A PARTY WITH MANY PARTS: Tell anybody that you're making for Balboa Village on a springtime Sunday and you're bound to get a high five and few questions, if any. For while friends might probe the whys and whens and hows of our other getaways -- "that place is too chilly this time of year" and "the lake'll be busy" and such -- the news of a Sunday afternoon in April spent close to the water in Newport Beach requires no follow-up at all. People just get it. The weather'll probably be a nice 68-ish, give or take, saunterers will be out sauntering in tees and sunhats, and life will look lavishly lovely. But there's an excellent reason to make for Balboa Village on the third Sunday in April: It's Balboa Village Fest, which is a water-close daytime party, but not just a water-close daytime party. Taste of Balboa is also on the afternoon activities, as is a celebration of the 68th Annual Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race, the huge, hundreds-of-boats-big competition that's billed as one of the world's largest (and which sails over the final weekend in April). You can raise an early toast to the boats from the shore and help start the full week of merrymaking that will conclude with the race itself.
AS FOR THE STROLL-AND-SNACK HAPS? Look for "signature dishes for purchase from various local restaurants" of the village, perhaps an eatery or two you've skipped once too often, during your visits, because you keep returning to that one sweet shop (don't fib, we know). Live music from a U2 tribute band, chalk artworks, and ocean-informative activities are what you'll look at and listen to and engage with on April 19, and as for getting a peek at some of the competing vessels, the ones that will be swiftly setting forth for Mexico on a thrilling, across-the-waters overnight? There shall be tours of "several boats," so landlubbers, take heart: You can feel like you're part of the haute yacht action. Sunshine, small bites from local cafes, and yacht lookie-loo-ing, all in one Balboa Village-style bash? On a springtime Sunday? If only all al fresco funtimes could take notes on what makes something easy and breezy, both.