Newport Beach, California is a coastal fantasyland where leisure and style come together in ten distinct neighborhoods, each with its own unique charm. During this half day tour you will visit two of those neighborhoods and the most iconic gardens that call them home. The two neighborhoods we will visit are Fashion Island and Corona Del Mar, the gardens are the Civic Center Sculpture Park and Sherman Library & Gardens.
The heart of Fashion Island is a beautiful shopping district that fuses Italian style with California cool, Fashion Island boasts chic luxury boutiques, cafés, and restaurants on lushly landscaped piazzas accented by fountains and palm trees. Opulent hotels and the new Civic Center and Sculpture Park are located at the outskirts of the district. The 16-acre sculpture park includes restored wetlands, 1.23 miles of trails, large mature trees, and a series of plantings that respond to both the sustainability design intent and existing conditions. Sustainable practices include on-site storm-water treatment with extensive swales, retention basins integrated into planting, and a native plant palette. Additional criteria of LEED and the Sustainable Sites Initiative were utilized to ensure the highest level of sustainability. A number of locations for outdoor sculpture were also incorporated into the design. The Newport Beach City Arts Commissions third phase of the Sculpture in the Park Exhibition opened on October 28, 2017, with nine new sculptures. The park has some permanent sculptures to discover, like a long and windy picnic table, a “bird blind” that looks like a caged bridge, and the infamous larger-than-life concrete Bunnies. The highlight of the park is a stunning lookout tower that offers commanding views of the park, the sculpture, and the magnificent Newport Coast.
About a mile south of the park perched above the cliffs of the Pacific Ocean, Corona del Mar lives up to its name, “Crown of the Sea.” Locals call it “CdM,” and though the chic hamlet is part of Newport Beach, it has an aesthetic all its own with flower-named residential streets where you will find Sherman Library & Gardens. Sherman Library & Gardens is a vibrant cultural center in the heart of Corona Del Mar. Visitors can explore the nationally renowned botanic gardens which boasts over 140 species of palms from around the world, a lush tropical conservatory, artistic succulent garden and gorgeous annual flower displays. The lush garden setting plays host to an array of festivals, programs and art displays. Enjoy sculptures in the garden or the permanent collection of California plein air paintings on display in the historic research Library. The Library specializes in the history of the Pacific Southwest with artifacts displayed through revolving exhibits in the Adobe gallery. We will round out our experience with a stop at the renowned Café Jardin,where we will enjoy coastal garden cuisine under the direction of executive chef Pascal Olhats who marries vibrantly fresh California produce with a French pedigree.
Lunch is provided on this tour.
IMPORTANT NOTE: This tour will eventually end up at Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens. For those who do not plan to attend the evening reception at Casa Romantica and would like to head back to the Disneyland Resort, a bus will be provided that will leave shortly after arriving at Casa Romantica. For those who have pre-registered and plan to attend the evening reception at Casa Romantica, transportation will be provided back to the Disneyland Resort following the event. These buses will depart at 8:30 p.m.