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Moving to Newport Beach? Here are the Pros and Cons of Living in This Coastal Community

Moving to Newport Beach

Have you always wanted to live by the sparkling blue waters? Or watch the sun rising or setting on the beach? If you dream of beachside living, Newport Beach is a place worth considering. Located in Orange County, Newport Beach is a gorgeous coastal town known for stunning homes and exciting activities.

Who wouldn’t want to live in this vibrant coastal community? Whether you’re a beach baby, on the hunt for your next home, or catching a fine wave, this beautiful beachside community has something for everyone, both in and out of the sea. That’s why it’s such a sought-after place to stay.

Are you thinking of making the move to this vacation hotspot? Wondering what the pros and cons are of making this coastal destination your home? We will break it down for you. In this piece, we take a closer look and share the pros and cons of living in Newport Beach.


beachfront home

Newport Beach is one of those quintessential SoCal towns – laidback but lively, casual but luxe, and affluent but charming and community-oriented. It’s located on the Orange County coast, bordered by Crystal Cove State Park to the east, Huntington Beach to the west, Costa Mesa to the north, and the glittering Pacific Ocean to the south. It lies around 45 miles south of Los Angeles.

Newport Harbor was formed in the 1900s when the Newport Bay estuary was dredged. Several artificial islands were made at the same time, including Linda Isle, Lido Isle, and Harbor Island. Like many towns by the sea, Newport Beach was initially
known as a hub for maritime businesses.

Over the years, it grew into a residential community and a tourist hotspot. The 25-square-mile area was incorporated on September 1, 1906. Today, it’s home to over 86,000 residents with a median income of approximately $122,700. The 21-square mile harbor area accommodates around 4,300 boats of all types.

Newport Beach consists of a number of neighborhoods called villages. Each one is unique and charming, with luxurious and beautiful properties and distinctive attractions that set them apart. Newport Beach is also a prime tourist destination with the peak spring and summer months seeing the town population swell to over 100,000.

If you’re thinking of moving to Newport Beach, find out the pros and cons of living in this City of Villages.


guy walking on seashore

Let’s start with the perks. Living in Newport Beach means:

  1. Access to beautiful beaches

    The number one benefit of living in Newport Beach is the amazing beach lifestyle. If you have always pictured yourself by the water swimming, surfing, or sunbathing, this is the perfect home for you, where you can spend your time by the shore or in the water anytime you want.

    Newport Beach boasts more than 8 miles of sandy shores, from the Crystal Cove State Park all the way to the Santa Ana River. The beach is open daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. and is every beachgoer’s dream, whether they prefer swimming, surfing, picnics, or taking a stroll down the pier.

    No matter what neighborhood, residents of Newport Beach are all within a 10- minute drive to the beach.

  2. Luxurious living

    Newport Beach is home to some of the most luxurious and upscale properties in Orange County. If you are looking for a beautiful home and the affluent lifestyle that comes with it, this is where you want to be. The resort-like feel of this coastal community perfectly matches the high-end lifestyle you aspire to.

    Available beachfront properties include charming cottages, modern mansions, condominium penthouses, townhomes, and villas, in styles ranging from Spanish Revival, California Bungalow, and Contemporary. There are also historic homes, equestrian properties, golf communities, and ongoing residential developments. Typical amenities offered by high-end dwellings include spacious open-concept layouts, smart technology, large patio decks to enjoy panoramic views, and more.

    One of the most exclusive is Harbor Island, an exclusive gated island in Lower Newport Bay which is often referred to as “Billionaire’s Island.” All 35 homes are on the bayfront with sprawling yards and stunning views.

    Other communities to consider for luxury homes include Pelican Hill, Crystal Cove, Linda Isle, and Bayshores.

  3. A strong economy

    Newport Beach is one of the biggest and most important economic contributors in the area. Orange County. It is home to many of the country’s leading companies and industries. Many county residents from outside the city commute to Newport Beach for work and business.

    At the same time, the city has seen a return of visitors to its beaches, events, and attractions, resulting in millions of dollars in revenue. In 2022, the local government earned $22.1 million in taxes, which was 9.2% higher than initially expected. Taxes for properties, sales, and transient occupancy contributed more than 75% to the city coffers.

  4. Excellent schools

    Quality education has become a leading reason for buyers to move into a community. In fact, top-ranking schools have contributed to the rise in the home values in the communities they’re in,according to various studies.

    If that’s the criterion homebuyers use to measure the desirability of a community, then Newport Beach should rank at the top of their list. The exceptional Newport Mesa Unified School District serves those living in Newport Beach, CA. The city’s Newport Harbor High School and Corona del Mar High School are two that ranked high for student improvement. When it comes to private schools, Sage Hill School was ranked #1 in Best Private Schools in Orange County, while Carden Hall has been focused on a custom curriculum and character development for the last 60 years.

    There are more than 100 colleges within 100 miles of Newport Beach, including the University of California Irvine, Coastline Community College, and Chapman University, one of the best private universities in the state.

  5. The weather

    woman feeling the air

    Living in Newport Beach means you get to enjoy SoCal’s famously beautiful weather all year round. Newport Beach enjoys short, warm summers and long, cool winters.

    In the summer, the average high is 76 degrees, with nightly lows of 65 degrees. In the winter, the average high is 62 degrees, with a low of 50 degrees at night.

    Additionally, Newport Beach experiences 12 inches of rain yearly, which is way below the national average of 38 inches. Less rain means more fun under the sun in Newport Beach. Or around 277 days of sunshine.

  6. Diverse culinary scene

    Newport Beach has a diverse culinary scene that offers many exciting options for even the most discerning palates. Because it is a tourist town, Newport Beach offers a wide variety of cuisine, with restaurants serving local fare and crowd-pleasing Italian, Japanese, and French food. And, of course, being a seaside town, Newport Beach has its share of delectable seafood restaurants serving the fresh catch of the day.

    Some of the must-try spots in the area include the following:

    • The Cannery, a local favorite on the water with access by boat, serves fresh seafood and crafted cocktails
    • is a local favorite known for its stylish setting and delectable pizzas, pasta, and salads, including hearty appetizers and mains like full-roasted branzino.
    • Nobu is a world-famous sushi restaurant that made its mark with  unique dishes like sashimi tacos and introducing a cocktail omakase experience.
    • Javier’s Cantina is the place to enjoy the golden sunset with a margarita and a fajita in an upscale environment.
    • Lido Bottle Works is a Cali-style seafood spot that is part bottle shop, part tap room, and part restaurant. And while burgers and sandwiches are on the menu, the thing to watch out for is the delicious Lido Catch of the Day or the seafood ceviche that highlights local flavors.
    • Haute Cakes Caffe has been a local favorite since 1990. It serves American and European fare, with a beautiful courtyard in which to relish your meal.


  7. Thriving arts and culture scene

    Newport Beach has a rich and thriving arts and culture scene with many exhibits and events that can be enjoyed throughout the year, from festivals to jazz concerts to art events.

    The city is home to the annual Newport Beach Jazz Festival, as well as Sunset Jazz Series held at the Bayside restaurant. The Newport Beach Film Festival showcases independent and international films every year.

    The annual Concerts on the Green Summer Series also features a fun array of artists and performers. Concertgoers can bring beach chairs and picnic blankets to enjoy an evening of music and fun. Gourmet options are available on site.

    Fans of art and culture can look forward to  programs and art exhibitions from  The Orange County Museum and the Newport Beach Public Library.  Meanwhile, Balboa Island hosts the annual Artwalk, which is free to all and highlights the paintings, blown glass sculpture, photography, and more from hundreds of participating artists.

  8. Endless outdoor recreation

    woman with a horse

    And last but not least, one of the biggest pros of living in Newport Beach is the neverending options for recreation and outdoor activities. Water activities go way beyond swimming, sailing, and surfing. Those who like their adventure on dry land can skate, rollerblade, hike, bike, birdwatch, and ride horses.

    Shopping is another activity that’s top of mind in Newport Beach. The high-end shopping can be found at Fashion Island and South Coast Plaza, Corona del Mar village, Balboa Island, and Lido Village.

    Here are some not-tobe-missed fun activities in Newport Beach:

    • Balboa Island, the man made island community, promises great for fun for the whole family. Hop on a ferry to get there and enjoy paddleboarding, kayaking, and strolling the boardwalk with many shops and dining options.
    • Whale watching. While tours operate year round, the best time to spot whales is during migration season, which happens from December to April. Meanwhile, May to November are good months to get a glimpse of humpback and fin whales. Bonus: sightings of seagulls, dolphins, and assorted marine life.
    • Centennial Farm is a real working farm, which the whole family will find fascinating. Kids can learn more about growing vegetables, visit the farm animals, look at the murals, enjoy the herb gardens, admire the fruit trees, and more.
    • The Wedge is one of the most popular surfing spots in Southern California for those whose proclivities run to serious swells.
    • Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve is an homage to the beauty of nature. You can find hiking trails, ride bikes or horses, or go for a leisurely walk amidst scenic surroundings. This coastal wetland is also one of the country’s best bird-watching sites.

And if you want to go to other parts of California, Newport Beach has easy access to the Pacific Coast Highway, which can bring you to Los Angeles and San Diego. Both are a 90-minute drive from the town center, so you can enjoy a relaxing afternoon at La Jolla Cove or any of LA’s exciting attractions.


seashore packed with tourists

Newport Beach is definitely a bustling and thriving community, but like with all locations, there are some cons to living here.

  1. Cost of living

    Expect a higher price tag to come with the coastal location, upscale properties, and proximity to gorgeous beaches, The cost of living in Newport Beach is significantly higher than the national average. It’s something to expect of a tourist town.

    In Newport Beach, the median home price is well beyond $1 million, which is about par for the course for most of California. The rent for a one-bedroom apartment can run up to $3,000 a month. While utilities and healthcare are affordable, daily expenses like groceries cost higher than the national average.

    The upside: While the cost of living may be a concern to some, other residents believe that the city’s many perks and amenities, as well as rising home values, make Newport Beach worth the investment.

  2. Tighter job market

    The economy is strong in Orange County, which is home to many Fortune 500 companies. In a city of over 87,000, there are approximately 76,000 payroll employees with 20,000 licensed businesses and over 12,000 local businesses.

    However, while many job opportunities exist, many well-educated and talented aspiring workers have also failed to find their niche. It can be challenging to rise above the pack.

    The upside: Those who are persistent and invest in hard-to-find skills will be more likely to be rewarded.

  3. Traffic

    Because Newport Beach is a bustling city, residents and tourists can find themselves in gridlock near the beaches during the busy summer tourist months. While the city has tried several solutions to alleviate the problem, like constructing new roads and expanding the freeway, traffic jams remain a problem and can be a turn-off for prospective homebuyers.

    The upside: Fortunately, you may not need to drive to the office every day. The rise in working arrangements as a result of the pandemic now include remote work, a hybrid of home and office work, and other flexible solutions.

  4. Tourist season

    Newport Beach is a tourist town, and while this does wonders for the economy and local businesses, it also means dealing with the swell of tourists that descend during peak seasons. That’s 100,000 more every year.

    The upside: There are gated communities, private access to the dry sand area before the tide line, and secluded estates that allow homeowners to remain secluded and maintain their privacy. Otherwise, it’s quite fun to spend some time with the visitors who stay for a spell and delight in the attractions you as a resident enjoy every day.


Georgina Jacobson

It’s easy to fall in love with Newport Beach. It’s easy to fantasize living there. It’s entirely possible as well to buy a vacation home or relocate permanently to Newport Beach.

If you are ready to consider making this coastal community your home, the dedicated team of real estate specialists from The Georgina Jacobson Group can tell you more about finding your next home in this seaside escape.

With a solid track record of success connecting potential clients to their ideal homes in Newport Beach, the Georgina Jacobson Group possesses unrivaled expertise in the best houses and neighborhoods that tick all the boxes on your wishlist.

If you’re ready to commit to living in Newport Beach, we’d love to help! Call 949.285.8380 or contact the Georgina Jacobson Group here.

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