Hidden Gems and Surprising Facts

Hidden Gems and Surprising Facts

Newport Beach, California, is renowned for its stunning coastline, upscale communities, and vibrant marine culture. However, beyond the well-known attractions, this coastal city harbors a wealth of lesser-known treasures and fascinating stories. Whether you're a local or planning a visit, here are some things you might not know about Newport Beach.

1. The Birthplace of the Frozen Banana

Balboa Island, part of Newport Beach, is the birthplace of the famous frozen banana. This delicious treat, dipped in chocolate and covered with an array of toppings, has been a local favorite since the 1940s. Sugar 'n Spice, one of the original shops, continues to serve this iconic snack, maintaining a tradition that has delighted generations.

2. The Spectacular Underwater Park

While many are familiar with Newport Beach's beautiful sandy shores, fewer know about its underwater park. The Newport Beach Marine Protected Area, located off the coast, is a haven for scuba divers and snorkelers. This underwater park features a rich diversity of marine life, including vibrant kelp forests, colorful fish, and even the occasional sea lion or dolphin.

3. A Hub for Whale Watching

Newport Beach is a premier destination for whale watching, particularly during the migration seasons of the gray whales (December to April) and the blue whales (May to November). Newport Landing and Davey’s Locker offer regular whale-watching tours, providing a unique opportunity to witness these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat. The presence of these gentle giants is a reminder of the ecological richness that Newport Beach nurtures.

4. Historical Roots in the Balboa Pavilion

Built in 1905, the Balboa Pavilion is one of Newport Beach's oldest and most iconic landmarks. Originally serving as a social gathering spot, it has evolved into a multipurpose venue hosting events, dining experiences, and marine activities. The Pavilion's distinctive architecture and vibrant history make it a must-visit for history buffs and architecture enthusiasts alike.

5. The Enigmatic Dory Fishing Fleet

Nestled near the Newport Pier is the Dory Fishing Fleet, one of the last remaining beachside fish markets in Southern California. Established in 1891, this fleet operates much like it did over a century ago, with local fishermen selling their fresh catch directly from their boats. Visiting the Dory Fleet offers a glimpse into Newport Beach's maritime heritage and a chance to enjoy the freshest seafood available.

6. The Thrill of Surfing Blackies

While Newport Beach boasts several popular surf spots, Blackies stands out as a local favorite. Situated near the Newport Pier, Blackies is known for its consistent, beginner-friendly waves. It’s a spot where surfers of all ages and skill levels gather, creating a vibrant and welcoming community atmosphere. The beach also hosts various surf competitions and events, adding to its lively spirit.

7. The Serene Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve

Upper Newport Bay, often referred to as the Back Bay, is a hidden gem for nature lovers. This ecological reserve spans over 1,000 acres and is home to more than 200 species of birds, including endangered species like the California least tern and the light-footed clapper rail. The Back Bay offers numerous trails for hiking, biking, and bird-watching, providing a tranquil escape from the bustling city life.

8. The Artistic Legacy of Cannery Village

Cannery Village, once the hub of Newport Beach's fishing industry, has transformed into a vibrant arts district. The area is now filled with art galleries, studios, and unique boutiques. The transformation of Cannery Village is a testament to Newport Beach's ability to blend history with contemporary culture, making it a dynamic and inspiring place to explore.

9. A Culinary Paradise

Newport Beach is a food lover's dream, boasting a diverse culinary scene that ranges from casual beachside eateries to upscale dining establishments. Some lesser-known gems include the Crab Cooker, a local institution serving fresh seafood since 1951, and Bear Flag Fish Company, known for its sustainable seafood and poke bowls. The city also hosts the Newport Beach Restaurant Week, a gastronomic event that showcases the best of local cuisine.

10. The Exclusive Lido Isle

Lido Isle, a man-made island in Newport Harbor, is one of Newport Beach’s most exclusive residential communities. Accessible only by a single bridge, Lido Isle offers a unique blend of seclusion and luxury. The island features beautiful homes, private beaches, and a yacht club, embodying the upscale charm of Newport Beach.

Discover Newport Beach with an Expert

Exploring Newport Beach’s hidden gems and uncovering its fascinating history can be an exhilarating experience. Whether you're looking to immerse yourself in the local culture, indulge in culinary delights, or find a serene nature escape, Newport Beach has something to offer.

If you're considering making Newport Beach your home or investing in property here, having a knowledgeable real estate expert can make all the difference. David Roberts, a Newport Beach real estate expert, is your go-to professional for navigating the local market. With extensive experience and a deep understanding of Newport Beach’s unique neighborhoods and lifestyle, David can help you find the perfect home that fits your needs and preferences.

Ready to Discover Your Dream Home?

Contact David Roberts today to start your journey towards owning a piece of Newport Beach paradise. Whether you're buying or selling, David Roberts is committed to providing exceptional service and expert guidance every step of the way.

Newport Beach is more than just a beautiful destination; it’s a place filled with history, culture, and hidden treasures waiting to be discovered. Make the most of your Newport Beach experience by partnering with a local expert who understands and appreciates the unique charm of this coastal gem.


David understands the magnitude of the home-buying and home-selling process and it is his intention to make that process seamless, well-designed, and truly enjoyable.

Follow Me on Instagram