Newport Beach is the kind of place that when you think you see John Wayne at the grocery store, it is John Wayne. Or actually was, since he passed away some years ago.
This is the place to go if you like sailing, great weather, nice beaches and shops. It's not pollution-free, like it was in the 1960s, when you could dig for clams, find abalone and starfish, and spot seahorses while you swam in the bay. Sand dollars used to be a commonplace, but no more. No, now you can spend your days (and dollars) at over-priced stores and sit in your $60,000 SUV on the 405 for hours on end. Why conserve the last bits of open space when you can pave it over and put up shoddily-built, stucco rabbit warrens and sell them for $900,000. Still, the beaches are great and if it's not summer, it won't be too crowded to rent a bike and ride along the boardwalk for the two-mile stretch between the Newport Pier and the Balboa Pier.
Hotels and lodgingEdit
Where to stay: The Four Season's Hotel is the place if you can afford it, rather than put up with the seediness of beachfront hotels. Or rent a place on Balboa Island, also very expensive. The Newport Marriott isn't bad either, and, like the Four Seasons, is next to Fashion Island shops. If you are looking for budget-friendly alternatives, look into Newport Beach Vacation Rentals on FlipKey where you'll have the comforts of home without breaking the bank.
Newport Beach is so beautiful that most of the time you'll just want to take it in, dip your toe in the water, or stroll along the shore. But if you need something else to do, consider renting a boat or a bike. Duffy Electric Boat rentals at 2001 W Coast Hwy are nice for a whole family. You can also rent other kinds of boats at the Balboa Pavilion, 400 Main St., on the peninsula.
Other things to do: watch the Boat Parade (one winter, one summer), shop at Fashion Island, drive into Laguna Beach (the next town over)for the summer "Pageant of the Masters," visit the Newport Maritime Museum on Coast Highway, browse the collection at the Newport Beach Art Museum, take in a play at the Performing Arts Center in nearby Costa Mesa or at the Newport Theater Arts Center at 2501 Cliff Drive. Stroll along the Balboa peninsula near the Pavillion and keep your eye out for Rupert, the pelican. He's been adopted by the waterfront community.
If you were lucky enough to borrow or rent a kayak at the Newport Aquatics Center a couple of years ago, you might have seen two porpoises in the back bay. It's also possible to see seals just past the harbor, resting on large buoys in the ocean.
For shopping, head to Fashion Island, or wander around nearby Balboa Island. Fashion Island is so beautiful, many people go there just to walk around.
Maps and transportationEdit
Getting to Newport BeachEdit
Exploring Newport BeachEdit
Practical information and resourcesEdit
Try the Shanghai Pine on Balboa Island and Original Pizza on the Balboa peninsula.
The very best food can be had at the places with the least atmosphere. Plum's Catering at 369 E. 17th St. in Costa Mesa is where a lot of locals go for lunch, as is Haute Cakes, at 1807 Westcliff. Haute Cakes has scrambled eggs and toast, as well as tacos, and healthy cuisine. The owner's wife used to be a pastry chef at one of the fancy hotels nearby.
For a pretty good if not great dinner in a fun atmosphere, try El Ranchito's Mexican, Joe's Crab Shack and Ruby's Diner.
For prime rib, try the expensive Five Crowns in Corona del Mar.
For a quick but delicious lunch, try the Atrium Court at Fashion Island, which has salad bars, sandwich places, etc.
The Rusty Pelican restaurant on Coast Highway got its name when the owner was still a lifeguard who used to cook at his lifeguard parties. He noticed an old rusty-looking pelican washed up on shore and thought it would be a great name for a restaurant.
|Add a new photo to the Newport Beach gallery. Vote on which images to feature in the featured images forum.|
|Got something to say that doesn't fit in the other sections of this page? Add it here!|
Add links to other sites here