Having too much fun and not quite ready to leave? We don’t blame you! Newport Beach never runs out of fun things to do, and neither does the rest of Southern California. Our coastal enclave is flanked by all kinds of must-see attractions and other cities worth visiting—from the star-studded LA LA Land to the southern shores of San Diego. So before you pack your bags, check out this list of places to visit and things to do in SoCal when you extend your stay and tack on one more day.
Lucky for visitors of Newport Beach, “The Most Magical Place on Earth” is only a 30-minute drive away! Have a family day and take the kiddos to this iconic theme park for a full day of Disney magic. Spend time with Mickey and friends, and check out the new Avengers Campus and, of course, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Your little ones can also ride the all-new Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway in Toontown, which opened earlier this year!
Just an hour south of Newport Beach by car, LEGOLAND is another kid-friendly amusement park perfect for some family fun. Massive Lego structures, towering roller coasters and an endless array of attractions make this park a must-visit! Your kids will get to explore the many themed lands, like Pirate Shores and Ninjago World, and see incredible shows that will keep them entertained all day long. Get ready to create memories that will last a lifetime at LEGOLAND!
Take a walk on the wild side with a trip to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park! A quick hour-and-a-half zip down the coast will lead you to this 1,800-acre property, which is home to over 3,000 animals and over 300 species. You and your family will have the opportunity to see some of the world’s most exotic animals up close through a variety of safari tours, unique exhibits and incredible shows and experiences, including the Cheetah Run and the Flightline Safari.
Tucked in the heart of Orange County, Irvine’s Great Park is a sprawling 1,300-acre park that offers something for everyone. Take a stroll through the park’s many trails and gardens, let the kids play on the playgrounds and sports fields or soar to new heights in the Great Park Balloon, a giant tethered helium balloon that offers panoramic views of OC. The park also hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including concerts, festivals and farmers’ markets!
For an exciting change of scenery, take a mini road trip north to the famed city of Los Angeles! The drive from Newport Beach to LA takes about an hour (but be sure to account for traffic), and the possibilities are endless once you arrive. Spend an afternoon exploring the iconic Hollywood Walk of Fame, take a tour of the world-famous Universal Studios Hollywood or get up close and personal with the stars at the Griffith Observatory. If you’re a sports fan, catch a game at Crypto.com Arena, home to the Lakers, Clippers and Kings. Whether you’re looking for thrills, culture or just a fun day out, the City of Angels truly has it all.
Running from July 7 to Sept. 1, 2023, the renowned Pageant of the Masters is an event that takes place each year in the funky town of Laguna Beach (located just south of Newport Beach). Grab your tickets and watch as famous works of art come to life on stage in a mesmerizing display of live reenactments! Each year, the Pageant of the Masters features a different theme, with a cast of over 500 volunteers dressed in elaborate costumes and makeup to recreate famous paintings with remarkable accuracy. This is an immersive art experience you won’t want to miss!
Written by: Kaylin Waizinger