Traveling north from Laguna Beach you will see the shorelines of Crystal Cove State Park and Balboa before you reach Newport Beach. While I believe all shorelines with their cliffs and coves are beautiful (and these are no exception) some just are not worth the hassle of getting to them.
Newport Beach, sadly, is one of those. Once the beautiful harbor of a quaint little seaside community its population has grown 3 times since the late 1960s and the beautiful harbor with seven islands, in my eye, are not so beautiful any more. I know change is crucial to thriving communities, but it does sadden me that so much of the Southern California coastline is diminished by hotels, resorts, and very expensive homes. Some communities have dealt with this better than others preserving much of the oceanfront for the public. Kudos to San Diego County for their planning!
Newport Beach is best known as a playground for the rich and famous. There are several man-made residential islands and as you stand on the shoreline of Newport Beach and look toward the ocean the view is pretty much homes and yachts. If you look back towards land your view would be multimillion dollar cliff-side homes. Newport Island, Balboa Island, Little Balboa Island, Collins Island, Bay Island, Harbor Island, Linda Isle and Lido Isle along with Lido Peninsula are covered with private homes.
While I prefer self-exploration when traveling I do believe that the best way to actually see Newport Harbor is by air, boat or guided tours. If you’re looking for that perfect sunset check out Lookout Point Park and Inspiration Point.
If you’re thinking Lido Isle would be a great place to live or to have a seasonal home you will find that the price of a house is quite affordable at an average $364,000 for a 1400 square foot home, but then there’s the fine print. You do not own the land and the average cost to lease the land your reasonably priced home sits on is $2,695 per month.
Don’t let my bias stop you from visiting Newport Beach. It does have a lot to offer.
Traveling north you encounter 9.5 miles of sandy beach that bears the name of the city where it is located: Huntington Beach. Huntington Beach is also known as Surf City USA. Clearly one of my favorite beaches and apparently a favorite of pelicans and seals as well.
For more information and more pictures of Huntington Beach click on this link.