Fun in the sun and beach days are always prevalent in Newport Beach no matter the season!
Right along the Pacific Coast Highway, Newport Beach is a great city to spend some time exploring around in SoCal.
With incredible botanical gardens, whale watching tours, and plenty of unique shops to browse in, you’ll never be at a loss of what to get up to.
Always remember to double-check dates, opening times, and weather conditions before traveling.
Newport Beach has some incredible food stops that will make your inner foodie come out and shine.
This article only scratches the surface of things to do in Newport, so let your inner beach dweller out and check out for yourself everything this fantastic city has to offer!
Tips for Visiting Newport Beach, CA
- When you’re visiting a beach area, it’s always a good idea to bring a pair of flip flops along with you so you can keep the sand away from your good shoes.
- Sometimes Newport Beach can get quite windy so having a light over jacket is a smart move.
Parking in Newport Beach, CA
Parking in Newport Beach can vary from the area. There is plenty of metered street parking, but places like Crystal Cove State Park and Sherman Library and Gardens have designated parking lots where you can park your car while enjoying the area.
Things to do in Newport Beach California
Sherman Library and Gardens
Sherman Library and Gardens is a truly special place to me. I visit this garden as often as I can and am planning to visit again for the holidays to take in what incredible things they have to offer.
This history of the gardens is absolutely incredible – in the 1950s, Arnold D. Haskell moved down to the Newport area and bought the land surrounding his house; he continued to add to it until he finally owned the whole block. The gardens are named after his mentor Moses H. Sherman.
There are always so many wonderful things in the gardens! One recent exhibit was a living botanical living areas – ranging from a bathtub flower pot, a gorgeous floral dining room table, and even a piano guests could sit down and play! There’s always something so gorgeous that is sure to take your breath away.
Reborn Coffee Shop
About a block down from the library and gardens is Reborn Coffee Shop. from the second you walk in you’re immediately taken in by the ceiling, which is adorned with greenery.
Every time I stop by, there’s always a new latte or brew to try and I never get sick of this place. One of my favorites is their staple blueberry matcha!
Additionally, there is a small selection of snacks and food that is available. I recommended grabbing these and taking them to the beach with you for a small picnic lunch!
Another favorite and well-frequented spot, Davey’s locker offers a variety of tours and experiences. They have deep-sea fishing (Sometimes even catching up to 54 bluefins in one trip!) Whale watching, and even rentals of private boats!
For a much more intimate whale watching experience, the private zodiac boats are definitely the way to go! You get to be with a small handful of other incredibly excited whale watchers and even if the whale spotting itself is low, you’re guaranteed an incredible experience.
One of the most incredible experiences was getting to lay on the side of the boat and see the dolphins passing directly by us – it’s truly something you’ll never forget.
Fashion Island is a great place to stop when you want to spend some time walking around and shopping. In addition to shopping, you’ll find at your own mall, there’s also some unique and incredible boutiques and cafes at fashion island that you have to stop in!
If you want a great view of the ocean, there’s a lookout from the middle of the shopping complex by a fountain that gives you a bird’s eye view that’s perfect for photos!
Now to get to the beach part of Newport Beach, the Newport Pier is one of the best places to relax and kick back on the beach. Fishing is bountiful and highly recommended on the pier.
It does tend to get crowded on the beach itself, so keep in mind when planning to go that you might want to get an early start to snag a great spot.
And if you start to feel hungry, at the end of the pier is Newport Pier Grill and Sushi, which is a great spot to grab and bite. (and know that your sushi is as fresh as can be!)
Crystal Cove State Park
Moving on to another incredible beach in Newport is the Crystal Cove, State Park. In a secluded area right off of PCH, Crystal Cove is an incredible spot to set up for the afternoon and play in the water.
While there is a shuttle option to take you to the parking lot and back, you do have the option to walk down to the beach from the parking lot – but be warned that is it quite the trek there and back!
Crystal Cove Shake Shack
When you talk about Crystal Cove, this iconic Shake Shack quickly follows suit. This diner is one of the quintessential experiences of anyone visiting Newport Beach.
The original diner opened in the 1920s as the Laguna Beach Hot Dog Stand. It was then remodeled in 1968 and went through many brand changes and buyouts before finally opening as a shake shack in 2006.
My favorite shake to grab before sitting out on the patio is the banana date shake, but that’s just one of the many incredible shakes they have!
Of course, I decided to end on what, in my opinion, is one of the absolute best stops in Newport – Nobu is by far one of the most incredible sushi restaurants you’ll find.
Nobu is a splurge meal and a special occasion restaurant, but every time I’ve gone it’s been better than the last! A constant group favorite is always the jalapeño yellowtail platter, it’s truly a dish that you have to try at some point in your life!
Not only is their sushi and sashimi selection to die for, but they also have some incredible desserts! Including a heavenly date cake to round out a fantastic meal.
Beaches in Newport Beach
- Little Corona Beach
- Newport Municipal Beach
- The Wedge Newport Beach
- Corona del Mar State Beach
Surfing in Newport Beach
- The Wedge
- Surf lessons with Sun Surf School
- Newport Surf Camp
Whale Watching in Newport Beach
- Whale Watching with Newport Coastal Adventures
- Newport Landing Whale Watching
- Davey’s Locker Whale Watching and Fishing
- East Meets West Excursions
- Balboa Fun Zone
- Balboa Pier
- Balboa Village
- Dory Fishing Fleet
- Balboa water Sports
- Balboa Parasail
- Balboa Island Museum & Historical Society
- Balboa Island Ferry
Golf in Newport Beach CA
- Back Bay Golf Course
- Monarch Beach Golf Links
- Newport Beach Golf Course
- Pelican Hill Golf Club
- Tustin Ranch Golf Club
Biking in Newport Beach
- Newport Cruisers
- Newport Beach Bike Rentals
- Rays Rentals
Boat Tours in Newport Beach
- Newport Beach Brew Boat
- City Cruises
- Sunset ride with Gondola Adventures
- Newport Beach Boat Rentals
- The Catalina Flyer
- California Recreation Company
- Classic Yacht Excursions
- Baywatch Boat Charters
- Fun Zone Boat Company, Inc.
- The Boat People Cruise
- Newport Beach Sailing Charters
- Newport Sailing Adventures
- Newport Coast Marine Yacht Charters
Get Back to Nature in Newport Beach
- Peter & Mary Muth Interpretive Center
- Newport Bay Conservancy
- Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve and Nature Preserve
- Environmental Nature Center
Newport Beach Parks
- 38th Street Park
- Arroyo Park
- Castaways Park
- Civic Center Park (don’t miss the sculpture park)
- Crystal Cove State Park
- Marina Park
- Upper Newport Bay
More things to do in Newport Beach CA
- Newport Harbour
- Newport Pier
- OC Brewery Tour
- Stand Up Paddle boarding with Pirate Coast Paddle Company
- Newport Harbor Lawn Bowling
- Newport Dunes Water Park
- Fun Zone Arcade and Game Room
- Lido Marina Village
- The Spa at Pelican Hill
- Newport Beach Vineyards and Winery
- Newport Beach Public Library
- Lido Theater