Where oceanfront mansions and a yacht-lined harbour mingle with historic cottages and beach-town delights, the coastal fairyland of Newport Beach – nestled amongst golden stretches of pristine Pacific coastline between Los Angeles and San Diego – epitomises the casually-sophisticated lifestyle of Southern California.

With its 10 unique neighbourhoods, array of fantastic beach spots, and plethora of star attractions, it’s not always easy to choose which part of Newport Beach to explore first, so our guide breaks down the very best that this brilliant beach town has to offer…


On this page...

1/ Hot Neighbourhoods

2/ Highlights

3/ Where to Stay 

            Hot Neighbourhoods

Balboa Peninsula

A bustling boardwalk, famous surf spots including The Wedge, and a variety of eateries to sate those hitting Balboa Beach for the day: little wonder then that this stretch of sand is among the area’s most popular. Stretching from the jetty, past two piers and ending in what locals call West Newport, it’s great for families and anyone looking for fun in the sun. Don’t miss the family-friendly Balboa Fun Zone where the Ferris wheel has stood for more than 80 years, Discovery Cube’s Ocean Quest, and the world famous Balboa Island Ferry.

Corona del Mar

Known to locals as “CdM”, its streets named after flowers, quaint restaurants and boutiques, and homes that are a mix of modern flare and traditional comfort, Corona del Mar is distinct in its sophisticated nature and offers a range of activities for visitors and locals alike. Wander down the paved path towards Big Corona and you’ll hear the buzz and bustle of children running on the sand, adults playing beach volleyball, and families enjoying the day’s warm weather. The waves are just big enough to allow kids of every age to swim or body-board, and the atmosphere is playful and energetic: ideal for outings with family and friends.

If you’re in the mood for a space that’s more intimate and secluded, head back up the hill and down Ocean Blvd to Little Corona Beach – a spot that locals sneak off to for a day of quiet relaxation. This small strand of beach, not known to most visitors, is hidden amongst rocky cliffs and green foliage, making it ideal for romantic sunset viewings or beach picnics. It’s also one of the few secluded coves on the OC Coast that doesn’t require descending stairs down to the beach, and is very well protected from swells and surf, with tide pools that make for excellent exploring.
Crystal Cove State Park

The beautiful, historic beach gem of Crystal Cove State Park – three-and-a-half miles of pristine uninterrupted coastline – offers the more simple joys of surf and sand – rocky coves beneath coastal bluffs, broad beaches, and some of SoCal’s most varied recreational activities, from snorkelling and surfing to biking, hiking and running trails along the coast and into the hills behind. It’s here you’ll also find the Crystal Cove Historic District – an enclave of 46 vintage rustic coastal cottages built in the 20s and 30s and one of the last remaining examples of an early 20th-century Southern California coastal development.

Fashion Island

With the Pacific Ocean as its shimmering backdrop, Orange County’s premier coastal shopping destination offers a sophisticated yet relaxed open-air shopping and dining experience that fuses Italian style with California cool. And when you need a little sole-soothing from investigating all the luxury, designer, and specialty boutiques, you can lose yourself in a cappuccino by the Koi pond, or in a hip new cocktail concoction at one of the lushly-landscaped piazzas’ refreshing rest stops.

Whale-watching in Newport Beach is one of its most popular activities, and both Newport Landing and Davey’s Locker offer daily guided whale-watching tours by experienced professionals year-round. View giant blue whales from May to November, and grey whales typically from December through April.
Bars & Nightlife

You checked in, hit the beach, relaxed at the spa, and cruised the ocean. So what’s next? Sure, there’s dinner by, or on the water, but if you’re also craving happy hour on the harbour, sundowners on the sand, craft beers and even craftier cocktails, or simply want to dance the night away, Newport’s social scene has you well and truly covered.


The Resort at Pelican Hill
Newport Coast

​Hyatt Regency Newport Beach
Newport Beach


​Balboa Bay Resort
Newport Beach


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