This time of year especially, I love hosting visitors in Newport Beach! The temperatures are pretty consistently in the seventies and there are so many fun things to do in town and just outside it.
One of the jobs I’ve always had to support my dream job is teaching group fitness classes and for the last few years I’ve taught a couple mornings a week at the Marriott Newport Coast Villas, a popular spot to stay. I’m constantly giving guests advice about what to do when visiting this beautiful city and am excited to share my recommendations here, on Sincerely, Riley, since one of the first things I do when I visit somewhere new is check blogs to see what spots I can’t miss!
Shop The Look: Dress (House of Harlow), Sunglasses (Elizabeth & James), Shoes (Castaner Wedges), Bag (Carlie & Co)
Walk around Balboa Island:
Three years ago I serendipitously landed my dream cottage on Balboa Island and I feel so fortunate that I’ve had the opportunity to live in a place that I recommend visitors check out first upon arrival.
I usually start my day walking the two mile loop around the island and checking out the charming cottages on the water, and I’ll end my walk grabbing coffee at one of the coffee shops on Main Street and a donut from Dad’s Donut and Bakery Shop. If you visit in the afternoon or evening, be sure to stop into all the charming boutiques that sell everything from island souvenirs to trendy clothes and jewelry. And don’t leave without dining at one of the island restaurants (my favorite is Royal Hen) and grabbing an iconic Balboa Bar or Frozen Banana for dessert at Dad’s!
Rent Bikes and Cruise Down the Peninsula:
I always take visitors across the ferry and for a bike ride down the bike path that runs along Newport Beach. (There are several bike rental spots on the peninsula.) If it’s the weekend, stop at the farmer’s market near the pier. And any time of the week, pull over for an acai bowl at Banzai Bowl or a cold beer or cocktail at one of the many restaurants you’ll see.
Walk the Corona Del Mar Beach Path:
If you turn down Poppy Street in Corona Del Mar, you’ll end up at the start of a beautiful path that looks out over Corona del Mar Beach. If I’m not starting my day by walking the island, I’ll usually walk this path and end up down on the sand for a final stroll.
Enjoy Taco Tuesday at Sol:
On Tuesdays Sol in Newport Beach has five dollar margaritas and taco deals that make this waterfront dining spot affordable for the whole family. There’s live music as well. Call ahead for a reservation!
Have Breakfast at Zinc:
I love eating breakfast or getting coffee at Zinc Café in Corona Del Mar or Laguna Beach. The food is healthy, but tasty, and the lattes are great to grab and take walking or sit and savor with your meal.
Stop at Lido Village:
Lido Marina Village has something for everybody. If you’re in the mood for coffee or a pastry try Honor Coffee. Pop into Lido Village Books if you’re looking for a book to read during your trip. And check out Zinque restaurant on the water (and order Le Bowl!) or Mendocino Farms. Some shops I love include Eberjey for sleepwear (one of the brands featured in Waiting at Hayden’s) and Planet Blue.
Enjoy Sushi at The Cannery During Happy Hour:
As most of you know happy hour is my favorite time of day and I’ve tried almost every single one in Newport Beach. My favorite is The Cannery. It’s half-off most of their sushi and several dollars off cocktails. The Cannery is on the water as well, so it’s a pretty spot for sunset and harbor views.
Rent a Duffy or Paddleboards and Cruise Around the Harbor:
There are several spots in Newport Beach to rent a duffy boat or paddleboards for the afternoon to putter around the harbor. Bring a picnic lunch, some bottles of wine, and make an afternoon or evening of being on the water and seeing the city from a different point of view.
Read and picnic at Little Corona Beach in CDM:
Bring a book and park yourself at Little Corona Beach. Most tourists will flock to Big Corona around the corner, but right at the end of Poppy Street, if you walk down the hill, you’ll run into this more secluded beach that’s quieter and surrounded by cliffs, which is super nice when it’s windy!
There are SO many local shops that are unique to Newport Beach and worth checking out during your time here! The bags in this shoot are designed by a local mother/daughter duo, Carlie & Co, and are great for taking to the beach. (Find them here!)
I also love walking up and down the main strip in Laguna Beach and finding things you can’t find online or anywhere else. One of my favorite shops is The Soul Project! This apparel company with a purpose is located in a beautiful artist cottage so you’ll be sure to have an authentic Laguna Beach shopping experience and won’t leave without something to remember your trip by!
You can also find lots of local jewelry, candles, artwork and apparel at Seaside Gallery and Goods. It’s near A Market (one of my favorite places to stop in for coffee and a treat!). Grab something there first and then head over for some shopping and support our local artists and designers.
What are your favorite things to do in Newport Beach?! I’d love to hear in the comments below!