Lower Newport Bay Real Estate
Newport Bay is divided into 2 distinct regions by a bridged section of Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) that splits the bay. North of the bridge is referred to as Upper Newport Bay, or the “Back Bay”. South of the bridge is commonly known as “Lower” Newport Bay, or “Newport Harbor”.
When referring to Lower Newport Bay real estate, we’re typically talking about the areas of Balboa Island, Bayshore, Balboa Cove, Beacon Bay, and Promontory Bay.
Because of their location, Lower Newport Bay homes offer some of the most spectacular bay front views in the area, with many that have yards or even private docks right on the waterfront.
Living in Lower Newport Bay Homes
Lower Newport Bay is easily accessible from either PCH or Jamboree Rd or can even be accessed from “The Peninsula” via the Balboa Island Ferry. For those commuting to and from this area for work, the 73 toll road is mere miles away down either Jamboree road or MacArthur Blvd and the 55 freeway is only minutes to the north along PCH and east up Newport Blvd.
Waterfront or even water-adjacent property is this area is limited and because, it can be a little difficult to find the right type of home in the area. Prices can be steep in this neighborhood and there are many factors to take into consideration before making the decision to live in the harbor or on one of its exclusive islands. Expect home prices to start in the low-to-mid $1M range for smaller, single-family homes and escalate to upwards of $20M for luxury, waterfront mansions.
Taking the time to tour the area and do a little research is well advised. There are definitely significant upsides and downsides to factor into your decisioning when contemplating a purchase in Lower Newport Bay.
Pros and Cons of Living in a Lower Newport Bay Home?
First and foremost, there is a bit of a parking problem. This is a common thread in most of the Newport coastal towns that are situated either very close to or right on the water. Local beachgoers and tourists alike will clog the streets for most of the year making garage space a must. In popular tourist spots such as Balboa Island, traffic can also get pretty thick with people cruising the main strip and making their way towards the Balboa Island Ferry.
If you’re looking for a house with reasonable yard space, then this area isn’t necessarily for you. Homes are positioned rather close together and there is very little extra space available on most of the lots in the neighborhood – except of course, in the larger, more expensive expensive custom lots.
Much like on the Balboa Peninsula
, there are also a good deal of vacation rentals in this neighborhood, meaning you can expect a revolving door of renters, college students, and other non-permanent neighbors throughout a good portion of the year.
That’s not to say you won’t like living here though. The island properties in the bay are absolutely beautiful. They have a variety of unique amenities that won’t be found anywhere else in Orange County.
Those who own watercraft and are avid sailors or anglers will find this to be a paradise beyond compare as there are a multitude of easy access options for local boat parking within walking distance including:
- Bay moorings
- Secure marinas with spacious slips
- Private docks attached to bayside properties
Many of the homes in the area also have ample patio space that either faces the bay or is up on the rooftop so that homeowners have a 360° view of all picturesque beauty that Newport Bay and the Pacific Coast has to offer.
Activities for Residents of Lower Newport Bay?
Yes, and yes again! This area is a big tourist draw for a reason. Within minutes of your front porch, there is access to an abundance of beachside fun and recreation.
For surfers, there is the legendary beach known as “The Wedge”. Surf aficionados from all over the world make this beach a “must-see” destination because of its characteristic tall waves and fantastic shore break. Those who spend most of their time on the sand will appreciate the spectacular view of the sunset that plays here daily.
Those with an appreciation for watersport other than surfing will love the abundance of recreational activities available to them in this part of the bay. Many residents enjoy canoeing, paddle boarding, and just about every water sport you can think of – and some you probably can’t. There’s even a place where you can ride a water-powered jet pack for a small fee.
Again, those whose hobbies revolve around boating will love that this area houses one of the finest clubs for mariners on all of the West Coast in the Newport Beach Yacht Club. Members in this exclusive society have access to a host of luxury comforts including, but not limited to:
- The Member’s Clubhouse – complete with a bar, fine dining, and banquet facilities
- Sailing classes, regattas, and motor boat events
- An array of social and professional networking events throughout the year
- Private wine storage
- Priority consideration for local slip rental
- Private Newport Harbor boat tours for members, their family, and friends
Lower Bay residents are also walking or biking distance (and a short ferry ride) to all of the incredible amenities that the peninsula has to offer including:
- Low-cost, delicious eateries
- Fine, waterfront dining
- Unique specialty boutiques
- And beaches as far as the eye can see
This area is also a 5 minute drive to Fashion Island and only a 10 minute drive to South Coast Plaza, so shopping and dining opportunities will never be difficult to discover.
In the Bayside, Beacon Bay, and Promontory Bay areas, there are a slew of incredible waterfront restaurants accessible from PCH including local favorites such as The Cannery, SOL Cocina, 3 Thirty 3 Waterfront, and the Galley Café. Simply put, you will never be hard pressed to find great food (and especially seafood) living in this lovely coastal bayou.
Is There Any Good Reason Not to Live In Lower Newport Bay?
Not really, this place is pretty awesome.
However, if you’re looking for a less crowded, slightly more family friendly coastal town, then places like Eastbluff, Harbor View, or Newport Heights might be more your speed. Keep in mind though, these aren’t really beach communities, so you’ll have to sacrifice the ocean view and convenient waterfront access.
For those who love the ocean, watersports, and the lush, incredible scenery that areas like Newport Beach has to offer, than there is really no better place to live than in the Lower and Western parts of Newport Beach and in Newport Harbor.
Homes will cost you a pretty penny, but this area is an all-inclusive, self-contained utopia for those who love the lively energy, one-of-a-kind shopping and dining, and sheer extravagance that comes with living in dazzling seaside homes within one of the most desirable locales in all of America.