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  • Newport Beach

Newport Beach Holidays ​​

There's a touch of class about Newport Beach, the setting for TV's much-loved The OC. Known as California's Riviera, as much for its sophisticated vibe as for its gorgeous beaches and sunny climate, it oozes sophistication - from the superyachts bobbing in the harbour, to its classy boutiques and multi-million-dollar mansions. The O.C. cameras may have stopped rolling now, but the glamour and the good times that are so much a part of Newport Beach holidays linger on.

Nine miles of wide sandy beach is the star attraction, complete with rolling surf that's perfect for watersports. Balboa Peninsula unfurls like a finger along the coastline, and offers double value, with the beach and ocean on one side, and the harbour with its islands, luxury homes and boats on the other. It's a superb stretch of sand, punctuated by two piers, and the ideal place to recline under the cooling shade of an umbrella, and watch the cyclists and skaters weave past on the Newport Balboa Bike Trail.

There's heaps of action out on the water too, with surfers riding the breakers offshore, and bodyboarders battling the waves at The Wedge - some of them up to 9 metres high. Plus there's always plenty of boating going on, including regular cruises and whale watching trips, as well as sport fishing expeditions that head out in search of red snapper, halibut and barracuda. You can also try paddle boarding and kayaking, or rent an electric 'Duffy' boat (a 'golf cart on water'!) to putter around the harbour waters.

And even though there's so much going on (did we mention the fantastic shopping and the restaurants serving up ocean-fresh seafood yet? ) don't forget that you're but a hop and a skip away from  Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm. Newport Beach holidays have it all.​

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Upper Newport Bay

Upper Newport BayThis nature reserve, known as 'Back Bay' to the locals, is a gem of tranquillity. Saltwater meets freshwater here, creating  the perfect hangout for native birdlife, and there are over 200 species to spot - some of them endangered. Besides the fabulous wildlife, there's walking and biking trails, horse-riding, kayaking trips - and a chance to escape the hubbub of the main beaches.

Balboa Pavilion

This iconic local landmark, a Victorian bath- and boat-house built in 1906, now houses a restaurant and shops. It's at the heart of a bustling area where boats leave for cruises, fishing trips, and both Catalina and Balboa Islands. Just nearby are the Ferris wheel and traditional amusements of Fun Zone, as well as plenty of beachside eateries and shops.

Fashion island

One of the best way to invoke the O.C spirit on Newport Beach holidays is to head to Fashion Island, a ritzy outdoor shopping mall. Bloomingdales, Macy's, Nordstrum and Neiman Marcus are the anchor stores here, and there are exclusive boutiques aplenty - as well more accessible stores. In between are fountains, ponds with koi carp, restaurants, and a miniature train for kids.

Corona del Mar

Upmarket 'CDM' has two fantastic golden-sand beaches separated by a cliff - both of which come with the bonus of fire pits and volleyball courts. There's great snorkelling here on the reefs offshore, while slightly further along the coast is Crystal Cove State Park, with a stretch of coast that's paradise for beachcombers and solitude seekers alike.

Museum of Art

If you're after a culture fix after all that beach life, head to the Museum of Art. There's a good collection of Californian art plus cutting-edge artists, as well as a sculpture garden and a film theatre showing art house classics.

Fly Drive Holiday: Coastal Wonders

San Diego - Laguna Beach - Newport Beach - Anaheim - Huntington Beach - Long Beach

Our suggested fly drive itinerary is perfect for those looking to soak up the sun and shorelines that only California can offer. Start your adventure in San Diego which offers an array of activities with theme parks, water-based activities and chic shopping to enjoy. Next up would be the beaches of Laguna and Newport which are home to awe-inspiring mansions as well as golf and cycling opportunities. Onwards to Anaheim where you can experience the popular theme parks including Disneyland before arriving in Huntington Beach, the perfect place to relax beach-side or even learn to surf. Finish your fly drive tour in Long Beach for a relaxing end to your unforgettable holiday.
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Time Difference:
GMT- 8hours

Closest Airport:
Los Angeles International Airport (approx. 11 hours, direct flight) John Wayne International Airport, Orange County (approx. 13 hours and 40 minutes, indirect flight).

Getting around:
With so many sights spread across a vast urban landscape the best way to see Southern California is the way the locals do, behind the wheel. Car hire is available from £21 per day.

Insider Tip:
If you are around in December it’s worth taking in the annual Christmas Boat Parade. Each year multi-million dollar yachts, kayaks, canoes and other small boats light up the harbour with an impressive display of holiday lights. The parade has been a unique Newport Tradition for over 100 years!

You’re going to need an ESTA:
For anyone travelling to the USA, the US authorities have imposed a requirement for passengers travelling under the Visa Waiver Programme (VWP), to register for Electronic Travel Authority. Just fill in the online application form which you can find at You will need to apply for entry via ESTA at least a minimum of 72 hours prior to travel.

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Many of the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. But ATOL protection does not apply to all holiday and travel services listed on this website. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking. If you do not receive an ATOL Certificate then the booking will not be ATOL protected. If you do receive an ATOL Certificate but all the parts of your trip are not listed on it, those parts will not be ATOL protected. Please see our booking conditions for information, or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to:

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