Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Beachcomber- A Little Bit of Nostalgia in Newport Beach

Lately I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about some of my favorite places in Newport Beach.  I think that you always get nostalgic when you are about to move away from a place.  Like most southern Californians, we have spent most of our stay here living outdoors, both in summer and winter.  And, as expected, a great deal of our time has been spent at the seashore. So, if you are in the mood for some 1930’s California nostalgia, great food and a pristine beach, I have a place for you, the Beachcomber Cafe.  It is a hidden little gem of a restaurant in Crystal Cove State Beach, just south of Newport off Hwy 1.   Now that we are leaving, I don't have to worry that you will take our favorite table.  I encourage you to make one of our favorite spots, one of yours.

Crystal Cove State Park is easily identifiable as the only undeveloped open space midway between Laguna Beach and Corona del Mar.   However, for the out of towners, hidden from view is the Crystal Cove historic district below Pacific Coast Highway (PCH).   Hang a left at Los Troncos, to reach the parking lot.  For your convenience, Crystal Cove offers a great shuttle ($1) that will take you straight across PCH and down to the cottages.  A great alternative to dragging all  your beach paraphernalia from your car.  Crystal Cove has wide sandy beaches and some great tide pools for the kids, but the real charm of the area are the sixty or so little 1930’s cottages that line the beach. And, the Beachcomber Cafe, formerly one of the cottages, has been lovingly restored into a great restaurant.

The Beachcomber offers a great casual atmosphere for breakfast, lunch and dinner with a great ocean view.   If you are a breakfast lover like me, I would highly recommend driving down to the beach on an early weekend morning to sample their delicious breakfast fare. The breakfast menu offers a wide variety of items and the friendly staff even provides warm blankets on those misty Southern California mornings.  After breakfast you can take a stroll down the beach to help ease the guilt of devouring all those scrumptious breakfast potatoes.  I have had some wonderful meals with friends and family over the years.  If you want to spend the day at the beach, stop in, sample the lunch menu, perfect for hungry children, and spend the afternoon in the surf.  Another great option is dinner, which although a little more expense, is well worth it.  We went down with friends and a group of children the other night and ended our dinner with a super game of flashlight tag on the beach.  Our kids are still talking about it!

For those of you who are really adventurous, you can rent the beach cottages for a weekend or week stay.  Rental information is available on the Crystal Cove website, on a first come first serve basis. 

For more information about Crystal Cove State Park go to  For information on the Beachcomber Cafe see  

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