Credit: Niki Cram Models: Anicka Delgado & Lauren Riggan / No Ties Management
Credit: Niki Cram Models: Anicka Delgado & Lauren Riggan / No Ties Management

8 Things You MUST Do This Summer in Newport Beach, According to Our Editors

Have the Summer of a Lifetime With Mokes, Boats, Bikes and Everything in Between!

If you are looking to make the most of your summer, then start making a bucket list—STAT. Every adventure you cross off the list not only brings about a new memory, but also a fulfilling feeling knowing you are doing the things you’ve always dreamed of! It doesn’t have to be anything wild like jumping out of an airplane (unless you’re into that sort of thing); it could be something as simple as trying a new restaurant or exploring a different neighborhood. Here are our 10 bucket-list activities to do in Newport Beach this summer! Newport Beach Summer Activities

 

Newport Beach Moke Rental

Credit: Niki Cram Models: Anicka Delgado & Lauren Riggan / No Ties Management

Explore the sights of Newport Beach in a fun and functional Moke! New to the Newport Beach neighborhood, this style of transportation was first produced in England in 1964. Over time, their cuteness caught on and Mokes started popping up around the world. While traveling, Sadie Marta, owner of Newport Beach Moke Rental, spotted her first Moke, which instantly brought a smile to her face. Eventually, she and her husband Chad Marta, came up with the bright idea to bring these electric vehicles to Newport Beach. “Riding around in an open-air Moke gives people a fresh way to experience Newport—from Balboa Island and the famous Fun Zone to historic neighborhoods, quaint Lido Marina Village, the Wedge and both piers. In a Moke, you’ll encounter Newport in a way; I call them Duffy boats with wheels!” says Sadie. 

Newport Beach Summer Activities

Rent a Vision Electric Boat and Cruise the Harbor

Credit: Vision Electric Boat Rentals

Located in the charming center of Lido Marina Village, Vision Electric Boat Rentals has no shortage of options when it comes to electric vessels! You can choose between bubble gum pink, baby blue or another fun-colored “Fantail boat.” Another boat offered is the electric VOLT, which is inspired by the gracious Picnic Boat that sailed the Atlantic Yacht Basin in the 1950s. The open top is perfect for catching some rays as you cruise around the marina in awe of Newport’s stunning landscape. Turn on the tunes and pack a charcuterie board for a perfect summer day.

 

Ride the Balboa Ferry

Credit: Niki Cram Models: Anicka Delgado & Lauren Riggan / No Ties Management

Voyage across the water and take a trip to Balboa’s island side with a ride on the Balboa Island Ferry. For over a century, Balboa Island Ferry has provided continuous service for not only pedestrians but also vehicles and even cyclists. It might only be a simple stretch of 800 feet, but the moment you hop off the ferry, prepare to be in full vacay mode. For just $2.50, you can take your Moke Rental across the water and cruise around on island time. 

Newport Beach Summer Activities

Frozen Bananas on Balboa Island

 

Sugar n’ Spice has not only been a staple on Balboa island since 1945, it’s also the infamous banana stand featured in the prime-time TV show, “Arrested Development.” Spoiler alert: this stand doesn’t belong to the Bluth family; it actually belongs to the Cook family and is the home of the original frozen banana! After accidentally placing the bananas in the freezer, 12-year-old Don Cook created a new kind of dessert. Now, 77 years later, visitors can still enjoy their legendary made-to-order, hand-dipped bananas to beat the summer heat. 

Sushi at Buddha’s Favorite

@localemag Do you like sushi? #buddhasfavorite in #newportbeach #localemagazine #ocsushi #ocfoodies #ocdateideas #ocdatenight ♬ Fire for You – Cannons

This sushi spot is what locals call, “Newport Beach’s hidden treasure.” Buddha’s Favorite is a place where traditional and authentic Japanese cuisines merge with innovative and creative dishes not found anywhere else. Although the waterfront seating is a plus, their menu is what makes it memorable. Some of their signature must-try dishes include the shishito ahi wrap, crispy poke, Tropical Roll and chicken curry noodles. If everyone at the table is feeling adventurous, order a round of quail egg or Uni Shooters!

Newport Beach Summer Activities

Devour a Burger and Beer at Cassidy’s

Don’t let this dive bar fool you—it actually serves up more than good times and strong drinks. Cassidy’s has quite the reputation when it comes to cooking up the best burgers in Newport Beach. Locals definitely suggest you stop by before the night crowd starts making its way in, but we suggest you stay for a memorable night. If you drink enough, you might even want to order another burger before their kitchen closes. You’ll thank yourself the next morning.   

 

Drinks at Beach Ball

Credit Klara Kulikova / Unsplash

Whether you have a bloody mary when it opens at 6 a.m. or a tequila soda before the 2 a.m. closing time, Beach Ball Bar is happy to serve you a cold one! Located on the Balboa Peninsula’s oceanfront side, Beach Ball has the best view in Newport thanks to its open-air setting. Not only can you check out the surf while sipping on a cocktail, you can also savor the sunset and entertain yourself with some prime people-watching. Challenge your friends to a game of pool and set the vibe by playing DJ on the jukebox.

Newport Beach Summer Activities

Brunch at Haute Cakes

Newport Beach takes their brunch very seriously, and Haute Cakes Caffe is the talk of the town. This charming space is a fan-favorite whether you’re catching up with friends, spending time with family or going on a breakfast date—it’s perfect for all occasions! As for the food, the avocado toast is packed with flavor, but obviously, their Haute Cakes are what take the cake! You can choose among buttermilk, oatmeal blueberry, orange ricotta or buckwheat. 

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Bear Flag at Sunset

Credit: Ed Visions

SoCal seafood doesn’t get any fresher than Bear Flag Fish Company. Using only sustainably sourced seafood, this Newport Beach hotspot provides the community with mouthwatering food and all-star service. “There’s nothing better than going out in nature and harvesting food with your own hands and providing it to the people you love,” says owner Thos Carson. Choose their zesty ceviche, flavorful sushi or some of the best burritos Orange County has to offer! Better yet–pick up some of their legendary poke then hit the beach for a sunset picnic.

Newport Beach Summer Activities

Drive (or Bike) to Huntington Beach for a Bonfire

Credit: Niki Cram

A bonfire should be on every bucket list! Nothing beats gathering around a warm fire with friends and family, roasting marshmallows, sharing stories and drinking some cold Coronas. Take a short cruise up the coast to Huntington Beach to find plenty of places to warm up when the sun goes down. Can we share a little pro tip? The bonfire pits go pretty quick, so we suggest getting there at a decent time to claim your spot!

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