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  ----Upper Newport Bay----
 I checked another Irvine Ranch Natural Landmark off of the list with my recent visit to Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve; one of the last remaining and pristine estuaries in Southern California (operated by OC Parks & Newport Bay Conservancy). What is an estuary you might ask? It is "a place where fresh and salt water meet and mix". Upper Newport Bay in particular is a nature and ecological preserve of approximately 1,000 acres; a home to many species of birds and a community of grasslands and coastal sage scrub.
Although I stopped by quite early in the morning on a weekday, I still enjoyed a magnified view of the landscape through the binoculars on the rooftop lookout point of the Peter and Mary Muth Interpretive Center; a facility that continually strives to maintain the conservation and preservation of the area's natural state through environmental education. This center is ideal for exploring our coastal wetlands, the habitats and wildlife that reside within them, and really gaining interesting knowledge. Check out school and family programs conducted here!
 
  - 2301 University Drive
Newport Beach, CA 92660
(949)923-2290 or (949)923-2295
-Free Parking
-Muth Center is open Tuesday-Sunday 10am-4pm, Free Admission
-Park open 7am-Sunset
 
While in college at UCI, I had volunteered a few times with the ROOTS program, an ongoing restoration event that occurs on Saturdays. I helped others remove invasive, plant natives from the land surrounding the bay, thus providing habitats for wildlife. 
There's going to be a huge EARTH DAY event taking place at the Muth Center, if you are free on Sunday April 22nd, definitely stop by! Flyer below!
scene
Take a walk, hike, run, ride your bike, or go bird watching along the 2.24 (One-Way) mile  Upper Bay Trail, apart of the 10.5 mile Back Bay Loop. *Kayak Tours in the bay, and horseback riding permitted on horse trails!
  binoculars
center
Peruse pretty pics (and add your own) in Newport Bay Conservatory's flikr album!
entrance
Posts with names of butterfly species that can be found in the area are scattered around, leading up to the Peter and Mary Muth Interpretive Center.
butterfly pole
  bench
flyer
  sign
The Peter and Mary Muth Interpretive center has captivating architecture, and is quite the hidden gem; it can not be seen from street level! Want to get hands on and be apart of nature conservation and preservation? Become a volunteer!
triangles
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  ----6ix Park Grill/6ix Bar- Hyatt Regency Irvine----
   I had the chance to taste 5 specialty burgers that are currently being served at 6ix Park Grill, a wonderful restaurant over at the Hyatt Regency Irvine. These 5 burgers are exclusive to Burger Wars, a contest that is taking place until April 9th. When you order one of the specialty burgers, you receive an entry into the contest which for the winner, yields either a 2-night stay in the Presidential Suite or 20,000 Gold Passport points. Eating more burgers will increase your chances of winning, I suggest coming on separate occasions to enjoy these burger delights. You can read about my experience here.
 
HAPPY HOUR HELPINGS:
Monday-Thursday 5:30-7:30
Friday 5-7:30
ipad 
After enjoying such delicious burgers, I had to come back with my friends the following evening to savor the Happy Hour menu. I was bummed that I couldn't make it to the $3 $4 $5 @6ix HAPPY HOUR on Fridays; $3-$5 appetizers dishes and drinks, 1/2 OFF bottles of WINE, AND BOGO(Buy 1 Get 1 Free) Entrees!
 
Regardless, my friends and I had a delightful time browsing through the beer and wine lists on the restaurant's iPad, and sharing Kobe Sliders and Green Bean Fries (a new FAVE...everyone MUST try!)
beer
Happy Hour Beers are 12oz, not what is shown above. But thought I would include.
wine bottles
Great Wine selection...not all is shown here.
kobe sliders
Kobe Sliders
  green bean fries
Green Bean Fries
fire pit
Lovely outside patio dining area with lounge chairs and a fire pit. Join friends here or come for a date, and relish in the delicious food, drinks, and intimate atmosphere! 
 
I'm looking forward to summer mixers at 6ix Park Grill; which include live music, wine tastings, and appetizers served to complement wine selections. 
 
Happy Exploring & Eating,
Amanda