some of the most extravagant mansions follow.

Balboa Island seems to have the best of both worlds: a lazy, relaxing island atmosphere, yet only minutes away from the mainland. From festivals and parades to chic boutiques and restaurants that run the culinary gamut, this man-made island offers the ideal vacationing spot. Boats and cruise ships ply through clear blue waters, while the sprawling promenade is lined with a melange of stately, waterfront cottages. Its sleek boulevards are ornamented with soaring palm trees, whereas a string of attractions like markets, patio-fronted coffee shops, quaint and cozy bookshops, and the Balboa Island Museum & Historical Society lend it a touristy appeal. The island is also a stronghold of adventurous water sports like surfing and offers something for everyone, no matter your interests!

Located on the Balboa Peninsula, the Balboa Pavilion is a fun center for marine sports enthusiasts. Boat rentals are available for sport fishing and whale watching. Catalina Flyer, the catamaran, takes you across to the Avalon at Catalina Island where you can watch whales. Harborside Restaurant and Grand Ballroom is a waterfront dining and socializing venue. This pavilion has provided for action-packed marine expeditions since 1906 and is regarded as one of the finest marine recreation centers in the area.

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