Chat #1: Connie Adnoff
Everyone knows Newport Beach has a lot to offer. Just a quick Google search will tell you about trendy restaurants, local attractions, and nearby shopping spots. But can it really show you what makes the heart full? That’s where the locals come in. They’ve been here longer than some of us have been alive and have amazing stories and hidden gems to share. Their insights might just change our Newport travel plans in the best way. So, as we plan our itinerary, let’s remember to listen to the locals – they’re the ones who can make our Newport adventures truly special.
For our first edition of “Beachview Chats,” we couldn’t think of a more fitting interviewee than the true Newport local, Mrs. Connie Adnoff. She’s not only a proud mother who raised her four kids just a stone’s throw away from the beach but also the founder of Beachview Realty. With her heart anchored to the ocean, she often spends her free time gazing at the waves, eagerly waiting for sea creatures to surface. You might even catch a glimpse of her strolling along the boardwalk, an ice-Pipeline ice cream in her hand.
How many years have you called this place home and where did you grow up originally?
For the first 37 years of my life, Newport Beach was my parents’/family’s second home. During that time, Montebello, CA was my primary childhood home; once married and parents ourselves, Whittier, CA was our home – about 1 hour inland from Newport.
The last 28 years, Newport Beach has been my own family’s full-time home. Once we moved here permanently, anything inland from Balboa Blvd was considered “Back East” and we refused to go there whenever possible.
What was the reason or story behind your decision to move here?
It was always my dream, as well as my husband’s dream, to move our own family to our favorite place in the whole world: Newport Beach. One day, we both realized that the time was right to do it!
What’s one hidden gem or secret spot in the area that you recommend visitors check out?
Pearson’s Port fish market: family-run; super knowledgeable & helpful; and the freshest/best quality seafood around. It’s a short drive from anywhere in town, and like a refreshing step back in time.
*Pearson’s Port is a pick up/cook your own seafood, not a dine in restaurant.
If you had to describe your community in 3 words, what would they be, and why?
Close-knit: it’s just like a small village. We basically live here, work here, and play here. Our kids grew up together. We look out for each other. We WANT to be here despite parking issues and weekend crowds.
Year-round Outdoor Recreation: Biking, Boating, Fishing, Surfing, Paddling, Swimming, Hiking, Watching sea life, Walking the beach, etc.
Year-round Outdoor Living: Everything we do & need is within walking or biking distance: all our errands; dining (usually outdoors too); shopping; coffee meet-ups, and more are done on foot or bike, any time of the year. The goal is to keep the car in the garage!
What are some unique traditions or events that locals look forward to each year?
Christmas Boat Parade
Sandcastle Building Contest
Pacific Airshow (the best parts of the show come right overhead on our Newport beaches)
Junior Guards program for kids
July 5th (NOT the 4th – my longstanding opinion)
Farmer’s Market at the Newport Pier each Sunday
Newport Beach Film Festival
Free Outdoor Summer Concerts
What are some typical dishes or drinks from the area that visitors must try?
Aperol Spritz with “Green Soup” and/or Half Chicken at Zinque on the bay at Lido Village
Sabatino’s Sizzling Sausage Platter & Caesar Salad (outdoor patio best)
Best calamari appetizer at Rusty Pelican with bay views (on PCH)
Anything at Fable & Spirit – food AND drinks AND desserts – pricey but worth it!
Ahi Poke Burrito at Bear Flag Fish Co.
Anything at Carnitas las Villas – best “hole in the wall” take-out Mexican food – best prices too!
El Ranchito for fun family Mexican food indoors or outdoors: chips & food are great.
The lines outside of Mama D’s Italian food go on and on and on: for their “pink sauce”?
How would you spend a perfect day in the area?
1. Coffee & a cinnamon roll from Alta
2. Breakfast burrito from Carnitas las Villas
3. Early morning whale watch trip on the zippy inflatable boats of “Newport Coastal Adventure” – they’re the best! So much fun!!!
4. Lunch at Bear Flag Fish Co.
5. Better yet, pack a bunch of PB&J sandwiches, chips & fruit, and hit the beach for the rest of the day:
6. Catch a bunch of waves; build a sandcastle; dig for sand crabs; play paddle ball; walk out on any of the nearby jetties (except during high tide or high surf!); lay in the warm sand immediately after being in the ocean (corn-dogging it); walk to Pipeline near the Newport Pier – along the water – to get a vanilla/chocolate swirl soft serve ice cream cone; watch for dolphins! Stay as long as possible on the beach; go home & shower; ride bikes to dinner OR put together a grilled chicken or fish dinner with family & friends; ride bikes along the boardwalk; watch the sun set; sit by an outdoor fire and sip something fun until we can’t keep our eyes open anymore.
7. I forgot to add: rent an electric Duffy Boat for an hour or two; you can take your own food, drinks and music on board and cruise our beautiful harbor.
How do you think our community stands out from others nearby?
No place else – not even the nearby beach towns – has a Boardwalk like we do that connects us all along the best sand-bottom beach anywhere. The recreation here is second to none.
Our beautiful harbor is the largest “pleasure boat” harbor in the world. For crying out loud: rent a Duffy Boat!
Fabulous eateries and shops for all pocketbooks & tastes are everywhere.
Our weather is mild all year long. It’s even gorgeous here in the rain!
What words of wisdom would you share with visitors?
Try one new adventure to add to your own favorites each time you come here. You could never get to know Newport Beach fully – it’s taken me a lifetime and I still have more adventures to discover!
If you can swing it, the off-season (non-summer or Spring Break) is the best time to enjoy Newport Beach to the fullest: fewer crowds allow for more discoveries – even along the shoreline. After all, it’s the Pacific Ocean that is the star of the show here! I’m still discovering new sea creatures that I’ve never seen in all my years here, just because I’m paying more attention on my beach walks. The ocean is so varied depending on lighting, tides, swells and temperature. It’s never the same way twice. Always keep an eye on the horizon of the sea. There’s always a surprising leap or two from frolicking dolphins or a spout from a silent Blue Whale passing by….you never know, but you’ll miss them if you’re not looking!
If you don’t know where to go or what to do, ask a local! Hopefully they’re kind and informative!