Newport Beach, California
Newport Beach is a coastal city in Orange County, California, United States. Newport Beach is known for good surfing and sandy beaches. Newport Harbor once supported maritime industries but today it is used mostly for recreation. Balboa Island draws visitors with a waterfront path easy access from the ferry to the shops and restaurants. Its population was 85,287 at the 2010 census.
Newport Beach, California
Aerial view of Newport Beach in July 2014
|Coordinates: 33°37′0″N 117°53′51″W|
|Incorporated||September 1, 1906|
|• Body||City of Newport Beach City Council|
|• Mayor||Diane Dixon|
|• Total||52.95 sq mi (137.14 km2)|
|• Land||23.78 sq mi (61.59 km2)|
|• Water||29.17 sq mi (75.55 km2) 55.07%|
|Elevation||10 ft (3 m)|
|• Density||3,645.42/sq mi (1,407.49/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−8 (Pacific)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−7 (PDT)|
|GNIS feature IDs||1661104, 2411250|
|Symbols of Newport Beach|
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 inhabitation in the area grew substantially following the events of 1870 when 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. James McFadden built a long McFadden Wharf in 1888.
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 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 (33.616671, −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.
Newport Harbor and Newport Bay
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.
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 be 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 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.
The highest temperature ever recorded at Newport Beach between 1977 and 1996 was 32.7° C (91° F) on August 12, 1991 and the lowest was -1.7° C (29° F) on January 15, 1996.
|Climate data for Newport Beach Harbor, California (1981-2010), Extremes (1977-96)|
|Record high °F (°C)||77.9
|Average high °F (°C)||63.3
|Average low °F (°C)||49.8
|Record low °F (°C)||29
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||2.07
|Source #1: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration|
|Source #2: En.tutiempo|
|U.S. Decennial Census|
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.
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.
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.
The City of Newport Beach was incorporated on September 1, 1906 and adopted its charter on January 7, 1955. The city implements a council-manager form of government, directed by a seven-member council who reside in specific geographic districts, but are elected at-large. Council elections take place in even-numbered years, and councilmembers serve four-year terms. The mayor is chosen annually by the city council.
State and federal representation
As of February 2019, the California Secretary of State reported that Newport Beach had 56,807 registered voters; of those, 12,521 (22.0%) are registered Democrats, 27,274 (48.9%) are registered Republicans, and 14,590 (25.7%) have stated no political party preference. According to a March 2018 report by the Sacramento Bee, Newport Beach has the second highest percentage of conservative voters among large cities in California.
In the California State Legislature, Newport Beach is in the 37th Senate District, represented by Republican John Moorlach, and in the 74th Assembly District, represented by Democrat Cottie Petrie-Norris.
Since at least 1962, Newport Beach has been a Republican stronghold in federal, state, and local elections, having not voted for a Democratic presidential or gubernatorial candidate in the past 57 years.
In the seven presidential elections from 1964-1988, the Republican candidate exceeded 70% of the vote in Newport Beach in all seven elections. In 2016, even as Donald Trump became the first GOP presidential candidate to lose Orange County since Alf Landon in 1936, Trump won Newport Beach by a margin of 14 points.
Newport Beach has also supported Republicans for Governor. In 2018, even as he became the first Republican gubernatorial nominee in 40 years to lose Orange County, John Cox carried Newport Beach by a margin of nearly 20 points. In 2006, 1966, and 1962, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ronald Reagan, and Richard Nixon each carried the city with over 80% of the vote. Nixon of whom did so despite losing his gubernatorial bid.
|2016||40.15% 18,073||54.34% 24,460||5.51% 2,478|
|2012||32.31% 15,152||65.76% 30,842||1.94% 908|
|2008||40.55% 19,479||57.81% 27,767||1.64% 788|
|2004||33.72% 15,632||65.24% 30,240||1.04% 483|
|2000||30.86% 11,647||65.89% 24,865||3.25% 1,228|
|1996||28.71% 10,076||62.47% 21,921||8.81% 3,093|
|1992||26.34% 10,874||49.09% 20,262||24.57% 10,140|
|1988||24.02% 9,080||74.97% 28,344||1.01% 381|
|1984||19.72% 6,605||79.11% 26,492||1.16% 389|
|1980||15.98% 5,151||74.10% 23,882||9.91% 3,195|
|1976||23.51% 6,870||74.98% 21,910||1.51% 441|
|1972||24.14% 7,297||72.47% 21,908||3.39% 1,026|
|1968||19.96% 4,249||77.09% 16,410||2.95% 627|
|1964||26.57% 4,623||73.43% 12,775|
|2018||40.21% 17,073||59.79% 25,389|
|2014||33.07% 9,162||66.93% 18,544|
|2010||27.26% 10,546||69.75% 26,983||3.00% 1,159|
|2006||16.55% 5,300||80.28% 25,705||3.16% 1,013|
|2002||24.38% 6,663||69.41% 18,974||6.21% 1,698|
|1998||34.97% 9,928||62.85% 17,842||2.18% 619|
|1994||25.84% 8,802||71.71% 24,424||2.44% 832|
|1990||25.11% 7,531||72.11% 21,629||2.78% 835|
|1986||19.26% 5,709||79.84% 23,666||0.89% 265|
|1982||30.48% 8,728||68.21% 19,530||1.31% 374|
|1978||37.34% 10,234||55.83% 15,302||6.83% 1,873|
|1974||25.91% 6,259||72.48% 17,509||1.61% 390|
|1970||21.95% 4,649||76.79% 16,628||1.26% 267|
|1966||17.22% 3,107||82.78% 14,941|
|1962||18.82% 2,662||80.04% 11,319||1.13% 160|
Newport Beach is home to one Fortune 500 company, insurer Pacific Life. Other companies based in Newport Beach include Acacia Research, Galardi Group (Wienerschnitzel, The Original Hamburger Stand, and Tastee-Freez), the Irvine Company, Jazz Semiconductor, PIMCO, and Urban Decay. Fletcher Jones Motor Cars in Newport Beach is the largest Mercedes-Benz dealership in the world. At one time Edwards Theatres had its headquarters in Newport Beach. Before its dissolution Air California was headquartered in Newport Beach. The city's largest law firm is Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth, with approximately 75 attorneys at its Fashion Island location. Toyota has a design center, Calty Design Research, in Newport Beach which is responsible for the exterior design of the 2nd, 5th, and 7th generation Celica, as well as some Lexus and Scion models.
|#||Employer||# of employees|
|1||Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian||3,987|
|5||Newport-Mesa Unified School District||791|
|6||City of Newport Beach||762|
|7||Resort at Pelican Hill||750|
|9||The Island Hotel||480|
|10||Balboa Bay Club||463|
|11||Fletcher Jones Motor Cars||458|
|12||Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Tennis Club||319|
Points of interest
- Newport Center and Fashion Island
- Orange County Museum of Art
- Hoag Hospital
- Newport Back Bay or Upper Newport Bay
- Newport Pier
- Balboa Pier
- Balboa Pavilion
- Balboa Fun Zone
- Balboa Inn
- Balboa Island Ferry
- Balboa Island
- Newport Sports Museum
- Pacific Coast Highway
- Orange County Council BSA Sea Base
- Dory Fish Market
- The Crab Cooker
- Corona del Mar State Beach
- Crystal Cove State Park
- The Wedge (surfing)
- Lovell Beach House
- Wooden Boat Festival
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 known 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 draw fishermen and sightseers. A boardwalk 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 for both pedestrians and bikers.
Harbor and boating
The annual Christmas Boat Parade started in 1908. The New York Times has called it, "One of the top ten holiday happenings in the nation".
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 including the Beer Can Races.
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
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. The Balboa Fun Zone is also home to the Newport Harbor Nautical Museum.
Balboa Island village 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.
Outdoors and nature
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. Whales and dolphin can often be seen from the pier and shoreline during migration season.
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 dockside or spear fishing convenience. There are about 80 fishable species 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. Lobsters are fished in the reefs.
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.
Culture and nightlife
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.
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, Mastro's, 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.
In popular culture
The city has figured into several television shows and movies:
- *The Music Video for Childish Gambino’s "3005" was filmed on the Ferris Wheel at the Balboa Fun Zone.
- 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.
- The TV series Speechless is set in Newport Beach, Orange County
- Newport Elementary School
- Corona del Mar High School
- Newport Harbor High School
- Sage Hill School
- Pacifica Christian High School
- Carden Hall
- Eastbluff Elementary School
- Ensign Intermediate School
- Harbor Day School
- Harbor View Elementary School
- Lincoln Elementary School
- Mariners Elementary School
- Newport Heights Elementary School
- Newport Coast Elementary School
- Our Lady Queen of Angels School
- Roy O. Andersen Elementary School
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- "Cleopatra (1917)". IMDb.com. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
- "All Quiet on the Western Front Filming Locations". IMDB.
- "Newport Beach Sister City". Newport Beach Sister City. Retrieved January 22, 2011.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Newport Beach, California.|
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Newport Beach.|
- Guide to the Collection on the Development of Newport Beach, California. Special Collections and Archives, The UC Irvine Libraries, Irvine, California.
- Guide to the Lars Labagnino Collection on Newport Beach Real Estate. Special Collections and Archives, The UC Irvine Libraries, Irvine, California.
- Guide to the Hugh R. McMillan Photographs. Special Collections and Archives, The UC Irvine Libraries, Irvine, California.