Upper Newport Bay, also known as the Back Bay, is a favorite spot in Newport Beach for folks who love the outdoors. Wrapped by the Back Bay Drive, it’s got loads of trails perfect for biking, skating, jogging, or just taking a stroll. If you’re into bird-watching or just love nature, you’ll want to check out the Upper Newport Bay Nature Reserve and the Peter and Mary Muth Center. Over at Crystal Cove State Park, you can explore tide pools, hike, or go mountain biking. Fancy camping? You can pitch a tent at Crystal Cove State Park or Newport Dunes Resort. And if you’re hoping to spot some whales, hop on a boat from Newport Harbor or just hang out at the Balboa and Newport Piers. Especially during migration season, you might just see whales and dolphins right from the beach!
Take a Walk in Civic Center Park
Take a day out at the Civic Center Park, a sprawling 14-acre green space that’s perfect for a leisurely stroll or a brisk walk. Wander along its 1.23-mile trail that meanders by a beautiful wetlands area, and while you’re at it, check out the cool sculptures scattered around.
But there’s more to this park than just walking. It’s made up of two big chunks of land connected by a bridge. And trust me, you’ll want to pause on that bridge. It gives you a breathtaking view of the city, and on a clear day, you can even see the shimmering Pacific Ocean in the distance.
Balboa Pier: A Must Visit Place
Back in 1906, some folks wanted to make the sandy Balboa Peninsula more popular. So, the Newport Bay Investment Company had this idea to build the Balboa Pavilion and the Balboa Pier. Their timing was perfect because they opened just when the Pacific Electric Railway Red Car line started running from Long Beach to the Peninsula. And guess what? People loved it! Loads of them came to the beach, and many even bought land there.
Today, the pier isn’t just a piece of history; it’s a hotspot for fishing. Most people reel in mackerel and flounder. And if you look closely at the pier’s pillars, you’ll see tons of starfish munching on mussels. Sometimes, fishermen accidentally catch these starfish, which is always a sight to see!
Looking for other places to visit? Read our post on the best places in Newport Beach.
Surfing? Dont Miss The Wedge
The Wedge is this epic spot at the very tip of the Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach, California. What’s it famous for? Monster waves! Surfers and bodysurfers flock here to ride them. It’s right where the beach meets this man-made jetty, which is on the west side of the entrance to Newport harbor. Now, when everything lines up just right with the south or south/southwest swells, The Wedge can churn out waves that tower up to 30 feet high. Yep, it’s that wild
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