If Newport Beach is the jewel of the California Coast, then it's community, Corona del Mar, is the crown. The Spanish translation for "corona" actually is "crown".
Atop hills and cliffs overlooking the beautiful blue Pacific Ocean, Corona del Mar is south of Newport Beach and north of Laguna Beach. Its public beaches include a Corona del Mar State Beach, with bonfire pits, public restrooms, concession snack bars, volleyball courts, and vistas ideal for small weddings.
Location: 50 miles south of Los Angeles, 4 miles west of John Wayne Airport and 70 miles north of San Diego at the foot of the San Joaquin Hills fronting the Pacific Ocean.
Corona del Mar ranges along a bluff at the south end of Newport Beach and includes some of the city's most prestigious residential areas. When you stand on the hilltop bluff park and look out to the Newport Harbor and Pacific Ocean, you'll be treated to some of California's most romantic beach views. With limited parking, only small ceremonies can be facilitated at the neighborhood beaches.
Immaculate homes line streets in Corona del Mar are named after flowers, and run in alphabetical order from Acacia to Poppy, each lined with a different variety of trees. Beautiful flower gardens on each street display the flower from which the street is named. And the ultimate flower gardens in the city reside in the Sherman Library & Gardens, open to the public. Sherman Library and Gardens on Pacific Coast Highway offers tours of beautiful flower and plant gardens. There are also art galleries and unique shops running along Pacific Coast Highway in scenic Corona del Mar.
BEACHES: Corona del Mar beaches are one of the community's top attractions. Sandy beach coves are used in movie and television productions such as Gilligan's Island. Explore the tidepools at Corona del Mar and Crystal Cove, an ecologically sensitive region where you can look but are asked not to touch. Enjoy the free volleyball nets at the beach, or frolic in the sand if you like.
Events include the Annual Baroque Festival and Coastline Car Classic sponsored by the Corona del Mar Chamber of Commerce
Inspiration Point includes views of the Newport Bay and Catalina Island. The location includes a cove below which has been used in the opening of Gilligan's Island and other film projects. There's a public beach here with a bronze sculpture of a Sea Lion and her baby.
Bayside Drive County Beach -in Corona del Mar, at Ocean Boulevard and Fernleaf Avenue. Free street parking. Hours: 6 am to 10 pm. Facilities: Rest rooms. Crystal Cove State Park - On north side of Laguna Beach, at the end of Crescent Bay Drive. Free street parking. Open: 6 am to 10 pm. Facilities: Lifeguards and rest rooms.
Corona Del Mar State Beach - Corona del Mar State Beach is a popular place for swimmers. This 0.5 mile long sandy beach framed by cliffs and a rock jetty that forms the east entrance to Newport Harbor. The beach is also popular with surfers and divers. The beach can be reached via an access road near the intersection of Iris Street and Ocean Boulevard in Corona del Mar. Entrance fee per vehicle. Open 8 am to 8 pm Facilities: Lifeguards, rest rooms, showers, picnic tables, and fire pits.
Little Corona del Mar Beach -in Corona del Mar, at Ocean Boulevard and Poppy Avenue. Free street parking. Open: 6 am to 10 pm. Facilities: None. Rocky Point -in Corona del Mar, at Ocean Boulevard and Harbor Channel. Free street parking. Open: 6 am to 10 pm.
Rocky Point -in Corona del Mar, at Ocean Boulevard and Harbor Channel. Free street parking. Open: 6 am to 10 pm. Facilities: None.
History: Corona del Mar was planned as a at turn of the 20th century vacation resort. On June 29, 1904 George Hart signed an agreement with the Irvine Ranch for the purchase of a 706.08-acre corner of land on the Irvine Ranch for summer cottages. Visitors came to play and wouldn't leave, however.
Until the late 1920's, Corona del Mar was a tiny village reached from the peninsula by small boat at high tide, or by a muddy dirt road that crossed the Irvine Ranch and continued along the bluffs around Newport Upper Bay. With the opening of Pacific Coast Highway in 1926 (Mary Pickford & Douglas Fairbanks were there for the ribbon cutting), slow growth began, not accelerating until after World War II.
In 1928, the Corona del Mar Surfboard Club hosted the Pacific Coast Surfboard Championship. The club was the largest of its kind in the United States with members such as surfing greats Duke Kahanamoku, Tom Blade of Redondo, Gerrard and Art Vultee of the Los Angeles Athletic Club, and other world class surfers who brought international attention to Southern California beaches.
An extension of the jetties in the late 1930's ended the "Killer Break" on the east side Corona del Mar and led to the emergence of the popular but dangerous break known as the "Wedge" to the west on the Newport Peninsula. It also led to the demise of surfing popularity in Corona del Mar.
Five Crowns Restaurant was built in 1935 as a copy of Ye Olde Bell, an Inn at Hurley-on-the-Thames, England. It has been a residence and an inn, it has been forsaken and neglected, and now operates as a popular, fine restaurant where prime rib is absolutely out of this world delicious. It is probably the best in the Southern California.
cdmchamber.com offers events lists and resources.