We took a mini vacay to The Resort at Pelican Hill for our "2nd annual pre-4th of July celebration." The resort sits on over 500 acres by the Pacific Ocean in Newport Beach. Its relaxed style takes inspiration from the Mediterranean, which suits the Southern Californian grounds perfectly. We found the resort to be very family friendly.

The bungalows and villas are spread out along scenic pathways. Our favorite style -- no tall buildings filled with hallways and elevators -- just an airy, comfortable feel. The rooms are the largest we've stayed in, every room feels like a suite. And the service is impeccable. 

We spent most of our time at the pool. Their Coliseum Pool is a perfect circle measuring 136 feet in diameter. It's stunning and the kids loved it.

An upper level cabana. 

Camp Pelican is for ages 4-12, so we're not there yet, but we can still enjoy the splash pad.

Post-swim nuzzle, followed by a bubble bath. 

Future Olympian on the bocce ball court. 

We had breakfast and lunches at the Coliseum Grill. It just feels so vacay to eat outside, gazing at the pool.

Morning latte.

Pre-lunch popcorn. 

Tuscan Caesar.

Blackened Fish Tacos.

For dinner, we headed over to the Pelican Grill

Filet Mignon.


Gluten-free penne with bolognese. 

We brought our own sparklers to get us into a festive mood. Hope you all had a great 4th of July! 


I'm not gonna lie, when I first got to Crystal Cove State Park, I was a bitter, bitter woman. I thought, why go through all this hassle (parking in a lot across the street, taking a shuttle and then walking down a hill) to get to a beach? Obviously, I'm a spoiled Californian, but still, it did beg the question. But once I got down to the beach, laid my eyes on the ocean and felt the sand surround my feet, I exhaled.

Head to the tide pools, over to your left.

Gorgeous view.

You can even stay at one of the beach cottages.

The Beachcomber Cafe serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Spend $15 or more with them and they'll validate your parking.

We went for lemonade and Pellegrino at the bar.

Other places to eat within 15 minutes: R+D Kitchen, Gulfstream, Bandera. You're kind of in Hillstone heaven in Newport.