Best of Newport Beach

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Advisor - Jen Huyck
Curated By

Jen Huyck

  • Newport Beach

  • Beaches

  • Luxury Travel

  • Nature Escapes

  • California

  • Barefoot Luxury

  • Beach town

  • Coastal

Crystal Cove State Park is the beach that is popular with swimmers and surfers.
Curator’s statement

From luxury experiences such as upscale shopping and dining to serene beaches and bluffs, Newport Beach provides a wide variety of attractions and entertainment to enchant any type of visitor. Composed of eight mostly artificial islands, this picturesque Southern California beach town is a highly underrated vacation destination for visitors seeking the perfect coastal getaway. Known for extravagant yachts, breathtaking coastal views, recreational harbor activities and old-school charm, Newport Beach offers something for everyone.

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Where to stay in Newport Beach

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Things to do in Newport Beach

A beautiful Newport Beach seaside with a rock formations and clear skies.

Explore Crystal Cove State Park, featuring 2,400 acres of backcountry wilderness. Offering over 18 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails with bluff-top ocean views, this wilderness area is a must-see for the outdoor enthusiast.

Rent a famous Duffy boat and tour the Newport Harbor. Dock your boat at Lido Village and enjoy lunch or dinner at one of the many trendy eateries.

Paddleboard or kayak through the Upper Newport Back Bay, Southern California's largest remaining estuary. Keep an eye out for native birds and wildlife as you enjoy this peaceful and serene setting.

Stroll through the quaint streets of Balboa Island for boutique shopping. Make sure to try the signature Balboa Bar!

Rent cruiser bikes and take the ferry across Newport Harbor to Balboa Fun Zone. The Fun Zone offers fair-style rides, arcades and a waterfront ferris wheel.

Plan a beach day at one of Newport's many scenic beaches: Corona Del Mar Beach, Little Corona Beach, or Pirate's Cove Beach. Check out The Wedge, famous for its big swells and powerful, shore-breaking waves.

Rent a board and surf at Blackies, located just north of the Newport Pier.

Day trips

Embark on a day trip to Catalina Island on the Catalina Express ferry! (Catalina Island Guide coming soon!)

Places to eat & drink in Newport Beach

The Jellyfish Lounge of The Cannery is known for its Happy Hour.

The Galley Cafe is a quaint diner and local favorite for American breakfast selections.

Located on the sand of Crystal Cove, The Beachcomber Cafe is another local favorite for enjoying a cocktail and a spectacular ocean-front view.

Visit Fly-N-Fish on the boardwalk near Newport Pier for tasty, fresh seafood specials and epic sunset views in a cozy, intimate atmosphere.

El Cholo serves some of the best Mexican food and margaritas in town! Enjoy their delicious dishes on the large outdoor patio.

Head upstairs to the Jellyfish Lounge at The Cannery for the best happy hour in Newport (be sure to order one of their happy hour sushi rolls)!

Dine at Javier's for upscale Mexican cuisine in a tropical ambiance. Javier's also features the largest selection of premium tequilas in Southern California.

Shorebird incorporates coastal flavors and fresh ingredients for an exceptional culinary experience. Brunch out on the waterside patio is highly recommended!

Bear Flag is a sustainable fish market featuring fresh seafood. Make sure to try their ahi poke and fish tacos.

Circle Hook is a casual eatery with a prime view of the Newport Harbor, making it the perfect spot for appetizers and cocktails.

Mastro's Ocean Club provides an elegant dining experience, serving classic dishes including steak and seafood specials in a sophisticated setting.

Need to Know

Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out my guide, Best of North County San Diego. This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to California.

Advisor - Jen Huyck

Travel Advisor

Jen Huyck

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to California.