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Orange County Beaches: Newport Beach

Newport Beach has over 8 miles of some of the best beaches in Orange County, so there are plenty of options for you to consider when you’re planning your next beach day. Here’s all the beaches in Newport plus everything you need to know to plan an awesome day in the sun.

Beach Cam!

You’ve heard of try before you buy? Now you can check the beach before you put all the sand toys in the car. Check current conditions here.

Now, let’s get down to the beaches themselves, shall we?

Orange County Beaches: Newport Beach

Balboa Peninsula Beach

Location: E. Balboa Blvd. and B Street
Hours: Open to the public from 6AM-10 PM

The quieter, lesser-known cousin of Balboa Pier Beach, Balboa Peninsula Beach is a great place if you’re looking for a beach day that doesn’t include fighting huge crowds. The well-groomed beach has more than just sand… there are picturesque dunes, a paved running path that also accommodates bikers and skaters. If sand isn’t quite your thing, there’s the adjacent Balboa Beach Park with its well-landscaped grass to plant your picnic blanket on. The park also has a children’s play area, barbecue pits for evening bonfires, a gazebo for the occasional outdoor concert, and volleyball courts for when you’re feeling energetic.

There are restrooms available; warning, there are no doors on the stalls.

Lifeguards are on duty on the beach during the busy season.

Parking is available on the street, and it’s free… just remember to be respectful of the residents.

Balboa Peninsula Beach Newport Beach
Balboa Peninsula Beach

Balboa Pier Beach

Location: 50 Main Street, Newport Beach CA 92661
Hours: Open to the public from 6AM to 10 PM

Rolling white waves crest this gorgeous stretch of prime Pacific real estate. Balboa Pier Beach is famous for swimming, surfing, and the kind of beach experience that’s quintessentially California. Golden sands, lots of seagulls, and the iconic Balboa Pier. Restaurants are within very easy walking distance, and fishing and surfing is both fun, and fun to watch. There’s plenty of pay parking available, although the lots can get crowded on peak days/times. One of the special draws for this beach is the pier itself, with the original Ruby’s restaurant at the end.

Surf conditions are ideal from the Balboa Pier to The Wedge for bodysurfing and skimboarding.

Public restrooms are available but be warned, there are no doors on the stalls.

Lifeguards are on duty on the beach during the busy season.

There’s a park available for the kids when they tired of sandcastles and bodyboarding.

Balboa Pier Beach Newport Beach CA
Balboa Pier Beach

Cameo Shores Beach

Location: 115 Milford Drive, Newport Beach CA 92625
Hours: Open to the public from 6AM-10 PM

You’ll need to bring good shoes to go here. Cameo Shores beach is a literal hike… a rocky, picturesque hike. Unless you know a local, you’ll have to walk over from nearby Little Corona del Mar beach over tidepool country to get to the sand. This beach is all about the adventure.

What Cameo Shores lacks in amenities (no restrooms) it makes up for in scenery… and we’re talking about serious scenery.

Notable Features: Arch Rock and Cliff Island with its Ocean Arch.

Tidepooling is a major activity here, as is birdwatching. Well, that and jumping from Cliff Island (but don’t try that unless you’re a local or with a local who knows how to do it safely).

Dogs are not permitted from 9AM-5PM.

China Cove Beach

Location: 2609 Cove Street, Newport Beach, CA 92625
Hours: Open to the public from 6AM to 10 PM

Finding this beach is half of the fun!

Parking is strictly on the street on Ocean Blvd (follow the signs). To access this pocket-sized city beach, take the stairs at Fernleaf Avenue and Ocean Blvd. You’ll see a cute spit of sand that looks like it belongs to the houses around it, but it is a city beach and accessible to the public.

There aren’t any facilities, but there are posts to put up your volleyball net if you have one and want a game. (Note: The volleyball court cannot be used from 11AM to 3PM mid-June through mid-September, and 11AM to 3PM on weekends and holidays.)

Leashed dogs are allowed on the beach proper, but only before 10AM and after 4:30PM.

Corona Del Mar State Beach

Location: accessible via an access road at Iris and Ocean Blvd.
Hours: Open to the public from 6AM-10 PM

The first thing you notice about Corona Del Mar State Beach is how big the parking lot is

Corona Del Mar’s jetty protects part of the bay from the open waves, and that means calm blue waters. With a list of activities like swimming, scuba diving, fishing and windsurfing, there’s no wonder it’s popular with families!

This beach has a full list of amenities: showers, restrooms, food, water, and firepits.

Lifeguards are on duty.

Dogs are allowed on the beach before 10AM and after 4:30PM, but aren’t allowed on the beach or any beachfront sidewalk during those hours.

Important: Corona Del Mar does not accept the Annual Day Use Pass. Pay for parking in the lot, or try your luck at free parking at Inspiration point (Orchid and Ocean).

Corona Del Mar Beach (CDM) Newport Beach
Corona Del Mar State Beach

Crystal Cove

Crystal Cove Directions. Crystal Cove and its jewel box of small exclusive beaches can be a little tough to navigate. We’ve included the official map to help you out.

Crystal Cove Accessibility: Every parking lot has designated disabled spots, and beach wheelchairs are available to borrow in the Historic District and at El Moro (limited quantities, call ahead to make sure they’re available at 949-494-3539). Service animals are permitted. E-bikes are not permitted.

Dogs are not permitted on the beaches or any unpaved trails, including back country hiking trails.

Drones are generally not permitted unless for commercial/scientific filming and with a permit.

Sea birds and sea otters aren’t the only residents. Keep an eye out for rattlesnakes on the trails.

Crystal Cove State Park – Little Treasure Cove

Location: East PCH and Newport Coast Drive, Newport Beach, CA
Hours: open to the public from 6AM-sundown

Getting to Little Treasure Cove is an adventure on its own. Just find Pelican Point by taking Newport Coast Drive all the way down to the Crystal Cove State park, park in the day use lot, and follow the path down to the beach (don’t worry, it’s paved, so you won’t struggle if you’re bringing a stroller). There are plenty of other paths to explore while you’re there, so wear good shoes.

Little Treasure Cove is at its best during low tide; it’s great for oceanside biking and whale watching (follow the hiking path to an observation platform and bring binoculars). If you’d rather look at what’s under the waves closer to the shore, go explore the amazing tidepools (don’t forget… No Collecting!).

Restrooms are available. Day use lot parking is $15.

Crystal Cove State Park – Los Trancos

Location: 15 Crystal Cove, Newport Beach, CA 92657
Hours: open to the public from 6AM-sundown

Los Trancos Beach has two notable features… The creek that divides the beach proper into North and South Los Trancos Beaches and Ruby’s Shake Shack, an excellent place to replenish all the calories you just walked off by hiking the beach.

Los Trancos Beach has plenty to keep you occupied. You can swim (not surf), scuba, hike, bike… or take a leisurely stroll along the sand.

Renting a historic cottage gets you beach access. Daytrippers can park at the pay lot nearby.

It’s a long walk from parking to the beach, but there is a drop-off point for unloading only.

Sorry, no dogs allowed.

Hint: Dine at nearby Beachcomber Café and save your receipt to have the parking fee waived.

Parking is $5/hour with a $15 maximum ($14 if you’re a senior).

Crystal Cove State Park – Pelican Point Beach

Location: E. Pacific Coast Hwy and Newport Coast Drive, Newport Beach, CA 92657
Hours: open to the public from 6AM to sundown

Head for the Pelican Point Area entrance at PCH and Newport Coast to access this gorgeous beach. The Pelican Point Drive entrance is for private residences only.

Once you find and pay for parking, you’ll get to enjoy this unspoiled, narrow strip of beach. Pelican Point has pretty much everything you want in a beach adventure… fascinating tide pools, great scuba opportunities, hiking trails, a paved bike path, and even a campground. Bring binoculars to help you spot whale migrations in season or settle in for some birdwatching.

There are restrooms available, but not on the beach itself. Showers are available for campers.

Sorry, no dogs allowed on the beach.

Crystal Cove SP – Treasure Cove Beach

Location: E Pacific Coast Hwy and Newport Coast Drive, Newport Beach, CA 92657
Hours: Open to the public from 6AM to sundown
Historic District Hours: 6AM to 10PM

Treasure Cove Beach shares its nifty tidepools with Little Treasure Cove; you can access one beach from the other. But where Little Treasure Cove is more of a walking beach, Treasure Cove offers scuba diving at Crystal Cove Underwater Park.

Surfers also enjoy the long, curling waves that meet the soft sand. If you want to watch the water rather than be in it, you can whale watch, bike, walk, and explore the tide pools and caves (only at low tide!).

If you really can’t bring yourself to leave, camp at the Moro Beach Campground (campgrounds have available showers). Camping not your thing? Rent a historic cottage instead.

Sorry, no dogs allowed.

Lifeguards are not on duty.

Lido Isle – Genoa West Beach

Location: Intersection of Via Genoa and Via Lido Nord, Newport Beach CA
Hours: Private beach, 8AM to sunset

At first glance it seems as if there’s no room for anything but housing on Lido Isle, but believe it or not, there is a tiny private beach tucked in there. Genoa West Beach allows swimming and has an adjacent playground for kids, but both beach and playground are off limits if you’re not a resident.

No dogs or picnicking allowed.

Little Corona Del Mar Beach

Location: Ocean Blvd and Poppy Ave, Newport Beach CA 92625
Hours: Open to the public from 6AM to 10 PM

This is a beach that’s more rock than sand, but that just makes for fantastic tidepooling, snorkeling and scuba diving. The rocks make great perches for local seabirds, so there’s as much to look at above the waves as there is below them. Do bring good shoes because the rocks are sharp.

Little Corona Del Mar Beach is also a marine conservation area with a lot of informative signs to help you identify the local wildlife. Beach fun and education? What’s not to love?

There are restrooms available and a lifeguard on duty.

Parking is on the street and free.

Dogs are allowed, but only before 10AM and after 4:30PM. Don’t forget the poop bags!

Marina Park

Location: 1600 W Balboa Blvd, Newport Beach, CA 92663
Hours: Open to the public from 6 AM to 10 PM

If there’s a beach in Newport Beach that has it all, it’s probably Marina Park. This spot has everything… and we do mean everything. The beach itself is located between 16th and 19th Streets.

Great views across the bay and a view of the moored boats at the Marina Park Sailing Center, and access to a community center, basketball courts, picnic areas, playgrounds for the kids, kayak and paddleboard rentals and launch area, and more. Plus, the water is calm here so it’s perfect for kids to swim and play in the water.

A nearby café is ready to serve meals all day, or you can walk over to Newport Pier Beach if you want extra options for fun and food.

Marina Park also has a fitness circuit and is available for wedding venue rentals and other event spaces.

Leashed dogs are allowed, but not between 10AM-4:30PM.

Newport Dunes Resort Beach

Location: 1131 Back Bay Drive, Newport Beach, CA 92660
Hours: Private

A long, narrow crescent of sand marks this privately owned beach, but we’ve got good news… it’s available to day-use patrons of the resort (for a fee).

That’s great news, because Newport Dunes Resort Beach has a ton of activities for water-lovers, including lessons for and rentals of kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, sailing, paddleboats and electric boats.

When you get tired, there’s a grass area and gazebo to lounge in, and a fun playground for kids, including a cheery blue whale sculpture down on the beach itself. The water is very calm… probably a good thing, since there isn’t a lifeguard on duty except during summer.

Restrooms are available.

A paved promenade makes for a nice walk across the harbor while giving a nice view of the bobbing boats moored in the marina.

Newport Harbor Patrol Beach

Location: 1901 Bayside Dr., Newport Beach, CA 92660
Hours: Open to the public from 7AM to 10 PM

Another one of the hidden beaches of Newport, Harbor Patrol Beach is a public beach that’s a local secret. It’s right by the Harbor Patrol station, so keep an eye out for signs that tell you which areas you’re actually allowed in. Maybe you’ll see the patrol boats heading out!

As long as you obey all posted signs, this is a nice beach alternative to beating the crowds at the more popular spots. Bring a picnic lunch and park yourself at the tables or bring a volleyball and take advantage of the courts.

Bonus points: you can bring your paddleboard or kayak and explore the harbor if the land-bound activities don’t hold your interest.

There are restrooms available to the public.

Street parking is available.

Sorry, no dogs allowed.

Newport Municipal Beach

Location: West Balboa Blvd. & 21st Pl., Newport Beach, CA 92663
Hours: open to the public from 6AM to 10 PM

Running on either side of the fisherman’s paradise of Newport Beach Pier is the wide expanse of Newport Municipal Beach. The pier itself is open from 5AM to midnight. Newport Municipal Beach has room for all the activities you could want on a beach and maintains a full complement of amenities, too.

Sunbathe, swim, or play volleyball… skate or bike on the paved bike trail. You can bring a blanket and picnic on the grassy area, and there’s even a playground for the kids when they get tired of building sandcastles.

Restrooms and showers are available, and lifeguards are on duty.

Leashed dogs are allowed, but not between 10AM-4:30PM.

Pay parking is available in the lot.

Special Attraction: The Dory Fleet Fish Market for fresh-caught seafood. Go early!

North Star Beach

Location: 1 Whitecliffs Dr., Newport Beach CA
Hours: Open to the public from 6AM to 10 PM

Want to explore the Back Bay? Want to paddleboard through the Ecological Preserve? Just want to kayak or paddleboard through glassily-calm waters and observe some of the best birdwatching in California? North Star Beach is where you go.

You can rent a paddleboard or kayak right there at the beach or bring your own. Not interested in getting in the water? Take a walk around the beach and the conservancy instead. Check out the Newport Aquatic Center while you’re there.

Dogs are allowed on the beach. Don’t forget your leash!

Parking is free!

Pirates Cove Beach

Location: Intersection of Ocean Blvd. and Heliotrope Avenue, Newport Beach CA
Hours: Open to the public from 6AM to 10 PM

Pirates Cove is a beautiful little beach nestled inside the Newport Bay with calm waters to splash around in and fun rock formations and cave-like spots to explore. The view is gorgeous; benches let you sit down and take advantage of the view.

Unfortunately, Pirates Cove Beach isn’t accessibility friendly. The beach is accessed by a fairly steep staircase, so strollers and mobility-impaired beachgoers will have a problem here. The grass bluff above the beach itself will still allow you to take in the view even if you can’t get down to the beach proper.

There are restrooms available, and parking is also available on the street.

Leashed dogs are allowed, but not between the hours of 10AM and 4:30PM. Don’t forget your bags!

Santa Ana River Beach

Location: Summit St. and Seashore Dr., Newport Beach, CA 92663
Hours: Open to the public from 6AM to 10 PM

The Santa Ana River meets the sea here (but try not to wade in the river due to contamination from street runoff). There’s a dog beach here, too… although you need to keep an eye out for signs telling you what and where exactly your pup can be. Local endangered or threatened seabirds nest here, and conservation is a concern.

Swimming isn’t really advised here, although surfers do know and love the spot. This is a sport beach. There’s an extensive bike path that caters to runners and joggers as well as bikers who enjoy some sweet seaside scenery.

Lifeguards are on duty during peak times.

There are no facilities available.

Street parking is free but limited.

Leashed dogs are allowed, but not between 10AM-4:30PM. Keep an eye out for the dog beach section to really let your furbaby loose.

West Jetty View Beach – The Wedge

Location: 2300 Channel Rd., Newport Beach CA
Hours: Open to the public from 6AM to 10 PM

West Jetty View Beach is a surfing beach. The wide-open sands invite beachgoers to hang out and watch people hang ten, but this isn’t necessarily a swimming friendly beach. The rock jetty that juts out into the water helps create fairly impressive waves… and that means dangerous swimming conditions. But if you like surfing, bodyboarding, or any kind of wave-and-board activity, this is the beach for you.

Please pay attention to signs about surf conditions!

There are firepits and tables for your beach noshing needs, as well as a grass area and benches if you aren’t crazy about getting covered with sand.

Lifeguards are on duty.

Leashed dogs are allowed, but not between the hours of 10AM – 4:30PM. Bring a poop bag!

Parking is free and street-only.

West Newport Beach

Location: Seashore Dr. and Prospect St., Newport Beach, CA
Hours: Open to the public from 6AM to 10 PM

If you’re looking for a large, walkable municipal beach that’s usually not as crowded as some of the others, hop in the car and head for West Newport Beach.

Part of the reason for the lighter crowds is the close proximity of more famous beaches like Balboa Pier, but there’s also West Newport Park sports facility to consider. If you’re into sports, this place has all the courts you could want… and the bonus parking lots to handle beach traffic.

Besides the sports courts, there are grass areas for picnicking, as well as tables and barbecues.

Restrooms are available.

Lifeguards are on duty in season.

Leashed dogs are allowed, but not between the hours of 10AM – 4:30PM. Bring a poop bag!


Parking should not be the first worry you have when you’re going to the beach, but it definitely makes an impact. Fortunately, Newport Beach has a handy Parkmobile parking app (on the App Store and Google Play Store) to help you locate and pay for your parking spot. It’ll even give you warnings when your time is running low.

There’s also a parking map here.


Everybody should be able to get to the beach if they want. Newport Beach has beach-capable wheelchairs available at the Lifeguard Headquarters at the base of the Pier. There are only two chairs available, so call ahead to see if there are any free at 949-644-3047. Assistance is available starting at 9AM.

Dogs and Newport Beach Beaches

We’d never ask you to leave your furry bestie at home during the dog days of summer. While you can bring your dog to most of the beaches on this list, there are rules involved.

  • No dogs on the beach or beachfront sidewalk. This rule is in effect between 10AM-4:30PM.
  • Before 10AM and after 4:30PM, you can absolutely bring your dog. On a leash. A leash that’s no more than 6 feet long and hefty. Sorry, none of those retractable leashes are allowed.
  • Bring a bag to take care of your dog’s business before it becomes someone else’s business.
  • Individual beaches may have different rules. Pay attention to all posted signs.

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Kelly Smith
Kelly Smith is lives in Southern California with one dog, two cats, two guinea pigs… and the rest of her family. She writes about Orange County, faith, family, special needs and tea, and world-builds science fiction universes on the side.