Only an hour and a half south of L.A., Newport Beach has long had a rep as a ritzy (albeit sleepy) place for boaters and beachcombers. But new retail, dining and hotel options have made it our go-to weekending spot.
We're shopping at A'maree's, the family-owned boutique that introduced Orange County to brands such as The Row and Balenciaga. Earlier this year, the boutique moved to an 8,200-square-foot modernist building where shoppers wander the relaxed store while floor-to-ceiling windows reveal passing yachts. 2241 West Coast Hwy.; 949-642-4423
Then we stop in at craft-and-gift shop LMNOP for Rodin hair and body oils, Alice Park leather goods and artisanal Deer Hollow ice pops in flavors such as rose geranium and honeydew lemongrass. 417 31st St.; 949-566-9990
We check in at the Surf & Sand Resort in nearby Laguna Beach, where a $3 million renovation has refreshed the balconied ocean-view rooms (from $465 per night) and the spa offers everything from aromatherapy massage to Vichy showers. 1555 S. Coast Hwy.; 888-869-7569
And finally, we called ahead to secure reservations at the just-opened Pizzeria Mozza, the third location opened by a chef supergroup (Mario Batali, Nancy Silverton and Joe Bastianich), after Los Angeles and Singapore. We like a simple meal of the fontina-and-mozzarella pizza bianca with an icy glass of Tocai Friulano. 800 W. Coast Hwy.; 213-567-0987