Walking Tours of Upper Newport Bay. Contact: State Department of Fish and Game. Telephone: (213) 590-5126 or Friends of Newport Back Bay.
Boating is the major activity. Large luxury cruisers leave continuously for Catalina Island of other points west and south. The harbor is often filled with colorful sails as sailboats skim along the waterways. Many regattas are held within the harbor's confines. The annual Ensenada Race, usually held the first week of May, is the largest off-shore sailboat race on the west coast with over 500 boats participating each year. Water skiing, swimming, surfing and skin diving are popular activities in the Newport area. Two piers and the back bay ecological preserve known for its diverse population of aquatic birds offer many recreational opportunities and scenic views.
Commercial facilities include boat yards, dry docks, nautical supply shops and yacht sales to service the needs of the average boater. Sightseeing and excursion boats as well as half day and full days fishing trips are continuously scheduled. Small fishing dories, motor boats, sail boats and paddle boards can be rented from private concessionaires. Specialty shops, including clothing, jewelry and gift shops are all situated near the harbor. Restaurants running the full gamut of style and cuisine, line the harbor's edge. The Newport Dunes in Upper Bay offers a launch ramp, calm water swimming beach and first class R.V. campground.
The clocks fall back early Nov. 2, marking the end of daylight saving time and OC Parks’ spring-summer operating schedule. Wilderness parks close at sunset and most regional parks close at 6 p.m. for the fall and winter.
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