Newport Beach is a great place to hang out on weekends because you can relax on the beach during the day and go to the bars at night. A casual beach atmosphere can be found at the Balboa Peninsula- located in Newport Beach.
Another site you should visit is Balboa Island. Right at the entrance to Balboa Island you get to Marine Avenue where you’ll find small shops and restaurants. This street is very cute with a little bridge at the island’s entrance and boats floating in the harbor on either side. It gives you the feeling of being in a completely different town from the rest of Newport Beach. The beachside homes differ in size, shape and architecture and it seems like every resident put their style in it. Germany doesn’t have these styles of houses which make them even more unique for us.
One of the many things that make Balboa Island a very special place is the ferry available in such close proximity. The ferry takes you with your car to Balboa Peninsula where you can get to Newport Beach again. Even though you can reach Balboa Peninsula by car, it is a small adventure to take the ferry. During the ride you can watch the wide beach that you left behind and just enjoy the breeze from the ocean. In addition to that it is convenient for the residents to take the ferry to Balboa Peninsula instead of having to drive all the way around. Once you get off the ferry in Balboa Peninsula we would recommend driving left to the end of the Peninsula for an incredible view of the ocean and Balboa Island. We were lucky to be invited by a German friend of our host family to a Duffy Boat ride on Newport Harbor to see more of Newport, but from another point of view. Usually you only get to see the beautiful big houses from the front and with a big gate covering a lot of it. This way we got to see the back of the houses, their private beaches and landing stages with huge boats attached to them. It was amazing to see how big the houses really are, and since they were open in the back we got to see a lot of how the owners design the houses and their “backyards.” To us it was a totally new world and a great experience.
After a couple of hours floating on the water we decided to stop for lunch at the Harborside restaurant located in the Pavilion (http://www.harborside-pavilion.com/default.aspx). It has its own landing stage so you can reach it from or land. The restaurant has a $4 lunch special that includes about 10 meals to choose form. The portions were not too big, but just enough for a quick lunch. The windows face the water and while enjoying our meal we were able to watch the boats passing the restaurant.
There are several bars a short walk from one another and on Fridays and Saturdays people cruise from bar to bar. The most popular bar is Sharkeez. It’s a place to hang out, party and watch sporting events.