Whale watching is one of the best ways to experience the Pacific Ocean's natural beauty, not to mention the marine life that sits just below its surface. Newport is lucky enough to sit in the path of blue, humpback, and, most notably, gray whale migrations. Within the city there are a number of competitively priced whale-watching tours and, unlike other popular ports, the majority are more than mere harbor cruises.
Many visit the oceanfront area for a taste of opulence, but the best things to do in Newport Beach extend beyond the posh Orange County city’s tony shopping centers and country clubs. Sure, yachts, canals, and luxury cars are common sightings here, but so too are whales, waves and pristine patches of sand. Even still, Newport is one of the wealthiest places in the country (even more so than its neighboring Orange County cities) so don't expect to find much grunge in this affluent coastal town. In fact, you're more likely to see one of The Real Housewives in the flesh.
While some of the most frequented beaches in Newport are Corona del Mar State Beach (great for swimming) and The Wedge (great for surfing), Newport Beach Pier and Balboa Pier also draw large crowds to the waterfront for leisure. Fun fact: while it's called Balboa Island, this man-made community is in fact a peninsula.
Situated between the surfer-filled shores of Huntington Beach and the stunning canyons of Laguna Beach, Newport Beach and its patchwork of man-made islands offer a mix of luxury living with some of the best beaches and best restaurants in SoCal. Experience a mix of it all with a drive along Pacific Coast Highway, and use our list of the best things to do in Newport Beach for can’t-miss pitstops along the way.
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