Get ready to get out and explore Newport Beach in May. From wine tasting to art and more, there are plenty of festivities for everyone to enjoy. Here are just some of the many arts and culture celebrations taking place around the community, and rest assured, there’s no better way to kick off the summer!
Balboa Island Artwalk
Visit the charming Balboa Island Sunday, May 17, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., for the 21st annual Balboa Island Artwalk. Held outdoors along the South Bayfront Promenade, this free outdoor event showcases 90 local artists exhibiting their paintings, fine jewelry, blown glass, sculpture and photography, as well as live music by The Retros, Don Ross Duo, Garry Gould, Rick Sherman & Alan Remington and Jim Roberts.
Visit balboaislandartwalk.info for more information, and be sure to catch the free shuttle serve provided by the OC Cruiser.
Balboa Island Spring Wine Walk
According to this event’s website, “Wine Tastes Better at the Beach.” Why not find out on May 30, from 3-7 p.m., when you head to more than 15 venues along Marine Avenue to sample not only fine wine and cuisine, but also to check out the stores — a mix of locally owned boutiques, exclusive galleries and one-of-a-kind specialty shops — and to enjoy live music. General admission tickets are $40 in advance and $45 on the day of the event, with attendees receiving a commemorative wine glass; exclusive VIP tickets are on sale for $75 and entitle the holder to a special VIP entrance, high-end wine tastings, a post-event party and more. For details click here.
Newport Beach Wine Festival
From May 22-24, head to the picturesque waterfront setting of Balboa Bay Resort for the 12th annual Newport Beach Wine Festival. There you’ll find Executive Chef Vincent Lesage and his culinary team joining some of the region’s top winemakers to present creative wine-tasting experiences, a cooking class, wine-maker dinner, seafood festival and more.
The epicurean extravaganza kicks off Friday at 4:30 p.m. with an outdoor “meet the maker” wine reception, followed by an exquisite five-course wine maker dinner at 6:30 p.m. at Waterline featuring Sonoma’s Jordan Vineyards & Winery. On Saturday, guests are invited to attend a cooking class and wine seminar during the day, including a “Cooking with Wine’ Trinitas Cellars Cooking Class and Wine Pairing” from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., where attendees will learn how to create a three-course meal using wine as the central ingredient. That evening, the resort hosts the “Grand Tasting,” from 7-10:30 p.m., complete with samples from more than 200 vintages from 90-plus acclaimed and award-winning wineries paired with delectable creations from the resort’s culinary team. The festival draws to a close Sunday, with the farewell “Beer for Breakfast,” from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at the A&O Kitchen + Bar, offering the chance to sample a variety of finely crafted brews served alongside a delicious and hearty breakfast, followed by the “Waterline and Wine Seafood Festival,” from 3:30-7 p.m., held outdoors along the waterfront and highlighted by wine and craft beer, seafood and live music.
Room packages are available for those who wish to stay over at the resort. They include “The Taste,” featuring one room and two tickets to “Grand Tasting”; the “Sip and Savor,” with one room and 15 percent off any event (excluding the Grand Tasting; and “Uncork, Delight and Unwind,” offering one room, two tickets to the “Grand Tasting” and 25 percent off any additional event.
To reserve a room or book an event, call (949) 630-4115, and for more information on the festival, visit NBWineFestival.com.
Hyatt Regency Newport Beach Jazz Festival
The next weekend — from Friday, May 29, until Sunday, May 31 — the Hyatt Regency Newport Beach is in full swing with its Jazz Festival, an annual happening featuring world-class jazz and R&B musicians set to a backdrop of breathtaking views of Newport Back Bay. Here you can expect to find top performers such as saxophonist Boney James, singer Jeffrey Osborne, jazz trumpet player and multi-instrumentalist Rick Braun, saxophonist and vocalist Mindi Abair & The Boneshakers and Grammy Award-winning singer Patti Austin.
Tickets are $60 per day or $100 for a weekend pass (Saturday and Sunday), with VIP tickets available for $130 and $299. The Hyatt also is offering special festival hotel packages that include 10-minute early entry into the venue on Saturday and Sunday, plus access to express beverage lines.
For a complete lineup of performers and additional details, check out festivals.hyattconcerts.com.