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Top 5 Photo Opportunities in Newport Beach

Newport Beach seems busier than the other southern orange county coastal cities mostly because the coast highway veers inland a little due to the harbors sprinkled throughout. You see more retail, more concrete, more everything when driving along PCH in Newport. But that simply means that there are more hidden gems, less obvious points of interest which makes discovery all that more exciting. The list below takes out some of the guess work and provides you with a comprehensive accounting of "can't miss" photo opportunites within the area. Check them out but please do explore the other nooks and crannies we left out and let us know what we may have missed. 


Newport to Balboa Pier Promenade


The Newport Beachwalk is the first thing you should do when visiting Newport Beach for the first time, or when returning, or as a morning ritual if you are local. Whether starting near the Balboa or Newport Piers, you will have plenty of photo opportunities along the way. It also serves a great place to play "make believe" where you can stop at the patio ledge of any one of your favorite multi-million dollar beach front homes, lean gently and look off away from the camera so as to make it seem as if a candid shot was taken of you while relaxing outside of your own abode overlooking California paradise. However, please refrain from doing so if the actual owners are sitting there, BBQ grill smoking and Coronas in hand, unless they invite you, which they actually may.


Crystal Cove Cottage Walkways


The beach front cottages and old wodden walkways with sun bleached picket fences at Crystal Cove could serve as the backdrop for any film romance staring Richard Gere and Diane Lane, or Kevin Costner and Diane Lane, or even Richard Gere and Kevin Costner. This place looks the way the coastal Carolinas are often pictured but the sun sets here instead of rises.


You almost feel that you are trespassing on some forbidden beach property but you are not, in fact, everything about this place is welcoming. Words definitely cannot describe the quiet old beauty of this aspect of Crystal Cove, you can try your best but the camera is the only way to tell the story.


We should have placed this spot at the top of the list but it does take some effort to get to (follow the link above to get directions). Crystal Cove is not the subject for a "do it all" in one day photo montage checklist so instead, plan on devoting a whole day to this endeavor.


Balboa Fun Zone Ferris Wheel


"We don't stop playing when we get old, we get old when we stop playing.". You will probably see that quote used frequently on YAHglobal.Com. Growing up sucks, so why do it? Sure you can find a ton of classical and noteworthy points of interest along this beautiful and historic stretch of Pacific Coast Highway, enough to fill a SIM card ten fold. But you should have some serious fun while doing so, and we guarantee that there will me no forced "for the camera" smiles when hopping on a classic mini ferris wheel and capturing the moment forever.


Balboa Pier At Sunset


While not quite the "all powerful", tsunami proof Huntington Beach Pier structure, the Balboa Pier has old California appeal, likened to the days of Gidget and the Beach Boys, even though the actual Surf City HB is 20 min north. The wooden perched walkway into the pacific capped by 50's diner styled Ruby's makes for a great "sunset on the horizon" photo opportunity.


The Wedge


The "Wedge". The name strikes fear into the minds of those that know its power or those that have heard the rumors. This place is no urban legend, it is pure ocean power at its meanest when the swell is on. We're talking about a wave that has been known to reach intense 30 foot heights, NOT breaking far off into the ocean nor even a stones throw away, but right on the shoreline, crashing down upon beach towels, wiping away sandcastles that took hours to build and taking small dogs, correction, a great dane along with its owner out to sea.


To many, this all means FUN. Some of the world's best, and craziest skimboarders, surfers (board and body) congregate along the rock jetty that "wedges" the oceans incoming torpedos creating the wave formation that sends bodies flying along its bluish green wall in an effort to capture the ultimate thrill. We suggest capturing these moments on photo instead. You'll find as many photo and videographers as you will action sports enthusiasts when the conditions are optimum at The Wedge, and there is a good reason for that. You will witness some of the most awe inspiring moments you have seen in this little corner along Newport Beach's coastline.


The only reason this location is listed at the end is because it is dependent upon mother natures conditions (to see it at its best) and requires a far walk down past Balboa Pier where the concrete path becomes unaccessible. Follow this link "The Wedge" for reports on ocean conditions, if its above 5ft or more, its worth checking out.