Once upon a time, a group of businessmen in Southern California dreamed
of an aquatic park in the already-upscale neighborhood of Newport Beach.
The year was 1958 and their idea was to connect nearby Disneyland and
Knott’s Berry Farm to a classy water park situated on Newport’s Back
Bay, a fabled location that had attracted John Wayne and other
celebrities to call home. The park would create a triangle of major
attractions to appeal to families from across the country. Construction
went forward, a 230-slip marina was built, boats plied the waters up and
down the bay and beyond, and a few years later, 195 RVs were able to
join the parade.
Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort is the proverbial island in the sun. A
hop-skip-jump from Balboa, Fashion Island and South Coast Plaza, the
resort today features 406 RV sites, a 450-slip marina, seven-lane boat
launch, private 10-acre beach, 12 fully equipped mobile cottages and
non-stop water activities via private or rental equipment. And if this
isn’t sufficient to tempt the most jaded of travelers, consider the
grocery store, 24-hour security, full-time activities staff, cabanas and
pavilions. The piece de resistance to many, however, is the very
comfortable and affordable Back Bay Cafe located on the premises. Open
daily for breakfast and lunch, with dinner available in the summer
months, the restaurant is more than delightful; excellent service, great
food and breathtaking surroundings make it close to one-of-a-kind.
Waterfront sites at the resort are at a premium (and therefore
more expensive), so if you are interested in reserving one, think a few
months ahead. The streets within the park can accommodate larger rigs,
and additional parking for tow/towed vehicles is spread throughout the
area. Large trees grace the grounds and the overall atmosphere is
pleasant, peaceful and charming; when you realize that this private
enclave is merely blocks from traffic jams, freeways and the madding
crowd, you appreciate it all the more.
Check your calendars carefully before making your plans to stay
at Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort if you are a dog lover; the annual
canine costume parade brings out the prettiest, nautiest, nicest, and
most clever dogs and their owners — sometimes dressed alike. What can
you say about a Dracula Chihuahua or a hot-dog dachshund?
The resort is situated just off Pacific Coast Highway (State
Highway 1) at the junction of Interstate 405 (San Diego Freeway) and
State Highway 55 (Newport Freeway) and is easily accessible from San
Diego (85 miles north) and Los Angeles (50 miles south). See “For More
Information” box (above right) for contact info.