Anyone can enjoy boating in Newport Beach. For the active and recreational boaters, there are a variety of long-time local businesses that rent everything from pontoon boats, sailboats, and kayaks to pedal boats and stand-up paddleboards. If romance is the reason for your visit, gondoliers — with gondolas brought from Italy — will serenade you in a moonlit harbor cruise.
Yachting isn’t just a sport in Newport Beach — it’s a lifestyle! There are several private yacht clubs in Newport Beach. Members embrace racing and cruising, and celebrate the nautical community. Many of the clubs have reciprocal privileges; so if you’re a member at another yacht club out of town, check with your club before arriving. Newport Beach visitors can also enjoy a water experience of elegance aboard a yacht that specializes in dinner cruises, boat charters, and Newport Beach weddings.
People can hit the water to celebrate a special occasion, or just relax aboard a Duffy boat. The electric “golf carts on water” are easy to drive and gently coast in the water and are perfect to appreciate and savor the natural beauty of Newport Beach from the harbor. Newport Beach is also home to some of the best whale watching and sportfishing excursions in Southern California. Boats launch early and often from the Balboa Fun Zone.
Newport Beach is proud to be the home of one of the largest boating competitions on the West Coast. The Lexus Newport to Ensenada Yacht Race is held each April. The 126-nautical mile race from Newport Beach to Mexico’s Baja California peninsula is a tradition that has spanned nearly 70 years, and involves more than 200 racing crews.
Regardless of the craft you are in, there is no better time to celebrate the largest recreational boat harbor on the West Coast than December during the Christmas Boat Parade. An annual tradition for more than 100 years, millions of people come to Newport Beach to see the illuminated boats navigate the harbor during the holiday season, while bayside estates show their holiday spirit in a decoration competition called the “Ring of Lights.”