NEWPORT BEACH, CALIF. — It's not easy watching yachts and sailboats race when you're sitting on land. The boats leave the harbor and then they're gone, leaving you to wonder who won. Still, it doesn't stop the loyal mariners, retired yachtsmen, and other enthusiasts from coming out to see the annual Newport to Ensenada (Mexico) race each year. One of the best spots to watch is at the parks and vistas of Corona del Mar. Another place you can get up close and personal to see the boats depart is on the Hornblower Cruise that takes guests around the harbor for four hours mid-day on Friday, Apr. 15 (hornblower.com) While it's fun to watch the people who watch the boats leave just as much as watching the start of the race, itself, be part of the group by bringing lawn chairs, binoculars, and maybe even a picnic basket. We spoke with the crowds last year when the yachts took off and some said they were former participants of the race, while others said they were just passing through on a sunny day and happened upon the crowds.
Newport Beach has incredible number of yacht clubs for its size, and they even named a portion of Coast Highway "Mariners Mile" because of the heavy concentration of yacht clubs and shipyards located there. If you want to experience the sea or maybe just the Newport harbor, you can ride a ferry for $1, rent a sailboat, Duffy electric boat, ride a gondola, take a high-speed Catamaran to Catalina, or take a whale watching cruise, fishing trip or harbor cruise. Then there's the weekend brunch or dinner/dance cruises offered through Hornblower. So many options for one place!