I do not live in a beach town but as Californians we are required to visit the beach regularly. When others in our environs learn we are headed to the beach they unfailingly ask, “Which beach do you go to?” This is not worded, or meant, as an inquiry to this instance, but rather a broader declaration.
I refuse to declare a beach affiliation.
But we did recently visit Balboa Pier in Newport. It was nice.
“It was nice” is no sort of manifesto. It isn’t even a resounding endorsement. But the place was in fact “nice” and if you please I will now walk backwards into a more meaningful review.
California doesn’t mess around with those silly beach tags like New Jersey. The beaches are quite literally a “free for all”. Whats not to like about that. Nice, right?
The Pier itself houses the original Ruby’s Diner. Not a culinary powerhouse by any means but an Orange County staple none-the-less. You can eat your burger while sitting on the rooftop deck watching the sun set over the beach. That would make anything taste great no matter who cooked it.
If cold water and waves that break right on the sand aren’t your favorite you can always head for the boardwalk. There you are treated to arcades, shaved ice, and carnival style rides like a bucking shark. Who doesn’t want to ride a bucking shark?
None of us wanted to ride the bucking shark but we did ride what was marketed as “possibly” the longest Ferris wheel ride in the world. It was indeed lengthy.
With full bellies we were ready to test the scientifically proven tale that one must wait an hour after eating before swimming to avoid certain drowning. We thought it a safe place to test this tale since there were at least 7 million junior lifeguards on the beach for summer camp. I found myself wondering how many 9 year olds it would take to save me if I were to go under for the third time.
Turns out I am too naturally buoyant to find out. No loss. I’m satisfied stating that Balboa Pier in Newport is Nice.