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Family Guide to visiting Newport Coast with Kids – Where to eat, stay & play

There is so much more than you realize for families to do on the Newport Coast with kids

A mermaid at heart, it is no wonder why I love the sea. The beach is my happy place and Newport Beach is like home. The beach of my youth, I grew up playing on Newport’s sandy coast, day dreaming about all things childishly magical.

It is where I first tried my favorite mint chocolate chip ice cream during a family vacation at the age of five. It is where HotDaddy and I spent many lazy days of summer as teenagers. Now, it is where I get to watch my children play and explore as they make beachy memories that will last a lifetime.

Newport Beach may hold a special place in my heart, but it also attracts millions of visitors every year. It is also where a couple of the OC Housewives reside. Many associate Newport Beach with pomp and circumstance, but it is very relaxed and perfect for families.

Newport Coast offers something for everyone from the chic to the family-friendly. It’s a wonder I travel anywhere else. Without further adieu, here are some fun things to do on the Newport Coast with kids.

Beautiful picture of Newport Beach from the Pier

Keep the Cost in Check:

Like most beach towns in California, rich people stay here and play here, but that doesn’t mean you have to rich to enjoy this town. The beach is free and there are plenty of reasonable dining and accommodation options for those without bottomless wallets.

Places to stay near Newport Beach

Newport Coast has a wide range of hotel options from the ultra-luxurious to the simple and comfortable. It really depends on what you want your experiences to be about. For the epitome of luxury, stay at the Pelican Hill Resort, but for those that are more budget conscious the Little Inn By The Bay is sweet and conveniently located across from the beach.

Doryman’s Oceanfront Inn is one of my favorites. A Victorian dating back to 1880, it is decorated with French and American antiques.  Across the parking lot from the sand and pier, it has gorgeous views and walking distance from all the activities. It is rather pricey, but perfect for a special occasion.

Another great option is beach house rentals. It is great for large families and easy way to keep the cost in check with meals at home. The more people you have the cheaper the financial burden on each individual adult. For more information on beach rentals.

For information on beach camping, see my post on Newport Dunes RV Resort, HERE.

Newport Dunes RV Resort image of campsites and cute camper vans

Places to Eat Newport Coast

Spaghetti Factory

This is my favorite, because it is the only place I can get my Mizithra Cheese & Browned Butter. My mouth is watering already! Our family loves The Manager’s Favorite where you get to pair your two favorite sauces. For us, this always means meat sauce and mizithra. I recommend upgrading to the hearty portion, because it makes for a wonder leftover or late night snack! All meals come with bread, salad and ice cream which make this meal a great value for families. My kids LOVE the broccoli which is slathered in mizithra and browned butter. I order the large portion of broccoli for my son and he will eat the whole platter. They also offer whole wheat and gluten free noodles. The décor is unique with jewel colored velvet oversized chairs, dark rich woods, Tiffani light fixtures, stained glass and of course the signature red trolley. It is the perfect place to the end day and to satisfy that beach hunger.

kid at spaghetti factory newport beach eating broccoli

Crab Cooker

There is always has a line around the corner, so you know it is good. Known for having some the best seafood around, Crab Cooker was featured in Coastal Living Magazine. For information on Crab Cooker and its history, see my post, HERE.

Crab Cooker Restaurant in Newport Coast

Charlie’s Chili

This restaurant is located right off the pier. They have fantastic chili (duh) which is even better over fries, but I really love the chef salad. It is always our first stop before we hit the beach and usually where Papa hangs out while the kids play on the sand. They serve breakfast as well and I recommend the chili omelet.

Charlie's Chili Restaurant on the beach in Newport

Where to grab a drink:

For being considered a ritzy area there are a surprising amount of dive bars. So for those who what the beach bar scene, Baja Sharkeez, Beach Ball, Malarky’s Irish Pub, Blue Beet and Mutt Lynches are walking distance for the beach and great for a quick drink.

Charlie Chili’s has a good happy hour, but they don’t allow drinking on the patio anymore which is kind of a bummer.

Rockin’ Baja Lobster is across the parking lot from the pier and also has a good happy hour.

Newport Beach Brewing Co. is great for beer lovers and they offer some late night specials. Most of these venues allow kids during certain hours so be sure to check.

Fun Things to do in Newport Beach

It is the beach! Have fun in the sun, sand and surf. Bring a nice blanket, some chairs and some toys and let the fun happen naturally. The kids have a blast just playing the sand and splashing in the waves. You never know what adventures will ensue.

Collage of images of family with kids having beach fun on newport coast

My daughter usually always makes a new friend and sometimes we even gets to meet some sea-life friends.

Daughter with a seal on the beach in newport coast

Newport has miles of coast and plenty of activities and attractions. For family fun I like to take the kids to Balboa to ride the ferries wheel. You can read more about all that there is to do in Balboa, HERE.

Kid Fun on Balboa Fun Zone in Newport Coast

Visitors can choose from a variety of water sports like jet packing, para-sailing, kayaking and Duffy boats, just to name a few. Our favorite thing to do is take the kids to Back Bay for some paddle boarding. It’s relaxing, fun for the kids and great core workout HotMama.

Kids Paddleboarding at newport dunes rv resort in newport coast

I’m not a fan of marathon days on the beach, because it is hot and my kids are white. Luckily, Newport Beach is in the OC and that means proximity to fantastic attractions such as Disneyland (see HERE), Knott’s Berry Farm (HERE), OC Marketplace, Fashion Island, etc. So be sure to check out all your options before you plan you visit and have fun visiting Newport!

That’s a Wrap:

Newport Beach is rather large with nine different neighborhoods to explore, but the coast is a great place to start. The weather is rarely bad and the fun never stops. So pack up the kids, pack up the sunscreen and get ready for a wonderful beach vacation on the Newport Coast with kids.

Have you ever been to Newport Coast? Did you like it?

Would you want to?

Like it? Pin it!

Newport Coast with KIds


I am a busy mama with 3 delicious babies and a serious itch for travel and writing (when I am not bartending, that is)! After graduating from Cal State San Marcos with a B.A. in Communications, I decided to start a family and pursue a career in freelance writing. I created HotMamaTravel as an outlet to do what I love while sharing useful travel tips and inspiration with others. Our mission is to show parents how to master travel with kids, while keeping your Saturday-night selves. We call it "Family travel...with a twist".


  1. Living in Australia, Newport always looks so glamorous as it is depicted in TV shows like the “OC”.
    Lovely to see a more down to earth family friendly version.

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  3. Pingback: Travel Blog | Camping at Newport Dunes with Beautiful Drone Footage – BookMyHotels

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