Newport Beach Activities: Fun Things to Do for Travelers

As one of the top coastal destinations in southern California, it’s not surprising Newport Beach offers plenty of fun things to do. The city welcomes all ages and interests as well, so visitors can plan a memorable trip while diving into local culture. Need some tips? For some ideas, here are popular Newport Beach activities to try on vacation.

Newport Beach Activities and Creative Things to Do

newport beach things to do vacation

Enjoy Some Beach Time

Any trip to southern California won’t feel complete without some beach time. Newport Beach has several places to relax and hang out. Some draw more crowds than others, making it easy to find a special place.

Newport Municipal Beach sits on both sides on Newport Beach Pier. Visitors have access to wide shoreline, restaurants and bike trail. Corona Del Mar State Park provides access to Pirate’s Cove, a small beach on the west side of the park. Visitors enjoy picture-perfect scenery and sandy shores. South of Balboa Pier, beach-goers find Balboa Peninsula Beach. At this beach, a paved path welcomes bikers, runners and skaters.

Shop Local

Fun fact: Newport Beach ranks among the best places to shop in Orange County. The city’s Fashion Island offers upscale designers paired with specialty boutiques and coastal charm. To support local businesses, shoppers will find locally owned boutiques in Balboa Island, Mariner’s Mile and Newport Coast.

Love to eat fresh? Three farmers markets welcome visitors to sample the best in locally grown produce and homemade goodies.

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Photo: iTrip Vacations Newport Beach

Try Water Recreation Activities

Aside from relaxation, the area’s beaches provide a place to play in the water. Surfers flock to Newport Beach, which hosts competitions and challenges experts year-round. Those who prefer to explore on their own enjoy kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding (SUP).

Whale-watching also ranks among the top Newport Beach activities. Local boat tours often host whale-watching trips. One of the best places is Newport Landing. This attraction offers daily trips year-round that help guests see blue whales, humpback whales and dolphins, to name a few.

Watch Surfers

The Wedge, located at the east end of Balboa Peninsula, features the biggest swell in southern California. Surfers and spectators can expect the potential for 30-foot waves that challenge body-boarders and award-winning athletes. When waves subside, enjoy some time with loved ones while watching the sunrise or sunset.

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Stroll Piers

Those coming to the area also enjoy strolling two piers in Newport Beach. Balboa Pier provides a place to fish and watch wildlife. Near the pier, visitors will find open beaches, green space for Frisbee and a restaurant.

At Newport Beach Pier, explore Balboa Peninsula. Those strolling this pier watch surfers and sunbathers, and can cast a line in the water. While visiting, buy fish from the Dory Fleet Market and look south to see Balboa Pier.

Play at Parks

In addition to water recreation, outdoor lovers may choose from plenty of activities. The area’s parks provide a place to play, laugh and make memories. More than a dozen city- and state-owned parks encourage visitors to stay active.

Galaxy View, West Newport and Sunset Ridge all cater to families with children. For some relaxation, head to West Jetty View Park, which has benches and yachts. Those into sports should visit Bonita Canyon Sports Park and Coastal Peak Park.

To see one of the area’s top attractions, spend the day at Crystal Cove State Park. This spot showcases natural beauty while serving as a safe place for local wildlife. Visitors have access to spacious beaches, hiking trails, tidepools, coves and a historic district.

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Photo: iTrip Vacations Newport Beach

Immerse in Local Culture

Arts and culture also rank among the top Newport Beach activities. In fact, it’s part of the lifestyle in southern California. To get started, attend a few art galleries and museums. Orange County Museum of Art houses innovative designs and contemporary pieces. In warmer months, attend art walks and artist workshops.

The area also has a thriving performance art scene, which includes the famous Newport Beach Film Festival. Other cultural attractions showcase ballet, live shows, theater troupes and music. Just don’t forget to dig into the food scene at these Newport Beach seafood restaurants.

Guests also enjoy accommodations located near these attractions and more note-worthy sites. Book a Newport Beach vacation home to get started.