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Kick-off Your Summer in Newport Beach with these Memorial Day Weekend Activities

May 21, 2018

Though the official start of summer may not be for another month, Memorial Day (coming up on May 28!) feels like the kick off to evenings spent in the glow of a stunning sunset, early morning surf sessions, and long afternoons spent soaking up the sun. As far as the weather goes, Newport Beach often feels like the land of endless summer, but there still seems to be a shift in the mood to something a little more carefree as the days become longer. Make a memorable start to this year’s summer season with these fun ideas for your Memorial Day Weekend.

Spend a night under the stars

Moro Canyon in Crystal Cove State Park may just be fifteen minutes from your door but can feel like you are miles away from the city. Grab your tent and the rest of your gear for an overnight trip. You can pop your tent up in the Moro Campground near the PCH if you want a campsite with more amenities, like picnic tables, bathrooms and showers. Or, backpack your gear in at least three miles for primitive camping spots in Upper Moro, Lower Moro and Deer Canyon Campgrounds.

Take a Surf Lesson

If you live in Newport Beach, home to some of the best surfing in Southern California, it seems only appropriate that you give surfing a go, at least once. For the best chance of success (and a fun time), book a lesson with the Endless Sun Surf School. This surf school founded by Scott Morlan in 1973 takes beginners out to learn on the soft waves of Blackies by the Newport Pier. Many of Endless Sun Surf School’s instructors are professional surfers, and with the 4:1 student to teacher ratio, you’ll get plenty of individualized help, so you’ll be catching waves in no time! 


For those a bit more practiced in the sport and looking to mix up their surfing routine, check out The Board Club on the Balboa Peninsula. Become a member for the summer ($90 a month for at least three months), and you’ll have access to the club’s over 100 boards in every length and shape. If you only need a board for a session, half-day board rentals start at $25, and wetsuit rentals are $15.

memorial day weekend newport

Photo credit: Kelly Barcus

Book a Staycation

You don’t have to go far to live the resort life. For the ultimate in luxury, book a night at The Resort at Pelican Hill, a 5-star hotel located on the bluffs of Newport Coast. Spend the morning golfing one of its two ocean view golf courses, then take the afternoon to relax by the perfectly circular Coliseum Pool. If one night isn’t enough, stay for the long weekend and take advantage of the resort’s current offer for the fourth night free.

For tons of family-friendly activities right outside your room, use the Hyatt Regency Newport Beach as home-base for your weekend staycation. This resort boasts three crystal blue pools (including one with a slide), a 9-hole course right on the Back Bay, and bike rentals included in the hotel rate. Plus, you’ll find so many activities on the grounds, like an oversized chess set, shuffle board, ping pong and cornhole, that you might never find reason to leave.

newport beach memorial day

Photo credit: Kelly Barcus


Discover more accommodations here.

Attend the Newport Beach Wine Festival

Make it a weekend of wine and fine dining by attending the 15th Annual Newport Beach Wine Festival hosted by the Balboa Bay Resort. The start of the festival is marked by a dinner on Friday, May 25th at 6 pm at the Waterline resort. Saturday’s agenda includes a wine blending experience where you can create your own private label, a wine and food festival starting at 2 pm with 25 award-winning wineries and ends with a champagne harbor cruise. Sunday’s events include a sparkling wine and seafood buffet brunch, plus afternoon wine tasting accompanied by a Duffy boat excursion. See here for a full listing of events and tickets.
Newport Beach Wine Festival

Memorial Day Weekend Events at Newport Dunes

The Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort hosts a full slate of events over Memorial Day Weekend, starting with the opening of the Inflatable Waterpark on Friday, May 25. This seasonal playground features blow-up trampolines, slides and climbing walls floating in the calm waters of the Back Bay. Entrance costs $25 for 2 hours. On Friday evening, the DJ Richard Blade hosts 80’s night from 7 – 10 pm.

newport beach memorial day activities

Enjoy good drinks, food and music at the Newport Dunes on Saturday, May 26th  during the Newport Beach Beerfest from 6 – 10 p.m. The $35 General Admission gives you access to unlimited samples of over 150 craft beers. Be ready for a full night of music and fun, headlined by Atlas Genius.

Newport Beach Beerfest

If you missed out on the Stagecoach Festival last month and need a night full of boot stomping and guitar twanging, head on out to Boots on the Beach on Sunday, May 27th from 4 – 10 pm.  Enjoy live performances by country music stars including Gethen Jenkins, Shotgun Jefferson, Morgan Leigh Band and Tina Michelle. This event is all ages; general admission tickets cost $20 and children ages 10 and under are free.


Written by Kelly Barcus

Written by Visit Newport Beach

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