Newport Beach is Great for Family Reunions - My Family Travels

Beach house rentals at America's top coastal resorts, such as the heart of "The OC" in California – make planning and enjoying a small family reunion easy and fun.Beach house rentals at America's top coastal resorts, such as the heart of "The OC" in California – make planning and enjoying a small family reunion easy and fun.

If your family members are scattered between Portand, Maine and Portland, Oregon, as well as points in between, you may be planning a get-together at one convenient location to commemorate that special birthday or anniversary. Renting a house that will accommodate several generations under one roof is not only economical, it enables your extended family to spend time together and have privacy as well.

Here are my six top beach destinations, chosen because they are easily reachable, have enough varied activities to please most kids, parents and grandparents, and offer fair weather almost year-round.

• Cape Cod, Massachusetts

• Galveston, Texas

• Newport Beach, California

• San Diego, California

• Sanibel/Captiva Islands, Florida

• Virginia Beach, Virginia

Tips for Planning Your House Rental

Once you've reviewed the "virtues" of each of my favorite destinations, discuss them with other family members, determine how convenient they will be for all parties, and decide whether you're heading East or West. Then you can determine with other family members how many bedrooms and bathrooms everyone will need. (Most rental vacation homes have one or more sofabeds and roll-aways for extra kids.) Allow as much flexibility in your rental dates as possible.

Several real estate agents I interviewed for this story mentioned that since large rental homes (5-6 bedrooms) are rare, they are often booked far in advance. However, they also mentioned that many families register their homes for rental only after the January 1st deadline each year. That means you'll have the most choices of rental homes if you call the recommended agents early in the year.

What's Special About Newport Beach, California

Newport Beach is to Los Angelenos as Galveston is to Houstonites — a long-time favorite, upscale weekend getaway and site of many second homes. Families love the broad sand beach and the relatively warm Pacific, and on days when it's too rough or chilly for little ones to swim, they can watch the surfers. The active Newport Pier is 'reserved' for serious fishermen weekdays and for rollerbladers, cyclists and strollers on weekends.

Nearby is the famous old Balboa Pier, host to fishermen, souvenir shops, games and the wonderful Ruby's Diner. From here you can catch the seaside bicycle path, visit the ca. 1906 Balboa Pavilion where small cruisers leave for Catalina Island, or drive past the marina to the Fun Zone, with its old-fashioned roller coaster, rides and ice cream parlors. At Newport Dunes Aquatic Park, the littlest children can rent a pedalboat or kayak for play in the warm, shallow protected lagoon.

Newport Beach Conference & Visitors Bureau at 800/94-COAST or 949/719-1600

Recommended Rental Agents:
Balboa Newport Rentals 949/723-4494
BurrWhite Realty: 800/944-0952 or 949/675-4630

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2 Replies to “Newport Beach is Great for Family Reunions”

  • Wayne,
    I've used to organize my itinerary and groople to look for group rates on hotel rooms, so I agree — both great resources.

    thanks for your suggestions, I'll try the others too.

  • Wayne Scherry

    I found online trip planning tools to be a great resource when i wsa planning our reunion. Nice sites for planning are and We planned out our hotels through and once through All the resources can be found with simple searches online. It used to be much different when we were growing with actual maps and stopping for directions.