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Balboa Bay Resort has water on one side and the Pacific Coast Highway on the other in Southern California’s coastal town of Newport Beach, located halfway between Los Angeles and San Diego. Orange County’s John Wayne Airport is a 10-minute drive away. Sharing the same waterfront address is the next-door Balboa Bay Club, a member’s-only facility that was founded in 1948. Over the years, the club has hosted many celebrities, presidents, politicians and actors, including Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Jerry Seinfeld, Jim Carrey and George H.W. Bush. Former Newport Beach resident John Wayne was even on the club's Board of Governors. Members have access to a private beach, waterfront pools, private restaurants and a 10,000-square-foot state-of-the-art spa and fitness center. While you can apply for a nonresident membership (though a member must sponsor you), Balboa Bay Resort guests do gain entry to the spa, which is closed to the public.
If you want to explore the area surrounding the Newport Beach hotel, locals congregate at nearby restaurants like Billy’s at the Beach, a casual spot with daily live entertainment that’s renowned for its mai tais, and the Rusty Pelican, a more upscale eatery that serves delicious firepot swordfish seeped in a chili-barbecue marinade and Cajun spices, and topped with a tropical fruit salsa.