Growing up in Southern California I spent many summer nights camping at the beach side resort of Newport Dunes. What was once a quiet staycation spot for local families, has become a popular event destination. The amenities offered has extended from the cold showers and bicycle rentals of my youth to decadent catering, business support and a full water park. Kids of today don’t know how good they have it! But we don’t need to be jealous. Today I indulge my nostalgia and explore how we can have more fun than the kids with team building events or incentive trips at Newport Dunes.
Newport Dunes isn’t just for camping. Back in my day a trip to Newport Dunes meant sleeping bags and mom’s propane stove. They still have tent camping available, but far more common are the large RV sites with full hookups. Even more comfortable- beach side cottages with indoor plumbing! Now this is “glamping”. If staying outdoors isn’t your thing, the dunes is located only 8 miles from John Wayne Airport and is surrounded by the luxury hotels you’d expect to populate Orange County. There are so many possible activities to keep your team occupied, you won’t care where you’re resting your head at night.
After breakfast, my family would strap on our roller blades and skate onto the ferry that would take us between Balboa Island and Peninsula. There you can find amusement park rides, history exhibits and the famous ice cream treat “Balboa Bars”. We’ve hosted plenty of scavenger hunts in this area, roller blades not required. If you want to stay dry for your team building there are spacious picnic pavilions that could house a Minute to Win it, Bike Build, or hula hoop competition! Keep it casual with a BBQ dinner or go all out with the Dunes’ event space and catered meals.
Many meeting or incentive planners when coming from out of state say they want the “California experience”. I can’t think of a more essential Californian experience than evening s’mores at a beach bonfire. Newport Dunes offers laid back summer fun, but still has the amenities corporate groups require for a successful conference.