This Orange County enclave with stunning beaches, a village-like shopping district, and row after row of vintage cottages on streets named for flowers has always maintained a charmingly quiet sense of self as the quaint yet stylish cousin to neighboring Newport Beach.
What Corona cultivates as tenderly as the thousands of plants blooming at its delightful Sherman Library & Gardens is an old-fashioned Southern California vibe. The broad, tree-lined sidewalks along PCH are shared by shoppers browsing the 50-year-old Francis-Orr stationery shop and popping in to Beach Candy to check out this season’s bikinis. The culinary scene in Corona is similarly old-fashioned and fashion-forward: Generations of locals have celebrated life events with prime rib at Five Crowns, while vegetarians in the know line up at Zinc Café.
Just a 10-minute walk from the lively commercial strand sit Corona’s two prize beaches: the intimate cove of Little Corona del Mar beach and the half-mile, tawny-sanded Corona del Mar State Beach (called Big Corona), perched right at the entrance to Newport Harbor.
Where to Stay: Just two and a half miles south of Corona’s village center, The Resort at Pelican Hill creates an Italian seaside village vibe in its 128 villas; 855-467-6800 or