Newport Beach, California Photos - The Real OC

Newport Beach, California - a Real Gem in Orange County

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.


Summers bring 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 tennis tournaments.


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 sunset over the island will light your fire.


Balboa Bay Club is located along Pacific Coast Highway. Having hosted dignitaries, celebrities and provided meeting space for local events, the Balboa Bay Club overlooks the Newport bay. There's a small sand beach, kids playground, fine dining on site, and some boat slips surrounding the hotel property. Balboa Inn, on the other hand, sits across the bay on the Balboa Peninsula. It is the only hotel across the street for the Pavilion where the Catalina Flyer boat departs to Avalon on Catalina Island. More hotels include options such as affordable Best Western Bay Shores, and the luxurious five diamond Island Hotel.

Hotel Reviews:

Balboa Bay Club /  Balboa Inn / Best Western Newport Beach InnExtended Stay America - Orange County  /  Holiday Inn Express  /  Marriott Newport Beach -Hotel & Tennis

Newport Beach has these: Dog-pet hotels  /  CA Dog Beaches  /  Five Diamond Hotels  /  Four Diamond Hotels  / Free pier fishing  /  Golf Courses   /  Golf Hotels Resorts  /  Grunion Run   /  Harbors  & marinas  /  Spa resorts  /  Landmarks  /  Population data  /  Beach hotels  /  Beach Volleyball  /  Beach weddings  /  Bird watching 



Balboa Pavilion and Newport harbor
pictures of Newport Ferry and Fun Zone
photos of newport beach vistas