The Most Instagrammable Places in Newport Beach
Sometimes, it’s a hankering for a hot cuppa or a cold brew that drives us to punch in an address into our phones and hit the road. Sometimes, it’s a hunt for that of-the-moment, bold-patterned upholstery that sends us on a jaunt around town. A tray of margaritas and too-loaded-for-their-size tacos when there’s nothing in the fridge is a fine reason to leave the house, too. Other times, however, it’s the promise of a perfect photo op that lures us to a certain place. After all, composing aesthetically pleasing content and sharing brag-worthy moments is a crucial part of being on social media—namely, Instagram— these days. Lucky for us, Newport Beach is brimming with locations suitable for every sort of grammer. You just need to know where to go. Here’s our cheat sheet to hitting up all the right spots in hopes of finding the most Instagrammable places in Newport Beach.
Lido Marina Village has earned its reputation as one of the trendiest walkable pockets of the city, thanks to its chic boutiques and waterside dining. But not only does this picturesque destination boast an afternoon’s worth of retail therapy, it’s a treasure trove of insta-worthy spots. The white brick and stucco storefronts themselves serve as great backdrops, but even the little relaxation nooks—fully loaded with laid back, photo-friendly chairs and benches—are a wonderful opportunity to hit the shopping breaks and indulge in a mini photo session. Pose in front of one Lido’s hand-painted signage or its ship-lined bay. Don’t forget to stop by Honor Coffee Roasters, aka a go-to spot for orchestrating the perfect coffee still life. (Because, really, if you drink a cup of cappuccino without documenting it, did it even really happen?)
Any Instagrammer—even a casual one—will tell you: A dose of greenery works wonders when it comes to supplying your feed with a fresh-and-fun, blogger-esque feel. Boasting a smorgasbord of exotic plants and trees, the Sherman Library and Gardens is one of the lushest and leafiest places to go in the city. The 2.2-acre horticultural wonderland features everything from intricately designed succulent beds to fountains lined with vibrant blooms. Follow the pathways, and you’ll see a myriad of fuchsias and anthuriums, towering euphorbias and a koi fish pond. When it warms up, you can even stop and (literally) smell the roses, or spend the afternoon reading up on plant life from far-flung corners of the world. In fact, the landscape is so serene and beautiful, you might even forget what you originally stopped by for.
There’s nary a grammer who’d pass up the opportunity to frame a shot at JuiceMI—and for good reason. This purveyor of plant-based foods and beverages—perfectly suited for juice-cleanse devotees—offers up a space with Instagram-ready coziness. Think: bubble-gum pink walls, a hanging rattan chair in front of a palm-leaf wallpaper and an assortment of tropical pillows and plants. And that’s not even mentioning the food yet. JuiceMI’s vibrant superfood bowls and colorfully decorated lattes will not only give your feed the boost it needs to reach profesh-levels, they’re also jam-packed with nutritious ingredients that are good for your body and soul. Because, after all is said and snapped, it’s nice to hunker down with a delicious, fruit-filled brunch.
4 – Balboa Fun Zone
Just a stone’s throw away from JuiceMI, this family-friendly destination has been around since 1936—and it’s retro charm is perhaps its greatest appeal. Flanked by the ocean and anchored by a colorful ferris wheel—which, trust us, you’re going to want in the background of your selfie—the Balboa Fun Zone is teeming with photo ops at every corner. There’s the Balboa Arcade, which houses games like Pac-Man and Skeeball, and is likely to spark major nostalgic vibes. There’s Cowafornia Ice Cream, where you can snag an extremely photogenic sprinkle-coated frozen banana. In other words, if you’re looking for a kaleidoscope of colors that are sure to brighten up your feed, the Balboa Fun Zone might just be the place to go.
5 – Balboa Pier
OK—so idyllic beach scenes might be a little on the nose, a little overdone, even. But who doesn’t like scrolling through some sun-filled photos of sand and sea? Go to the Balboa Pier on a cloudless day and you’re bound to capture shots of the city at its best and brightest. (You know, the kind of photos that’ll inspire grid-envy from your friends in the colder parts of the country). Not to mention, there’s a retro diner that sits at the end of the pier and serves up hearty, cheese-cloaked burgers alongside spectacular views of the ocean. Not only is it a scenic spot for lunch or dinner, it’s the perfect place to nail that highly coveted old-and-grainy look all the cool kids are sharing on the gram.
By Mariam Makatsaria