Find the real O.C. in Corona del Mar

This coastal Orange County neighborhood mixes a chic beach scene with a lively small town

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  • Sherman Gardens' soaring conservatory feels like a lush tropical rain forest.

    Sherman Gardens

    Joe Schmelzer

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Sherman Library & Gardens. The main attraction at this gem of a botanic garden are large beds of seasonal color. Also check out the outstanding Tropical Conservatory and the redesigned cactus garden. $3; 2647 E. Pacific Coast Hwy.; www.slgardens.org or 949/673-2261.

Big Corona Beach. A top family beach with ample facilities, like picnic tables, volleyball courts, and showers. Great boat watching too. Parking from $8; proceed south on Pacific Coast Hwy. (PCH), turn right on Marguerite Ave., then right on Ocean Blvd.

Little Corona Beach. A steep path leads down to a small patch of choice tidepools. Proceed south on PCH, then turn right on Poppy Ave. and park where it ends.

SHOP 
 
 

Erica Dee. A women's boutique that covers the gamut ― day to night, jeans to lingerie. There's a men's store next door and a kids' shop a few blocks away. Lots of other boutiques are close by ― the best are Holly Sharp and Recycled Rags. 3435 E. Pacific Coast Hwy.; 949/673-9333.

Bliss Linens. Egyptian cotton towels, 1,000-thread-count sheets, aromatic candles, and other gifts for bed and bath. Mon-Sat; 3321 E. Pacific Coast Hwy.; 949/566-0380.

 

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