There’s no better place to pretend you’re a super-rich model/movie star than on Newport Beach. Made famous by TV shows like The OC, Newport Beach is one of the wealthiest cities in the USA and boasts one of the finest beaches on the Pacific coast.
Located in Southern California, Newport Beach attracts thousands of tourists annually who are interested in the finer things in life. If this is your first time visiting Newport Beach, please read on. In this article, we’ll tell you some of the top fun things to do in Newport Beach and explain how to get here.
The Essential Fun Things To Do In Newport Beach
1. Shop Around Fashion Island
For over 50 years, Fashion Island has been the top tourist destination for visitors to Newport Beach. This incredible open-air mall has high-end shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues galore. Some of the biggest names in retail, tech, and fashion are here: Apple, Anthropologie, Hugo Boss, and Gucci. A few fabulous restaurants you might want to book a table at include Café Beau Soleil, Canaletto Ristorante Veneto, and Cucina Enoteca. If you need a little retail therapy (and who doesn’t on Newport Beach?), definitely put a trip to Fashion Island at the top of your fun things to do in Newport Beach list.
2. Take the Ferry to Balboa Island
Everyone who visits Newport Beach’s Balboa Island has the same reaction: “It feels as if I’ve stepped back in time.” Balboa Island has a very different architectural style to the rest of Newport Beach and is branded as a throwback to “simpler times.” There are many local boutiques, artisan shops, and restaurants to take a look at as you stroll through this lovely island. Some tourists recommend taking the longest ferry ride possible around Balboa Island to get the best pictures. The ferry ride to Balboa Island is now number one on TripAdvisor‘s list of fun things to do in Newport Beach.
3. Relax on Newport Beach
Believe it or not, many people who visit Newport Beach don’t spend a great deal of time on the actual beach. Many tourists come here strictly for the shopping, dining, and nightlife. While that’s all good and fun, you should really plan at least one afternoon on this city’s namesake beach. Newport Beach has exceptional waves for surfers and is often considered one of the cleanest beaches in the nation. Even if you don’t like surfing, swimming, or sunbathing, you’ll definitely enjoy the romantic sunset on Newport Beach.
Other Fun Things To Do In Newport Beach
4. Book a Specialized Tour
One great way to enhance your tour of Newport Beach is to book a themed tour. There are dozens of professional tours to choose from ranging from high-intensity trills to super chill. Adrenaline junkies should definitely look into scheduling one of Jetpack America‘s tours. As you might’ve guessed, people who take a Jetpack America tour strap on a water-propelled jetpack and fly over Newport Harbor.
For a less intense adventure, look into the many whale-watching tours, gondola rides, and romantic sunset cruises. Taking a unique guided tour is a great way to make incredible memories of your Newport Beach vacation.
5. Venture Out to Lesser Known Shopping Centers
Looking for a more authentic Newport Beach shopping experience than the touristy Fashion Island? If so, then it’s time for you to visit either the Westcliff Plaza or the Crystal Cove. Both of these shopping centers are just as extravagant as Fashion Island, but they are frequented more by locals than by tourists. The Crystal Cove in particular is an exceptional mall along the Pacific coast.
Besides great shops, the Crystal Cove has some of the most highly reviewed restaurants in the city. Westcliff Plaza is located at 1000 – 1150 Irvine Avenue and the Crystal Cove is at 7845 – 8085 East Coast. A visit to either of these shopping centers is a great addition to your fun things to do in Newport Beach itinerary.
6. Plan Your Trip to Coincide With a Festival
Newport Beach hosts dozens of world-renowned festivals every year. No matter what time of year you’re visiting, a special event is bound to be going on here. A few of the more popular festivals include the Newport Beach Film Festival in April, the Taste of Newport Food Festival in September, and the Christmas Boat Parade in December.
A few other festivals you might want to research online include the Newport Beach Summer Jazz Festival, the Balboa Island Art Walk, and Newport’s Fourth of July Celebration. Be sure to look up what special events are scheduled to take place when you plan to visit this city.
7. Taste Newport Beach’s Exceptional Seafood
Even if you aren’t visiting during the Taste of Newport festival, you can certainly enjoy Newport Beach’s exquisite cuisine. Since Newport Beach is right by the Pacific Ocean, expect to find many highly rated seafood vendors here.
Some of the best-reviewed restaurants that won’t break the bank include The Beachcomber Café, the Crab Cooker, and Ruby’s Shake Shack. Anyone looking for a high-class experience can easily find a fabulous restaurant in Newport Beach. A few of the top reviewed fine dining restaurants include Mastro’s Ocean Club or Red O Mexican Cuisine by Rick Bayless.
How to Get to Newport Beach
The closest airports to Newport Beach are the John Wayne Airport (IATA: SNA) and Long Beach International (IATA: LGB). However, most people flying into California will end up at Los Angeles International Airport (IATA: LAX). If you could book a transfer to either SNA or LGB, it will save you a great deal of time and aggravation traveling into Newport Beach.
For those who land in LAX, it will take you about one hour to drive from the airport to Newport Beach. As you exit the airport, you must travel south on the I-405 freeway for about 45 miles. This isn’t a particularly difficult ride, but it can be stressful due to LA’s notorious traffic.
Everybody deserves to feel like a celebrity once in their lives. At Newport Beach, you can turn all of your dreams of stardom into a reality. As you walk around this pristine area, it’s impossible not to feel like a chic superstar. Hopefully this list of fun things to do at Newport Beach has helped you plan your own superb vacation. Be sure to keep these fun things to do in Newport Beach in mind as you tour this fabulous area.