Before a railway started bringing beachgoers here in 1905, this stretch of coastline was dismissed as unusable. Today it’s one of the jewels of Orange County.
A magnet for water-sport enthusiasts, the waves here are busy with body boarders and surfers. The most famous spot at the eastern end of Balboa Peninsula is dubbed The Wedge due to its monstrous summer waves. The gentler waters of Newport Harbor are dotted with sailboats, paddleboards and kayaks. You can even rent a gondola for a romantic, guided harbor cruise. The waterway is also home to one of the largest recreational boat harbors on the U.S. West Coast. More than 9,000 boats are permanently docked in the 21-square-mile (54-square-kilometer) area.
One of Newport Beach’s iconic landmarks is the boardwalk, a waterfront path stretching for almost three miles (five kilometers). The path also runs alongside luxurious residences, some owned by celebrities. During the peak summer months, the boardwalk is an especially busy thoroughfare with scores of skateboarders, rollerbladers and cyclists. Keep your wits about you if you are out for a leisurely stroll.
Most of the tourist activity is around the waterfront. To shop where the affluent locals do, head five miles (eight kilometers) inland to Fashion Island. This outdoor shopping area, located in the central business district, covers 1.5 million square feet (139,355 square meters). It has 200 shops including department stores Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom. The lavishly landscaped area includes a 20,000-gallon (75,708-liter) koi pond, 40 restaurants and a movie theater complex.
For a bird’s-eye view of Newport Beach, hop on the old-fashioned Ferris wheel at Balboa Fun Zone. This is one of Southern California’s oldest coastal amusement parks, complete with bumper cars and a carousel. You’ll find it on the Balboa Peninsula of Newport Beach.
Newport Beach is located 10 miles (16 km) south of downtown Santa Ana.
Beaches, Islands and Boating
Come on board this 2-hour and 30-minute cruise for a chance to view a wide variety of whales—plus dolphins, seals, and more. Newport Harbor and its surroundings offer deep, nutrient-rich waters that attract all types of marine life.
Step onto the deck of a luxurious yacht at the marina in Newport Beach and set sail for an unforgettable evening under the stars. Sip champagne and enjoy a 4-course meal of fresh and seasonal cuisine as you cruise past coastal scenery, and then get down to dance-friendly tunes spun by an onboard DJ.
The champagne starts flowing as soon as you step aboard this elegant brunch cruise and doesn't stop until you pull back into port. Enjoy a luxurious afternoon out, savoring delicious and seasonal cuisine and taking in the SoCal scenery from a spacious yacht.
Take a scenic stroll around Newport Beach and then dive into its bar scene with a local guide leading the way. Enjoy the sunset from the end of the pier, followed by a ferry out to Balboa Island for some more boozy fun.
Come explore the Temecula Valley Wine Country with Best Coast Tours! On this guided California wine tasting tour with our knowledgeable and fun tour guide, you visit four different wineries on the tour – with a meat and cheese plate and snacks included – and savor the hundreds of award-winning wines offered by the local wineries and vineyards while enjoying the irresistible charm of their friendly tasting rooms.
You will be greeted upon your arrival at the docks by the Captain, who has already prepared the boat for your adventure. Once boarding and loading the luxury boat for the day, your Captain will go over the safety rules.
Celebrating life’s biggest moments in the best destinations
With its beautiful beaches, sizzling art scene, and low-key luxury, Orange County is a great place for a weekend getaway.
Making the holiday season more magical at Disneyland Resort