Newport Beach Harbor is the largest small craft harbor in the country. There are so many recreational boating opportunities to enjoy. There are harbor cruises, sailboat rentals, kayak rentals and much more.
Newport Harbor is located in the lower part of Newport Bay in the city of Newport Beach, California. The harbor is about 4 miles long and extends alongside the Balboa Peninsula out to the ocean. Over 9000 boats from little pedal boats to large ocean vessels are berthed here.
Over a thousand piers and several separate marinas are scattered around the harbor. In addition, seven islands of lovely homes are sprinkled throughout, many of which can be viewed from the water. Balboa Island is the largest, with a village atmosphere and wonderful boardwalk encircling it.
The Newport Back Bay and Upper Bay stretch inland on the other side of Pacific Coast Highway. There you'll find camping, hiking and kayaking opportunities.
Balboa Island is accessible by bridge from Jamboree Road and the Pacific Coast Highway, or by auto ferry from near the end of the Balboa Peninsula.
This charming little beach community is great for a scenic stroll along the boardwalk where you can view picturesque homes on one side and the boating slips on the bay on the other side.
In the village, Marine Avenue has many boutique shops and a few restaurants. Two stands are famous for their balboa bars and frozen bananas.
Lido Isle is another fair sized island. Lido Marina Village has shops, art galleries and cafes on the boardwalk. The other five smaller islands include:Little Balboa Island, Linda Isle, Collins Island, Harbor Island and Bay Island.
On the Balboa peninsula, near where the car ferry departs, is the Balboa Fun Zone. This historic little area offers a small Ferris wheel, carousel, eateries and an arcade.
Nearby is the Balboa Pavilion, which used to showcase Big Bands. It is now a restored local landmark from 1905. These days, it mainly hosts special events and wedding receptions.
Boats leave from here for Catalina daily in summer, less in winter. Call 800-830-7744 or 949-673-5245 for more information.
There is a 5 mph speed limit in the bay. On either side of the bay, next to both ferry landings, there are fuel docks. You can launch boats from a ramp at the Newport Dunes in the Back Bay.
The Harbor Department guest anchorage dock is located near the Harbor Patrol and Coast Guard Base on the left side of the main channel facing out to sea. It is on the Corona Del Mar side, just southeast of Balboa Island. They can be reached at 949-723-1002.
For the latest in marine weather, including surf, tide and water temperature reports, call 949-673-3371.
Lido Isle has several restaurants, as does Balboa Island. The ones on Balboa are on Marine Ave., away from the water. Near the ferry landing on the peninsula are a few more.
For waterfront restaurants with great views, check out Mariner's Mile, which is the area of Pacific Coast Highway that lines the inland side of the harbor.
Situated on a riverboat, the Newport Harbor Harbor Nautical Museum is in the Balboa Marina off of Pacific Coast Highway.
Here you'll find maritime-themed artwork, exhibits and a gift shop. Some of the exhibits are interactive and kids will enjoy the touch tank. They also have a whole room of ship models.
The tall ship Lynx docks here and gives tours. The museum’s street address is 151 East Coast Highway, Newport Beach. Their phone number is 949-673-3377. For information on current exhibits, check out www.nhnm.org
Every December there is a Christmas Parade of Lights in Newport Beach Harbor. This is a lot of fun for the whole family, whether on land or boat. Boaters and homeowners go all out in decorating their houses and/or rowboats or yachts. You can stroll or sit along the bay front on Balboa Island while enjoying this festive light show on the water. For more information, call 949-494-3030.
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