Best Places to Visit in Newport Beach
Newport Beach is a beach town in Orange County known for its stunning sand and surf. With its 21 square miles of the harbor and 8 miles of beaches, it’s a hotspot for tourists in the state. Known for its crystal clear waters, this highly recreational spot offers great opportunities for swimmers, surfers, divers and rowers.
The combination of old-fashioned charm and modern amenities make this beautiful location both comfortable and up-to-date. But that doesn’t mean it’s left behind in history. Each landmark of the city has its own distinct heritage and culture, with the nature and businesses of its surroundings!
For the most part, besides tourism, Newport Beach is known for its high-quality experience and standards. Residential areas are luxurious, shopping areas are modern, and commercial communities are thriving. When you come here, you will expect a more luxurious holiday.
With so many ways to spend your time, choosing from a variety of options to enjoy your vacation will be difficult. Have a look at our list of the Best Places to Visit in Newport Beach and make your trip enjoyable.
10 Best Places to Visit in Newport Beach
Let’s explore the top 10 Most Beautiful and Best Places to Visit in Newport Beach:
1. Balboa Island
Balboa Island is located between the Newport Beach mainland and the Balboa Peninsula. Skiers, rowers, shoppers and tourists of all types visit this place to enjoy all it has to offer. Bicycle rental provides an easy way to travel on land. The man-made island was once nothing more than a mudflat surrounded by swamps.
It wasn’t until the 1900s, when the sheep were dredged, that the sand mass began to form, moving silt and sand to form its bulk. Today, this is a very popular destination for California city. If you are looking for a relaxing place to go, this is a must see!
Balboa Island is primarily residential, but areas such as Onyx Avenue and Ocean Drive are bustling with commercial activity. The latter is particularly popular, known for its pleasant shopping opportunities and a variety of delicious restaurants. There are many businesses operating independently here. Be sure to try Bar Balboa, the island’s special treat: ice cream sticks!
Address: Newport Beach, California, USA
2. Bunnyhenge and Sculpture Exhibition in Civic Center Park
If you’re looking for something unusual in America, you can’t go wrong with Civic Center Park. The 500,000-square-foot Civic Center Park was designed by renowned landscape architecture firm Peter Walker and Partners. Often referred to as the museum without walls, the park hosts the famous sculpture arrangement in the rotating exhibition.
The sculptures were lent to the city council after being carefully selected for their artistry, durability, and popularity. They are then displayed for two years where the public can view and interact freely. However, Civic Center Park has another feature worth seeing: “The Bunny Girl Series”. The statue consists of 16 large white rabbits.
The fourteen of them face off in a circle, while the two larger 8-footers hover over them with lively eyes. This is one of the most unusual things to do in Newport Beach and it must have been under controversy to get the top spot! It turns out that the city of Newport Beach paid a staggering $221,000 for them, causing the ire of many residents.
Address: 100 Civic Center Dr, Newport Beach, CA 92660, United States
3. Upper Newport Bay Nature Reserve
The Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve is a 1,000-acre estuary or wetland that has the honor of being the largest coastal wetland in Southern California. Often referred to as Back Bay by Newport Beach locals. It’s a prime location for biking, horseback riding, hiking, and family outings, and is one of the favorite Newport Beach attractions for outdoor enthusiasts.
In addition to its sightseeing opportunities, the Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve is particularly popular with bird watchers. This is because it is on the Pacific Flyway, a major bird migration route from north to south. The entire flight route from Patagonia to Alaska, more than 35,000 birds stopped here on the journey.
Address: 2301 University Dr, Newport Beach, CA 92660, United States
4. Newport Landing
One of the best things you can do in Newport Beach is whale watching. Whales migrate throughout the region throughout the year. Winter and early spring move gray whales south and they come back by mid-year. Then, you can spot blue whales swimming in the area during the summer and fall.
Some humpback whales, fin whales, seals, killer whales, sharks and even dolphins can also be spotted in warm Southern California waters. One of the places to go for a whale watching experience is Newport Landing Whale Watching. The company organizes day tours for the whole family and takes you to the best places to see these awe-inspiring sea animals.
Newport Landing Whale Watching has been in business for over two decades. He is reliable and knows all the good spots for whale watching. Most of their tours take about two and a half hours, but private tours can be hired.
Address: 309 Palm St A, Newport Beach, CA 92661, United States
5. Sherman Library and Gardens
The Sherman Library and Gardens is one of Newport Beach’s finest attractions. Set on 2.2 acres in Corona Del Mar, it is a delightfully whimsical garden wonderland. The garden was founded in 1955 by Arnold D. Haskell and is named after Haskell’s own mentor, M. H. Sherman. Haskell’s goal was to make it easy to learn on broad grounds, and it certainly succeeded.
The interior of the Sherman Library and Gardens is filled with informative books about the Pacific Southwest and its history. But that’s not why this place is one of the funniest places in Newport Beach! The outside garden is where people really flock to.
Sightseeing opportunities arise in different themed gardens, including conservatories, terraces, seasonal flowers, fountains, and more. The Sherman Library and Gardens display more than a hundred different plants. Herb garden, rose garden, succulent garden, Japanese garden, fern cave, etc. There’s even a beautiful tea garden with pancakes and al fresco dining!
Address: 2647 East Pacific Coast Highway, Corona del Mar, Newport Beach, CA 92625, United States
6. The Wedge
Are you a surfer wondering where to catch the waves in Newport Beach? Head to the eastern tip of the Balboa Peninsula near the harbor entrance and visit The Wedge! This is an area of California famous for its jaw-dropping waves that can reach 30 feet high. It is also one of the top ten areas of the city for various water activities and sports.
The wedge was first developed in the early 1900s with the installation of a protective scaffolding. This creates a beach area that experiences high waves as the ocean flows south. Now the place to go for surfing, boating and more! Sure, it’s not a great place for beginners, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take pictures and relax on the beach if the water is too rough!
Address: Newport Beach, California, USA
7. Crystal Cove State Park
Crystal Cove State Park is one of the top natural attractions in Newport Beach, California. With 3.2 miles of beach and 2,400 acres of green space, it’s one of the largest combinations of natural beaches and open spaces in Orange County and is a tranquil retreat. This huge reserve even gives you the chance to spend the night in a private campground. Crystal Cove State Park takes you away from the surrounding metropolis.
Located between Laguna Beach and Corona del Mar, the hotel enjoys a relaxing Mediterranean climate with foggy mornings, cool evenings and warm days. Those wandering the grounds will see tide pools, towering cliffs, sloping hills, rolling waves, forested ridges, canyons, and more. Crystal Cove State Park’s remote wilderness makes it a great destination for hikers, riders, and cyclists. Park staff hosts tide pool walks, guided hikes, and even geology classes. Meanwhile, the calm and clear waters are popular with divers and swimmers!
Address: 8471 N Beach Road, Laguna Beach, CA 92651, United States
8. Balboa Fun Zone
Located on the Balboa Peninsula on East Bay Avenue, the Balboa Recreation Area is one of Newport Beach’s top attractions this weekend! It started in 1936 when it only had a Ferris wheel and a small beach that bears its name. It almost disappeared but returned to being a haven of exciting activity in 1994.
Balboa Recreation Area is a wonderland for families with children exploring this part of California. Despite its small size, it packs a decent punch. For example, there is an exciting bungee jump up to 18 feet high called Ocean Motion and a beautiful Ferris wheel overlooking the ocean. You can also visit the historic Balboa Mansion, take a harbor cruise, play arcade games and enjoy various rides.
Address: 600 E Bay Ave, Newport Beach, CA 92661, United States
9. Pirate Coast Paddle Company
One of the best water activities you can enjoy in Newport Beach, California is paddle boarding. A very enjoyable exercise that will make you feel like you are walking on the surface of the waves! As dangerous as it sounds, it’s actually a very simple and stable process, especially once you get used to it.
After all, you can control the speed of movement. Whether you’re a seasoned paddle surfer or not, the Pirate Coast Paddle Board is a great choice for experiencing the sport. It offers courses for beginners as well as board rental courses. Many guides offer knowledgeable tours that will take you through the beauty of the area in safety and comfort.
Address: 1131 Back Bay Dr, Newport Beach, CA 92660, United States
10. Fashion Island
Have a shopaholic wondering what to do in Newport Beach this weekend? Fashion Island should be on your list! The open-air luxury mall is full of fun things to do with breathtaking panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean. It opened in 1967 and has been offering outdoor recreation and entertainment ever since.
Fashion Island is a Newport Beach shopper’s paradise. It has more than 150 different boutiques and shops, as well as a wide range of restaurants, from casual diners to fine dining. You’ll find chains like Lilly Pulitzer, Macy’s Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, and more.
Dining options range from artisanal burgers to pizza, from fast food restaurants to Japanese cuisine. Fashion Island also offers Whole Foods Market for those needing fresh produce and groceries. If you have a few hours, you can watch a movie at the cinema. Better still, if you’re in the area at the right time, it can be an event!
Address: 401 Newport Center Dr, Newport Beach, CA 92660, United States
Hope you like our choice of the best places to visit in Newport Beach. If you think there are some more beautiful places to visit in Newport Beach, we should cover them. Write us below in the comment box.