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Newport Beach
Newport Beach

Newport Beach

Newport Beach, California

The Basics

There's room for everyone on Newport Beach, from joggers and surfers to bikini-clad bathers and families setting up for swimming and sandcastles. Stroll along the historic pier and beach promenade lined with restaurants and shops, soak up local culture at nearby Orange County Museum of Art, or boost your wardrobe at nearby Fashion Island shopping mall. Newport Beach is a departure port for whale-watching tours and a popular stop on multi-beach sightseeing day trips from LA.

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Recent reviews from experiences in Los Angeles

star-5
Very nice and clean boat...
Alicia_H, Sep 2021
Newport Beach Whale and Dolphin Watching Cruise
Very nice and clean boat ride. We only got to see dolphins and sea lions. We did get a pass to come back for a reduced amount. Drinks were good and staff was nice.
star-5
Great time!
Martha_K, Jul 2021
Newport Beach Whale and Dolphin Watching Cruise
Good directions and customer service pre-trip, very accommodating business. The crew was very knowledgeable, helpful and fun. Trip was just the right length and the vessel clean and in great shape. We had a brief whale sighting and a great dolphin show. Lots at seabirds to enjoy as well. Recommended!
star-5
Dolphins up close
Brianna_B, Jun 2021
Newport Beach Whale and Dolphin Watching Cruise
Great trip; saw lots of dolphins. The crew was friendly and helpful, boat was clean, tour ran on-time.
star-5
Great staff. Wonderful...
Daniel_H, Nov 2021
Newport Beach Whale and Dolphin Watching Cruise
Great staff. Wonderful boat ride!! They really tried to look for the whales. Made everyone feel fine.
star-5
Great Tour!!! very relaxing and fun!!!!
Marcus_M, Nov 2021
Newport Beach Whale and Dolphin Watching Cruise
We had a great time!!! Boat ride was fun-great value for the money. The trip was very relaxing and it was very scenic.
star-5
Dancing Dolphins Day Trip
JeanineM, Sep 2021
Newport Beach Whale and Dolphin Watching Cruise
It was a beautiful sunny, Sunday afternoon. The open ocean was quite a site for 4 children and 4 adults. We definitely picked the right seats on the boat, too. We saw sea lions on our way in and out, and the school of dolphins were diving around us like crazy. Couldn't have asked for a better afternoon!
star-4
Enjoyed the cruise
Yolanda_W, Aug 2021
Newport Beach Whale and Dolphin Watching Cruise
Even though we didn’t see any whales, we saw lots of dolphins and a few sea lions. It had great views out on the water
star-5
The excursion was...
Jane_M, Aug 2021
Newport Beach Whale and Dolphin Watching Cruise
The excursion was great🤗. The initial directions given by Viator were not accurate & confusing. Additional info would have been very helpful. Like places to grab a bit beforehand. The original time slot was changed by Viator at the last minute which wasn’t helpful for visiting guests.
star-5
Fantastic fun exploring on a cruise
Teresa_A, Aug 2021
Newport Beach Whale and Dolphin Watching Cruise
We saw a huge pod of dolphins and several sea lions. The captain did an excellent job explaining ocean wildlife and exploring with us. He and his crew were so friendly and helpful. My kids and I had an amazing experience! Thank you to all of them.
star-4
Nice
Daniel_E, Aug 2021
Newport Beach Whale and Dolphin Watching Cruise
Cool boat ride out got to see dolphins seals and blue fin tuna well worth it be back to see wale’s next time
star-4
Memorable
Gwendolyn_H, Aug 2021
Newport Beach Whale and Dolphin Watching Cruise
Seeing the large Pod of dolphins! Also, saw a group sea lions chilling out/ sleep on the bell. I found the pelicans a treat too.
star-5
California coast outing
MBB, Jul 2021
Newport Beach Whale and Dolphin Watching Cruise
We enjoyed the beautiful view of the California coastline. Watching the pods of dolphins and getting to see Patches, the dolphin, was an added kick. The tickets were easy to order, the crew was organized and the boat was on time.

Things to Know Before You Go

  • Lifeguard stands are scattered along the beach, but waves should still be approached with caution.

  • Dining options for all budgets are available from snack shops to restaurants along the promenade.

  • Accommodations range from five-star hotels to beach bungalow vacation rentals.

  • Pay close attention to parking meter time limits and paid lot instructions, as they are patrolled regularly.

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How to Get There

Newport Beach is located 50 miles (80 kilometers) south of Los Angeles and 85 miles (137 kilometers) north of San Diego. The easiest way to arrive is by car, and paid street parking and parking lots are available nearby. The free Balboa Peninsula Trolley runs up and down the coast on summer weekends. If arriving by air, John Wayne Airport in Orange County is just 8 miles (13 kilometers) away for a short drive.

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Trip ideas


When to Get There

Like the rest of Southern California, Newport Beach is famous for year-round sunny, warm weather. Whale-watching cruises depart year-round. The season for sighting grey whales is December through April, while giant blue whales are more likely to be seen May through November.

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Balboa Island

A short ferry ride from Newport Beach, Balboa Island is a chic city-within-a-city packed with bohemian shops and coastal eateries. Surrounded by protected bay waters, it's a perfect spot to practice stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, and other water sports. Alternatively, explore the streets on foot or via electric bike, and then indulge in fresh seafood at one of its many shoreline restaurants. Save room for dessert—Balboa Island is famous for its signature chocolate-dipped frozen bananas.

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