Newport Beach is like a
French Impressionistic painting--it's a magical place with views so stunning,
they hardly seem real. Like the Rock of Gibraltar or the French Riviera, cars
line up on weekends filled with visitors seeking opportunities to share the
dream on a five mile stretch of land referred to locally as the Newport or
Balboa Peninsula. Intimate sand beaches, a jetty called "The Wedge" where
surfers test their skills, two piers, the Fun Zone, Balboa Pavilion,
Newport-Balboa Ferry boat, harbor cruises, boat rentals and trips to Catalina
Island are but a few of the attractions for people of all ages.
Newport Beach is located 50 miles south of Los Angeles and 85 miles north of
San Diego in Orange County. With nearly 22 square miles of ocean
and bay, including several islands, the city offers the greatest variety
and number of restaurants with water view dining in all of Orange County.
Balboa Pavilion (pictured above) is a registered historic
structure built in 1905 to coincide with completion of the Pacific Electric Red
Car Line. In its early years, it featured big band and swing music with
prominent musicians of that era playing in the ballroom.
Enjoy a ring side seat of the harbor at the Harborside
Restaurant and Grand Ballroom for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It also offers a
full bar and is open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. (breakfast served on
Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.) There's a gift shop next door to the
restaurant, meeting rooms available for special events and a boat dock
with motor boat rentals and fishing. The Pavilion is lined with twinkling white
lights at night and is especially beautiful when the Newport Beach Holiday Boat
Parade travels up and down the harbor in December.
Fashion Island and Atrium Court, located near the tall
buildings that included Marriott Newport Beach Hotel & Tennis (seen in the
distance in top photos) offers upscale and boutique shopping, numerous
dining adventures plus a movie theater.
Framed by the Saddleback Mountains,
scenic Newport Beach also has an ecological reserve in the Back Bay which is
popular with birders. Stay at the Marriott Suites overlooking the bay, where
you can hike, bike, jog and watch birds.
This charming little beach community has a
scenic walkway that encircles the island, with the picturesque homes on one
side and small sandy beaches and boating slips on the waterside. Boutique
shops and restaurants line Marine Avenue. There are two stands that are
famous for their balboa bars and frozen bananas (both dipped in chocolate
and rolled in the topping of your choice.
outdoor jazz concerts to the center.
The Hyatt Newporter plays host to an annual line up of
jazz artists in summer concerts and also hosts several
Several public golf courses include
Newport Beach Golf Course, Hyatt Newporter Golf Course and Pelican Hills
Golf Course, home to a televised tournament. An endless
list of celebrities have wined, dined, lived and acted in Newport Beach,
beginning first in the Silent Film era of the early 1900's. Historic Balboa
Pavilion and the Newport Beach bay, the coves of Corona del Mar and every
spot you can imagine have been used in film.
Newport Beach contains numerous communities or villages that include
Balboa Island, Balboa Peninsula, Cannery Village, Corona del Mar, Fashion
Island, Lido Marina Village, Mariners Mile and Upper Newport Bay.
Newport Beach contains seven islands and are some of the
most expensive real estate in Southern California. Homes costing $2 million
and up are surrounded by one of the world's largest small yacht harbors.
Balboa Island is the largest. Lido Isle with Lido Marina Village, shops, art
galleries, boutiques and boardwalk cafes plus Little Balboa Island, Linda
Isle, Collins Island, Harbor Island and Bay Island make up the man-made
harbors and lands that rank among the most expensive in Orange County.
Harbor Cruise: Cruise on the Pavilion Paddy to get acquainted with Newport
Beach Harbor. Soak up sunshine while moving gently past through green water.
Float past waterfront homes, each with their own boat dock, and listen to
the gossip-column stories of today and yesterday. Learn who owns that
enormous yacht, and how they made their money. You'll pass cottages so small
you'd have to go outside just to change your mind, and million dollar
mansions divided by sibling squabbles.
Balboa Beach: Balboa Peninsula's beach was named one of the top ten urban
beaches in the United States by Surfrider Magazine. Ocean side or
harbor side? It could be the most difficult decision of your day. The Wedge,
at the ocean-side tip of Balboa Peninsula, is famous for bodysurfing.
Nearby, Corona del Mar State Beach sits below protective cliffs, the sand
littered with beachgoers.
Balboa Island: The ferry takes you to Balboa Island, but first stop for
lunch on the upstairs patio at Newport Landing, where the harbor traffic
provides a side dish of free entertainment to go with your meal. Once
planned to be a racetrack, Balboa Island now teems with cottages arranged in
neat rows, looking like a Norman Rockwell scene with American flags flying.
Marine Avenue, the island's only shopping area, offers a variety of wares,
from handmade kites to resort wear.
Newport Beach has a
Catalina Flyer catamaran boat service daily to
Catalina Island. Take
the Catalina Flyer for a day trip to Catalina Island, the Club Med of Los
Angeles. And if you can't make it to the island, just standing on the
Newport shore and watching the
the island will light your fire.