Surrounded by Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa, Irvine (location of Mark Ochoa Group | Coldwell Banker), and Laguna Beach, Newport Beach is known for good surfing and sandy beaches.
Newport Beach has a somewhat dry climate. Like many coastal cities in Southern California, the temperature doesn’t change much compared to inland cities even a few miles from the ocean. The Pacific Ocean keeps the winters warm and the summers cool.
Newport Beach is home to one Fortune 500 company, insurer Pacific Life. Other companies based in Newport Beach include the following…
Fletcher Jones Motor Cars, the largest Mercedes-Benz dealership in the world, is located on Jamboree near California State Route 73.
Toyota has a design center, Calty Design Research, in Newport Beach which is responsible for the exterior design of the Celica, as well as some Lexus and Scion models.
The city’s largest law firm is Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth, with approximately 75 attorneys at its Fashion Island location.
Beachgoers have flocked to Newport Beach since the Pacific Electric Railway started bringing them in 1905. Attractions include the city beaches from the Santa Ana River to the tip of the Balboa Peninsula, Corona del Mar State Beach, and the beaches at Crystal Cove State Park.
Newport Beach is known for good surf, especially between Newport Pier and the Santa Ana River.
At the tip of the Balboa Peninsula, The Wedge offers world-class bodyboarding and bodysurfing.
Newport Pier and Balboa Pier draw fishermen and sightseers.
A boardwalk runs 2.9 miles from 36th Street in West Newport, past Newport Pier and Balboa Pier, to between E and F Streets on the Balboa Peninsula for both pedestrians and bikers.
Newport Harbor is the largest recreational boat harbor on the U.S. west coast, and a popular destination for all boating activities. In addition, sailing, fishing, rowing, kayaking, and paddleboarding are quite popular as well.
The annual Christmas Boat Parade started in 1908. The New York Times has called it, “One of the top ten holiday happenings in the nation”.
Competitive sailing, rowing, and paddling events are common. The annual Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race is the largest sailboat race in the world
Boating activities are organized by five private yacht clubs, along with Orange Coast College (OCC), UC Irvine, and the Sea Scouts. All of these organizations have sailing, rowing, and water activity bases on the harbor.
The Newport Aquatic Center allows the open public to compete in rowing, canoeing, kayaking, and outrigger canoe racing. In addition, the OCC School of Sailing and Seamanship offers recreational and professional sailing and mariners’ courses and certifications, including United States Coast Guard licensing. Weekly races take place during the summer including the Beer Can Races.
Balboa Island, which is between the peninsula and the mainland, draws visitors with a waterfront path easy access from the ferry to the shops and restaurants.
On the Balboa Peninsula, the historic Balboa Pavilion and Balboa Island Ferry are the city’s most famous landmarks. Near the Pavilion, the 500 passenger Catalina Flyer provides daily transportation to and from Avalon, located on Santa Catalina Island. Also worth noting, the Balboa Fun Zone is also home to the Newport Harbor Nautical Museum.
Upper Newport Bay, or the Back Bay, is ringed by Back Bay Drive and a network of trails and paths that naturally attract bicyclists, rollerbladers, joggers, and walkers. Similarly, bird watchers and nature lovers are drawn to the Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve, the Peter and Mary Muth Interpretive Center, and the Crystal Cove State Park which features tide pools at the beach and backcountry hiking and mountain biking trails.
Camping is available at Crystal Cove State Park and at the Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort and Marina.
Whale watching is also popular, with both scheduled and charter boats leaving from Newport Harbor. Whales and dolphins can often be seen from the pier and shoreline during migration season.
Fishing is also extremely popular in Newport Bay, off the coast of Newport, and along the Newport Bay Jetty. In the bay there are multiple locations to purchase bait for dockside or spear fishing convenience. There are about 80 fishable species located in Newport Bay. Commercial fishing is also prominent in offshore Newport Beach and Newport Bay. For instance, lobsters are fished in the reefs.
On dark nights, intense occurrences of bioluminescence can be observed when waves splash into the shore or when marine animals leave glowing traces in their wake.
The boardwalk is a natural draw for bicyclists. Beach cruiser bikes can be rented at several places on the Balboa Peninsula. Bicyclists are also drawn to Back Bay Drive and the bike paths around Upper Newport Bay, the hilly roads winding through Newport Coast and the San Joaquin Hills, and the mountain biking trails in the San Joaquin Hills and Crystal Cove State Park. Despite being shared with heavy street traffic, Pacific Coast Highway provides access to these areas and is a major bicycle route through the region.
Many neighborhoods in Newport Beach are bicycle-friendly. In fact, to deal with summer beach traffic and to avoid not being able to find parking spaces, locals tend to use bicycles for short trips.
The Pelican Hill area has two golf courses that rank among the Golf Digest America’s 100 Greatest Public Golf Courses.
Fashion Island at Newport Center is a regional shopping and entertainment destination. The Orange County Museum of Art, which is also located in Newport Center, exhibits modern and contemporary art with emphasis on the work of Californian artists.
Dining in Newport Beach, like many oceanfront towns, tends to focus on seafood restaurants but there are a variety of restaurants that range in price and type of food.
Newport Beach has two farmers’ markets. There’s one on Saturday mornings in Corona Del Mar and another on Sunday mornings in Lido Village.
In conclusion, if you’re looking for world-class beaches, great weather, and plenty of natural attractions in a well-to-do city this is the place to be.