8 Winter Activities That’ll Add Some Fun to Your Calendar
While many regions are withstanding frigid, below-zero temps, Newport Beach continues to gloat with its sunny-and-75 climate. While some days may drop into the 60s (oh no!), our West Coast weather still reigns supreme. And even on those chillier days, all you really need is a light sweater to keep you warm. With that said, “winter” in Newport Beach is a great time for some fun—whether it’s embarking on a sunrise hike, sipping cocktails on the bay or enjoying an al fresco dinner. Here are eight outdoor activities that’ll add some enjoyment to your winter calendar.
Have a Whale of a Time
Between the months of December and April, grey whale season is in full swing. So if you’re looking to add a little adventure to your winter schedule, plan a whale watching trip in Newport Beach! Both Newport Landing and Newport Coastal Adventure offer year-round cruises open to the public that will get you up close and personal with these unique ocean creatures. For more information and to book your trip, visit www.newportwhales.com and www.newportcoastaladventure.com.
Shop and Celebrate Lunar New Year
Outdoor shopping centers are all the rage right now. Upgrade your wardrobe before spring rolls around at Newport Beach’s Fashion Island! This luxury, open-air shopping center is home to more than 150 department stores and boutiques, premier salons and a variety of top-notch restaurants. This center is also hosting a Lunar New Year Celebration that runs from Feb. 9-25; enjoy specialty themed cocktails, festive activities and mesmerizing dragon and lantern displays at every turn!
Take a Day Trip to Catalina Island
Craving an escape full of sun, sea, and adventure? Set your sights on the shores of Catalina Island, a 90-minute journey from Newport Beach aboard the Catalina Flyer. As the West Coast’s premier passenger catamaran, this vessel promises not only efficiency but an experience of ease and comfort. During your journey, lounge on expansive sun decks, sip cocktails from a full-service bar and take in views of the open sea. While the weather may not be quite as warm in the winter on Catalina Island, the crowds are far smaller in February and March, making it a popular time for locals to visit.
Put on Your Hiking Shoes
From the striking coastline of Crystal Cove to the natural beauty of the Back Bay, Newport Beach is home to a handful of hiking trails with views that’ll take your breath away. Take a stroll on the Balboa Island Loop, a 2.5-mile paved path that offers views of the island’s cottages and peaceful Newport Harbor. The Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve is also a great trail that clocks in at 3.5 miles and boasts stunning views of the bay. If you want to ramp things up, embark on the El Moro Canyon to Moro Ridge Loop at Crystal Cove State Park. This 9.5-mile trek is challenging, with an elevation gain of 900 feet, but the view at Emerald Bay Overlook is well worth the journey.
Embark on a Bay Cruise
Bundle up and enjoy an ocean breeze on an electric boat from one of Newport Beach’s many rental companies, such as Lido Marina Village Electric Boat Rental, Duffy Electric Boat Rentals, Newport Beach Boat Rentals and more. Whether you’re celebrating a birthday, reuniting with friends or just want some fresh air, a cruise on the bay is a fantastic way to have some winter fun. Be sure to take advantage of Vision Electric Boat Rental’s early weekends promo, where rentals on Saturday and Sunday with departures at 9:30 and 10 a.m. are $100 off.
The Hoag Classic is back and better than ever at the prestigious Newport Beach Country Club this March! Known for attracting some of the most distinguished names in golf, this star-studded tournament has become an annual staple in Orange County. Beyond the competitive drives and precision putts, the Hoag Classic plays a pivotal role in supporting local charities, underscoring a commitment to giving back. With the fairways and greens set to host legends of the game, you’re invited to experience the excitement of this five-day tournament for yourself.
Head to the Fun Zone
Stationed between the Balboa Pier and the Auto Ferry sits the time-honored Balboa Fun Zone—a family-friendly amusement area with an arcade, Ferris wheel and more. Winter, when the crowds have dwindled, is a great time to explore all this waterfront destination has to offer. Let the kids play in the old-school arcade, take in views from the top of the Ferris wheel and grab a bite at one of the many bayside restaurants.
Take a Gondola Ride
Looking to add a little romance to your calendar? Reserve your very own private gondola cruise! Gondola Adventures, Inc. will take your date night to the next level with customizable rides, including dinner cruises, pizza cruises, dessert cruises and more. For a romantic culinary experience like no other, book the Bellissima Cruise and enjoy a bat ride around the harbor aboard an authentic Italian gondola while indulging in a full four-course meal prepared by one of Newport Beach’s local restaurants.
Written by: Kaylin Waizinger