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Newport Beach is a seaside city in Orange County, California, United States. Its population was 85,287 at the 2010 census. Newport Beach is also home to Newport Harbor.
The Upper Bay of Newport is a canyon, which was carved by a stream in the Pleistocene period. The lower bay of Newport was formed much later by sand that was brought along by ocean currents, which constructed the offshore beach that is now recognized as the Balboa Peninsula of Newport Beach. Before settlers reached the coasts of California, the Newport area and surrounding areas were very prominent Indian lands. Indian shells and relics can still be found today scattered throughout the area. Though, throughout the 1800s, settlers began to settle the area due to the availability of land. The State of California sold acre-plots of land for $1 a piece in the Newport area. Anglo-American inhabitation in the area grew substantially following the events of 1870 when a 105-ton steamer named The Vaquero, captained by Captain Samuel S. Dunnells (against warnings posted by surveyors) safely steered through the lower and upper bay of Newport where it unloaded its cargo. James Irvine, after hearing the astonishing news, quickly traveled from his home in San Francisco to the San Joaquin Ranch. Meeting in Irvine’s ranch house near current day UC Irvine with his brother, Robert Irvine, and friend James McFadden, they all agreed that the newly found port should be named simply, “Newport” thus where Newport Beach gets its name.
In 1905, city development increased when Pacific Electric Railway established a southern terminus in Newport connecting the beach with downtown Los Angeles. In 1906 (with a population of 206 citizens), the scattered settlements were incorporated as the City of Newport Beach.
Settlements filled in on the Peninsula, West Newport, Newport Island, Balboa Island and Lido Isle. In 1923 Corona del Mar was annexed and in 2002 Newport Coast, East Santa Ana Heights and San Joaquin Hills, were annexed. In 2008, after a long battle with the city of Costa Mesa, Newport Beach annexed West Santa Ana Heights.
The city is bordered on the west by Huntington Beach at the Santa Ana River; on the north by Costa Mesa, John Wayne Airport, the City of Irvine and UC Irvine; and on the east by Crystal Cove State Park.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 53.0 square miles (137 km2). 23.8 square miles (62 km2) of it is land and 29.2 square miles (76 km2) of it (55.07%) is water.
Areas of Newport Beach include Corona del Mar, Balboa Island, Balboa Peninsula (also known as Balboa), Lido Peninsula, Newport Coast, San Joaquin Hills, and Santa Ana Heights, and West Newport.
Newport Harbor is a semi-artificial harbor that was formed by dredging Newport Bay estuary during the early 1900s. Several artificial islands were built, which are now covered with private homes: Newport Island, Balboa Island, Little Balboa Island, Collins Island, Bay Island, Harbor Island, Lido Isle and Linda Isle.
Newport Harbor once supported maritime industries such as boatbuilding, shipbuilding, and commercial fishing, but today it is used mostly for recreation. Its shores are occupied mostly by private homes and private docks. With approximately 9,000 boats, Newport Harbor is one of the largest recreational boat harbors on the U.S. west coast. It’s a popular destination for all boating activities, including sailing, fishing, rowing, canoeing, kayaking, and paddleboarding.
Commercial maritime operations today include the Catalina Flyer ferry to Catalina Island, harbor tours, sport fishing and whale watching day trips and charters, and a few small commercial fishing boats.
Newport Bay is divided by the Pacific Coast Highway bridge, which is too low for most sailboats and very large boats to pass under. North of the bridge is referred to as Upper Newport Bay, or the Back Bay. South of the bridge is commonly called Lower Newport Bay, or Newport Harbor. However the Back Bay also has harbor facilities, especially the marina and launch ramp at The Dunes.
The north end of the Newport Harbor channels around Lido Island have a number of small business centers and were at one time used by the fishing fleets as their home. On the North East side of the channel, the Lido Marina Village now provides the local port to many “Newport Party Boats” as well as small merchants and local restaurants. It also hosts the area boat show each year as well as an organic “Farmers Market” Sundays, in addition to being the port for the local Gondola Company. In 2014, the center was closed for a renovation.
In 1927 a home was built at the mouth of the entrance of Newport Harbor that came to be known as the China House of China Cove. The home was built using the traditional Chinese architecture. It was a landmark in the Newport Beach Harbor until it was demolished in the 1980s. Some of the original roof can be seen on a home located in the China Cove.
Upper Newport Bay is an estuary that was formed by a prehistoric flow of the Santa Ana River. Today it is fed by a small stream from San Diego Creek. Much of Upper Newport Bay is a protected natural area known as the Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve, established in 1975.
The City of Newport Beach was incorporated on September 1, 1906 and adopted its charter on January 7, 1955. The city implements a council-manager form of government, directed by a seven-member council who reside in specific geographic districts, but are elected at-large. Council elections take place in even-numbered years, and councilmembers serve four-year terms. The mayor is chosen annually by the city council.
Until 1927, the governing body of the City was known as a Board of Trustees with a President as its head. An act of the Legislature in 1927 changed the Board to City Council with a Mayor as the head.
As of January 2016, the California Secretary of State reported that Newport Beach had 53,131 registered voters, and more than half of them (28,887) are Republicans. According to a report by the Sacramento Bee, Newport Beach is the most Republican city in California.
In the California State Legislature, Newport Beach is in the 37th Senate District, represented by Republican John Moorlach, and in the 74th Assembly District, represented by Republican Matthew Harper.
In the United States House of Representatives, Newport Beach is in California’s 48th congressional district, represented by Republican Dana Rohrabacher.
Housing prices in Newport Beach ranked eighth highest in the United States in a 2009 survey.
Newport Beach is home to one Fortune 500 company, insurer Pacific Life. Other companies based in Newport Beach include Acacia Research, Galardi Group (Wienerschnitzel, The Original Hamburger Stand, and Tastee-Freez) Jazz Semiconductor, and PIMCO. Fletcher Jones Motor Cars in Newport Beach is the largest Mercedes-Benz dealership in the world. At one time Edwards Theatres had its headquarters in Newport Beach. Before its dissolution Air California was headquartered in Newport Beach. The city’s largest law firm is Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth, with approximately 75 attorneys at its Fashion Island location. Toyota has a design center, Calty Design Research, in Newport Beach which is responsible for the exterior design of the 2nd, 5th, and 7th generation Celica, as well as some Lexus and Scion models.
Beachgoers have flocked to Newport Beach since the Pacific Electric Railway started bringing them in 1905.
Attractions include the city beaches from the Santa Ana River to the tip of the Balboa Peninsula, Corona del Mar State Beach, and the beaches at Crystal Cove State Park.
Newport Beach is renowned for good surfing, especially between Newport Pier and the Santa Ana River. At the tip of the Balboa Peninsula, The Wedge offers world-class bodyboarding and bodysurfing.
Newport Pier and Balboa Pier both draw fishermen and sightseers.
A boardwalk (actually a concrete path) runs 2.9 miles (4.7 km) from 36th Street in West Newport, past Newport Pier and Balboa Pier, to between E and F Streets on the Balboa Peninsula.
Newport Harbor is the largest recreational boat harbor on the U.S. west coast, and a popular destination for all boating activities, including sailing, fishing, rowing, kayaking, and paddleboarding.
The annual Christmas Boat Parade dates back to 1908. The New York Times has called it, “One of the top ten holiday happenings in the nation”.
Competitive sailing, rowing, and paddling events occur almost every weekend, and weekdays during summer. The annual Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race is the largest sailboat race in the world.
Boating activities are organized by five private yacht clubs, along with Orange Coast College, UC Irvine, and the Sea Scouts, all of which have sailing, rowing, and water activity bases on the harbor. The Newport Aquatic Center allows open public participation in competitive rowing, canoeing, kayaking, and outrigger canoe racing. The Orange Coast College School of Sailing and Seamanship offers recreational and professional sailing and mariners’ courses and certifications, including United States Coast Guard licensing.
Weekly races take place during the summer that are organized by the local yacht clubs, inside the harbor, including the Beer Can Races, from the Balboa Yacht Club
Hand-carried boats may be launched from Newport Harbor’s public beaches. A launching ramp at The Dunes RV Resort and Marina provides access for trailered boats.
Harbor boat tours feature celebrity homes and other waterfront points of interest. Large charter vessels cater to weddings and other special events. Rental and charter boats of all sizes and types are available from several operators.
The Newport Harbor Nautical Museum is dedicated to the history of Newport Harbor, and the industries and people that were attracted to the waters of Newport Beach.
On the Balboa Peninsula, the historic Balboa Pavilion and Balboa Island Ferry are the city’s most famous landmarks. Adjacent to the Pavilion, the 500 passenger Catalina Flyer provides daily transportation to and from Avalon, located on Santa Catalina Island. In the same vicinity, the Balboa Fun Zone offers a ferris wheel, bungee jumping, arcade games, souvenir shops and eateries, boat rentals, and harbor tour boat rides; and is also home to the Newport Harbor Nautical Museum.
Balboa Island’s village charm draws many visitors. A waterfront path around the island attracts walkers and joggers, and provides easy access from the ferry to the shops and restaurants on Marine Ave.
Upper Newport Bay, or the Back Bay, is ringed by Back Bay Drive and a network of trails and paths that attract bicyclists, rollerbladers, joggers, and walkers.
Bird watchers and nature lovers are drawn to the Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve and Peter and Mary Muth Interpretive Center; and to Crystal Cove State Park, which features tide pools at the beach, and backcountry hiking and mountain biking trails.
Camping is available at Crystal Cove State Park, and at the Newport Dunes RV Park Resort and Marina.
Whale watching is also popular, with both scheduled and charter boats leaving from Newport Harbor. Whales and dolphin can often be seen from the pier and shoreline during migration season.
Fishing is also extremely popular in Newport Bay, off the coast of Newport, and along the Newport Bay Jetty. In the bay there are multiple locations to purchase bait for dockside or spear fishing convenience. There are about 80 fishable species located in Newport Bay. A few of the most commonly fished species are: Gray Smoothhound Shark, Leopard Shark, Round Stingray, Shovelnose Guitarfish, Pacific Staghorn Sculpin, Silvery Mullet, Top-smelt, California Halibut, Spotted Sand Bass, Yellowfin Croaker, Bat Ray, Thornback Ray, Diamond Turbot, Shiner Surfperch, Corbina, Opaleye, Pile Surfperch, and Red Shiner. Commercial fishing is also prominent in offshore Newport Beach and Newport Bay. One such sea creature commercially fished in the reefs in this area is lobster. Lobster season opens in late September.
The boardwalk is a natural draw for bicyclists. Beach cruiser bikes can be rented at several places on the Balboa Peninsula. Bicyclists are also drawn to Back Bay Drive and the bike paths around Upper Newport Bay; the hilly roads winding through Newport Coast and the San Joaquin Hills; and the mountain biking trails in the San Joaquin Hills and Crystal Cove State Park. Pacific Coast Highway provides access to these areas and is a major bicycle route through the region, despite being shared with heavy motor vehicle traffic.
Many neighborhoods in Newport Beach are amenable to bicycling. Locals are inclined to use bicycles for short trips, especially to get through summer beach traffic and avoid motor vehicle parking shortages.
The Pelican Hill area has two golf courses, both of which reopened in November 2007 after design enhancements were completed, as well as the construction of a new resort and clubhouse. Both courses rank among the Golf Digest America’s 100 Greatest Public Golf Courses.
Fashion Island at Newport Center is a regional shopping and entertainment destination. Also at Newport Center, the Orange County Museum of Art exhibits modern and contemporary art, with emphasis on the work of Californian artists.
The Newport Theater Arts Center presents high quality live theater in a 90-seat venue with low ticket prices.
Dining in Newport Beach, like many oceanfront towns, tends to focus on seafood restaurants but there are a variety of restaurants that range in price and type of food. Some of the restaurants in Newport Beach are the 21 Oceanfront, Bayside Restaurant, Sol Grill, Gulfstream and Fleming’s Prime Steak House. Some local favorite food vendors include: The Crab Cooker, Bear Flag Fish Co., and True Food Kitchen. After a night at the bars, many locals know to go to the late night eateries; Laventina’s for a quick and delicious pizza or Seaside Bakery for savory croissants and donuts.
The village areas of Corona del Mar and Balboa Island are ideal for walking to explore the shops and restaurants. Some other areas of interest include Balboa Village area between the ferry and the pier, and the area encompassing Newport Pier, McFadden Square, Cannery Village and Lido Village.
Newport Beach has two farmers’ markets: Saturday mornings in Corona Del Mar, at the corner of Marguerite and Pacific Coast Highway; and Sunday mornings in Lido Village, where Via Oporto is closed to traffic. The farmers market at Via Oporto has great ratings and provides great food through around 15 vendors. It is also tremondously beautiful scenery with redbrick roads hidden from the constant traffic congestion of Newport.
Content Courtesy of Wikipedia.org
Newport Beach Home
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