If you drive just a little south of Newport Beach, California on Pacific Coast Highway, you'll find Crystal Cove State Park just down the highway a bit. It's a great park with over three miles of beach where you can swim, surf, and scuba dive plus there's hiking, mountain biking and equestrian trails. But the really cool thing is up on the bluff, just off the highway, overlooking the park and beach. It's a tiny little bright yellow clapboard restaurant called the Shake Shack.
The food at the Shake Shack is strictly diner food: burgers, fries, shakes (not a good restaurant choice if you're counting calories), and the seating is strictly outdoors on their deck. [pullquote author="Me"]I can't believe I just ate all of that. I think I'm gonna explode.[/pullquote]
The cool thing, besides the view of the ocean, is that eating there is a bit like stepping back into the 1940's or '50's as the diner itself and all the cottages in the state park below appear to be from that era (or earlier).
Speaking of cottages, there are a bunch of them in the state park that you can rent by the night — if you can get a reservation. They're small and rustic but look like they'd be a lot of fun to stay in. Click here for a Google Maps view of the cottages.