Newport Beach, a lively destination for beach lovers. Surf’s up! Newport has always been a special place to me. I grew up spending summers here; riding the Ferris wheel, buying taffy at the candy store and swimming in the ocean.
As a child we would stop here on the way to Disneyland. As a teenager, my friends and I would get fried swimming in the ocean, and as college students we’d spend hours walking in the sand and exploring the beach shops.
And perhaps my most fond memory of Newport Beach, is when I came here for my bachelorette party! My girlfriends and I rented a little house on the beach and spent four days making some awesome memories.
Most recently, I was able (finally) to bring Paul to Newport! While we didn’t get to spend as much time here as we’d like, we have plans to come back!
I thought it would be fun to write up a little post of some of my favorite things along the Newport Beach Pier. But, I really just wanted a reason to share photos of my favorite beach town! So without further ado, let’s head towards Newport Beach Pier. The calming sounds of the waves crashing into the beach and that fresh ocean air are sure to wake you up!
Things to Do
I actually had this second on the list. And as I reached for my cup I thought “Um, why is coffee second? Coffee is ALWAYS FIRST”. So, coffee! There’s a great local coffee shop called Newport Coffee Company just off the pier. Grab a drink to-go or sit outside in the central plaza area. On Sunday’s there is a farmer’s market here, so stick around and check out the local goods. And the dogs. There are TONS of dogs here. Ha!
Walk the Pier
Many people gather on the pier to fish early in the morning, but it’s not full of tourists yet, so it’s still quite peaceful. While Paul and I were there, we saw dolphins swimming just past the end of the pier! Keep your eye peeled, they’re known to frequent the area!
Swimming, Surfing, Sunning & Shopping
Of course, no trip to the beach is complete with out the 4 S’s… swimming, surfing, sunning and shopping. Newport has beautiful, clean beaches, perfect for pitching an umbrella and relaxing, or even building a sandcastle. There are some great waves here, so you’ll see surfers round-the-clock. And for peace of mind, not only is the beach full of lifeguard stands, the lifeguard headquarters are right here! As with any beach town, there are plenty of shops toting cute beach wear. You’ll find traditional stores with Newport Beach goodies, and surf shops selling brands like Rainbow, Quicksilver, and Roxy.
Eat, Drink and Be Merry
There are plenty of bar and restaurant options, from low-key dive bars to upscale dining.
Mutt Lynch – beachy dive bar, perfect for an extra-large, ice-cold beer and a sports game
Newport Coffee Company – great coffee and açaí bowls
Seaside Bakery – open 24/7, servin’ up fresh donuts, enough said!
Dory Deli – delicious breakfast and lunch options (I love the Yoga Pants Burrito)
Taco Bell – DON’T JUDGE! I love Taco Bell, and Newport Beach just happens to have a Taco Bell Cantina, meaning they serve beer!
21 Ocean Front – an upscale steak & seafood restaurant, perfect for dinner. Confession, I’m a born and raised vegetarian, so I’ve never had the meat options here. But in college, my girlfriends and I ate here, and they made a lovely vegetarian pasta option. And, my friends loved the steak. However, for college students, we were quite poor and joked we’d have to sell our kidney’s on the black market to pay our bill!
As you can see, Newport Beach Pier has so much to offer! This post doesn’t even cover the other great restaurants in and around Newport Beach and Balboa Island. One day I’ll get around to adding a guide for the whole city. But, if you do have the chance to make it to Balboa Island, I highly recommend a visit! It’s just a few minutes from the pier and is full of adorable beach cottages, fun shops (Hello, Balboa Candy), and great dining options. Also, it’s home to the famous chocolate covered bananas! YOU HAVE TO TRY ONE!
What place holds a special spot in your heart?