Newport Beach Neighborhood Guide

Woman in yellow dress seated on sofa in stylish room featured in The Scout Guide.

Like most cities, Newport Beach boasts an array of neighborhoods that — in their distinctive architecture, local businesses, and traditions — add depth and interest to our coastal town’s character. And from Balboa Island to Newport Coast, each of Newport Beach’s enclaves boasts a unique feel. Yet, understanding them — and discerning which is best tailored to your lifestyle — is a local’s job. Enter Founding Member of The Scout Guide Newport Beach and Scouted Real Estate Agent, Michelle Q. Linovitz.

Known for her white-glove approach and keen eye for design, Michelle Linovitz is one of coastal Orange County’s most sought-after real estate experts. A top-producer involved in many of Newport Beach and Corona Del Mar’s most notable sales, Michelle’s expertise is rivaled only by her deep roots in the community (read more about those roots here). Deeply engrained in the fabric of coastal Orange County living, Michelle offers longtime locals and newcomers an unparalleled understanding of local neighborhoods.

Here, Michelle lends neighborhood-specific knowledge, breaking down her favorite Newport Beach communities to share the elements that attract buyers and make living local lovely — no matter where you choose to put down roots.

Boats on water near docks with waterfront homes, The Scout Guide to coastal leisure.

WESTCLIFF

When we talk about Newport Beach here, we’re talking specifically about Cliff Haven, Newport Heights, Drover Shores, Bayshore, and Linda Isle. Nestled against the Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve, it’s a highly-walkable area locals love.

WHY YOU’LL LOVE IT

Central location means you’re close to everything Newport Beach has to offer, from shopping to dining + docking.

Family-oriented neighborhoods with access to top-rated schools.

LOCAL FAVORITES

C’EST SI BON (149 Riverside Ave, Suite A) for coffee and baguettes.

JUXTAPOSITION (191 Riverside Ave, Suite D) for home goods.

A RESTAURANT (3334 West Coast Highway) for the best martini and cheeseburger.

A’MAREES (2241 West Coast Hwy) for splurgeworthy shopping.

BALBOA BAY RESORT & CLUB (1221 West Coast Hwy) is a local favorite for waterfront amenities. Membership is a must.

Sunny marina setting with people enjoying live music, The Scout Guide style.

BALBOA PENINUNSULA & LIDO

Newport Beach’s Balboa Peninsula is flanked by beaches on the one side and Newport’s famed Harbor on the other, where locally-made Duffy Boats are often seen cruisin’ about. Generally known for its eclectic mix of property types, the Peninsula also claims two man made islands, Lido Isle, known for its waterfront homes and close proximity to Lido Marina Village, and Bay Island, an exclusive island of luxury homes that does not allow cars. At the Peninsula’s tip is the aptly named Peninsula Point, a mix of charming cottages and waterfront estates, and of course, “The Wedge” a renowned surf spot known for its powerful shorebreak waves.

WHY YOU’LL LOVE IT

Beach and waterfront properties with private docks abound.

Easy access to the boardwalk, beautiful beaches, and surfing.

LOCAL FAVORITES

LIDO MARINA VILLAGE (3434 Via Lido) for luxe waterside shopping and dining. Enjoy local favorites like Alchemy Works and name brands like elysewalker.

ARC BUTCHER & BAKER (417 30th Street) for a chopped salad or (and!) enchiladas.

BALBOA FUN ZONE (600 E Bay Avenue) is a nostalgia-filled Newport Beach landmark beloved by all ages.

LIDO HOUSE (3300 Newport Blvd) is where the perfect place to stow visitors when you don’t feel up to hosting in-home. Plus, it has one of the best rooftop bars in the country

THE WEDGE is a famous surf destination. It has the biggest swell in Southern California, after all.

*Indicates the business or institution has been scouted by TSG Newport Beach.
Charming street view showcasing flags outside buildings, The Scout Guide essence.

BALBOA ISLAND

Neighborhood Location: One of the area’s more popular tourist destinations and only accessible by bridge or short ferry ride, Balboa Island is a picturesque man made island nestled in Newport Harbor, renowned for its small-town charm and scenic waterfront views. Its main thoroughfare, Marine Avenue, is lined with boutique shops, art galleries, and family-friendly restaurants. Pro Tip: Experience the lifestyle before you commit to a purchase by enjoying one of many summer rentals.

WHY YOU’LL LOVE IT

Highly walkable. At just 2.6 miles in circumference, it’s the perfect place to walk dogs and littles. 

Festive. Whether it’s Christmas or Fourth of July, Balboa Island residents delight in holiday decor. 

Easy access to Newport Harbor means easy access to Newport Beach’s favorite mode of transportation: boats. In that vein, docking and dining is part of daily life. Pro Tip: Not waterfront? Enjoy ample public dock access. 

A charming mix of cottages and newly renovated homes means there’s something for everyone.

LOCAL FAVORITES

DAD’S DONUTS (318 Marine Ave) is a Balboa institution. Grab a Hippo Cookies and Balboa Bars. 

RUBY’S DINER (1 Balboa Pier #1) is another Balboa institution. Grab a shake and a burger. 

THE VILLAGE INN (127 Marine Ave) is the neighborhood watering hole. 

*ROYAL HEN (311 Marine Ave) is a cozy neighborhood favorite perfect for date nights – and founding member of TSG Newport Beach.  

*BLUE ATLAS MARKETPLACE (321 Marine Ave) is the local go-to for all things gifting. 

*BALBOA ISLAND MUSEUM (210 Marine Ave) celebrates Balboa Island and Newport Beach culture, preserving the community’s heritage and legacy. New to town? It should be your first stop to get acquainted with your new surroundings.

*Indicates the business or institution has been scouted by TSG Newport Beach.
Pathway lined with tropical trees near The Scout Guide sign at Sherman Library & Gardens.

CORONA DEL MAR

Stretched along the Pacific coast between Newport Beach and Laguna Beach, Corona del Mar is home to some of the area’s most exceptional real estate, often with captivating ocean views. Most notable to the area is Corona del Mar Village, locally referred to as the “Flower Streets” for the streets’ flower monikers, where restaurants and shops straddle both sides of PCH.

LOCAL FAVORITES

Ocean views and high-end homes. 

Walk to buzz-worthy favorites including shops and restaurants. 

Easy access to the best beaches, Big Corona and Little Corona. 

WHY YOU’LL LOVE IT

HILLSTONE RESTAURANTS (Multiple Locations) including all the favorites, Gulfstream, Bandera, and R&D Kitchen

THE QUIET WOMAN (3224 Pacific Coast Hwy) for drinks and live music. 

ROGERS GARDENS (2301 San Joaquin Hills Rd) a CDM institution with a storied history of gorgeous greenery. 

SHERMAN LIBRARY & GARDENS (2647 East Coast Hwy) for botanical beauty and kid-friendly programming. 

LAGUNA SUPPLY (210 Beach St) for shopping. Think, local-approved wardrobe staples. 

ZINC CAFÉ & MARKET (3222 East Coast Hwy) for waffles followed by a stroll through the CDM Farmers Market. CDM CHRISTMAS WALK (December) is a free, family-friendly holiday staple.

Shake Shack at Crystal Cove with The Scout Guide, American flag waving.

NEWPORT COAST

Just south of the main body of Newport Beach and North of Laguna Beach atop a hillside that overlooks the Pacific Ocean, Newport Coast Is often described as the “Pacific Riviera.” You’ll find ample open space and estate-style homes, plus easy-access to resort amenities, state parks, and world-class golf courses.

WHY YOU’LL LOVE IT

Unparalleled views of the Pacific. Expect jaw-dropping vistas from many properties! 

Open spaces reign. In fact, of the approximately 9,432 acres that comprise Newport Coast, 75% is dedicated to open space and golf courses. 

Easy access to Corona Del Mar, Laguna Beach, and John Wayne Airport (ETA: give or take 10 minutes). 

LOCAL FAVORITES

CRYSTAL COVE STATE BEACH (Access from I-5, 405 and 73) for beach days, hikes, and walks. Pro Tip: Grab a post-beach burger and shake at the Crystal Cove Shake Shack. 

JAVIER’S (7832 Pacific Coast Hwy) for margaritas and high-end Mexican. Note the recent renovations, which make it a swank spot. 

MODO MIO RUSTIC ITALIAN KITCHEN (7946 East Coast Hwy) for family-style Italian. 

PELICAN HILL RESORT (22701 S Pelican Hill Rd) consistently ranks among the top golf resorts in the country, making it a major pro for golfers. 

THE BEACHCOMBER (15 Crystal Cove) for the traditional martini flag raising – 5:00 pm sharp!

Courtyard dining at The Scout Guide recommended venue with trees and umbrellas.

EAST SIDE COSTA MESA

East Costa Mesa leans young and hip. In addition to post-war and ranch-style homes, you’ll find tons of young professionals and their generation’s essentials: namely hip bars, coffee shops, and restaurants. Just two-ish miles from the beach, East Costa Mesa offers easy access to the best of Newport Beach living (including access to top rated schools) without the Newport Beach prices.

WHY YOU’LL LOVE IT

Urban-meets-suburban feel. Think, family-friendly neighborhood vibes with easy access to 17th Street favorites and hidden gems. 

Great mix of bars, trendy coffee shops, restaurants, and parks.

Speaking of parks, enjoy easy-access to Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve.

NEIGHBORHOOD FAVORITES

HI-TIME WINE CELLARS (250 Ogle St) for hard-to-please oenophiles, a family-owned wine store.  

*MAMA BIJOUX (234 E 17th St, Suite 203) for the 14k pick-me-ups and diamond treats. 

MILLIGRAM COFFEE & KITCHEN (234 E 17th St, Suite 107) for coffee or brunch (or both). 

*HAIRY LITTLE THINGS (234 E 17th St, Suite 205) for the best brows in town. 

SIDECAR DONUTS (270 E 17th St, Suite 18) for gourmet donuts and coffee. Definitely a Saturday morning favorite. 

TRENTA PIZZA & CUCINA (1661 Superior Ave, Suite D) for some of the best Italian in town. 
*WHERE’S THE PARTY (270 E 17th St) for festive goods.

*Indicates the business or institution has been scouted by TSG Newport Beach.

For more insider information on Newport Beach neighborhoods and expert guidance on buying or selling in Coastal Orange County, reach out to Volume 2’s Michelle Q. Linovitz. And don’t forget to tell her Scout sent you!