If you live on the east coast, this is a warning before you read on. It may be hazardous to keeping your envy in check, considering all the snow you all have been under, to read about the utterly summer time activity we So Cal locals can do in January. (And all year long I might add.)
Cruising the harbors lining the coast of Southern California makes for an enjoyable way to see some of the Golden State’s most beautiful areas. You don’t have to own a boat – there are places in various beach towns to rent a small electric boat, known as the Duffy, named after the man who invented it – Marshall Duffield. The boats are quite quaint – going only 5 mph and topped with a canvas canopy, ranging from 14-22 feet in length.
Just last week a group of about 20 of us was down in Newport Beach, California, for our daughters’ soccer tournament. Between games, the families rented a couple Duffy boats from Duffy Electric Boat Company ..where you can see in the photo below, they have quite a few boats.
We then journeyed out on Newport Harbor. Our Duffy fit about 10 adults comfortably….and they come with Ipod hook ups, life jackets for kids, and a map to help you navigate the waterways…which is very helpful.
There are tables on board for food and drinks…came in handy to hold the “adult beverages,” or wine. Note: A cocktail cruise at sunset is highly recommended.
The kids on the other hand, appreciated the novelty of the whole outing, and used the table to complete a game and some challenges based on what they see in the harbor – provided by the Duffy Electric Boat Company.
What you see in the harbor is picturesque… I grew up right in this part of the state, and still don’t get tired of the view or the experience. If you love real estate you are in for a treat because you cruise by lovely homes… some famous owners are pointed out on the map – i.e. the former home of John Wayne. It may inspire you to rent a home in Newport for the summer.
If you appreciate the beauty of nautical architecture, it is interesting to look at the private yachts and sailboats docked here in the marina. The kids enjoyed the marine life along the way.
There are public docks in front of some restaurants where you can pull up and eat… but since you are renting by the hour, you may want to maximize your time on the Duffy, unless you are willing to pay more and rent for a longer amount of time. I wouldn’t rent for less than two hours. I’ve seen rental prices vary from $75-99 an hour.. so if you have a large group, or a bunch of couples, it can be as low as $15 per person for a two hour tour. Worth every penny too. Peaceful and pretty, the cruise relaxes you (or is it the wine?), melts all your troubles away, and makes you appreciate life. How often can you say that?
Here are some rental companies for Oceanside, Long Beach, Marina Del Rey, and Newport Beach. Summer books up, and so does Christmas in Newport Beach, so book ahead.