Newport Beach, California facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Newport Beach, California
Charter city
Aerial view of Newport Beach in July 2014
Aerial view of Newport Beach in July 2014
Flag of Newport Beach, California
Flag
Official seal of Newport Beach, California
Seal
Location within California and Orange County
Location within California and Orange County
Country  United States
State  California
County Orange
Incorporated September 1, 1906
Area
 • Total 52.978 sq mi (137.211 km2)
 • Land 23.805 sq mi (61.654 km2)
 • Water 29.173 sq mi (75.557 km2)  55.07%
Elevation 10 ft (3 m)
Population (April 1, 2010)
 • Total 85,186
 • Estimate (2013) 87,273
 • Density 1,607.950/sq mi (620.839/km2)
Time zone Pacific (UTC−8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC−7)
ZIP codes 92657–92663
Area code 949
FIPS code 06-51182
GNIS feature IDs 1661104, 2411250
Website

newportbeachca.gov

Symbols of Newport Beach
Flower Bougainvillea
Tree Coral tree

Newport Beach is a seaside city in Orange County, California, United States. Its population was 85,287 at the 2010 census. Newport Beach is also home to Newport Harbor.

The city's median family income and property values consistently place high in national rankings. The Daily Pilot, a newspaper published in the neighboring city of Costa Mesa but which serves the greater Newport-Mesa community, reported in 2010 that more than a quarter of households have an income greater than $200,000, and the median value for homes exceeds $1 million.

History

Lido Isle Photo D Ramey Logan
Newport Beach July 18, 2014

The Upper Bay of Newport is a canyon, which was carved by a stream in the Pleistocene period. The lower bay of Newport was formed much later by sand that was brought along by ocean currents, which constructed the offshore beach that is now recognized as the Balboa Peninsula of Newport Beach. Before settlers reached the coasts of California, the Newport area and surrounding areas were very prominent Indian lands. Indian shells and relics can still be found today scattered throughout the area. Though, throughout the 1800s, settlers began to settle the area due to the availability of land. The State of California sold acre-plots of land for $1 a piece in the Newport area. Anglo-American civilization in Newport grew substantially when in 1870 a 105-ton steamer named The Vaquero, captained by Captain Samuel S. Dunnells, against warnings posted by surveyors, safely steered through the lower and upper bay of Newport where it unloaded its cargo. James Irvine, after hearing the astonishing news, quickly traveled from his home in San Francisco to the San Joaquin Ranch. Meeting in Irvine's ranch house near current day UC Irvine with his brother, Robert Irvine, and friend James McFadden, they all agreed that the newly found port should be named simply, "Newport" thus where Newport Beach gets its name.

In 1905 city development increased when Pacific Electric Railway established a southern terminus in Newport connecting the beach with downtown Los Angeles. In 1906 (with a population of 206 citizens), the scattered settlements were incorporated as the City of Newport Beach.

Settlements filled in on the Peninsula, West Newport, Newport Island, Balboa Island and Lido Isle. In 1923 Corona del Mar was annexed and in 2002 Newport Coast, East Santa Ana Heights and San Joaquin Hills, were annexed. In 2008, after a long battle with the city of Costa Mesa, Newport Beach annexed West Santa Ana Heights.

Newport Beach California photo D Ramey Logan
Newport Beach California

Geography

Dover and PCH 2013 NB Photo D Ramey Logan
Dover and Pacific Coast Hwy Newport Beach, CA

Newport Beach extends in elevation from sea level to the 1161 ft (354 m.) summit of Signal Peak in the San Joaquin Hills, but the official elevation is 25 feet (8 m) above sea level at a location of 33°37′0″N 117°53′51″W / 33.616667°N 117.8975°W / 33.616667; -117.8975 (33.616671, −117.897604).

The city is bordered on the west by Huntington Beach at the Santa Ana River; on the north by Costa Mesa, John Wayne Airport, the City of Irvine and UC Irvine; and on the east by Crystal Cove State Park.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 53.0 square miles (137 km2). 23.8 square miles (62 km2) of it is land and 29.2 square miles (76 km2) of it (55.07%) is water.

Areas of Newport Beach include Corona del Mar, Balboa Island, Balboa Peninsula (also known as Balboa), Lido Peninsula, Newport Coast, San Joaquin Hills, and Santa Ana Heights, and West Newport.

Newport Harbor and Newport Bay

Linda Island NB CA Photo D Ramey Logan (b)
Linda Isle, Newport Beach, California

Newport Harbor is a semi-artificial harbor that was formed by dredging Newport Bay estuary during the early 1900s. Several artificial islands were built, which are now covered with private homes: Newport Island, Balboa Island, Little Balboa Island, Collins Island, Bay Island, Harbor Island, Lido Isle and Linda Isle.

The Lido Peninsula Photo D Ramey Logan
The Lido Peninsula

Newport Harbor once supported maritime industries such as boatbuilding, shipbuilding, and commercial fishing, but today it is used mostly for recreation. Its shores are occupied mostly by private homes and private docks. With approximately 9,000 boats, Newport Harbor is one of the largest recreational boat harbors on the U.S. west coast. It's a popular destination for all boating activities, including sailing, fishing, rowing, canoeing, kayaking, and paddleboarding.

Commercial maritime operations today include the Catalina Flyer ferry to Catalina Island, harbor tours, sport fishing and whale watching day trips and charters, and a few small commercial fishing boats.

Newport Bay is divided by the Pacific Coast Highway bridge, which is too low for most sailboats and very large boats to pass under. North of the bridge is referred to as Upper Newport Bay, or the Back Bay. South of the bridge is commonly called Lower Newport Bay, or Newport Harbor. However the Back Bay also has harbor facilities, especially the marina and launch ramp at The Dunes.

The north end of the Newport Harbor channels around Lido Island have a number of small business centers and were at one time used by the fishing fleets as their home. On the North East side of the channel, the Lido Marina Village now provides the local port to many "Newport Party Boats" as well as small merchants and local restaurants. It also hosts the area boat show each year as well as an organic "Farmers Market" Sundays, in addition to being the port for the local Gondola Company. In 2014, the center was closed for a renovation.

In 1927 a home was built at the mouth of the entrance of Newport Harbor that came to be known as the China House of China Cove. The home was built using the traditional Chinese architecture. It was a landmark in the Newport Beach Harbor until it was demolished in the 1980s. Some of the original roof can been seen on a home located in the China Cove.

Upper Newport Bay is an estuary that was formed by a prehistoric flow of the Santa Ana River. Today it is fed by a small stream from San Diego Creek. Much of Upper Newport Bay is a protected natural area known as the Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve, established in 1975.

Newport Beach Back Bay

Climate

Newport Beach has a mid-latitude semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification BSk) with Mediterranean (Csb) characteristics. Like many coastal cities in Los Angeles and Orange counties, Newport Beach exhibits weak temperature variation, both diurnally and seasonally, compared to inland cities even a few miles from the ocean. The Pacific Ocean greatly moderates Newport Beach's climate by warming winter temperatures and cooling summer temperatures. Newport Beach does not receive enough precipitation to qualify as a true Mediterranean climate.

Climate data for Newport Beach Harbor, California (1981-2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 63.3
(17.39)
63.1
(17.28)
62.7
(17.06)
64.4
(18)
65.8
(18.78)
67.6
(19.78)
70.9
(21.61)
72.2
(22.33)
72.0
(22.22)
69.9
(21.06)
67.3
(19.61)
63.2
(17.33)
66.9
(19.39)
Average low °F (°C) 49.8
(9.89)
50.7
(10.39)
52.3
(11.28)
54.6
(12.56)
58.3
(14.61)
61.2
(16.22)
64.2
(17.89)
64.9
(18.28)
63.6
(17.56)
59.7
(15.39)
53.7
(12.06)
49.3
(9.61)
56.9
(13.83)
Precipitation inches (mm) 2.07
(52.6)
2.59
(65.8)
1.67
(42.4)
.72
(18.3)
.13
(3.3)
.07
(1.8)
.02
(0.5)
.02
(0.5)
.17
(4.3)
.38
(9.7)
.96
(24.4)
1.82
(46.2)
10.62
(269.7)
Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Demographics

Balboa Island wide 2 Photo D Ramey Logan
Balboa Island, Newport Beach California. January 2013
Historical population
Census Pop.
1910 445
1920 894 100.9%
1930 2,203 146.4%
1940 4,438 101.5%
1950 12,120 173.1%
1960 26,564 119.2%
1970 49,582 86.7%
1980 62,556 26.2%
1990 66,643 6.5%
2000 70,032 5.1%
2010 85,186 21.6%
Est. 2015 87,127 2.3%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010

The 2010 United States Census reported that Newport Beach had a population of 85,186. The population density was 3,587.5 people per square mile (1,381.7/km²). The racial makeup of Newport Beach was 74,357 (87.3%) White (82.3% Non-Hispanic White), 616 (0.7%) African American, 223 (0.3%) Native American, 5,982 (7.0%) Asian, 114 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 1,401 (1.6%) from other races, and 2,493 (2.9%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6,174 persons (7.2%).

The Census reported that 84,784 people (99.5% of the population) lived in households, 151 (0.2%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 251 (0.3%) were institutionalized.

There were 38,751 households, out of which 8,212 (21.2%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 17,273 (44.6%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 2,608 (6.7%) had a female householder with no husband present, 1,199 (3.1%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 1,846 (4.8%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 233 (0.6%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 12,838 households (33.1%) were made up of individuals and 4,412 (11.4%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.19. There were 21,080 families (54.4% of all households); the average family size was 2.81.

The population was spread out with 14,744 people (17.3%) under the age of 18, 6,659 people (7.8%) aged 18 to 24, 22,299 people (26.2%) aged 25 to 44, 25,322 people (29.7%) aged 45 to 64, and 16,162 people (19.0%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44.0 years. For every 100 females there were 97.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.5 males.

Upper Newport Bay Photo D Ramey Logan
Upper Newport Bay

There were 44,193 housing units at an average density of 834.2 per square mile (322.1/km²), of which 21,224 (54.8%) were owner-occupied, and 17,527 (45.2%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.7%; the rental vacancy rate was 7.8%. 50,511 people (59.3% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 34,273 people (40.2%) lived in rental housing units.

During 2009–2013, Newport Beach had a median household income of $106,333, with 7.9% of the population living below the federal poverty line.

2000

North Newport Beach photo D Ramey Logan
North Newport Beach

As of the census of 2000, there were 70,032 people, 33,071 households, and 16,965 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,738.8 inhabitants per square mile (1,829.5/km²). There were 37,288 housing units at an average density of 2,523.1 per square mile (974.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 92.22% White, 0.53% African American, 0.26% Native American, 4.00% Asian, 0.12% Pacific Islander, 1.13% from other races, and 1.74% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.71% of the population. There were 33,071 households out of which 18.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.5% were married couples living together, 6.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 48.7% were non-families. 35.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.09 and the average family size was 2.71. In the city, the population was spread out with 15.7% under the age of 18, 6.5% from 18 to 24, 33.0% from 25 to 44, 27.2% from 45 to 64, and 17.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 97.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.6 males. According to a 2008 US Census estimate, the median income for a household in the city was $95,511, while the median family income was $126,976. Males had a median income of $73,425 versus $45,409 for females. The per capita income for the city was $63,015. About 2.1% of families and 4.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.0% of those under age 18 and 3.5% of those age 65 or over.

Tourism

Points of interest

  • Newport Center and Fashion Island
  • Orange County Museum of Art
  • Hoag Hospital
  • Newport Back Bay or Upper Newport Bay
  • Newport Pier
  • The Boardwalk (actually a concrete path)
  • Balboa Pier
  • Balboa Pavilion
  • Balboa Fun Zone
  • Newport Harbor Nautical Museum
  • Balboa Inn
  • Balboa Island Ferry
  • Balboa Island
  • Newport Sports Museum
  • Pacific Coast Highway
  • Orange County Council BSA Sea Base
  • Dory Fish Market
  • Newport Aquatic Center
  • The Crab Cooker
  • Corona del Mar State Beach
  • Crystal Cove State Park
  • The Wedge (surfing)
  • Lovell Beach House
  • Wooden Boat Festival

Famous past landmarks

  • The China House of China Cove
  • The Reuben E. Lee
  • Rendezvous Ballroom
  • The Banana Stand
  • Balboa Inn
  • Hall House

Attractions

Newport Harbor morning Photo D Ramey Logan
Newport Harbor
Balboa Pier Photo D Ramey Logan
Balboa Pier
Sailing Crew Base Photo D Ramey Logan2
Orange Coast College sailing school
Newport Beach Pier Aerial photo D Ramey Logan
Newport Beach Pier Aerial Photo

Beaches and surfing

Beachgoers have flocked to Newport Beach since the Pacific Electric Railway started bringing them in 1905.

Attractions include the city beaches from the Santa Ana River to the tip of the Balboa Peninsula, Corona del Mar State Beach, and the beaches at Crystal Cove State Park.

Newport Beach is renowned for good surfing, especially between Newport Pier and the Santa Ana River. At the tip of the Balboa Peninsula, The Wedge offers world-class bodyboarding and bodysurfing.

Newport Pier and Balboa Pier both draw fishermen and sightseers.

A boardwalk (actually a concrete path) runs 2.9 miles (4.7 km) from 36th Street in West Newport, past Newport Pier and Balboa Pier, to between E and F Streets on the Balboa Peninsula.

Harbor and boating

2013 Ahmanson Cup Regatta yacht Zapata II b photo D Ramey Logan
yacht Zapata II

Newport Harbor is the largest recreational boat harbor on the U.S. west coast, and a popular destination for all boating activities, including sailing, fishing, rowing, kayaking, and paddleboarding.

The annual Christmas Boat Parade dates back to 1908. The New York Times has called it, "One of the top ten holiday happenings in the nation".

Competitive sailing, rowing, and paddling events occur almost every weekend, and weekdays during summer. The annual Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race is the largest sailboat race in the world.

Boating activities are organized by five private yacht clubs, along with Orange Coast College, UC Irvine, and the Sea Scouts, all of which have sailing, rowing, and water activity bases on the harbor. The Newport Aquatic Center allows open public participation in competitive rowing, canoeing, kayaking, and outrigger canoe racing. The Orange Coast College School of Sailing and Seamanship offers recreational and professional sailing and mariners' courses and certifications, including United States Coast Guard licensing.

Weekly races take place during the summer that are organized by the local yacht clubs, inside the harbor, including the Beer Can Races, from the Balboa Yacht Club

Hand-carried boats may be launched from Newport Harbor's public beaches. A launching ramp at The Dunes RV Resort and Marina provides access for trailered boats.

Harbor boat tours feature celebrity homes and other waterfront points of interest. Large charter vessels cater to weddings and other special events. Rental and charter boats of all sizes and types are available from several operators.

The Newport Harbor Nautical Museum is dedicated to the history of Newport Harbor, and the industries and people that were attracted to the waters of Newport Beach.

Nautical Clubs of Newport Beach
  • Newport Harbor Yacht Club
  • Balboa Yacht Club
  • Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club
  • South Shore Yacht Club
  • Newport Beach Yacht Club
  • Lido Isle Yacht Club
  • American Legion Yacht Club
  • Newport Ocean Sailing Association
  • Newport Sea Base Yacht Club
  • Orange Coast College Sailing Center
  • U.C. Irvine Sailing Association
  • Pacific Yachting Club

Balboa

On the Balboa Peninsula, the historic Balboa Pavilion and Balboa Island Ferry are the city's most famous landmarks. Adjacent to the Pavilion, the 500 passenger Catalina Flyer provides daily transportation to and from Avalon, located on Santa Catalina Island. In the same vicinity, the Balboa Fun Zone offers a ferris wheel, bungee jumping, arcade games, souvenir shops and eateries, boat rentals, and harbor tour boat rides; and is also home to the Newport Harbor Nautical Museum.

Balboa Island's village charm draws many visitors. A waterfront path around the island attracts walkers and joggers, and provides easy access from the ferry to the shops and restaurants on Marine Ave.

Outdoors and nature

Cabo San Lucas Race Start 2013 photo D Ramey Logan
Cabo San Lucas Race Start 2013
Newport Pier photo D Ramey Logan
Fishing on the Newport Beach Pier

Upper Newport Bay, or the Back Bay, is ringed by Back Bay Drive and a network of trails and paths that attract bicyclists, rollerbladers, joggers, and walkers.

Bird watchers and nature lovers are drawn to the Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve and Peter and Mary Muth Interpretive Center; and to Crystal Cove State Park, which features tide pools at the beach, and backcountry hiking and mountain biking trails.

Camping is available at Crystal Cove State Park, and at the Newport Dunes RV Park Resort and Marina.

Whale watching is also popular, with both scheduled and charter boats leaving from Newport Harbor.

Fishing is also extremely popular in Newport Bay, off the coast of Newport, and along the Newport Bay Jetty. In the bay there are multiple locations to purchase bait for convenience. There are about 80 fishable fish located in Newport Bay. A few of the most commonly fished species are: Gray Smoothhound Shark, Leopard Shark, Round Stingray, Shovelnose Guitarfish, Pacific Staghorn Sculpin, Silvery Mullet, Top-smelt, California Halibut, Spotted Sand Bass, Yellowfin Croaker, Bat Ray, Thornback Ray, Diamond Turbot, Shiner Surfperch, Corbina, Opaleye, Pile Surfperch, and Red Shiner. Commercial fishing is also prominent in offshore Newport Beach and Newport Bay. One such sea creature commercially fished in the reefs in this area is lobster. Lobster season opens in late September

Bicycling

Newport Beach Boardwalk photo D Ramey Logan
Newport Beach Boardwalk

The boardwalk is a natural draw for bicyclists. Beach cruiser bikes can be rented at several places on the Balboa Peninsula. Bicyclists are also drawn to Back Bay Drive and the bike paths around Upper Newport Bay; the hilly roads winding through Newport Coast and the San Joaquin Hills; and the mountain biking trails in the San Joaquin Hills and Crystal Cove State Park. Pacific Coast Highway provides access to these areas and is a major bicycle route through the region, despite being shared with heavy motor vehicle traffic.

Many neighborhoods in Newport Beach are amenable to bicycling. Locals are inclined to use bicycles for short trips, especially to get through summer beach traffic and avoid motor vehicle parking shortages.

Golf

The Pelican Hill area has two golf courses, both of which reopened in November 2007 after design enhancements were completed, as well as the construction of a new resort and clubhouse. Both courses rank among the Golf Digest America's 100 Greatest Public Golf Courses.

Culture and nightlife

Fashion Island NewportBeachCA photo D Ramey Logan
Fashion Island in Newport Center

Fashion Island at Newport Center is a regional shopping and entertainment destination. Also at Newport Center, the Orange County Museum of Art exhibits modern and contemporary art, with emphasis on the work of Californian artists.

The Newport Theater Arts Center presents high quality live theater in a 90-seat venue with low ticket prices.

The bars and restaurants within a few blocks of Newport Pier are a regional nightlife destination. Popular destinations include Sharkeez, Malarky's Irish Pub, Woody's Wharf, Rudy's Pub and Grill, and The Newport Beach Brewing Company. Newport Beach also features numerous clubs including the popular Ten Nightclub. Many college students and young adults flock to Newport Beach on the weekends for the nightlife entertainment. Also, many musical groups come and play at these clubs and venues.

Dining in Newport Beach, like many oceanfront towns, tends to focus on seafood restaurants but there are a variety of restaurants that range in price and type of food. Some of the restaurants in Newport Beach are the 21 Oceanfront, Bayside Restaurant, Sol Grill, Gulfstream and Fleming's Prime Steak House. Some local favorite food vendors include: The Crab Cooker, Bear Flag Fish Co., and True Food Kitchen. After a night at the bars, many locals know to go to the late night eateries; Laventina's for a quick and delicious pizza or Seaside Bakery for savory croissants and donuts.

Walkable villages

The village areas of Corona del Mar and Balboa Island are ideal for walking to explore the shops and restaurants. Some other areas of interest include Balboa Village area between the ferry and the pier, and the area encompassing Newport Pier, McFadden Square, Cannery Village and Lido Village.

Farmers' markets

Newport Beach has two farmers' markets: Saturday mornings in Corona Del Mar, at the corner of Marguerite and Pacific Coast Highway; and Sunday mornings in Lido Village, where Via Oporto is closed to traffic. The farmers market at Via Oporto has great ratings and provides great food through around 15 vendors. It is also tremondously beautiful scenery with redbrick roads hidden from the constant traffic congestion of Newport.

In popular culture

The city has figured into several television shows and movies:

  • The TV show The O.C. was based on the fictional lives of people living in Newport Beach.
  • MTV replaced its hit teen-reality series Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County with a new show, Newport Harbor: The Real Orange County, on August 15, 2007. Only the cast and location changed in the new series, based on the lives of high school students living in Newport Beach.
  • The TV series Arrested Development is set in Orange County and often features scenes at Newport Beach.
  • Several scenes from the Disney Channel movie The Thirteenth Year were filmed at the Balboa Pavilion in 1999.
  • The pop rock band Cute Is What We Aim For has a song titled "Newport Living."
  • The TV series The Real Housewives of Orange County featured scenes of Newport Harbor.
  • One guest on You Bet Your Life in 1954 was mayor of Newport Beach and specifically noted that Balboa was a congregating point for southern Californian young people over Easter break, with 35,000 visiting the town of 18,000.
  • The exterior of the Newport Beach Central Library appeared as the reunion venue in the 1997 film Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion.
  • The Devil Inside video by the Australian band INXS was filmed around the Balboa Fun Zone.
  • The 1917 film Cleopatra by J. Gordon Edwards was filmed in Newport Beach.
  • The clothing brand Hollister Co. has featured many brands including clothing that says Newport Beach.
  • The movie All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) was filmed at Fashion Island in Newport Beach before its construction.
  • The movie The Boatniks (1970) was filmed in Newport Harbor.

Sister cities


Newport Beach, California Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.