Newport Beach Weekend Getaway Guide: Where to go, Stay, and Eat in Newport Beach, California

Written by Aimee Engebretson for

Hi, I’m Aimee.

I’m a travel blogger from One Chance Travel and I was born and raised in Orange County, California, USA. I fell in love with exploring the world at age 15 when I traded in my future-car-fund for a trip to Europe. The city of Paris ended up being the first of many trips, and I continue to travel at every opportunity today between my career projects as a marketing manager.

I grew up making weekly trips to the beach thanks to California’s year-round warm weather. One of my favorites has always been a Newport Beach weekend getaway in Orange County. Newport Beach is a picturesque coastal city in the middle of Orange County that is known for its large harbor and expansive peninsula. Newport has received numerous awards; such as being named one of the cities with the best beaches in the USA by Enjoy Travelling and one of seven Most Charming Coastal Towns in the USA by TripAdvisor, both in 2019. Newport Beach offers great nightlife, scenic beaches, luxury hotels, an an average temperature of 67 degrees year-round.

Top Things to do on Your Newport Beach Weekend Getaway

Balboa Island

Newport Beach Weekend Getawau

An iconic part of Newport Beach, Balboa is a small island that looks like it’s straight out of a 1940’s movie about American culture. You take the ferry over (your car can come too, but you shouldn’t need it) to the peninsula. You can shop for souvenirs along Marine Avenue and don’t forget to pick up some saltwater taffy!

The Balboa Fun Zone is on the island, featuring a small entertainment area on the island with a quaint Ferris wheel, thrill rides, arcade games, and all the frozen bananas you can eat. It’s hard not to be giddy here watching kids run and play around the arcade, couples kissing on the wheel, and old-timers strolling along taking in the sights.

While Balboa Island isn’t particularly known for its food, they have delicious fresh-caught seafood year-round. You can’t beat island seafood! Whatever you decide to do, Balboa makes a great day trip in Newport Beach.

Newport Beach Pier

newport beach pier.jpg
Suggested duration: 2 hours

One of the main beaches in Newport, the Pier area is perfect for surfers and people-watchers alike. Enjoy a day at the beach and head over to the pier to watch the fisherman throw their lines into the sea below. Kids will love looking in their buckets and seeing the mackerel they catch. Find a bench and listen to the waves crash – just watch out for the snack-seeking pelicans above!

The Wedge Beach

the wedge.jpg
Suggested duration: 3 hours

The Wedge is a classic surfing spot where you can truly see how deep the California roots run in Newport Beach. Watch waves, look for seashells, spot boats sailing by, and witness the brave/crazy surfers battle the swells of Newport Beach! Bonus – this beach has soft, golden sand and free street parking!

Newport Beach Harbor

newport harbor.jpg
Suggested duration: 2 hours

This harbor has tons of boat tours available year-round, especially around Christmas time. There’s also Sunday Brunch cruises, whale-watching tours, and sunset wine trips. Or you can do as the locals do and rent a Duffy electric boat to see the harbor while you float along.

Fashion Island

Suggestion Duration: 3 hours
Fashion Island is the epicenter of all shopping in Newport Beach! Enjoy the sunny weather with outdoor world-class shopping with stores from Neiman Marcus to Louis Vuitton. Enjoy a quick lunch at Cucina Enoteca then hit over 180 stores around the center. If you’re visiting around the winter holidays, this is the perfect spot to grab all your gifts as well as pose in front of the giant 90-foot Christmas tree with your lover. Don’t forget to stop at Whole Foods, which is 32,000 square feet and has a bar AND restaurant! Whatever your style, Fashion Island is sure to have your favorite store.

Sherman Library & Gardens

sherman library and gardens.jpg
Suggested duration: 3 hours

With an library of historical books and museum of living plants, visitors will enjoy a day at the Sherman Library and Gardens. Walk along the paths past bubbling tile fountains and enjoy colorful annuals, cacti, and succulents in the botanical gardens. Enjoy afternoon tea at the Cafe Jardin’s garden next to the research library. Check out the map to see all the garden collections available.

Now that you’ve found your favorite day trips, where should you eat when visiting Newport Beach?

Best Places to Eat in Newport Beach

where to eat in newport

The best cuisine to eat in any beach town is seafood, and Newport is no exception! You’ll find dozens of delicious and luxurious restaurant options with great views of the Bay. On the other end of the spectrum are the beach bars where you can get delicious cocktails with a view!

Mutt Lynch’s

Cost: $

Cuisine: American, Vegetarian, Bar

For great views and cold beer, Mutt Lynch’s is just what the doctor ordered. Locals love Mutt’s because they have a huge menu, friendly service, and decent prices. Try the eggs benedict and a Bloody Mary as you enjoy the ocean views and light breezes drifting through the window.


Cost: $

Cuisine: American

Located on Balboa Island, Crocker’s is an excellent choice for quick grab-and-go beach food. A local favorite is their Chicago-style hot dogs on steamed poppy seed buns. Crocker’s also has tasty sandwiches and avocado toast for you or the Millennial in your life.

The Beachcomber

Cost: $$-$$$

Cuisine: American

For excellent views of the Newport Beach tidepools and beach, the Beachcomber is the spot! They are known for their savory brunch options but also make a mean Kobe burger. Also try the beignets, crab claws, Mahi Mahi tacos, and chilaquiles.


Cost: $$-$$$

Cuisine: Mexican, Latin, Spanish

One of the best restaurants in Newport, Javier’s offers a modern twist on Mexican food with dishes like Crab Enchiladas. Enjoy their vibrant bar and pick from specialty margaritas, rare tequilas, fruity cocktails, and fine wines. Enjoy the sun setting over the ocean as you dine at Javier’s.

Pelican Grill

Cost: $$$$

Cuisine: American, Vegetarian

Perched on a hillside, Pelican Grill is located at the Pelican Hill Golf Club. You will find high-end cuisine here prepared with fresh and locally-sourced food. Guests will love dining al fresco on the ocean-view terrace or inside to the lounge on chillier nights.

Mastro’s Ocean Club

Cost: $$$$

Cuisine: Seafood, American

An incredibly romantic spot, you will need a reservation to get into Mastro’s. Try the shrimp cocktail, lobster mashed potatoes, lemon sole, or New York Strip steak while you enjoy live music. With tons of food options and knowledgeable servers, Mastro’s never fails to impress!

Where to Stay in Newport Beach

newport coast.jpg

There’s no shortage of high-end hotels in Newport Beach! You’ll be tired at the end of your beach day, so be sure to check out these luxury lodging options to make your vacation even better.

The Resort at Pelican Hill

Average Nightly Cost: $400

TripAdvisor Customer Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Offering 504 acres by the ocean and 128 large villas, you’ll enjoy sweeping views of the Pacific and the finest of everything including a five-star spa, “Coliseum” pool, a 36-hole golf course, and a Northern Italian restaurant.

Balboa Bay Resort

Average Nightly Cost: $300

TripAdvisor Customer Rating: 4.5/5 stars

The only Forbes Four-Star, AAA Four-Diamond resort in Newport Beach, you will not be disappointed by the well-appointed rooms at Balboa Bay. This is a smaller resort with 159 guestrooms and suites but it packs all the punch of its larger neighbors. Don’t miss the two waterfront restaurants, pool cabanas, and Drybar salon during your stay.

Lido House, Autograph Collection

Average Nightly Cost: $300

TripAdvisor Customer Rating: 4/5 stars

You’ll wonder if you’re on the East Coast at this Marriot property, built in Cape-Cod style architecture with naturally inspired details. This hotel’s five private cottages will make you feel like you’re home again. The location on Lido Island is great, it’s quite easy to find food nearby – there are almost 50 restaurants within half a mile.s

Newport Beach Marriot Bayview

Average Nightly Cost: $200

TripAdvisor Customer Rating: 4/5 stars

The Bayview rooms are all large suites overlooking the Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve, making it the perfect place to relax and rejuvenate. Enjoy great shopping at nearby Fashion Island during the day and head back to your room for a quiet night in.

Newport Beach is 50 square miles of stunning beaches, luxury hotels and spas, and seaside fun! Whether you decide to go shopping, see a botanical garden, or just relax by the shore; you’ll love visiting this quaint beachside city.

For more from Aimee, check out her YouTube channel for tips and tricks on traveling in California and Asia.
Want to be a guest author for Send an inquiry here.
Click on the images below to Pin ❤️

Click here to read all about the top things to do in Newport Beach, California. In this Newport Beach travel guide you will also find where to stay in Newport Beach, and where to eat at the best restaurants in Newport Beach, Orange County, California, USA. | #monacorona #monacoronadotcom #newportbeach #travel #newportbeachtravel #orangecounty #tips #thingstodo #restaurants #hotels Click here to read all about the top things to do in Newport Beach, California. In this Newport Beach travel guide you will also find where to stay in Newport Beach, and where to eat at the best restaurants in Newport Beach, Orange County, California, USA. | #monacorona #monacoronadotcom #newportbeach #travel #newportbeachtravel #orangecounty #tips #thingstodo #restaurants #hotels

For more adventures, follow @monacorona on Instagram.

Leave a Reply