Corona Del Mar is a seaside neighborhood located in Newport Beach, California. It faces the Pacific Ocean and features a wide variety of restaurants, shops, beaches, and parks.
Corona Del Mar has roughly 13,000 residents and is a district of Newport Beach. This area is described on the Corona Del Mar Chamber of Commerce site as having some of Orange County’s “most prestigious residential areas surrounding a trendy seaside village”. Corona Del Mar is roughly 50 miles south of Los Angeles International Airport, and 70 miles north of San Diego.
The profile for Corona Del Mar in Orange County, California includes city history and information for services, shopping, dining, and points of interest throughout the area.
Corona Del Mar History
The Corona Del Mar story begins all the way back in 1875, when the land was initially purchased for $150,000 by James Irvine, and later sold to the founder of Corona Del Mar, George E. Hart, a real estate businessman who purchased the land in 1904.
A community began there, growing quickly enough to open an official Corona Del Mar post office in 1926. Over the years this community expanded along portions of the Pacific Coast Highway, in Harbor View Hills, and Irvine Terrace.
There is a mixture of mid-century modern architecture in the area as well as many other influences. There are plenty of new-development properties here with views of Newport Harbor, Balboa Island, and other scenic areas.
Today Corona Del Mar, which translates roughly to “crown of the sea” has a population of around 13,000 and is known for its scenic views, beachfront and ocean sports and recreation, as well as a number of attractions and places to visit:
- Corona Del Mar State Beach
- Sherman Library and Gardens
- Fashion Island
- Crystal Cove State Park
- Rogers Gardens
- Little Corona Del Mar Beach
Things To Do In And Around Corona Del Mar
Corona Del Mar State Beach
Operated by the City of Newport Beach, the Corona Del Mar State Beach is a popular surfing, swimming, and diving destination featuring a half mile of beach with great views of the cliffs and a rock jetty located at the east entrance at Newport Harbor.
If you are visiting with the hopes of using an Annual Day Use Pass, be advised this is one of the rare attractions affiliated with the pass program in the state that does NOT participate.
This beach offers many “day use” features including:
- Picnic Areas
- Scuba Diving
Operating hours are generally 6AM to 10PM but some activities may be limited after sundown. Conditions are not always swim or surf-friendly here; it’s a smart idea to check beach conditions shortly before you go to visit the beach.
Get To Corona Del Mar State Beach:
3100 Ocean Blvd, Newport Beach, CA 92625
Sherman Library And Gardens
Founder Arnold Haskell opened Sherman Library and Gardens in 1966. Haskell had a vision of a center that would serve both culture and education; the facility includes a research library and a botanical garden.
The library is intended for historical research related to the history of the Pacific Southwest. The gardens feature more than 100 different types of palms, 130 types of begonias, and a conservatory that includes a carp pond plus a variety of carnivorous plants.
Sherman Library and Gardens is located at:
2647 East Coast Highway, Corona del Mar, CA 92625
Described as the “social epicenter of Newport Beach,” Fashion Island is a destination for dining, events, entertainment, and yes, fashion. There are nearly 200 shops here, and the dog-friendly approach to shopping means you can take the entire family out without worrying about keeping the pooch locked up at home.
The list of retailers here is impressive, but no discussion of Fashion Island would be complete without a list of fashion-oriented retailers who have operated here in the past:
- Elie Tahari
- Zadig & Voltaire
- St. John
- Rebecca Taylor
Some sources report Fashion Island as being nearly three million square feet–that’s a LOT of upscale retail. There is a wide range of food on offer here including upscale options and fast food. There is an impressive number of options with outdoor seating, which is perfect for those bringing a dog. Not all outdoor venues are dog-friendly, but many are. It’s best to call ahead if you aren’t sure.
Fashion Island Events & Entertainment
Getting to Fashion Island:
401 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach, CA 92660
Crystal Cove State Park
If you are used to state parks outside of certain parts of California you might be surprised to learn that Crystal Cove State Park offers more than three miles of beach and thousands of acres of wilderness.
Add to that an “offshore underwater area” as it’s described on the official site, and you have the makings of a unique and diverse outdoor day trip or even a camping holiday. Moro campground here offers stunning ocean views, and can accommodate around 27 hookups and 30 “non-hookup” tent site options. There are a small number of ADA-accessible sites here.
Crystal Cove State Park has a Historic District that includes nearly 50 cottages that were originally part of a colony operating here in the 1930s. This state park is open from 6AM “until sunset” so it’s smart to plan your visit accordingly knowing that closing time is a bit subjective. The historic district has longer hours, but it’s best to call ahead before visiting.
Visit Crystal Cove State Park:
8471 N. Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, California 92651
A 50-year old garden center opened in the 1960s by Roger McKinnon, but its original location was in Costa Mesa. When the business was sold in 1970 to Gavin Herbert, it relocated to Corona Del Mar where, the official site says, the “heart and soul of the company developed” and today the Gardens feature more than 100 employees and is a source of much learning in the area thanks to weekly seminars and workshops.
Since 2005 Roger’s Gardens only sells organic gardening products. Two years following that commitment there was a launch of the company’s California Friendly Garden campaign which has become a “gardening standard” in the state of California according to the official site. Today you can purchase plants, decorations, get information on sustainable gardening practices, and much more. This is a destination for gardeners, but it’s also a great place if you want to explore your options as a newcomer–Roger’s Gardens offer a range of information services that can help.
Find Roger’s Gardens:
301 San Joaquin Hills Rd., Corona del Mar, CA 92625
Open Daily 9 AM – 6 PM
Little Corona Del Mar Beach
Why go to a smaller beach in California? Little Corona Del Mar beach is one of the few that does not require you to take stairs down to the beach area–in this location it’s possible to put your items into a cart or trolley and go directly to the beach.
While this should not be confused with being an ADA-compliant situation (it is a steep slope), for those who like the ability to push their beach gear right to their favorite spot this beach is definitely one to consider.
This area is small and features reefs perfect for diving. This beach doesn’t get big surf, and you may have far less worries about undercurrents and related swimming issues here. The shore break does get rough from time to time though, so as always, keep an eye on the kids playing in the water.
There are good snorkeling sites here plus this beach features zones that are completely off-limits to jet skis and boats. If you are looking for a more tranquil beach experience, Little Corona Del Mar Beach might be the destination for you.
There is also a large area of rocky shore here creating plenty of tide pool areas to explore. This is one of the most popular spots in Orange County for tidepooling and there are occasionally educational programs with park docents here teaching about the local marine life. As always, leave shells and sea life where you find them — collecting is not permitted.
Little Corona Del Mar features public showers and restrooms but these are typically only open during summer. You may find that this spot is popular with the locals who know it well, but many opt for a larger beach instead; that may be one of the reasons why the locals enjoy this spot more. Hours for this beach are typically 6AM to 10PM.
Go to Little Corona Del Mar Beach:
3100 Ocean Blvd, Newport Beach, CA
More Things To Do In Corona Del Mar
- Dine at Roger’s Gardens Farmhouse Restaurant
- Play at the Balboa Fun Zone
- Ride the Balboa Island Ferry
- Explore the trails at Environmental Nature Center
- Spa or Golf at Pelican Hill Golf Club
- Surf all the amazing surf spots
- Visit the Newport Bay
- Stay and play at the Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina
- Rent a boat, electric boat or Duffy boat and cruise the harbor
- Shop and eat at downtown Balboa Island Village
- Taste a world famous Balboa Bar
- Kayak, Paddleboard or paddleboat the harbor
- Go Whale Watching
- Shop the stylish boutiques at Lido Marina Village
- Ride a bike on the Newport Back Bay Trails
- Compete in a Sandcastle Contest
- Fish the Balboa or Newport piers
- Cruise in a gondola in the Newport harbor
- Dine and watch a sunset on the water
- Visit Bunnyhenge at the Newport Beach Civic Center
Arts & Culture:
- Art At The Library
- Balboa Island Museum & Historical Society
- Concerts on the Green
- Lido Theater
- Lobsterfest at Newport
- Newport Beach Art Exhibition
- Newport Beach Arts Foundation
- Newport Beach Film Festival
- Newport Beach Public Art
- Newport Theatre Arts Center
- Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival
- Orange County Museum of Art
- Sculpture in Civic Center Park
- Sherman Library & Gardens
- Sunday Musicales
Newport Beach & Corona Del Mar Community:
- Community Events Calendar
- Community Parks & Facilities
- Harbor Information
- Marina Park Community and Sailing Center
- Newport Navigator Community Recreation Programs & Classes
- Newport Beach Television
- Senior Services – OASIS
- Volunteer Opportunities
Corona Del Mar Information & Services
Schools & Libraries
- Balboa Branch
- Central Branch
- Corona Del Mar Branch
- Marina Park Community Center
- Mariners Branch
- Newport Coast Community Center
- OASIS Senior Center
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Joe Wallace has been covering real estate, mortgage and financial topics since 1995. His work has appeared on ABC, The Pentagon Channel, Veteran.com plus a variety of print and online publications. He is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter for Air Force Television News.