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Outdoors

Top Rated Attractions in Newport Beach

Search Radius (Miles)
The Wedge

A paradise for surfers, the Wedge is the name given to a particular location off the Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach. The spot is called so owing to the huge wedge-like waves that occur here due to the outstretched Newport Beach Jetty that lies in the path of the incoming tides from the North Pacific Ocean. With waves reaching as high as 30 feet (nine meters) at times, the Wedge occupies a very special place on the bucket list of most surfers and adventure seekers.

Corona del Mar State Beach

For those who can make only one stop in Corona del Mar, make it the Corona del Mar State Beach. This area alone can make everyone fall in love with CdM, a laid-back multi-million-dollar neighborhood accented by the Pacific, with streets lined by palm trees and flower beds. On the bluff, three signs mark beach access: Lookout Point, Main Beach, and Inspiration Point. Each point has a different view, but all share Catalina Island in the background, with Newport Bay and Balboa Island in the foreground. A few steps towards the south end of Ocean Boulevard is a secluded cove near the Robert E. Badham Marine Life Refuge, and some of the most extravagant mansions follow.

Newport Pier

If the air inside one of the area's many malls seems too stuffy for you, head to Newport Pier for a day of shopping and dining right on the water. Whether you are in search of a quick buy for a day out on the beach or looking for souvenirs to bring back home, you can find it among the many shops and restaurants in this bustling oceanfront area. Here, you can pick up an OC sweatshirt to emulate those moody walks by the waves or get the kids some toy shovels to build expert sand castles. Then, stop by one of the many kiosks for a fruit smoothie for the ride home, but before you go, make sure to walk out to the end of the pier for some great views of Catalina Island and the surrounding beaches.

Balboa Fun Zone

This place recalls the days when a Saturday night date meant a trip to the local amusement park, complete with a ride on the Ferris wheel and a few games of skill where a boy could win a teddy bear for his sweetheart. It opened in 1936 and has remained a Newport Beach institution to this day. It's not that big, so don't count on a full day of activity, but it is a nice place to spend a couple of hours. Nights are especially festive here, so bring the family, a group of friends, or a special someone. There is no entrance fee, but each ride requires tickets.

Bolsa Chica State Beach

Formerly known as "Tin Can Beach," Bolsa Chica State Beach has transformed into a popular destination drawing visitors year-round. During your visit, you can laze on the warm sandbanks or enjoy activities like sunbathing, volleyball, family outings, and various water sports. Surf fishing for species like croaker and corbina is a popular activity here. Additionally, along the three-mile sandy stretch, there's a designated area for RV camping. Bolsa Chica provides an excellent setting to relax and fully enjoy all that the beach has to offer.

Ocean Institute

The Ocean Institute is located in beautiful Dana Point Harbor and offers ocean science and maritime history programs perfect for kids and adults alike. See hundreds of marine animals in aquariums, watch animal feedings, experience ocean-themed exhibits, and have fun with hands-on activities. For an extra charge, take a tall ship or a whale watching cruise. The Dana Point Marine Protected Area is steps away from the Institute.

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