Admittedly, I'm biased towards forested hiking trails. However, this trail in Newport (with tons of grassy hills and the ocean in the background) was so pretty. We went just around sunset to escape the California heat. Southern-most point of the beach where we walked the shore. The park actually extends south of here, but I'm not certain if there is any other beachfront access.
The shelf of rock (sandstone) in the lower left of this photograph is where I crumpled a small section and almost literally bumped into the juvenile Black-capped Night Heron shown in an earlier discovery. The rock formations along the beach were a bit more spectacular. Visiting this state park is like traveling back in time to a 1920s beach enclave. Restored old cottages, a shake shack, and a terrific restaurant right on the sand. You would never guess that you are in a major metropolitan area. Nature is simply beautiful. #green Crystal cove state beach is the home to many fascinating sea creatures. During low tide, head anywhere off in the rocks and you'll find these little guys among many more birds, shells and crabs. Make sure to be respectful and leave them be! Classic wave-breaking shot, in case you you're selling romantic song collections or are planning to start a soap opera.
#waterlust OK, folks, with the old man talking about cubits in the next lot, it's time for a little dry-time nostalgia.
Back in June, I visited one of the most wildlife-friendly places on the planet: Orange County. You heard that right. California has the kind of space that makes even one of their moderately-sized state parks dwarf entire counties in other parts of the U.S..
Crystal Cove is such a park. I walked for ten miles through the place and probably only saw a third of it. Unbelievable.
Oh, and it's got one other thing going for it: it's dry.
As they say in the procedurals, I guess I may have the gender of these two backwards, after all. It seems more likely that the female would stay in cover, particularly if the pair are nesting.
And at this point, I am tossing up my hands (here's hoping I can catch them), and saying I don't know which is which.
However, with respect to the one you saw before, this is the other... 3...2...1... Launch...
Epic waves brought surfers, body boarders and crowds to watch it all.
#BvSWater We arrived to see the last traces of mist rolling off the hills and vanishing into vapor. Looking for perspective come out and play at the wedge! Surf is up!
#waterlust Beautiful sunset over El Morro Beach. Probably an Hawaiian Garden Spider.
Huge female, maybe three and a half inches from tip to tip. Sat there patiently enough while I macro-ed the heck out of it.
A beautiful creature, really. Wild Artichoke Thistle
This grows with some regularity throughout the park, but there were only a few specimens in bloom while we were there. A bit of a tragedy, here (and I know I have seen this posted elsewhere on Trover).
Millions of these Pelagic Crabs have been beaching themselves daily on the shores of the Pacific in Southern California. Each is little more than three inches long, but the sand was literally a carpet of red in places when we first arrived.
According to the locals, this is a harbinger of a very powerful El Niño during the coming year, something which should bring much-needed moisture to the region. But in the meantime, the loss of all these tiny creatures is just staggering.
We noticed that the pockets of red had subsided by the time we left, but this may just have been a lull, or an indication that the crabs had begun to beach themselves elsewhere.
There is no danger of extinction with these crustaceans, far from it, but it was still a very, very difficult thing to see. Mme. waits to be seated. Obligatory Gull capture. Sigh, one of many more to come. Mme. has chosen a window-side table.
And may I say: that is an excellent choice. Mastro's Ocean Club is where celebrities and other movers and shakers go to be attended to like whiny toddlers when they're in the OC. It has the feel of bayside clubs and restaurants back East. Not what you'd call formal, because how would that go down out here? But there are plenty of employees with black ties and freshly-pressed jackets to pamper individually to their clientele.
I must admit I didn't eat there. It's in the same shopping center as another restaurant, which I will be polite enough not to name, and so I had the opportunity to drive by it several times during my visit.
Frankly, I'm posting it for the dolphins.  Crystal Cove is hidden in plain sight. An amazing place to watch the sun set and have some delicious food at the Beachcomber Cafe Founded by Candace Nelson, this cupcake boutique offers delicious, moist, and decadent treats. There are several locations throughout California, and you can vote to bring Sprinkles to your town! I'd recommend the red velvet and lemon coconut. Sprinkles also offers different flavors depending on the day of the week. Candice Nelson is also featured on Food Network's show Cupcake Wars! Maybe an analogy will serve best here.
You take a guy who is really used to making pants, hand him a bolt of cloth and say: make me a jacket out of this. Chances are, what you get back is going to look a lot like pants.
I went to So Cal for a little R&R and coastal hiking. So, I put the Mme. prefers to seat herself Welcome to the start of another Coveathalon.
Every Thursday during the summer, a group of intrepid souls gathers at the shoreline below the base of Crystal Cove Park to embark on a race for the ages.
Well, kinda.
To successfully complete the Coveathalon, the coveathlete has to swim one kilometer in the water and follow it up with a 5k run on land.
There aren't any prizes, and from what I can determine, it is essentially a preliminary heat to the real olympic-style event that marks the evening: drinking beer.
Still, it looks like a serious hoot for anyone who's game, and those who aren't can sit or stand or tan on shore while they urge their champion onto victory.
We were lucky enough to wander by at the start of the race and were able to get a glimpse of the from the very beginning.
If you're not prepared to smile at a group of people doing everything in their power to behave like porpoises, it is probably not your thing.
And for the participants, you better come with all the #waterlust you can muster. You're going to need it before the evening is through.
[ ] Crystal Cove State Park is monstrous. More than 6.5 square miles of generally untouched wilderness, criss-crossed with hiking paths (and inevitably parking facilities), running through chapparal, beach-head, brief high desert and even marshland. There are close to 4,000 acres of it, and over half of that is accessible for hiking, running, biking, horse-back riding, and any method of locomotion that doesn't require an engine.
We hiked Moro area to the south, which gave us a 15-mile hike with a 2,000-ft elevation gain, and most of the way looked like this. Don't let the soft sand and scrub-brush fool you, a 2,000 ft gain in warm, arid weather with cook your noodle good and proper. We hydrated like there was no tomorrow, but got our brains boiled anyway.
It was worth it.
The landscape was breathtaking, the wildlife diverse and widespread, and the sky was empty and blue from end to end.
You don't have to go fifteen miles or 2,000 feet. There are all kinds of cut-off trails from the main loop, and plenty of trails that zip through the center without much gain at all.
If you like the outdoors and want to experience some of the best there is to be found in the state of California, you owe yourself a visit.
And when you're done hiking, pop across the road to one of the beaches that make up the park.
Hey, you might find a juvenile Heron looking for a bit of grub! Go #green. Hiking the trail in spring ❤️ California sunset seen from Pelican Hill. If you golf, put this one on your bucket list. Rated #1golf resort in the world-2012 by Conde Nast Traveler Magazine Great view from awesome homes located here in Newport Beach. Hiking trail that lead to the beautiful Southern California beaches #green This is the best view of ocean ever I have seen specially sunset it looks great....check it out Messr. is pleased with his choice. I don't If you look carefully you will find #green cactus along the trails of Crystal Cove. Flowers are in bloom on the hiking trails of Crystal Cove #green Such a great little French place. Food is great, and the people are really nice... and French: ) Wild flowers in bloom are the best . #green Heavy shallow waves
#waterlust Messr. surveys the menu #beach #ocean #waterlust #newportbeach #california Nothing like a great hamburger on a #sundayfunday #foodiefinds Visitors are always welcome. Beautiful landscaping, pleasant environment #FoodieFinds Ultimate Bloody Mary with an ocean view - what could be better? I headed out at 5AM to Laguna Beach, CA to do some sunrise seascapes. While I was setting up, a woman walked and stood into frame. I thought she really added to the composition, so I hurried to get the shot.
#BvsCities Great, high end pub style food, 26 draft beers, full bar, very cool space and valet parking to boot! Also, great breakfast spot (pictured: their spin on cured salmon frittata). The duck fat French fries are insane. Christmas tradition in Newport Beach brings a huge tree in for decoration. This years edition is purportedly 90 feet high. Newport Beach, California Rollerblading Huntington Beach to the Wedge. One of my favorite Newport beaches. Tucked away from the busier parts of the beach, this little cove is usually pretty peaceful. #colorful #beach #ocean #waterlust #newportbeach #california Crystal Cove is such a hoping place. Not too busy, but nice & active. There are two places you can eat at, one is the Beachcomber. It's a very popular spot indeed, so much that there can be a long wait. But, it's no sweat to hike up to Ruby's Shake Shack & grab a burger instead. In fact, it's a smart move, they have such great burgers. And you can't beat that view! Like is an adventure... enjoy it! This is one of the best places to spend a day. Soft sand composes this long wide, stretch of protected coastline making it an ideal spot for long walks, good reads and tasty picnic fare. #beach A place to see some up close a personal waves and riders Some crazy helmet in an old metal shop Just around the corner from the big corona del mar beach, you'll find this little spot tucked into the coastline. Less people, more tide pools - a good spot for some beach time. #beach Little Corona del Mar Beach seen from Inspiration Point. This rock in Little Corona del Mar looks like a hen to me. Picnic tables to watch sunsets. Pretty amazing view.
#beautifulsunsets Hiking with a beach view is the best combination. . This beach is located in Corona Del Mar CA. Great little beach with some nice rock formations that make for great photos. The best BLT I've ever had.
#restaurant #california #gastropost Little Coron del Mar Beach. The third eye... After the rain shot of Lookout Point. Usually a nice spot to relax and watch the sailboats Corona Del Mar small beach. Relaxing watching the waves crash over the rocks and the cold Pacific Ocean water on your feet Beautiful spot on the Southern CA coast.
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Get an overview of this hotelNewport Coast luxury resort with 2 world-class golf courses

Expedia Insiders' Select Winner 2015

Popular property highlights

Free WiFi
Swimming pools
Business center
Laundry facilities

Hillside hideaway by the beach

Perched high on a hillside overlooking the Pacific Ocean, this Southern California resort is 1 mile from Crystal Cove Beach, 3 miles from Fashion Island shopping, and 5 miles from Laguna Beach. John Wayne Airport is 15 minutes away.

Unique pool, sublime spa

Among the many highlights: 2 ocean-view golf courses designed by Tom Fazio, 5 distinctive dining experiences, a perfectly circular pool lined with more than a million glass tiles, and a spa with Roman soaking tubs and 22 treatment rooms.

Terraces, limestone fireplaces

Spacious bungalows feature private terraces, garden or ocean views, gas-lit Italian limestone fireplaces, large flat-screen TVs, luxury linens, and free Wi-Fi. Bathrooms come with soaking tubs and separate showers.

Languages Spoken

Hotel Amenities

Hotel Amenities

Winner of numerous prestigious awards, The Resort at Pelican Hill is arrayed on 504 landscaped acres overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Beaches, upscale shopping, and charming coastal towns are within easy reach.

The resort's ocean-view Coliseum Pool is an attraction unto itself. The perfectly circular pool is 136 feet in diameter and lined with more than a million glass tiles, cut and laid by hand.

The Pelican Hill Golf Club features 2 championship 18-hole courses designed by Tom Fazio. Almost every hole commands spectacular ocean views.

An oasis of luxury, the Spa at Pelican Hill includes 22 treatment rooms, the women's and men's Acqua Colonnade, Roman baths, relaxation lounges, and a fitness center.

The resort offers 5 dining options with outdoor terraces overlooking the ocean or golf course. Andrea, the award-winning signature restaurant, showcases the fresh flavors of Northern Italy.

The resort also offers a children's pool, a free children's club, game consoles, two 60-inch plasma TVs for games and movies, a karaoke machine, digital microscopes, and lots more.

The Resort at Pelican Hill is nonsmoking, except for a few designated outdoor areas.

  • Bar/lounge 
  • Number of outdoor pools - 2 
  • Fitness facilities 
  • Children's club 
  • Full-service spa 
  • 24-hour front desk 
  • Poolside bar 
  • Business center 
  • Conference space 
  • Spa treatment room(s) 
  • Porter/bellhop 
  • Year Built 2008 
  • Coffee shop or café 
  • Dry cleaning/laundry service 
  • Self parking (surcharge) 
  • Steam room 
  • Babysitting or childcare (surcharge) 
  • Limo or Town Car service available 
  • Children's club (free) 
  • Children's pool 
  • Safe-deposit box at front desk 
  • Terrace 
  • Luggage storage 
  • Hair salon 
  • Breakfast available (surcharge) 
  • Number of restaurants - 2 
  • Concierge services 
  • Gift shops or newsstand 
  • Shopping on site 
  • Pool umbrellas 
  • Laundry facilities 
  • Total number of rooms - 332 
  • Wedding services 
  • Golf course on site 
  • Garden 

Family Friendly Amenities

  • Family Hotel  
  • Outdoor pools  
  • Children's pool  
  • Free Wi-Fi  
  • Children's club (free)  
  • Laundry facilities  
  • Babysitting or childcare (surcharge)  
  • Refrigerator  
  • DVD player  


Available in all rooms: Free WiFi

Languages Spoken

  • English
  • Chinese
  • Spanish


Self parking (surcharge)

Room Amenities

  • DVD player 
  • Pay movies 
  • Fireplace 
  • Premium bedding 
  • Separate sitting area 
  • Balcony 
  • Air conditioning 
  • Free newspaper 
  • In-room climate control (air conditioning) 
  • Phone 
  • Refrigerator 
  • Minibar 
  • Coffee/tea maker 
  • Daily housekeeping 
  • Bathrobes 
  • Free toiletries 
  • Iron/ironing board 
  • In-room safe 
  • Desk 
  • Cable TV service 
  • Flat-panel TV 
  • HDTV 
  • Room service (24 hours) 
  • Connecting/adjoining rooms available 
  • Free WiFi 

Where to Eat

Andrea Ristorante & Bar - Featuring an ocean-view terrace, the resort's signature restaurant showcases Northern Italian cuisine. Fresh pastas are created in the temperature-controlled Pasta Room. Artisan-style gelatos are prepared in-house, too. Lunch Wednesday - Sunday, dinner nightly, terrace and bar open late morning till late evening. Reservations advised.

Pelican Grill - Located in the Pelican Hill Golf Club, the Pelican Grill serves coastal California cuisine for lunch and dinner. An open kitchen, heated ocean-view terrace, and extensive wine-by-the-glass menu enhance the experience. The lounge features two 9-foot plasma TVs.

Coliseum Pool & Grill - Overlooking the ocean, this poolside restaurant serves pizza, pasta, burgers, fresh fish, and other favorites. A children's menu is available. The heated terrace is the perfect spot to dine on a cool evening. The bar offers a 9-foot plasma TV for watching sporting events. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, poolside snacks, cocktails.

Caffé - This Italian-inspired, wood-paneled espresso bar features pastries, gelato, light fare, and specialty coffee drinks.

Caffé II - Located at the Golf Clubhouse, this alfresco café serves light fare and specialty coffee drinks.

Room service is available 24 hours a day.

Nearby Things to Do

Inspired by its Roman namesake, the circular Coliseum Pool measures 136 feet in diameter. The ocean-view sundeck is furnished with chaises longues and luxury cabanas.

The Pelican Hill Golf Club offers 2 championship, ocean-view golf courses designed by Tom Fazio: The Ocean North and the Ocean South. The Club also features the Pelican Hill Golf Academy; professional forecaddies; and a clubhouse with men's and women's lounges, a golf shop, and 2 dining options.

Located in the spa, the fitness center is outfitted with state-of-the-art cardio and weight equipment. Personal training is available for a surcharge. Guests can also participate in group classes such as Lunchtime Boot Camp and Restorative Yoga.

Just a mile from The Resort at Pelican Hill, Crystal Cove Beach features surfing, sunbathing, walking trails, and 3 miles of sandy shoreline. The vast Irvine Ranch Land Reserve®, adjoining the resort, offers miles of scenic hiking trails. It's also a prime spot for bird-watching.

The recreational activities listed below are available either on site or nearby; fees may apply.

  • Golf driving range on site 
  • Golf lessons on site 
  • Golfing on site 
  • Bicycle rentals on site 
  • Hiking/biking trails nearby 
  • Yoga classes/instruction on site 

Spa Services

At the Spa at Pelican Hill, treatments are tailored to relax, replenish, or invigorate. The spa offers 22 treatment rooms, a full salon, and relaxation areas. The Acqua Colonnade features a sauna, spa tub, and herbal steam room, and is complimentary to resort guests receiving treatments. Among the treatment highlights: the Cristallo Bath with Himalayan salt crystals and Italian bergamot, the Amber Gold Signature Massage, the Smoothing Thyme Body Buff, and the Reveal Facial with SkinCeuticals products.

  • Number of treatment rooms 22 
  • Couples treatment rooms 
  • Manicures and pedicures 
  • Body wraps 
  • Body treatments 
  • Facial treatments 
  • Deep tissue massage 
  • Swedish massage 
  • Prenatal massage 
  • Sauna in spa 
  • Spa tub in spa 
  • Steam room in spa 
  • Reflexology 
  • Massages 


If you have requests for specific accessibility needs, please note them at check-out when you book your room.

  • Accessible bathroom 
  • In-room accessibility 

Hotel Policies


Check-in time starts at 4 PM

Check-in time ends at midnight


Check-out time is noon

Payment types

Children and extra beds

  • Children are welcome.
  • Rollaway/extra beds are available for USD 25 per night.


  • Pets not allowed

You need to know

Extra-person charges may apply and vary depending on property policy.

Government-issued photo identification and a credit card or cash deposit are required at check-in for incidental charges.
Special requests are subject to availability upon check-in and may incur additional charges. Special requests cannot be guaranteed.


You'll be asked to pay the following charges at the property:
  • Resort fee: USD 40.00 per accommodation, per night
The resort fee includes:
  • Spa access
  • Beach access
  • Beach loungers
  • Beach towels
  • Health club access
  • Fitness center access
  • Fitness/yoga classes
  • Shuttle service
  • Business center/computer access
  • Internet access
  • Newspaper
  • Concierge/valet service
We have included all charges provided to us by the property. However, charges can vary, for example, based on length of stay or the room you book.

Optional extras

The following fees and deposits are charged by the property at time of service, check-in, or check-out.
  • Breakfast fee: between USD 18 and USD 40.00 per person (approximately)
  • Self parking fee: USD 20.00 per night
  • Rollaway bed fee: USD 25 per night
The above list may not be comprehensive. Fees and deposits may not include tax and are subject to change.

Hotel Name

  • Pelican Hill
  • Pelican Hill Newport Coast
  • Pelican Hill Resort
  • Pelican Resort
  • Pelican Resort Hill
  • Resort Pelican Hill
  • Resort Pelican Hill Newport Coast
  • Resort Pelican Hill Newport Beach
  • Pelican Hill Newport Beach

We should mention

The property has connecting/adjoining rooms, which are subject to availability and can be requested by contacting the property using the number on the booking confirmation.

Awards & Affiliations

  • The Resort at Pelican Hill is listed in the 2012 Condé Nast Traveler Top 100 List.

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