Newport Beach offers some of the most beautiful ecological landscapes, wildlife and marine habitat in Southern California. To ensure that the natural beauty of the destination from the parks to the oceans and the ecologically important Back Bay Preserve, the city continues to establish programs to sustain the destination’s natural beauty for all to enjoy for years to come.
- 25.1 square miles of water
- 14.8 square miles of land
- 9 miles of coastline
- Elevation: 10 ft above seal level
Green Activities in Newport
Newport Harbor- Known as one of the finest, and largest, small yacht harbors in the world, Newport Harbor is surrounded by wind-blown bluffs, sandy beaches, rocky coves and numerous islands. Two jetties stand as sentinels against the encroaching ocean and two main channels join and converge towards the harbor mouth. Inside the channel quiet bay beaches line its shores while surf pounds the oceanfront. Boat slips line much of the shoreline where over 9,000 vessels are docked, ranging in all sizes from small canoes and kayaks to enormous luxury yachts. Activities: Kayaking (6.7 miles);
Crystal Cove State Park- 3.2 miles of beach and 2,400 acres of undeveloped woodland comprise Crystal Cove State Park, which stands as Orange County's last acreage of undeveloped coastline. The land was formerly owned by The Irvine Company (an Orange County-based real estate developer) who sold it to the state of California in 1979 to transform it into a state park. The park is popular for hiking, horseback riding, and mountain bikers. The offshore waters are designated as an underwater sanctuary where scuba and skin divers are often found. The beach is also popular with swimmers and surfers who can also explore tide pools and sandy coves. Activities: Hiking (3 miles)
Crystal Cove Historic District - Located on 12.3 acres of the Crystal Cove State Park is Crystal Cove Historic District, a well-preserved example of vintage southern California beach living and architecture.
The District retains the ambiance of a 1930's beach village featuring 46 distinct cottages. 16 of the 46 cottages have been restored to their original 1930s era condition and were opened to the public for overnight lodging in June 2006. The cottages are fully furnished with period appropriate furniture. Housekeeping service is limited. No daily service is provided except for trash removal. After 4 days, towels will be replaced upon request.
El Moro Canyon - Located in the backcountry of Crystal Cove State Park is El Moro Canyon, a popular campsite and area for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding. Trails can be hiked year round with beautiful ocean views, insulated canyons and colorful wildflowers. EL Moro Canyon includes two campground sites, one of which is a 3-mile trek uphill with three different campgrounds totaling 34 campsites/4 persons per site. The second, Moro Campground overlooks the Pacific Ocean and features 58 family campsites, including, 28 designated RV sites, and 30 designated “low impact” sites. Activities: Hiking (3.58 miles round trip)
Upper Newport Bay - One of only a few remaining estuaries in Southern California, Upper Newport Bay is a tranquil setting where fresh and saltwater meet and mix. Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve and Ecological Reserve represent approximately 1,000 acres of open space. It is the home of nearly 200 species of birds, including several endangered species, as well as numerous varieties of mammals, fish, and native plants. The bay is an important stopover for migrating birds on the Pacific Flyway and up to 30,000 birds can be seen on any day during the winter months. Six rare endangered species can be found in this habitat including: the Light Footed Clapper Rail, Brown Pelican, Belding's Savannah Sparrow, Black Rail, Peregrine Falcon and California Least Tern. The bay is also home to one endangered plant species - Saltmarsh Bird's Beak. Activities: Kayaking (5.8 miles), Hiking (3.2 mile loop)
Back Bay Science Center - Located adjacent to the Upper Newport Bay is the 13,000 square foot state-of-the-art Back Bay Science Center, built through a partnership of the California Department of Fish and Game, the City of Newport Beach, the Orange County Health Care Agency, and the University of California Irvine. It looks out over the largest remaining nature estuary in southern California with waterfront access to this important ecological reserve. The mission of the science center is to provide a hands-on facility where students and the public can study and enjoy the estuarine ecology of Newport Bay and the marine ecology of the ocean, and to promote natural resource conservation and stewardship throughout the watershed.
Peter & Mary Muth Interpretive Center- A 10,000 square foot educational facility built into the side of one of the bluffs on the north end of the Upper Newport Bay, the center provides a focal point for the public's enjoyment of the Bay. Here young and old alike can take a journey through a series of exhibits and interactive displays that make the Bay come alive. Visitors learn about life in and around an estuary and why Upper Newport Bay is such an important ecological locale. It is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 AM to 4 PM and is free to the public. The Muth Interpretive Center offers various programs for schools and families. To learn more, go to www.newportbay.org.
Sherman Library & Gardens- This 2.2 acre horticultural retreat is nestled in the neighborhood of Corona Del Mar in Newport Beach. The library and gardens provide a museum of living plants, displayed amidst a setting of immaculate gardens, patios and conservatories linked together by wide brick walkways, beds blooming with seasonal flowers and bubbling tile fountains. The library is a specialized research center devoted to the study of the Pacific Southwest.
Paddle boarding in Newport Beach California.
Nestled among golden stretches of pristine Pacific coastline between Los Angeles and San Diego, Newport Beach epitomizes the casually sophisticated lifestyle of Southern California. This idyllic seaside destination is widely celebrated for its natural beauty and vibrant yachting community alongside stylish accommodations, eclectic coastal cuisine and upscale shopping. Ranked among the “Top 10 Resort Towns in the U.S.,” Newport Beach is also distinguished as one of the country’s “Top 10 Best Family Beaches.” A mild climate and picturesque backdrop minutes from the newly expanded Orange County/John Wayne Airport (SNA) offer year-round appeal. For more information or a complementary Official Newport Beach Visitor’s Guide, go to VisitNewportBeach.com or call (800) 94-COAST. Join our Facebookcommunity (Facebook.com/VisitNewportBeach), and follow us on Twitter@NewportBeach.
Connect With Us
bahia corinthian yacht club balboa bay club & resort balboa island california destination events family events festival film festival golf green day hyatt regency newport beach live music newport beach newport dunes waterfront resort & marina orange county spring events summer taste of newport visit newport beach