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March 4th, 2020 at 11:00 am

newport-beach-location-guide

Newport Beach residents have the perks of coastal living with the convenience of everyday amenities available all within a few minutes. Located in Orange County, with a population close to 87,000, it’s one of the best places to live in California. 

Newport Beach is made up of several smaller neighborhoods, which gives it a unique charm all on its own. There’s a good mix of urban and suburban lifestyles and activities. It draws young professionals, families, and retirees to its neighborhoods in nearly equal measure. Niche gives it an overall A+ rating for its highly-rated public schools, family life, and nightlife. 

Due to the quality and craftsmanship of available property, it is one of the most sought-after real estate in the country. Its earned top spots on several ‘best of’ lists, including:

With year-round sunshine and endless water-related excursions available, the value of living in Newport Beach, California is well worth it for the residents who get to call this idyllic place home. 

Considering this a place to call home as well? This location guide and our Newport Beach REALTOR®s are here to help you make your decision.

newport-beach-location-guide

What Newport is known for

The pristine Pacific coastline is the main draw to Orange County, Newport Beach specifically. It’s been ranked nationwide among several travel publications as having some of the best beaches in the U.S. The Natural Resource Defense Council awarded a five-star rating to thirteen Newport beaches, with Newport Municipal Beach topping the list. 

Each strip of sand has something different to offer, making it accessible to all. For example, the Wedge is a well-known stretch of beach known for its massive waves. It’s perfect for people-watching or a challenge for advanced surfers. Biking, boating, and boogie boarding are also all popular pastimes. 

There are numerous nature trails and bike paths to explore, as well as things to do in the water. While laid-back, there is the underlying feeling of grandeur that permeates throughout Newport Beach. The level of activities runs the spectrum from pier fishing to yacht racing and beach bonfires to fine dining. It’s an inclusive community that feels special and exclusive for its residents.

Newport Beach cost of living

The median home value in Newport Beach is $1.7 million and the average cost of rent is $2,100, with the majority of residents owning their home. The quality of life and near-perfect weather are two of the many reasons people move to the region. 

newport-beach-location-guide

Schools in Newport Beach

Newport Beach has some of the best schools in the nation. Orange County School of Arts ranks in the top 10 public high schools in California. It receives an A+ Niche rating along with:

These rankings are based largely on state assessment proficiency and SAT/ACT scores, as well as other relevant data, including racial and economic diversity and overall experience of students and parents from the school. 

newport-beach-location-guide

Neighborhoods in Newport Beach

Newport Beach covers 15 miles of land and 10 miles of coastline. It’s nestled 45 minutes south of Los Angeles and 90 miles north of San Diego. It’s made up of seven, residential islands and nearly 9,000 privately-owned yachts and sailboats.  

No matter which way you’re coming from or headed, you can reach the beach, boardwalk, or downtown within minutes of driving. Once you’re in one of Newport Beach’s ten, distinct neighborhoods, the area becomes easily walkable and bike-friendly. Each has its own charm set to the backdrop of blue skies and palm trees.

1. Airport District

As the location for John Wayne Airport, the Airport District offers a variety of hotels and restaurants to accommodate business travelers and locals, while still being within miles from the beach. Rather than relying only on LAX for travel, there’s the option of traveling to 34 different cities through its busy commercial airport.

2. Back Bay

The Back Bay community is 1,000 acres of coastal wetlands perfect for those with love for the great outdoors. There is a seemingly endless number of nature activities to participate in and enjoy. From hiking and biking to stand-up paddleboarding and snorkeling, residents share their backyard with over 35,000 migratory birds and 200 endangered species. 

3. Balboa Island

The calming atmosphere of Balboa Island is a place where people feel carefree. Like other parts of Newport Beach, there are plenty of outdoor ventures available year-round. Kayaking and boating are common due to the gentle waters. It’s also the perfect place for a leisurely walk, boutique shopping, or taking the ferry to Balboa Peninsula.

4. Balboa Peninsula

This three-mile stretch of land is situated between the harbor and the beach. The casual feel of the neighborhood embodies the beach living in Newport. Days are spent alternating time in the ocean and on the shore in nearly equal measure. Whether it’s a walk along the boardwalk, stopping to listen to live music while chowing down on local seafood, or watching the boats launch, it’s all part of the life aquatic here. 

5. Balboa Village

Balboa Village is a family favorite, thanks to its dedicated Fun Zone. With old-school arcade games, harbor cruises, and water sports and adventures, there’s plenty of activity happening on a daily basis. The main draw is the pier where you can shop, dine, and take a ride on the Ferris wheel. This is in addition to the art galleries, beaches, and restaurants that complete this fun-filled community. 

6. Cannery Village

Also known as Lido Marina Village, Cannery Village has historically been a mainstay of the fishing community. If you seek waterfront dining and have an appreciation for the arts, it’s a neighborhood that’s known for both. It’s the central location for the Newport Beach Film Festival and has regular displays of artwork and live music for culture by the beach. This once-sleepy area of Newport Beach has seen a resurgence in recent years to bring a new generation of people to enjoy the scene. 

7. Corona del Mar

The “Crown of the Sea” sits on the cliffs overlooking the Pacific. This slice of paradise has much to offer in terms of suburban living at its finest. It’s a lavish, yet laid-back community known for its boutiques and upscale dining options. It’s an ideal destination for swimming, snorkeling, hanging out on the beach, and exploring tidepools. As a bonus, the ever-popular Sherman Library & Gardens botanical retreat is located here right outside of a residential neighborhood. 

8. Fashion Island

Living up to its name, Fashion Island is lined with chic boutiques and beautiful courtyards for all-day shopping excursions. There are also plenty of restaurants and cafes as well to stop for a relaxing break. It’s host to monthly events and The LOT movie theatre, which gives you the option to eat and drink while you watch the latest flick. For the best in premium shopping and mellow entertainment rolled into one, Fashion Island is the place to be.

9. Mariner’s Mile/Westcliff

Yacht and luxury car owners and enthusiasts are drawn to Mariner’s Mile, a pristine area near the Back Bay. It’s a neighborhood full of opulence and imagination. From the Italian-inspired gondola rides to the exotic car rentals, it’s like being in another world right here at home. Residents of Mariner’s Mile have strong loyalty and appreciation for the preservation of the neighborhood and remain heavily involved with any proposed developments of the area.

10. Newport Coast/Crystal Cove

Last, but not least, is Crystal Cove, one of the best neighborhoods in Newport Beach. It blends the new with the old in a beautiful way. The area’s historic district preserves the vintage charm of rustic beach cottages built in the 1920s and 1930s, while the rest of the neighborhood continues to expand. With a championship golf course, first-class restaurants, and nearby grand resorts, every day feels like a vacation. 

While many of these neighborhoods are known for their specialty shops and luxury offerings, there are major department stores and premium food markets all within a 10-mile radius. All neighborhoods are within a short drive to each other but have a unique feel all their own to create a complete experience.

Fun things to do in Newport Beach

newport-beach-location-guide

Sailing 

Newport Beach has a prominent sailing community. Witness (or participate in!) the flurry of sailing excitement of the Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race. This historic, annual event occurs during the spring. It’s a 125-mile overnight race with over 50 trophy categories presented.

newport-beach-location-guide

Fourth of July

Come summertime, no one does the 4th of July quite like a coastal community. From parades and festivals to fireworks dinner cruises and dazzling displays, the holiday is celebrated in full by all of the best neighborhoods in Newport Beach.

newport-beach-location-guide

Christmas Boat Parade

Another popular holiday event is the annual Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade. It takes holiday decorating to the water in impressive and spirited ways. The tradition dates back to 1908 with the first lighted boat parade and attracts thousands of people each year. 

newport-beach-location-guide

Endless Water Activities

Finally, if it involves being on the water, you have easy access to make fun happen year-round. Set off on a whale watching adventure, dinner cruise, or harbor ride. Skip the busier summer months when tourists fill the streets. Opt for the quieter times instead and enjoy all the little luxuries of living in Newport Beach.

newport-beach-location-guide

Dining in the area

There are over 450 restaurants in Newport Beach with a variety of options ranging from high-class cuisine to casual, beachside spots. With such close access to the ocean, seafood is the name of the game at many popular eateries. Also, seasonal offerings are popular among many restaurant menus. 

Among the trendy, up-and-coming restaurants are the established tried-and-true, all of which leaves an array of endless options when it comes to dining out. Some of the best of the best include: 

Nestle in Newport Beach

Thanks to the scenic views, luxury amenities, and surrounding neighborhoods that make up this part of Southern California, there’s prime real estate no matter where you end up. The allure of living in Newport Beach is strong for many, but only a few have the pleasure of calling it home. 

Start your search by navigating Newport’s different neighborhoods and viewing available homes today.

Sources: Niche, Visit Newport Beach Fact Sheet, OC Register, LA Eater, Visit Newport Beach

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