Newport Beach Signature Events: Where to Celebrate in Style
Art, food, music and sunshine – that’s what visitors will find in Newport Beach. This coastal city ranks as a must-see for its beaches and shopping, however travelers can also attend dozens of events throughout the year. To highlight the most popular, we rounded up the top Newport Beach signature events. Check them out.
Top 10 Newport Beach Signature Events You Can’t Miss
Newport Beach Restaurant Week (January)
For two weeks in January, Newport Beach Restaurant Week showcases the best of Orange County’s culinary scene. Area restaurants offer prix-fixe menus for lunch and dinner ranging in price, so visitors have something that suits their schedule and budget. Lunch pricing ranges from $10 to $25, while dinner starts at $20 and increases to $50, depending on the restaurant.
In order to participate, look for the Newport Beach Restaurant Week logo and pick some local favorites.
Jazz Party and Big Band Blowout (February)
For over 18 years, Jazz Party and Big Band Blowout has brought mainstream jazz for daily brunches, afternoon pool sessions and nightly concerts. The four-day event takes place at the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel and Spa, and concerts begin around 7 p.m. each night.
Individual and package tickets are available. For those who plan to attend the entire event, get the four-night, three-day package that includes one campaign brunch. Over 130 artists play the blowout every year.
Newport Beach Film Festival (April-May)
Spring welcomes film buffs to the area. As one of Orange County’s largest entertainment events, Newport Beach Film Festival features 350 films and welcomes 350,000 guests. Expect to see documentaries, family, shorts, action-sports and youth films, to name a few. Look out for celebrities, too.
Tickets are available based on genre, or get a pass to get affordable access to screenings and events. The weekend pass offers access to public events and screenings, while the all-access includes opening and closing nights as well.
Newport Beach Wine Festival (May and October)
Newport Beach hosts two popular wine festivals: one on Memorial Day weekend and another in October. In May, head to Newport Beach Wine Festival for wine tastings and cuisine prepared by area chefs. The event takes place during Memorial Day weekend and offers different events, such as the Wine Blending Experience and harbor cruise.
In October, Newport Beach Wine and Food Festival showcases over 40 area restaurants and 250-plus wines, spirits, and beers. While sampling, attend tasting panels and mixology courses to make creative drinks at home. Chefs may even share tips for making the perfect dish. Both events take place at Balboa Bay Resort.
Balboa Island Parade (June)
This Balboa Island tradition has delighted guests for over 25 years. Each June, dozens of floats, cars and musicians head to the streets for the Balboa Island Parade. The parade begins on Marine Avenue at 11 a.m., with an after party right after the parade ends.
Expect to see children on bikes, decorated golf carts and floats, marching bands, local officials, and more. After the parade, catch surf music legends, dance in the streets and bring beach chairs for comfortable seating.
Newport Beach Art Exhibition (June)
Also in June, the Newport Beach Art Exhibition invites local artists to submit pieces for viewing and judging. See pieces in several mediums, including painting, sculpture, mixed media and photography. This exhibition allows regional artists to enter to win prizes as well as sell their art. Imagine taking a piece of Newport Beach home to admire for years to come. While browsing art, enjoy music, food and wine provided by local vendors.
Lobster Fest (August)
Join the fun at Lobsterfest, which occurs in August. This event raises funds for local charities while celebrating summer. Those attending sample fresh Maine lobster — flown in that morning — and served with strip steak, potatoes, corn-on-the-cob, salads, rolls and desserts. In addition to eating fresh food, listen to live entertainment at Dunes Waterfront Resort and Marina.
General admission and VIP tickets and special kids meals for those who don’t like lobster are available. A portion of the proceeds benefits local charity organizations, such as Leadership Tomorrow, Make A Wish Orange County and Newport Sunrise Rotary Club.
Pacific Food and Wine Classic (August)
A perfect way to celebrate the end of summer and sample local cuisine, Pacific Food and Wine Classic takes place one weekend in August. Local chefs, over 150 wines, beers and cocktails, and scenic views welcome guests to have fun in the sun. This adult-only event, no children are permitted and only guests ages 21 and older may attend, offers some of the best food and wine in the area.
Visitors can buy individual day tickets, two-day general admission and weekend VIP passes. Each offer their own perks and admission, and the event occurs at Newport Beach Dunes Waterfront Resort.
Summer Concert Series (June-October)
Music fans can’t miss the Summer Concert Series at Hyatt Regency Newport Beach. This outdoor concert series features big names in music and entertainment, ranking it among the best Newport Beach signature events.
Shows occur on various nights from June through October, and visitors can buy tickets based on the show they want to see. Past performers have included: Candy Dulfer with Grace Kelly, Kenny Loggins, Jazz Funk Soul, Chris Botti and LeAnn Rimes. Pick a Newport Beach summer concert.
Christmas Boat Parade (December)
While many of the top Newport Beach signature events occur during summer, no one can miss the Christmas Boat Parade. This longtime favorite has delighted guests for over 110 years with decorated yachts, boats, kayaks and canoes. The parade begin each night at 6:30 p.m., during the week before Christmas.
Participates launch from the east end of Lido Island and follow a route that includes public viewing areas, restaurants, walkable districts and a community park. Visitors are welcome to picnic at the park or get a waterfront dining spot and watch the boats go by.
It’s time to become a part of these Newport Beach signature events! Book a Newport Beach vacation rental and visit the area.