THE LAST HALF OF AUGUST... is a quirky time, travel-wise. Perhaps it could be best compared to the three-week run that lands at the very end of November, through the December holidays, when people buckle down at work and school (feeling as though Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve are the time-off, go-on-vacation bookends). The end of the eighth month, through Labor Day Weekend, has some of those same hallmarks. People may have gotten their vacationing in, earlier in the summer, and the start of the school year is lending a buckle-down-ness air to the day-to-day life, even if your child's school hasn't yet begun for the year. What this all means is that, like early December, there are travel deals to be had, and at some of the most popular places, too. Look to Newport Beach, which is a rather popular destination in the summertime.
TOTAL UNDERSTATEMENT... of course; the beach-close, resort-laden stretch of coastline and close-to-coastline attractions thrums in the warm weather, as does the OC town's not-too-far-off neighbor, Disneyland. So to get a deal in late August, when summer is still afoot, involving both summer staples, feels a little unreal, sort of like you feel while riding the Mad Tea Party tea cups. But real it is, and here's the upshot: Stay at one of a select batch of Newport Beach hotels and score a pair of single-day tickets to Disneyland or Disney California Adventure. It's part of the Newport Beach Diamond Getaway, which pays tribute to Disneyland's 60th anniversary year.
THROUGH AUG. 30: You've got through the penultimate day of the month to make this happen, and you'll need to stay a minimum of two nights, wherever you book. Figure that gives you time for both the Happiest Place on Earth and some beachy, sandy, paddleboarding, brunchy bliss, Newport Beach-style. As for the participating stay-overs? Balboa Bay Resort, Hyatt Regency Newport Beach, Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina, and a few more spots are all in the deal boat on this one. Did you just picture a Disneyland boat there, perhaps the Storybook Land Canal Boats? Yeah, you probably need some time at the world's most famous theme park. For all the info on the Anaheim landmark, your Newport Beach hotel choices, and the asterisks and to-knows, steer your Doom Buggie this way. (Haunted Mansion reference, of course, but then of course you knew that.)