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 six outdoor activities that’ll add some fun to your 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
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.
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.
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 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 surrounding restaurants.
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 Lido Marina Village Electric Boat Rental’s weekday promo, where rentals are only $75 per hour (valid Monday-Thursday with a minimum of two hours).
Listen to Live Music
Get your groove on this winter at Lido Marina Village! Every Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, starting at noon, this charming seaside center hosts a variety of local musicians on the Lido Deck. Grab lunch to-go from one of the many restaurants, such as Malibu Farm, Circle Hook Fish Company or Lido Bottle Works, and enjoy your meal with a side of harbor views! If you happen to visit on a Sunday, be sure to stay for Lido Bottle Works’ Sunday Supper Club, where you can enjoy a four-course tasting menu featuring seasonal produce, sustainable seafood and an array of incredible proteins.
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. And this Valentine’s Day, they’re offering an exclusive Amore Cruise where your gondolier will steer you through the quaint canals of Newport Harbor. Upgrade your cruise with a bottle of champagne and a box of chocolates, and cheers to an evening well-spent!