Newport Harbor is the homeport for over 10,000 vessels and it is also the largest yacht harbors inside of the United States. There is a lot of energy for boating and sailing all year and it helps to engage people and it helps to bring vitality to Newport Harbor. This is the one place that has it all. There are international yacht races, Transpac competitors, boats from everyday people, boats of the rich and famous, summer beer can race, Catalinas, electric boats, Sabots and even fishing boats. There is always a lot of people within the harbor and it is the place for anyone who has a boat or is in love with boats.
Every year Newport Harbor will welcome thousands of visitors from all of California as well as cruisers from all over the world. This is the one place that you can do anything for a day, for a weekend or even longer. This area is considered to be a green harbor, and everything is done to help to ensure that it stays that way. It is often patrolled by local law enforcement as well as the sheriff’s department.
When you first enter into Newport Harbor, you will notice the bell buoy which marks the only entrance into the harbor. It is a channel that is quite broad, but it is formed by two jetties which are marked with green lights that flash and then red lights that are flashing on the opposite side. When you finally approach the harbor, you will see the Corona Del Mar State Beach and you will see a lot of boats located within the anchorage area. However, during lobster seasons you are going to want to avoid the fields of lobster pots that will be flanking the entrance by going as close to the buoy as possible and through the center of the channel. Even though everything is well marked, it is often crowded so you will want to take it easy and be careful and be sure to keep an eye on the bait barge that will be anchored within the jetty while in season. There is a no wake rule and a 5-mph speed limit within the harbor and this begins at the entrance and is throughout the harbor itself.
There are many ways for you to more or less park your boat. There is anchoring, mooring and docking. Each one will have their own rules and you will have to call ahead to the Harbor Patrol and the Harbormaster’s office in order to get a pass for moorings and docking. There is only one place that you can anchor and that is located off of Lido Isle.
You are able to go ashore using one of the public docks which are all maintained by Newport Beach. There are 10 different locations all over the harbor. You can find them by looking for the blue and white pilings that are located at each dock. If you have a boat that is 30 feet or shorter, then you can be in the front of these docks for 20 minutes. However, you will notice that at these docks there are a lot of smaller boats and dinghies that are able to tie up to the side of the dock for only 2 hours or they may be tied up inside of the dock face for 12 hours. All of the rules are going to be posted at each of the docks, and they may have different time limits.
However, if you are a visitor that has any yacht club privileges, you may call one of the yacht clubs in order to see if there is dinghy docks available. If you happen to decide to go on shore for a bite to eat, then check out these docks and dine places.
There are a lot of different places to get good food, but these places are going to have guest docks and they are located on the water. You will need to be sure to call ahead in order to get a reservation so that you will have a place to dock. You can get great food at Woody’s Wharf, Villa Nova, The Dock, The Cannery, Harborside Restaurant, Blue Water Grill, Back Bay Bistro, First Cabin, Duke’s Place and the Balboa Bay Club & Resort.
You are able to get water, fuel and even ice at the fuel docks which are all going to be near the Balboa Ferry crossing. Each one of the fuel docks are going to have minimart type of food and drinks. Located within the Balboa Peninsula there is the Ultra Marine and Hill’s Boat Service for fuel docking. Balboa Island has Island Marine.
There is also plenty of shopping located within Newport Beach, dining and even entertainment. There are many restaurants, but many visitors tend to flock to the local shopping districts, attractions and even entertainment which are all located within walking distances from the public docks, marinas, and even yacht clubs which are located Balboa Village, Corona Del Mar, and Balboa Island as well as Back Bay. There are also plenty of markets to stock up on what you need. The one that people tend to flock to is going to Pearson’s Port which this is a seafood market that has its own floating dock. You will have to call ahead to see what they have as it is fresh seafood only.
Again, there is a lot to do within Newport Beach. A great family place is Pirate’s Cove and Big Corona Beaches. These are very family friendly beaches that you will see when you enter into the harbor. Pirate’s Cove has been used for many TV shows and movies. It has volleyball areas, snorkeling, beach walks, tide pools, swimming and even picnic areas set up to help provide safe, family fun.
There is so much to do when you are cruising along the coast. Newport Beach is the one place that you know that you will have plenty to do.