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Newport Beach Blog

Sensational Summer Fun in Newport Beach

May 30, 2014

Whether you’re a local or visiting Newport Beach, there is always something to see and do. From Fourth of July festivities to harbor cruises, here are the Top 10 things to do in this charming seaside destination during the summertime.

hyatt

1. Listen to Terrific Tunes

Make your way to the Hyatt Regency Newport Beach for the Summer Concert Series, which kicks off June 20 at 7:30 p.m. with Rick Springfield and continues through Oct. 10 at the Hyatt’s Back Bay Amphitheater. Or visit the rose garden at Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa Wednesday nights from July 9 -Sept. 17 for the Sunset Jazz at Newport series.

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2. Celebrate Fourth of July

The Independence Day on the Back Bay celebration at Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina is an annual tradition. Held every year on July 4, this year’s festivities kick off at 8:30 a.m. with a variety of fun-filled activities and events for the entire family, topped off by a fantastic fireworks display at 9 p.m. Come out and enjoy live music by performers such as KC & The Sunshine Band; local artisans and merchants selling beach-chic clothing and accessories, beach toys, sporting goods and more; a chance to vote for your favorite eatery in the Food Truck Wars contest; tasty treats from Back Bay Bistro; and, of course, the family fun zone with pedal boats, kayaks, swimming and other entertaining activities. You may even want to return the next day for Beach House of the ’80s, an all-day musical festival featuring DJ Richard Blade of KROQ and SiriusFM and live music from Flashback Heart Attack and Neon Nation. More information here.

duffy

3. Cruise the Channel

One of the best ways to explore Newport Harbor — known as the US’s largest small-yacht harbor — is on an easy-to-operate Duffy electric boat. Grab some friends, pack a meal (or tie up and dine at one of about a dozen waterfront restaurants) and drinks, and head out for a beautiful and relaxing afternoon or evening cruise as captain of one of these pleasurable canopied boats. In the mood for some romance? Board a gondola imported from Italy with your sweetie and enjoy a private serenade delivered by your very own crooning gondolier.

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Photo Credit: Judy Lesko

4. Enjoy the Great Outdoors

Outdoor enthusiasts will love the area’s miles of hiking trails. A local favorite is Crystal Cove State Park, which offers more than 3 miles of bluff-lined beaches in the Crystal Cove Historic District and 2,000-plus acres of undeveloped woodland via El Moro Canyon. While at Crystal Cove State Park, be sure to explore the vintage beach-front cottages (one used in the filming of the Bette Midler movie “Beaches”); have a bite to eat at The Shake Shack; and imbibe in a happy-hour cocktail at The Beachcomber Cafe.

funxonePhoto Credit: Alberta Mirisciotti

5. Bask in all that is Balboa

Board the historic auto ferry for an entertaining ride back and forth between two of the area’s most popular attractions: Balboa Island and Balboa Peninsula. At Balboa Island, you can stroll the shady, tree-lined main drag of Marine Avenue filled with numerous shops featuring unique nautical designs, stylish beach fashions, art and jewelry; homey restaurants dishing out a variety of selections ranging from local fresh seafood to Italian fare; and intriguing art galleries. Got a sweet tooth? Don’t even think about leaving the Island without trying one of the community’s two famous desserts — the Balboa Bar and Frozen Banana — both dipped in chocolate and covered with coatings from nuts to cookie crumbs. Just across the way at the Balboa Peninsula, check out Balboa Village – Home of  the Fun Zone, complete with Ferris wheel and boasting with retail shops and restaurants; Balboa Pier; beach; and boardwalks.

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6. Hit the Beach

Whether you’re an adventurer seeking to explore underwater and above or a sun-lover searching for your own piece of paradise, there’s a beach here for you. Throughout Newport Beach, you’ll find an eco‐friendly estuary teeming with life on and below the water flowing into the harbor; miles of pristine beaches sporting smooth sand; surf breaks; and rocky coves sheltering lush undersea environments.

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7. Try a Seasonal Smorgasbord

The certified Newport Beach Farmers’ Market takes place every Sunday, from 9 a.m.-2 p.m., in the Lido Marina Village. This is where you can find hordes of local goods including flowers, honey, organically grown vegetables and produce, nuts, olive oil and more.

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Photo Credit: Fashion Island

8. Shop ’Til You Drop

This world-class coastal resort city has become a mecca for its one-of-a‐kind mix of big-name designers, emerging fashion talents, unique home décor boutiques and artisan gift stores that you won’t find anywhere else. Among the top destinations is Fashion Island, situated in a lovely outdoor setting with gardens, fountains and ocean views and featuring top-rated restaurants and a roster of more than 125 of the world’s most popular shops for men, women, children (and even pets) from Neiman Marcus to Trina Turk. Other fun shopping locales include Mariner’s Mile; Westcliff; Corona del Mar Plaza; Corona del Mar Village; Cannery Village; and Crystal Cove Shopping Center.

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Photo Credit: The Crab Cooker

9. Indulge in Delectable Dining

Partake in summer foods from seafood to burgers and shakes at one of the area’s cafes and hidden local gems. Some popular establishments include The Crab Cooker; Wilma’s Patio; The Five Crowns; The Crow Bar and Kitchen; Back Bay Tavern; Rose Bakery Café; Avila’s El Ranchito; Crow Burger Kitchen; Bear Flag Fish Company; My Galley Café; Ruby’s Diner; Woody’s Diner; The Dock; Sol Cocina; The Beachcomber Café; and Haute Cakes Caffe, just to name a few.

10. Have Fun in the Sun

You won’t want to leave without trying one of the area’s numerous outdoor activities. In addition to hiking, Newport Beach is the perfect spot to ride a bicycle or Segway, take surfing or standup paddle board lessons, and even hover above the water using a water-powered jetpack. Don’t feel like participating? Watch the action at the Wedge, a wave that rises high above the sand when a large swell hits the rock jetty. The result is a 20-foot shore break of a wave that only the most experienced bodysurfers and surfers risk riding.

Written by Wendy Bowman

Wendy Bowman is a San Clemente, Calif.-based freelance journalist. She spent 15-plus years as a writer and editor for Atlanta Business Chronicle, covering nonprofit business, homes and lifestyle, the Atlanta visitors market and more. She currently writes for Modern Luxury magazines including The Atlantan, Men's Book Atlanta, Interiors California, Interiors Atlanta and Brides California, as well as websites such as DIGS.net.

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