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Newport Beach: An Affluent Nautical Town


Newport Beach: An Affluent Nautical Town
© Ray_from_LA via Flickr

When it comes to cities emblematic of O.C. luxury and affluence, Newport Beach, California tops the list. Home to some of Orange County's richest residents, this sea-side enclave earned a No. 1 spot in CNN Money magazine's 2010 list of "Best Places to be Rich and Single" and was turned into a pop-culture icon in the CW television series The O.C., as a place where money equals power and the powerful do whatever they want.

Lay of the Land:

Newport Beach is made up of eight villages (Balboa Peninsula, Balboa Island, Carona Del Mar, Newport Coast, Fashion Island, Lido Marina Village, Mariner's Mile, and the Newport Harbor Islands) and covers approximately 53 square miles; half on land, and half on water. On the west the city is bordered by Huntington Beach at the San Gabriel River. To the east is Crystal Cove State Park, which separates Newport from Laguna Beach. The southern border of Newport Beach extends into the Pacific Ocean. To the north, the city is bordered by Irvine and the Newport-Mesa area where Costa Mesa and Newport Beach converge.

Housing and Real Estate:

Newport Beach isn’t exactly a city known for the availability of affordable housing but rather its abundance of waterfront properties, luxury housing and nautical living. About half of the residential housing is owned, while the other half is rental properties. While beachfront and island properties come at a premium, more affordable housing can be found in the Newport-Mesa area.
Median condo or house value: $1,000,000
Median Rent: $1,700

Newport Beach Schools:

Newport Beach schools are part of the Newport Mesa Unified School District, which includes several California Distinguished Schools and has a history of strong athletic performance in aquatics and track. In addition to traditional schools, there are several alternative schools, including Early College High School, Davis Magnet, and Back Bay/Monte Vista High School.

Shopping & Services:

With boutique retailers and a variety of casual and fine dining restaurants, Newport Center/Fashion Island is easily one of the best places to shop and dine in Orange County. However, each Newport village features its own set of local shopping centers, many with waterfront eateries and local artisan retailers. Newport Beach is also home to some of the best cosmetic surgery centers in the O.C.

Recreation & Nautical Living:

In a city half on water/half on land, it's no surprise Newport Beach is a nautical town where recreational activities are plentiful. The Upper Newport Back Bay and Back Bay estuaries are popular with bird watchers, bicyclists, hikers and joggers alike. Crystal Cove Park provides for a more rugged hiking and mountain biking experience, with the added benefit of camping, surfing and tide pools to explore. In Newport Harbor, whale watching tours are available all year round. There are also nearly a dozen nautical clubs, as well as local parks with playgrounds, sports facilities and numerous other outdoor pursuits.

By the Numbers:

Population: 72,521
Median Age: 42
Median Income: $107,500

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