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10 Things to Know Before Moving to Newport Beach, CA

Written by Brittany Slagle

With its miles of sandy beaches and picture-perfect coastline, Newport Beach has long attracted visitors looking to soak up its signature laidback SoCal vibe. But beyond the surf, sun, and luxury yachts, this town has a fascinating history. Native American tribes originally inhabited this area, followed by European settlers who were drawn to its superb fishing and fertile grazing lands in the 1800s. 

Newport Beach later became a popular seaside escape for wealthy families, with lavish cottages hosting Hollywood celebrities. Today this eclectic beach town seamlessly fuses old and new, from its historic boat tours and vibrant boardwalk to the grand mansions overlooking the shimmering sea. Let’s talk about ten things to know before moving to Newport Beach, CA.

1. The major employers are in the healthcare, hospitality and finance industries 

Newport Beach is a thriving economic hub within Orange County, driven by a diverse range of industries including technology, tourism, healthcare, and finance. The city boasts a robust job market, attracting commuters from across the county. Despite its population of 87,000, Newport Beach hosts 76,000 payroll workers and is home to 20,000 licensed businesses, with 12,400 local establishments contributing to its dynamic economy. 

Healthcare dominates the job sector at 16%, followed by accommodation and food services at 15%, and finance and insurance at 11%, offering a range of lucrative employment opportunities. 

Key employers in Newport Beach include Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian, global investment management firm PIMCO, Glidewell Dental, Fortune 500 insurer Pacific Life, Newport-Mesa Unified School District, City of Newport Beach, and the Resort at Pelican Hill.

2. Newport Mesa Unified School District is highly-rated

After relocating to Newport Beach, you’ll benefit from the exceptional education provided by the highly acclaimed Newport Mesa Unified School District. The city boasts two top-tier public high schools, Corona del Mar High School and Newport Harbor High School, renowned for their academic excellence and student progress. Additionally, private school alternatives such as Pacifica Christian High School, Sage Hall School, and Carden Hall offer diverse educational opportunities.

For those pursuing higher education, Newport Beach provides access to over 100 colleges within a 100-mile radius. Notable institutions nearby include Coastline Community College, University of California Irvine, and Chapman University, recognized as one of the premier private colleges in the state.

3. Live in Newport Beach communities like Balboa Peninsula, Bayview Terrace, or Linda Isle

Living in Newport Beach offers a myriad of choices, each catering to different lifestyles and preferences. Whether you would prefer beachfront living, the privacy of a gated community, or a quiet family-friendly neighborhood, Newport Beach has it all.

For those seeking affordability without compromising on beach access, the Balboa Peninsula is an attractive option. From the renowned surfing spot, The Wedge, to the tranquil residential area beyond the piers, this neighborhood offers a blend of tourist attractions and residential charm. Balboa Peninsula Point stands out as the most exclusive area, characterized by its quiet and close-knit community.

Families looking for a welcoming atmosphere and modern amenities would find Bayview Terrace appealing. Nestled near Newport Center, this gated community features well-appointed homes with views of the scenic Back Bay preserve. Residents can enjoy recreational facilities like a pool, spa, and a spacious park with basketball courts.

Corona Del Mar, nestled along the waterfront of Newport Beach, offers more than just luxurious residences. Its proximity to the city’s appealing amenities, including shopping centers and outdoor recreational spots, enhances its allure. With its very own beach, Corona Del Mar State Beach Park, residents take in the quintessential California experience—whether it’s catching waves, strolling with their furry companions, or indulging in a fun-filled family day by the shore.

For those seeking ultimate luxury and exclusivity, Linda Isle emerges as a top choice. Situated in the Lower Newport Bay area, this gated island enclave boasts elegant homes with waterfront access and expansive yards. The West Tip, in particular, offers unparalleled views of the main channel, making it a coveted location for homeowners.

4. Housing costs seven times the national average 

With an index of 164, Newport Beach’s cost of living surpasses even California’s high standards. While utilities and healthcare remain reasonable, groceries are approximately 15% higher than the national average. The primary contributor to the city’s elevated cost of living is housing, which is seven times the national average.

Those considering homeownership in Newport Beach should brace themselves for steep prices. The median home price sits at $3,181,624, with condos fetching over $1 million. Larger estates, boasting up to seven bedrooms, have prices ranging from $2 to $3 million.

5. It rains little and hardly snows 

Newport Beach experiences a relatively mild climate, with an annual rainfall of 10.8 inches and no snowfall. Temperature fluctuations throughout the year range from an average low of 48 degrees Fahrenheit to a high of 79 degrees Fahrenheit. 

The hot season typically spans from July 13th to October 5th, with an average temperature of 79 degrees Fahrenheit. During summer, highs typically reach around 78 degrees Fahrenheit. In contrast, the colder season, from November to April, sees daily averages below 68 degrees Fahrenheit, with lows averaging 49 degrees and highs around 66 degrees Fahrenheit.

6. Check out places like Newport Beach Pier or the Pirate House

Looking for things to do in Newport Beach? There are many places to explore.

Check out Newport Beach Pier, a popular family-friendly outdoor attraction. For a unique experience, visit the Pirate House, a historical museum focusing on pirates and ancient sea ships, perfect for a family outing. On rainy days, the Pirate House offers a fun indoor activity. For a romantic date or a fun family day out, don’t miss the Balboa Fun Zone, an exciting outdoor excursion that’s a must-do in Newport Beach.

7. Eat at Rusty Pelican, Farro’s, or Bluewater Grill

Newport Beach boasts some of California’s finest dining establishments, and here are our picks for the best restaurants in Newport Beach!

Rusty Pelican stands out as one of the city’s premier dining spots, particularly for those seeking waterfront dining. This local favorite offers a delectable selection of freshly prepared seafood dishes.

For those in search of authentic Italian cuisine, Farro’s is a must-visit. This highly-rated restaurant exudes the charm of old Italy, providing a perfect setting for a romantic evening or a family gathering.

While Bluewater Grill offers a more relaxed atmosphere, its dishes are equally delightful. Enjoy their renowned fresh oysters paired with a specialty beer brewed in-house, making it a top choice among Newport Beach’s dining establishments.

8. There are many beaches in the area 

Moving to Newport Beach offers unparalleled access to some of the finest beaches in California. Within easy reach, you’ll find Corona del Mar State Beach, Balboa Peninsula, Newport Pier, and Little Treasure Cove.

When you need to unwind or soak up the sun, a short drive to the coastline is all it takes. Settle down on the sandy shores, relax, or take a refreshing swim—it’s all at your fingertips.

For surfing enthusiasts, The Wedge is a must-visit spot. Situated at the eastern tip of the Balboa Peninsula, it boasts impressive swells that challenge even the most experienced surfers. If surfing isn’t your thing, you can also enjoy skimboarding, bodyboarding, and bodysurfing at this iconic location.

9. Explore the outdoors at The Back Bay or Environmental Nature Center

If beaches aren’t your thing, Newport Beach offers abundant natural experiences beyond the shorelines.

The Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve, known as “The Back Bay,” covers 1,000 acres and stands as one of Southern California’s largest coastal wetlands. It’s a haven for birdwatching, with over 35,000 birds passing through annually. Additionally, visitors can enjoy walking, hiking, biking, and horseback riding in this natural reserve.

Another popular destination is the Environmental Nature Center (ENC), spanning 3.5 acres with 15 California native plant environments. It’s a great spot for families, offering numerous hands-on activities for children.

10. Attend festivals and events like Newport Beach Jazz Festival, Artwalk on Balboa Island, or Christmas Boat Parade

Looking to break the monotony of staying indoors? Newport Beach hosts a plethora of exciting events year-round to keep you engaged and entertained.

From the soulful tunes of the Newport Beach Jazz Festival to the enchanting melodies of the Sunset Jazz Series, live music aficionados will find plenty to groove to.

Art enthusiasts can immerse themselves in creativity at events like Artwalk on Balboa Island, an annual celebration showcasing diverse art exhibits in a vibrant atmosphere. During the holiday season, experience the magical Christmas Boat Parade, where adorned boats and yachts glide through Newport Harbor, illuminating the night with festive cheer.

To Sum it All Up 

Living in Newport Beach offers a blend of coastal beauty, diverse neighborhoods, and a vibrant community. The city’s renowned schools and proximity to colleges, amenities, natural beauty, and strong job market make Newport Beach a desirable place to call home. However, the high cost of living, especially in housing, is a significant consideration for potential residents.

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