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23 Free Things to Do in Newport Beach

Exploring the city of Newport Beach is an amazing adventure that can be enjoyed for free! From strolling along the boardwalk to snapping photos at scenic vistas, plenty of activities won’t cost you a dime. Whether looking for a day trip or planning an extended staycation, Newport Beach has lots of free things to do and see. Check out Seaside Gallery and Goods for some stunning works of art, take a stroll on Balboa Island, shop until your heart’s content at Fashion Island, get your adrenaline pumping with some big waves at The Wedge, soak in some sun at Corona Del Mar State Beach and Inspiration Point, or take a romantic walk down Balboa Pier. Little Corona Beach, Newport Beach Pier and Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve are great options if you’re looking to spend even more time outdoors. Balboa Village is also a must-see with its cute shops and restaurants – and don’t forget about the beautiful Newport Beach California Temple too! For nature lovers, there’s Upper Newport Bay Regional Park (home to St. John Vianney Chapel), Pirate House, Castaways Park, Marina Park and Environmental Nature Center. And if you want spectacular views, then West Jetty View Park, Pacific View Memorial Park and Mortuary, Civic Center Park (where The Ben Carlson Memorial Statue can be found) or Peter & Mary Muth Interpretive Center are excellent choices.

Last but not least, Roger’s Gardens and The Board Club are great places to relax and enjoy life! So what are you waiting for? Get out today and explore all Newport Beach offers – without spending a dime!

Seaside Gallery and Goods

Seaside Gallery and Goods is a unique shopping experience located in the heart of Newport Beach. This store offers a wide selection of handmade items, souvenirs and jewelry crafted by local artisans. Explore the vibrant array of handcrafted items, including custom-made clothing, accessories, home decor, artwork, and much more. You can find one-of-a-kind pieces to cherish or the perfect gift for that special someone. With its eclectic mix of products, Seaside Gallery and Goods are sure to have something special for everyone. Additionally, you can enjoy complimentary refreshments while you browse their diverse selection. Stop in today and discover why Seaside Gallery and Goods is a favorite destination among locals and tourists!

Newport Beach

Newport Beach is a paradise for beach lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike. With miles of beautiful beaches, stunning sunsets, and plenty of activities, this city has something for everyone. Whether you’re looking to relax on the sand or get your adrenaline pumping with thrilling watersports, Newport Beach is the perfect destination for a fun-filled day.

One of the top attractions in Newport Beach is Seaside Gallery and Goods. This local shop offers handmade jewelry, apparel, home decor pieces, art prints, and more from local artists. With its vibrant colors and unique items crafted by passionate makers, Seaside Gallery and Goods are sure to add a special touch to any visit to Newport Beach.

For a bit of history and culture, head to Balboa Island – one of three main islands located off the coast of Newport Beach. Visitors can stroll along Marine Avenue while admiring charming craft boutiques and restaurants near the waterfront. Make sure you also stop at the iconic Balboa Pavilion – the old-fashioned amusement park that once served as a popular spot for weddings and other special events.

For those seeking luxury shopping experiences, Fashion Island is well worth visiting! With over 150 stores ranging from designer boutiques to high-end department stores like Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdale’s, there’s something here for everyone. And when you’re done shopping, make sure you relax at one of their many outdoor cafes or take in stunning views of Newport Harbor from one of their patios overlooking the water.

For adventure seekers, there’s The Wedge – an iconic surf spot made famous by its large waves created from two converging waves. It’s not uncommon to spot world-renowned professional surfers riding these massive swells in pursuit of their ultimate thrill!

If it’s the serene beauty that you’re after, then Corona Del Mar State Beach should be at the top of your list! Known for its picturesque cliffs rising from crystal clear waters teeming with marine life, this beach has been featured in numerous films over the years, making it an absolute must-see destination in Newport Beach.

Inspiration Point is another must-visit spot in Newport Beach, offering stunning views across Catalina Island and panoramic vistas over Newport Bay towards Huntington Beach – perfect for taking memorable photos! Hike along trails where you can observe rare flora species before heading down to Balboa Pier, where you can watch a fisherman casting their lines into the azure waters below, or simply people watch while enjoying some great food at one of its many restaurants nearby.

Little Corona Beach is another great option if you want to escape the crowds but still experience pristine coastal scenery and abundant wildlife living amongst lush vegetation areas just waiting to be explored! Here visitors can enjoy swimming or snorkeling around rocky coves as well as sunbathing on white sandy beaches all within easy reach from downtown Newport Beach making it a great option for travelers looking for natural beauty without having to venture too far away from town.

No trip would be complete without visiting the iconic Newport Beach Pier extending 1,032 feet (314 meters) out into the Pacific Ocean, providing breathtaking views both day and night, making it one of Southern California’s most visited tourist attractions – don’t miss out on this one! And last but certainly not least, make sure you explore Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve, where hiking trails meander through wetlands habitats brimming with local wildlife such as egrets, herons, jackrabbits, raccoons, opossums, deer, hawks, owls, coyotes, skunks lizards frogs salamanders snakes butterflies damselflies dragonflies spiders moths beetles millipedes centipedes bees ants wasps crickets grasshoppers aphids slugs sea stars horseshoe crabs tiny fish crabs clams mussels shrimp oysters scallops octopuses jellyfish sea anemones sponges tunicates eelgrass kelp seaweeds algae barnacles etc. truly a nature lover’s delight!

Balboa Island

Balboa Island is a unique and charming seaside community in Newport Beach, California. From its traditional boardwalk lined with shops and restaurants to its picturesque beachfront homes, Balboa Island offers something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing day by the sea or an exciting night out on the town, plenty of free activities keep you entertained.

Take a stroll down the iconic Marine Avenue, home to independent boutiques and specialty stores offering one-of-a-kind items. Stop by a café for a cup of coffee and relax on one of the many outdoor patios while taking in views of the harbor. Enjoy people-watching at one of the popular restaurants while listening to live music or watching street performers. There’s also a variety of art galleries showcasing local artwork that make great photo ops!

During summer, Balboa Island hosts several special events, such as Summer Concerts in the Park, where you can enjoy live music for free or ride along the boardwalk on a free Balboa Island trolley. Make sure to stick around into nighttime when the lights come alive with bright colors and festive decorations!

No matter what your interests are, Balboa Island has something for everyone. With its stunning scenery and plethora of activities, it’s easy to see why so many flocks to this beautiful destination year after year!

Fashion Island

Fashion Island is a paradise for shopaholics! It’s an upscale shopping center located in the heart of Newport Beach, with more than 160 stores, restaurants from popular brands, and local boutiques. Fashion Island has something for everyone, whether you’re looking for the latest fashion trends or unique gifts. Take a stroll around the island and discover everything from luxury designer stores to high-end department stores like Bloomingdales and Nordstrom. You’ll find plenty of popular eateries, such as The Cheesecake Factory and True Food Kitchen, at this outdoor shopping mall and a selection of specialty shops like Urban Outfitters and Sephora. Plus, there are plenty of free activities to keep you busy while you browse. Enjoy free live music performances on select summer days, or participate in family-friendly events like art shows, movie nights, and holiday celebrations. You can even take a ride on the iconic carousel in front of Bloomingdale’s! From its beautiful open-air design to its luxurious shopping experiences, you will want to experience this ultimate shopping destination when visiting Newport Beach.

The Wedge

The Wedge is one of the most iconic spots in Newport Beach! Located at the south end of Balboa Peninsula, this spot is famous for its huge waves that draw in surfers from all over the world. From experienced professionals to beginners, The Wedge provides an adrenaline-filled experience that can’t be beaten. During the summer months, you can even watch beach volleyball games from the comfort of your beach chair! And with a beautiful backdrop of the Newport Beach skyline, it’s worth a visit. Whether you’re looking for some good old-fashioned fun or want to catch a wave, The Wedge is sure to provide a day full of memories!

Corona Del Mar State Beach

Corona Del Mar State Beach is one of the most popular attractions in Newport Beach. This beach is perfect for a day out with family or friends, featuring stunning ocean views, a beautiful stretch of sand and plenty to do. Corona Del Mar State Beach offers something for everyone, from swimming and sunbathing to snorkeling and surfing. For those who prefer to stay on land, there are plenty of picnic areas and outdoor patios to relax on while taking in the views. It’s also a great place to watch the sunset or catch some rays during the day. If you’re looking for a more active experience, you can rent kayaks, paddleboards and other water sports equipment from nearby rental shops. There’s even a concession stand where you can grab a bite or a refreshing drink after spending time in the surf. Whatever your preference, Corona Del Mar State Beach is sure to provide an unforgettable beach experience!

Inspiration Point

Inspiration Point, located at the highest point of the Newport Beach peninsula, is great for taking in some stunning views. This coastal trail overlooks the San Joaquin hills and offers spectacular panoramic views of the entire area. On a clear day, you can glimpse Catalina Island, Palos Verdes Peninsula, San Clemente Island and even downtown Los Angeles!

The 1.5-mile trail around Inspiration Point is open year-round and offers a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. It is perfect for those looking to relax, meditate, or enjoy nature’s beauty. Plus, there are multiple lookouts to take in even more breathtaking scenery. Birdwatchers will also love this spot — many species have been spotted here like crows, hawks and doves.

You can also check out the nearby Marine Mammal Care Center (MMCC), which specializes in rescuing injured marine animals such as dolphins, whales and sea lions. The MMCC allows visitors to learn more about these majestic creatures. However, when visiting Inspiration Point, please remember to respect wildlife by keeping your distance from any animals you may encounter on your hike or during your visit to MMCC.

In addition to its beautiful views and nature-filled paths, Inspiration Point also has picnic areas where you can sit back and relax after a full day of exploring this special place. So if you’re looking for an amazing spot for picturesque sunsets or hikes that won’t break the bank – Inspiration Point is worth checking out!

Balboa Pier

Balboa Pier is one of the most popular destinations in Newport Beach. Located in Balboa Peninsula, the pier stretches 928 feet into the Pacific Ocean and offers stunning views of the California coast and Catalina Island. The pier has been a popular spot for fishing, photography, sightseeing, and even wedding ceremonies.

At night, you can experience a magical display of lights that line up along the length of the pier. You will also find plenty of restaurants and shops on both sides of it that serve delicious seafood dishes and drinks to enjoy at sunset. There are also several benches along the pier for those who want to relax and enjoy the breathtaking views.

For those looking for some adventure during their visit to Balboa Pier, there are plenty of activities available like kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, surfing, beach volleyball and more. If you’re brave enough to take a dip in the ocean, check out The Wedge – an infamous bodyboarding break located just south of the pier!

No matter what your interests may be, Balboa Pier is sure to offer something for everyone!

Little Corona Beach

Little Corona Beach is one of the best places to visit in Newport Beach for a fun and free day out. It’s located between Crystal Cove State Park and the Newport Coastline and offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. The beach is well-known for its crystal-clear waters, making it ideal for swimming, snorkeling, and surfing. You can also explore the tide pools in search of interesting sea creatures like starfish and crabs.

The beach has plenty of amenities, including picnic tables, grills, and restrooms, making it a great place to have a family barbecue or gathering. There’s a playground where kids can blast playing on the swings and slides. For those who want to take in some breathtaking views, Little Corona Beach also has several lookout points on its bluff that offer panoramic views of the ocean.

You can grab your flashlight and head down to the beach to spot some bioluminescent plankton at night! This phenomenon occurs when tiny organisms emit light due to pressure changes in their environment and makes for an unforgettable experience. To help protect this natural wonder, no flashlights are allowed from 10 pm onward, so be sure to plan accordingly!

Newport Beach Pier

The Newport Beach Pier, located in the city’s heart, is great to explore and take in some stunning views. With over 1,000 feet of a pier extending out into the Pacific Ocean, it’s no wonder that this spot is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.

You’ll find plenty of activities to keep you busy along the pier. There are several restaurants, cafés and shops where you can grab a bite to eat or do some shopping. You can also try your hand at fishing off the pier, or simply sit back and watch the waves roll in from one of the many benches that line the walkway.

At night, you can take a romantic stroll under the stars and admire the twinkling lights of downtown Newport Beach. As if that wasn’t enough, live music performances and street performers often come to entertain visitors.

You’re sure to find something interesting at Newport Beach Pier on any given day. So why not make it part of your next visit to Newport Beach?

Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve

Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve is a great place to explore the outdoors and take in the beauty of nature. Located near the mouth of the Santa Ana River, this area is a treasure trove for birders, photographers, and hikers. The trails are wide and open, so you can easily navigate the preserve. While there, make sure to look out for local plant and animal life such as coyotes, deer, foxes, rabbits, quail, hawks, egrets, herons, pelicans, and a variety of other native species. The preserve also offers some stunning views of the city skyline from its numerous bluffs and hillsides. Whether you’re looking for some peaceful moments or an exhilarating adventure in nature’s backyard – Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve has something special to offer everyone!

Balboa Village

Balboa Village is a great destination for tourists to explore in Newport Beach. This charming village is located on the Balboa Peninsula and offers various attractions, activities and shops. Take a stroll along Balboa Pier and enjoy the stunning views of Newport Harbor and the Pacific Ocean. Visit the historic Pirate House, built in 1936, once home to a famous pirate. Shop at one of the many local stores like Seaside Gallery and Goods, or enjoy delicious food at one of the local restaurants and cafes. If you’re looking for something more active, take a kayaking tour around Balboa Island or relax on one of the many beaches in the area. Plenty of fun activities are available, like stand-up paddleboarding, surfing lessons and much more! No matter your interests, there’s something here for everyone to enjoy in Balboa Village!

Newport Beach California Temple

The Newport Beach California Temple is a beautiful, awe-inspiring structure located in the city of Newport Beach and is a great place to visit for free. The temple was built in the early 1950s by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and has since become a popular tourist attraction.

The temple features an impressive array of ornate stained-glass windows, intricate woodwork, and a stunning three-story spire that towers above the building. Visitors can participate in weekly services or take in the holy atmosphere that fills the space. There are also several small chapels available for private meditation or prayer sessions.

On Saturdays, guests are welcome to attend special open house events at the temple, where they can explore its unique architecture and learn more about its history. During these times, visitors can even get an up-close look at some remarkable artwork adorns the walls and ceilings.

Before leaving, be sure to take time to admire the breathtaking views that extend out across Newport Beach from nearby Inspiration Point Park. From there, you can see everything from Balboa Pier to Fashion Island in the distance – making this temple one of the best free things to do in Newport Beach!

Upper Newport Bay Regional Park

Upper Newport Bay Regional Park is an outdoor paradise for nature lovers. Its miles of hiking trails, kayaking and fishing opportunities make it the perfect place to spend a day outside. The Park also has several interpretive areas that provide educational information about local wildlife and plants. The bay’s protected area is home to many species of birds, reptiles and fish. Upper Newport Bay is your ideal destination if you’re looking for a peaceful spot to relax and appreciate the beauty of nature. Kayakers can explore the extensive marshlands while anglers can drop their line into the bay and catch a variety of species. Hikers will be delighted by the variety of trails available at the Park ranging from easy to moderate difficulty levels. And if you’re looking for an even more immersive experience, take part in one of the guided birding or wildflower hikes that are offered on Saturdays from April through October. No matter your activity preference, you will have a wonderful time at Upper Newport Bay Regional Park!

St.John Vianney Chapel

St. John Vianney Chapel is a must-visit destination for travelers and locals in Newport Beach. Located on the grounds of St. John Vianney Parish, this stunning chapel is a beacon of beauty and peace in the bustling beach town. The chapel was built in 1992 and featured intricate stained glass windows, classic architecture, and a peaceful atmosphere that radiates tranquility. Visitors can participate in daily Mass or participate in one of the many events hosted by the parish. With its breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean, St. John Vianney Chapel is sure to provide an unforgettable experience for anyone who visits. Make sure to stop by for an opportunity to reflect, pray, and find solace during your stay in Newport Beach.

Pirate House

Ahoy matey! Come join in on the pirate fun at the Pirate House in Newport Beach. This historic building was once a nautical-themed restaurant and bar serving delicious seafood and drinks but has since been repurposed as an exclusive event and office space. You can still marvel at its unique architecture, which features a large ship-shaped building with cannons pointing to the sea. There is plenty to admire, including a full-sized ship’s wheel, antique artifacts from the 18th-century pirate era, and other maritime memorabilia. Visitors are welcome to explore the historical landmark and take pictures of its one-of-a-kind design. So come set sail with us at the Pirate House – you may find some hidden treasure!

Castaways Park

Castaways Park is a popular destination in Newport Beach, offering beautiful city views and plenty of free activities. Located right on the beach, visitors can take advantage of the sand and water to relax or take part in water sports like kayaking, paddle boarding, and surfing. There’s also a grassy area for picnics and lounging around with friends.

The Park also has an on-site playground and a skate park for those looking to get active. There are benches throughout the Park for people to relax and soak up the sun, as well as public restrooms. Plus, there are plenty of restaurants nearby where you can grab a quick bite to eat.

This is an ideal spot for families with young children since it’s relatively quiet and safe. With its stunning ocean views, Castaways Park is one of the best places in Newport Beach to spend quality time with your loved ones.

Marina Park

Marina Park is a peaceful and beautiful spot for visitors looking to escape the hustle and bustle of Newport Beach. Located at 1600 W Balboa Blvd., this stunning Park features a variety of amenities that are perfect for families or groups of friends. It offers a large grassy area, playgrounds, picnic tables, volleyball courts, and plenty of space to run around and explore. The breathtaking views from the Park make it an ideal spot for watching the sunset or sunrise over the Pacific Ocean. Additionally, Marina Park hosts several annual events, such as the Fourth of July fireworks show and the Boat Parade. Whether you’re looking for a place to relax with friends or want to take in some amazing views, Marina Park is sure to hit the spot!

Environmental Nature Center

The Environmental Nature Center (ENC) in Newport Beach, California, is an incredible place to explore and learn about the natural world. From birds and plants to insects, this nonprofit organization has been preserving and educating people about the beauty of nature since 1972. The center offers several outdoor activities, such as hiking trails, bird-watching, nature photography, and more. Additionally, educational programs for all ages explore topics such as endangered species conservation, geology, ecology and environmental science.

You can also participate in volunteer opportunities at the ENC to help protect the environment and learn about sustainable practices. Visitors can participate in beach cleanups or join one of the many workshops hosted by the center. For example, each year, volunteers participate in “Project Hummingbird,” which helps monitor hummingbird populations around Orange County.

One of the highlights at ENC is their butterfly garden where you can observe some of California’s most exquisite pollinators in action! With lush native vegetation that provides essential food sources for butterflies year round—the garden is a great place to relax or find inspiration for your butterfly garden at home.

Whether you’re looking for a getaway from city life or want to learn more about our local wildlife—the Environmental Nature Center has something for everyone!

West Jetty View Park

West Jetty View Park provides an incredible view of the beaches of Newport Beach. The Park is situated on the east end of Balboa Peninsula and offers picturesque views of the ocean, sandy beaches, and a nearby pier. Visitors can take in the sights and sounds of the ocean while strolling along the beach or walking up to the jetty rock, where they can observe surfers riding the waves. The Park also has picnic tables, benches, and even restrooms for visitors who want to spend a bit more time at this great spot. There’s plenty of parking available, too, so visitors can easily get here from anywhere in Newport Beach. Whether you’re looking for a quiet place to relax and take in some amazing views, or you’re looking for a place to watch surfers ride the waves, West Jetty View Park is definitely worth checking out!

Pacific View Memorial Park and Mortuary

Located in the heart of Newport Beach, Pacific View Memorial Park and Mortuary provide a peaceful and tranquil place to honor your loved ones. This memorial Park is open to the public, free of charge, and features beautiful gardens, a rose garden, and majestic views of the Pacific Ocean. Visitors can participate in various ceremonies such as funerals and memorial services at one of their two chapels, or they can explore the cemetery grounds containing graves dating back to 1895.

The Park also offers lovely walking paths with benches where visitors can sit down and reflect on memories of those that have passed away. The graves are stunningly decorated for special occasions such as Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, with bouquets provided by family members. In addition, a unique statue is dedicated to Ben Carlson; a local surfer who tragically passed away in 1984 while saving a swimmer from drowning.

Pacific View Memorial Park and Mortuary is an ideal place to pay respects to those we have lost while taking in the beauty of nature surrounding us. It is also a great spot to reflect on life’s simple pleasures and ultimate mortality.

Civic Center Park

Civic Center Park is a wonderful place to spend a day in Newport Beach! Located in the city’s heart, Civic Center Park offers everyone plenty of activities and attractions. You can relax on the grassy lawns, stroll through the gardens, or even play sports on the fields. There are also picnic tables, playgrounds, and plenty of space to gather with friends or family.

One of the most popular attractions at Civic Center Park is The Ben Carlson Memorial Statue. The statue honors long-time Newport Beach resident Ben Carlson, an avid surfer and nature lover. It stands tall at 12 feet and features a bronze wave crashing against rocks, symbolizing his passion for surfing. Visitors can take pictures next to the statue and admire its beauty from any angle.

The Park also hosts events throughout the year, such as art festivals, movie screenings, concerts, and much more! On any given day, you can find people engaging in yoga classes on the grassy lawns or watching their kids play in one of the many playgrounds. So come and enjoy all that Civic Center Park has to offer!

​The Ben Carlson Memorial Statue

Pay tribute to local heroes by visiting The Ben Carlson Memorial Statue in Newport Beach, California. Located in the Civic Center Park, it is a bronze sculpture standing over five feet tall and honoring a local man who lost his life while trying to save others during a rescue mission.

The statue was made to honor the memory of Ben Carlson, who was an Orange County firefighter-paramedic and lifeguard supervisor. At the time of his death in 2004, he had been on duty for 20 years. On the day of his passing, he led a team of lifeguards to rescue swimmers caught in rip currents when he got trapped by one.

The memorial statue is open 24 hours and has become a community landmark. Lyle London, a renowned sculptor from Southern California, designed the art piece. It features Carlson standing tall with folded arms and looking out towards the ocean — a beautiful testimony to courage, heroism and service.

If you’re ever near Newport Beach, make sure to stay awhile and visit The Ben Carlson Memorial Statue to appreciate those who have gone above and beyond in their service to others.

To conclude, Newport Beach is a great destination for an exciting and fun-filled adventure. With its many attractions and activities, there is something to do for people of all ages. From visiting the Seaside Gallery and Goods to exploring Fashion Island, Balboa Island and The Wedge, you will surely have a memorable time. The many beaches such as Corona Del Mar State Beach, Inspiration Point and Little Corona Beach offer stunning views and beautiful walks. You can also take some time to explore Balboa Pier, Newport Beach Pier and Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve for breathtaking sights. For a unique experience, check out Balboa Village or visit the Newport Beach California Temple, where you can pay your respects. There are plenty of parks to enjoy, such as Castaways Park, Marina Park, Environmental Nature Center and more! Lastly, don’t forget to visit the Ben Carlson Memorial Statue at Pacific View Memorial Park and Mortuary or Civic Center Park to appreciate all that Newport Beach has to offer.

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