If you can make it past the endless shopping, delicious restaurants, and jaw-dropping homes, Newport Beach gives us some of the best beaches Orange County has to offer. If you’re looking to plan the perfect beach vacation, or interested in buying a gorgeous coastline home, Newport is the place to be.
5. Balboa Island Beach
Balboa Island is the perfect place to spend a weekend afternoon. The little island is notorious for its frozen bananas. Although both banana stands claim to be “the original,” I suggest giving both a try when you are heading down to the beach. The beach itself is quite small on Balboa Island, it is nestled between boat docks and lays against beautiful waterfront homes along the harbor. Keep in mind it is a small island, and parking can be tight as well as beach space. However, if you can snag a spot, this little island will feel like your own paradise.
4. Corona Del Mar State Beach
One of the most popular beaches in Newport, Corona Del Mar (“CDM” to locals) is an excellent place for families and swimmers. Although the wave size is not ideal for surfing, it is the perfect size for body surfing. Parking is free if you can catch a spot in the nearby neighborhood. The neighborhood itself gives its own view. Some of these custom homes are unbelievably stunning and might be some of the most beautiful homes you have ever seen. If you can’t find a spot, you can always park on the private beach lot for $15 before dark. It gets very crowded during the summer, but it’s a great place to spend a relaxing (and free) afternoon. More than anything, you can’t beat the view!
3. Crystal Cove
Crystal Cove is an excellent place for families looking for a weekend getaway or runners looking for some unparalleled trails. Every year the beach hosts a 31-mile ultra-marathon along its shores and around the surrounding hills for avid runners who love beautiful views. Nature lovers are right at home in Crystal Cove, where most of the coastline and surrounding cliffside is undeveloped land.
2. Newport Beach
Certainly a fan favorite and travel destination, many will argue nowhere can beat Newport Beach proper. Take the 55 freeway till it ends, and you will be surrounded by beautiful beach homes intermixed with outstanding taco shops, dive bars, and boutique restaurants. All are capitalizing on the iconic beach feel and including perfect year-round weather. Newport Beach is both the most crowded and most extensive beach in Newport. It stretches for miles, from the pier almost to Huntington Beach. Parking can be pricey ($10-20), but if you pay with the parking app, you don’t have to worry about missing the meter. I recommend checking out Sancho’s Tacos on the pier while catching Newport’s famous sunsets.
1. Little Corona Del Mar
Without a doubt, Newport’s best-kept secret. We hope to keep it this way, so now it’s your secret too! Part of the reason Little Corona Del Mar is so special is that it has the immaculate beauty of CDM but with local seclusion. It has a natural backdrop that very few beaches in the world can compete with. Park off Beach Blvd. in CDM and take the short path down the cliffside (try not to take a picture along the way – I dare you), and you will find this hidden gem. Nestled between breathtaking cliff sides and lined against a wildlife preserve, Little Corona Del Mar is heaven on earth.