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6 Ways to Celebrate the Start of Summer in Newport Beach

June 20, 2023

With the official start of summer just days away, we’re kissing June gloom goodbye and gearing up for sunshine and beach days in Newport Beach! When the sun is out, our coastal city comes to life, offering a multitude of warm-weather activities for locals and tourists alike. From boating on the bay to building sandcastles on the sand and grabbing an ice cream cone at the Balboa Fun Zone, this start-of-summer bucket list is sure to delight. Celebrate the season and check out these six quintessential Newport Beach activities!

Watch the Surfers at The Wedge

Get your adrenaline pumping on the first day of summer with a visit to The Wedge—a legendary surf spot at the end of the Balboa Peninsula. Grab a seat on the sand and watch skilled surfers and bodyboarders ride the towering, pyramid-shaped waves. This stretch of beach is considered somewhat treacherous, as the rock jetty forces one wave to crash back into another, combining the forces of two waves. Unless you’re a saltwater savant, we recommend grabbing a coffee, laying down a blanket and remaining a spectator!

Walk the Balboa Pier

One of two piers in Newport Beach, the Balboa Pier was built in 1906 and has remained an iconic landmark that juts out into the glistening Pacific. Take a leisurely stroll along this pier, and soak in the salty air and the panoramic views of the coastline. Stop by charming nearby eateries, like Cabo Cantina or Ruby’s Diner (located at the end of the pier), and perhaps indulge in a milkshake! As the waves crash below, you’ll see everything from fishermen to surfers.

Shop at Fashion Island

One of Newport Beach‘s premier shopping destinations, Fashion Island is a stellar place to revamp your summer wardrobe. The center is home to an array of high-end boutiques, designer stores and trendy shops, including Faherty, Alice + Olivia, Vince, Lululemon, Nordstrom, Bloomingdales and more. Treat yourself to a wardrobe update, browse the latest fashion trends and enjoy the open-air atmosphere. Take a break at one of the center’s many restaurants and cafés, and if you have kiddos along for the ride, be sure to visit the outdoor koi pond!

Set Sail on a Harbor Cruise

Celebrate the start of summer with a cruise around the harbor—one of the best ways to experience the coastal splendor of Newport Beach. Hop aboard a luxurious yacht, sailboat or electric boat and set sail through the quaint canals of Newport Harbor, admiring the stunning waterfront homes. Newport Beach is a true maritime paradise, and there’s no better way to explore it than by boat with a few of your closest friends.

Ice Cream at the Balboa Fun Zone

The Balboa Fun Zone is a beloved Newport Beach attraction full of nostalgic charm. Kick off the season with an afternoon here, where you can take a ride on the colorful Ferris wheel, let your kiddos play in the old-school arcade and indulge in a sweet treat! Stop by Cowafornia Ice Cream for a famous chocolate-dipped Balboa Bar or a scoop of their creamy green tea ice cream. There’s no better way to spend a carefree summer day.

Beach Bonfire at Corona del Mar State Beach

As the sun begins to dip, gather your pals and head to Corona del Mar State Beach for a quintessential beach bonfire. This stretch of sand is a half-mile long, framed by cliffs and a rock jetty, making it perfect for families. Settle into the soft sand, feel the warmth of the fire and listen to the sound of waves crashing against the shore—and don’t forget the s’mores! A beach bonfire is the perfect way to celebrate the first day of summer in true Newport Beach fashion.

Written by: Kaylin Waizinger

Written by Visit Newport Beach

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