Sunday, January 23, 2011

Hidden hot spots in Newport Beach

On a beautiful friday in January I went to Balboa Island. Balboa island is an enchanting artificial island which has many curious speciality stores, cozy restaurants and cute housing. The island is located in Newport Harbor, just south of the city of Newport Beach. 

Newport Beach is one of  the wealthiest communities in California and Balboa island is one of the most expensive real estate markets in North America. 

Balboa island is all about sweets! They are famous for Original Frozen Bananas, Balboa Bars and Hippo Cookies. You can get all of them at "Dad's Donut & Bakery Shop" on Marine Ave.

"Dad's Donut & Bakery Shop"
318 Marine Ave
Newport Beach, CA 92662

For gifts, I found a lovely seashell store on Marine Ave. The staff was very helpful and sweet so I could take my time to find the perfect item.

"California Seashell"
218 Marine Ave
Newport Beach, CA 92662

There are two ways to get onto this island from the coast. One choice is a bridge at the north of the island.  Another way is a short ferry ride  from the south of the island.

"Balboa Island Ferry"

410 S Bayfront
Newport Beach, CA 92662

It costs only $1 (child over 5 costs $0.50) and also you can take your vehicles for $2.

The ride was a very short time but it was one of the most beautiful moments that I've ever experienced.

This time I rode the ferry from Balboa Island to the peninsula of Balboa. The landing at Balboa peninsula is pretty exciting because of the Fun Zone.
Balboa Fun Zone offers  a Ferris Wheel, Carousel, Nautical Museum, Arcades, quaint shops and great restaurants.

600 E Bay Ave Ste R

Newport BeachCA 92661


The town of Balboa has a lot of charm too, such as finding these dynamic arts and meeting friendly locals. I was very satisfied with just strolling around the town. 

After a full day of joy I rode the ferry back to Balboa Island.
 This ferry leaves every few minutes so there is very little waiting time.
Balboa Island's landing is more for residents but there is a small local park right near by. You will be happy to stop by here with your kids.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Hidden hot spots in Temecula

To feel where the sun breaks through the mist in January, I went to Temecula. It took 75 minutes driving from LAX.

Temecula has a very interesting background. The area was inhabited by the Temecula natives for many hundreds of years。 Temecula is the only city in California to still retain its original Indian name.

Temecula old town has everything so cute! Even just a trashcan looks like a wine tank, because they are also famous for wineries.

They have a wonderful children's museum "Pennypickle's Workshop" on main street.

For future scientists, this is a must see museum. Adults who still have those dreams are welcome too.

"Pennypickle's Workshop"
42081 Main Street, Temecula, CA 92590 

There are many classic inventions and basic scientific ideas that you can learn about.

I wanted to do a little more research about Temecula's history so I went to visit the Temecula museum.
28314 Mercedes Street
Temecula, CA 92592
(951) 694-6450

For lunch I had to try a famous local Mexican restaurant "Rosa's Cantina". This is a casual fast-food type of place, however their salsa bar was incredible and I had two shrimp dishes that were excellent. I will come back to this place for sure.

28636 Old Town Front St Ste109
Temecula, CA 92590

To get a gift, I stopped by the "House of Jerky" right  across from the Rosa's Cantina.
Their products are made fresh with no preservatives or MSG added. I tried a Teriyaki flavor and loved it! 

28665 Old Town Front Street
Temecula, CA 92590

The day I went to visit Temecula was 78 degrees, I felt like I was warmed up for the rest of the winter in Los Angeles.