If a West Coast trip is on your list, the largest recreational harbor should be at the top. The complex of Newport Beach, CA, is made up of multiple “villages’’ around the bay and farther south down the coast of Orange County. These smaller areas are Balboa Peninsula, Lido Marina Village, Mariner’s Mile, Balboa Island, Corona del Mar, Newport Center, Newport Coast and The Islands of Newport Harbor.
Balboa Peninsula, which separates Newport Bay from the Pacific Ocean, is home to the Wedge, a world-renowned destination for bodysurfing. Thanks to its beautiful weather, water sports are possible year-round. On the other end of Balboa Beach, you’ll find one of two piers on Newport Beach, including Balboa Pier with Balboa Fun Zone just across the street. The Oceanfront Walk on Balboa Peninsula is the quintessential beach trail, ideal for walking, running or biking along the water.
If you’re in the mood for hiking, the Newport area is riddled with trails. For some rugged and stunning views, make the journey to The Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve where wildlife and rocky cliffs abound. Nature lovers also have the opportunity at Newport Beach to go whale watching and visit the Environmental Nature Center.
For your shopping pleasure, Fashion Island in Newport Center is a high-end mall serving as a one-stop-shop. Try not to shop until you drop at the mall, as the boutiques, galleries and other shops dispersed throughout the villages, especially at Lido and Balboa Island, are also worth a visit.
Top off your day at the beach with a classic Balboa bar ice cream and find a place to watch the sunset before heading to Corona del Mar as night falls to cozy up at the fire circles.
With a total of 455 boat slips, upscale amenities and exclusive beachfront access, the Newport Harbor boasts four locations operated by CRC Marinas. From
west to east along Newport’s main channel, you can find Bayshore Marina, Balboa Marina, Villa Cove Marina and Bayside Marina, all with easy access to dining, local attractions and luxury resorts.
If you’re looking for a dining experience even celebrities would be envious of, reserve a table at the iconic Japanese restaurant for world-class sushi and a stunning view of the Lido Marina.
Two veteran Orange County restaurateurs, David Wilhelm and Gregg Solomon, offer beautiful meals with a view at this waterside location. Tavern House’s menu is dominated by seafood dishes and comfort food.
With an in-house sommelier, your meal will be a perfectly balanced California experience. Steak and fresh seafood, served with a side of live music, is the name of the game at Eddie V’s.
Only steps from the sand this tropical eatery specializes in California fare and has a bar with a thatched roof that compliments cool, summery cocktails.