Step by Step: Discovering Newport Beach’s Most Walkable Neighborhoods
Pristine beaches, charming neighborhoods, and a vibrant coastal lifestyle attract all sorts of travelers to Newport Beach. And while a car is the easiest way to get around town during your visit, there are several neighborhoods that can be explored on foot! From the quaint and scenic Balboa Island to the stylish streets of Lido Marina Village, let us be your guide! Stroll through these five most walkable neighborhoods in Newport Beach, where you can immerse yourself in the local culture, shop at boutiques, dine at trendy eateries, and bask in the beauty of our enchanting seaside town.
Let’s start our walkable journey with the iconic Balboa Peninsula—a three-mile stretch of coastline bordered by sandy beaches on one side and the sparkling harbor on the other. This neighborhood offers an eclectic mix of activities and attractions, making it a popular spot for both locals and tourists. Stroll along the boardwalk and enjoy panoramic views of the Pacific, or take a walk on one of two piers: The Newport Beach Pier and the Balboa Pier. Don’t forget to visit the historic Balboa Pavilion, where you can rent boats or go whale watching, and the Balboa Fun Zone, where you can take a ride on the Ferris wheel and indulge in treats like Balboa Bars and frozen bananas. The Balboa Peninsula‘s walkability makes it an excellent choice for exploring the shoreline, local restaurants, and family-friendly attractions.
Nestled along Newport Harbor, Lido Marina Village is a charming and upscale center that draws inspiration from the sun and sea. Stroll through the center, where you’ll discover quaint shops like Jenni Kayne, LoveShackFancy and Lido Village Books and waterfront cafes like Malibu Farm, Rye Goods and Zinqué. This seaside center offers a little bit of everything, catering to families, foodies and fashionistas alike. And if you’re visiting from out of town, you can make your vacation even more walkable by staying at Lido House—a Cape Cod-style hotel located just across the street from Lido Marina Village!
Known for its upscale vibe and small-town feel, Corona del Mar is a must-visit neighborhood for anyone who wants to get their steps in. Wander down this stretch of Pacific Coast Highway, and you’ll find everything from lush parks and charming cottages (some of which are vacation rentals!) to locally owned boutiques, time-honored restaurants and scenic beaches like Corona del Mar State Beach. Walking through Corona del Mar is a fun activity on its own, and you won’t have to pay for street parking (always a plus). Be sure to stop at the Corona del Mar Farmers’ Marketon Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., to shop fresh goodies from local farms!
Possibly one of Newport Beach’s best-kept secrets, Westcliff is a community chock-full of great restaurants with a hip shopping scene sprinkled in that pretty much only the locals know about. This small community revolves mainly around Westcliff Drive and sits just inland from Newport Beach’s Mariner’s Mile (aka, you won’t find many tourists). Get in your morning workout at BE Fit Modern Pilates or RA Yoga, then stop for brunch at Haute Cakes Caffe or OEB Breakfast Co. And when it comes to some retail therapy, we love Penelope Pots for plants and decor and Love Lola for dresses and accessories.
A visit to Newport Beach wouldn’t be complete without exploring the enchanting and locally loved Balboa Island. Accessible by a short ferry ride from the Balboa Peninsula, this pedestrian-friendly neighborhood exudes a laid-back charm that you’ll quickly grow fond of. Take a leisurely walk down Marine Avenue, the island’s main street, and explore a treasure trove of boutiques, art galleries, coffee shops and delightful eateries. Don’t miss the chance to stroll along the waterfront, where you can enjoy views of the boat-filled harbor and even snag a seat on the sand to catch some rays.
Written by: Kaylin WaizingerTags: balboa island, Balboa Peninsula, corona del mar, lido marina village, neighborhood, newport beach, walk, Westcliff