6 Newport Beach Outdoor Activities Families Can’t Miss
Newport Beach, located south of Los Angeles, California, features 275-plus days of sunshine per year and a mild coastal climate. The city has both a beach and state park that have earned top honors from travel site experts, but there’s way more to do here than relax on the sand. Get ready to experience the best of the area with our picks for the top Newport Beach outdoor activities. Your family will have a blast.
Top 6 Newport Beach Outdoor Activities for Fun in the Sun
See Lots of Whales and Dolphins
The Newport Beach area has some of the best waters for whale-watching in California, which helps it rank among the top Newport Beach outdoor activities. Whale-watching tours occur year-round, with blue whales spotted in the summer and fall and gray whales seen in the winter and spring.
Several companies offer tours, however the ones at Newport Landing and Davey’s Locker rank as some of the best. Newport Landing offers trips seven days a week and accommodates large groups. Davey’s Locker has been a longtime favorite for more than 40 years and also offers daily cruises. In addition to whales, guests may also see dolphins, sea birds and sharks. Both Newport Landing and Davey’s Locker offer fishing charters and tours for anglers in the family.
Head to the Beaches and Parks
It won’t feel like a vacation without some time at the beach. The area houses seven award-winning beaches and parks perfect for playing, sunbathing, relaxing and spending time with loved ones. One of the most popular is Newport Municipal Beach, home to 5 miles of space, a bike trail and surfing opportunities. Popular beach activities include swimming, surfing, nighttime fire rings, and playing at the parks. In addition families enjoy visiting Upper Newport Bay, The Wedge and Crystal Cove State Park in nearby Laguna Beach.
When planning a beach day, work in some time to visit the Newport Pier on Balboa Peninsula. This must-see spot offers endless sightseeing and photo ops, and welcomes guests to watch sunsets. While visiting the pier, check out the restaurants, entertainment and shopping options at the Peninsula. Families will love riding a historic Ferris wheel, visiting ExplorOcean and taking the Balboa Ferry around the area.
Golf at These Ocean Courses
Golf ranks among the top Newport Beach outdoor activities for its stunning landscapes and diverse courses. The area houses three courses, and a favorite place to play is the 36-hole Pelican Hill Golf Club, which has delighted players for more than 25 years.
Pelican Hill offers visitors two 18-hole courses set against ocean backdrops, each with their own challenges. The Ocean North Course, measuring almost 6,945 years, features panoramic ocean views, open canyons and scenic plateaus. The 6,580-yard Ocean South course has 270-degree ocean views, lots of green scenery and bunkers. Designed by Tom Fazio, both courses represent the area’s natural beauty and have been named among America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses by Golf Digest.
Add Some Romance
Treat someone special to a romantic Newport Beach gondola cruise, rated in the top 10 romantic things to do in Orange County by USA Today. On this tour, an expert gondolier quietly guides couples through the Newport Harbor. Packages range from the one-hour classic to the two-hour dinner cruises, which are perfect for anniversaries, date nights and proposals.
Find Tours Galore
For those who can’t get away on a gondola, try a sightseeing cruise or family tour. Guided tours provide a great way to see Newport Beach, and visitors can pick how best to see the area. Whether looking to rent a boat, kayak or bike, or sit and enjoy the ride, Newport Beach has dozens of tours from which to choose.
Top rated boat tours include Fun Zone Boat Company on Balboa Island and Hornblower Cruises. Located in Newport Harbor, Fun Zone offers opportunities to see ocean life, celebrity homes, sunsets and hear narrated history. Hornblower Cruises specializes in a more upscale environment offering guests either a brunch or dinner cruise on the waters.
Thrill-seekers should book a trip with Balboa Parasail, which offers single, tandem and triple flights. Each trip takes riders as high as 800 feet in the air high over the ocean waters. The company offers parasailing adventures seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and reservations are recommended. For an added bonus, consider the digital photo package, which provides guests an SD card full of action-packed shots of the trip.