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Travel Tramps

Top 5 Newport Beach: Frozen Bananas and Biking the Boardwalk

by Kathleen Curry & Geoff Griffin
- Posted // 2012-07-16 - We’re currently kicking back in Southern California. “She” is a native of the O.C., and “He” once called L.A. home, so we always try to get back when we have time. Our current location is Newport Beach. It’s a fun beach town that, in certain areas, still feels like a seaside village from days past. Here are a few things that top our list for having fun here.

Frozen Bananas - These are the food items this area is best known for. Even if you’ve never been to Newport, you’ve probably seen the now defunct TV show Arrested Development, where Michael Cera regularly worked in the Bluth family’s Frozen Banana stand. Click here to watch a clip. Sugar n’ Spice (310 Marine Ave., Balboa Island) and Dad’s Donut & Bakery Shop (318 Marine Ave., Balboa Island) both claim they were the first back in the 1940s to come up with the idea of taking a frozen banana, dipping it in chocolate right there in front of the customer and then rolling it in nuts, sprinkles or some combo of both. They’re right down the street from each other on Balboa Island, so you can easily try both. 

Biking the Boardwalk - Bikes and boardwalks seem to go hand-in-hand in beach towns, and Newport is no exception. The boardwalk along the long peninsula is a beautiful walk, but an easier way to get up and down the peninsula is by renting a beach cruiser and riding up and down the boardwalk. You can see all the beach activities and imagine having enough cash to buy one of the beachfront houses you pass by. You can rent a bike for just $10 for the whole day at Balboa Bikes n’ Beach Stuff.

Driving a Duffy Boat - Imagine the ease of driving a golf cart, and then add water. Tour the bay side of Balboa Peninsula by renting an electric Duffy boat, which you get to drive yourself. Take it up to the dock at the Blue Water Grill for the appetizer and drink specials between from 3:30-6:30 p.m.

Shopping at Fashion Island - Pull out the credit cards, because Fashion Island isn’t just a mall, it’s a shopping mecca that people come to from other states and countries -- yes, you read it right, countries -- to enjoy this high-end outdoor paradise.

Clam Chowder at the Crab Cooker - A day in the sun will help you work up an appetite to try a famous Newport staple that’s been around for decades. The Crab Cooker is best known for its red, Manhattan-style clam chowder.

Of course, one other obvious activity is hanging out at the beach and everything that goes along with it, but that should have been obvious from the name Newport Beach, right? For more info on what to do in Newport, try this site.

You can hear more about things to do and places to eat in this town by listening to our radio show about Newport by clicking here.

The Travel Tramps write regularly about their treks near and far in City Weekly, as well as blogging online at CityWeekly.net. You can also listen to Kathleen Curry and Geoff Griffin on the weekly Travel Brigade Radio Show and follow them on Twitter @TravelBrigade.

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