Newport Pier at SunsetNewport Beach is a vibrant coastal city in Orange County, California, renowned for its sandy beaches, piers, bike paths, malls, and diverse dining options.

The beaches in Newport are perfect for surfing, bodyboarding, bodysurfing, swimming, and fishing, offering a plethora of water activities for enthusiasts of all ages.

Beyond the beach, Newport Beach offers a variety of activities including leisurely walks along the shore, cycling, exploring local shops and eateries at the pier, family fun at the Fun Zone, and engaging in Dolphin and Whale watching tours.

Visitors can also rent boats or jet skis for a relaxing time in the bay or an adventurous day out in the ocean.

For shoppers, Fashion Island offers numerous high-end retail outlets, two food courts, and a selection of upscale restaurants.

Balboa Peninsula

Newport Beach - Balboa - by D Ramey Logan - WikipediaBalboa Peninsula is a prominent stretch of land extending into the ocean, providing a natural barrier for the harbor. It features a mix of serene residential areas and lively spots of activity.

The public beaches on either side of the peninsula are accessible, though parking can be challenging. Newport Pier is a hub of activity with ample parking, shops, and restaurants.

For a quieter experience, visit Balboa Pier, offering more parking and fewer crowds. Nearby, families can enjoy a variety of attractions at the Fun Zone.

Fun Zone

Newport Beach - Fun Zone - Wikipedia - by D Ramey LoganThe Fun Zone offers a myriad of activities including a Ferris Wheel, arcade games, Bungee jumping, and a variety of snacks at the food court. It is also a prime spot for casual dining with picturesque views of the bay.

Newport Landing

Newport Landing acts as a central hub for aquatic adventures, offering bay cruises, whale and dolphin watching tours, and boat rentals.

Dolphin and Whale watching

Whale and Dolphin Watching - Blue WhaleDavey's Locker offers various Whale and Dolphin watching tours, guiding guests from the bay into the open ocean in search of these magnificent creatures. On the off chance that no sightings occur, they provide a discounted voucher for a future trip.

Read about my trip with Davey's Locker here.

Balboa Island and Ferry

The ferry provides transport for pedestrians, bikes, and cars between the peninsula and Balboa Island. The island itself is noted for its exclusive residences and charming alleys, with the main pedestrian path offering scenic walks around its perimeter.

Businesses and dining options are primarily found along Marine Avenue and near the ferry terminal.

Cyclists can bring their bikes on the ferry, though the main walking path on the island restricts bicycles.

Biking

Newport Beach Bike rail - Flickr - By Ken LundBiking is a popular activity in Newport Beach, with the Balboa Peninsula offering one of the most scenic routes. The trail spans approximately 5 miles but can be extended to longer rides for more seasoned cyclists.

Newport Beach Biking - Newport PierAfter passing the Balboa Pier, the trail winds through the peninsula, offering views of both the ocean and bay before concluding at West Jetty View Park, a favorite among locals.

This route can be started from various locations, offering different experiences and challenges.

Hiking

For hiking enthusiasts, Newport Beach offers several preserved wilderness areas, such as Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve and Buck Gulley, providing trails for all skill levels and opportunities to encounter local wildlife.

Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve

Newport Beach - Upper Bay Trail - Flickr - By Ken LundThe preserve is an extensive area that supports a diverse ecosystem, ideal for biking and hiking with numerous trails offering excellent views of the surrounding nature.

Buck Gully

Buck Gully HikeBuck Gully presents a tranquil hiking experience near the beach, surrounded by upscale homes. This hidden gem offers a lush escape with running water and abundant greenery.

Read more about this hike here

Crystal Cove

Crystal Cove State Park TrailsCrystal Cove State Park, located between Newport Beach and Laguna Beach, features approximately 17 miles of trails, some offering breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. Read more here.

Dining

Newport Beach's culinary scene is diverse, with options ranging from upscale eateries at Newport Pier to more casual dining at the Fun Zone and Balboa Pier. Restaurants such as 21 Oceanfront, Newport Landing, and Rusty Pelican offer varied menus catering to all tastes.

21 Oceanfront

Newport Pier - 21 Oceanfront - from restaurant websiteLocated at Newport Pier, 21 Oceanfront offers a luxurious dining experience with an emphasis on prime steaks and seafood. The restaurant features a grand dining hall with strict dress codes, although the outdoor patio offers a more relaxed atmosphere.

Menu highlights include the Wedge Burger, Prawn Linguini, and a selection of soups like Lobster Bisque and Clam Chowder, followed by indulgent desserts such as Banana Bread Pudding and Blueberry Lemon Drops.

Newport Landing

Newport Beach - view from Newport Landing RestaurantNext to the Fun Zone, Newport Landing offers scenic dining with views of Newport Harbor and the surrounding peaks. The menu features an eclectic blend of seafood and Italian dishes, with favorites like the Half and Half and Shrimp Linguini.

The dessert menu includes delights such as Mud Pie and Crème Brulee.