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Getaway Guide: Newport Beach, California

Getaway Guide: Newport Beach, California

Newport Beach is where luxury and elegance meet laid-back beach vibes. See why this coastal city immediately captivates all who visit.


5 min read

February 05, 2021

Newport Beach, California, is where luxury and elegance meet laid-back beach vibes. The vibrant coastal city is paradisiacal—you’ve got your pristine beaches, championship golf courses, upscale shopping centers, fine-dining spots, and countless other must-see attractions. City dwellers and nature lovers both agree that the beachfront town immediately captivates all who visit. 

It’s easy to fall in love with the seaside city. Newport Beach, California’s weather is typically temperate or warm year-round, so it’s never a bad time to hit the beach. The town’s surfer-filled shores are eternally dynamic; beachgoers cater to its lively atmosphere. It doesn’t matter whether it’s your first or 20th time visiting—you can never get enough of Newport Beach. Balance out your easy-going lifestyle with an air of sophistication and plan a short getaway to one of the most beautiful coastal towns in Southern California. 

Day 1

As you cruise into Newport Beach, roll down the windows to feel the refreshing coastal breeze and admire the striking scenery.


Newport Beach is California’s most underrated destination that certainly deserves to be in the spotlight. Only a 45-minute drive from the City of Angels, the beachfront town immediately stands out as you cruise into Orange County. The cool coastal breeze blows through your hair as the crisp air refreshes your body—you’re here.  

The first thing to do in Newport Beach upon arrival is check in to a hotel. Many people might choose to stay in an Airbnb, but you may as well treat yourself to a fancy overnight stay at the Newport Beach Hotel. The oceanfront hotel provides a complimentary continental breakfast and is only steps away from the sand. Here, Newport Beach’s eclectic beach scene surrounds you. By the time you’ve settled in the hotel, it’s time to hit the beach and splash around. 

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No trip to the city of Newport Beach is complete without a beach day. Luckily, you have more than enough beaches to choose from as you kick-start your coastal adventures. Cameo Shores, China Cove, North Star, and Pirate’s Cove Beaches are only a few of the many places to visit. But before you check out any of those spots, Corona del Mar State Beach must be your first stop. Located on the east side of Newport Harbor, the beach is the perfect place to practice windsurfing, snorkeling, surfing, and scuba diving.   

Kick off your Newport Beach adventures by spending the afternoon at one of the city's many beautiful beaches.

Once you’ve had your dose of SoCal sunlight, head over to Fashion Island, Newport Beach’s premier shopping center, where you can pamper yourself and get a bite to eat. By the time you buy everything you need for a new capsule wardrobe, you’ll probably be craving a fulfilling lunch to restore your energy. The California-founded Blaze Pizza has everything you need to satisfy your cravings. But if you still haven’t had enough, the veteran-owned Atomic Creamery will make your dessert dreams come true.    


The best way to end the evening is by watching the sun go down by the calm waters. Make your way to Newport Beach Pier just before golden hour so you can catch the last bits of light disappear into the horizon. Then, explore the many shops at the base of the wooden structure and stroll along the pier that overlooks the sandy Newport Municipal Beach—one of the best beaches in Orange County.

Catch the sunset from the famed Newport Beach Pier before ending the day with a delicious dinner.

While you’re here, soak in the incredible views of Huntington Beach to the north and Balboa Pier to the south. If you’re visiting during the whale-migration season (December through April), this is one of the best whale-watching spots in Newport Beach.

Before you head back to your hotel and rest, you need a pleasant and rewarding dining experience to wrap up your day. TidePoole’s offers a variety of delicious meals that are bound to make your mouth water. Treat yourself to the South Swell pizza dotted with pepperoni and jalapeño, and top it off with the Zeus’ Greens salad. Your first day in Newport Beach, California, is now complete—get a good night’s sleep to prepare for the next day’s excursions.

Day 2

Explore the fun attractions of Balboa Island, a one-of-a-kind gem that provides plenty of entertainment.


As you wake up to the magnificent views of the glimmering ocean, you almost forget that you’re not in heaven—Newport Beach is as stunning as ever. A new day calls for new adventures, and the second (and unfortunately, last) day of your weekend getaway won’t be anything short of exciting. While the previous day was abundant with Newport Beach beaches, today will start out with a visit to a man-made Orange County hidden gem: Balboa Island.  

Balboa Island is a charming spot that’s reminiscent of an East Coast harborside village. While you can reach it via ferry, we recommend renting a bike from Beach and Bikes and cycling over the bridge to Balboa Island to discover its picturesque and nostalgically attractive features. Enjoy a delectable breakfast at Wilma’s Patio, then indulge in a classic frozen banana treat from Sugar ‘n Spice, a Balboa Island landmark. 

Watch the world-class surfers who flock to Newport Beach to ride the rad waves.

Next up on your Newport Beach itinerary is paying a visit to the Balboa Fun Zone, an amusement park situated on the Balboa Peninsula. Although it’s a rather small park, the fun never ends here. The main feature of the Balboa Fun Zone is the Ferris wheel, where you can feast your eyes on the scenic views of the peninsula and beyond. Hit the arcades, ride the Happy Swing, and make this the most adrenaline-pumping morning of your life. Before you leave, don’t forget to check out the coolest surfing spot on the peninsula—The Wedge.   


After an action-packed morning, a revitalizing afternoon is precisely what’s in order, so head to Crystal Cove State Park for a change of scenery. Providing a heavenly setting away from the bustling town, Crystal Cove is Newport Beach’s most underrated location. Three miles of Pacific coastline and 2,000-plus acres of wilderness make this place a coastal oasis. 

When in Crystal Cove, pay a visit to Treasure Cove, Pelican Point, and Los Trancos Beaches—each is more breathtaking than the other. Treasure Cove Beach is the ideal spot for tide pooling and riding the waves. Whale watching here is also very common during the migration season. Pelican Point is just as mesmerizing; it’s one of the best places to enjoy a quiet afternoon alone with your thoughts. As for Los Trancos Beach, it’s located by the Crystal Cove Historic District and offers views of charming beachfront cottages.

Make your way to Crystal Cove State Park and enjoy pristine beaches, miles of hiking trails, and tide-pooling opportunities.

Once you feel energized, it’s time to head over to Cappy’s Cafe for a fantastic and filling meal of classic dishes featuring fresh, local ingredients. Cappy’s cheesesteak sandwich and calamari center-cut steak are must-try items. End with the tapioca pudding, and you’re good for the rest of the afternoon. 


Before returning to reality, immerse yourself in the vivid and fragrant plants at the Sherman Library & Gardens. Stroll along the seasonal flower beds, admire the calming water features, and feast your eyes on the fantastic botanic varieties—orchids, heliconias, staghorn ferns, desert plants, tropical vegetation, and many more. 

End your getaway with a bang and cruise through the incredible Newport Harbor with the help of Gondola Adventures. Watch the sunset and marvel at the everlasting beauty of the city of Newport Beach—you know you’ll be returning again.  

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