Newport Beach, incorporated in 1906, is a city in Orange County, California, 10 miles (16 km) south of downtown Santa Ana. The population was 85,186 at the 2010 census.
The city’s median family income and property values consistently place high in national rankings. The Daily Pilot, a newspaper published in the neighboring city of Costa Mesa but which serves the greater Newport-Mesa community, reported in 2010 that more than a quarter of households have an income greater than $200,000, and the median value for homes is approximately $1 million.
In 1871 a steamer named The Vaqueromade its first trip to a marshy lagoon for trading. Ranch owners in the Lower Bay decided from then on that the area should be called “Newport.”
In 1905 city development increased when Pacific Electric Railwayestablished a southern terminus in Newport connecting the beach with downtown Los Angeles. In 1906 with a population of 206 citizens, the scattered settlements were incorporated as the City of Newport Beach.
Settlements filled in on the Peninsula, West Newport, Newport Island, Balboa Island and Lido Isle. In 1923 Corona del Mar was annexed and in 2002 Newport Coast, East Santa Ana Heights and San Joaquin Hills, were annexed. In 2008, after a long battle with the city of Costa Mesa, Newport Beach annexed West Santa Ana Heights.
Newport Beach extends in elevation from sea level to the 1161 ft (354 m.) summit of Signal Peak in the San Joaquin Hills, but the official elevation is 25 feet (8 m) above sea level at a location of 33°37′0″N 117°53′51″W (33.616671, −117.897604).
The city is bordered on the west by Huntington Beach at the Santa Ana River; on the north by Costa Mesa, John Wayne Airport, the City ofIrvine and UC Irvine; and on the east by Crystal Cove State Park.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 53.0 square miles (137 km2). 23.8 square miles (62 km2) of it is land and 29.2 square miles (76 km2) of it (55.07%) is water.
Areas of Newport Beach include Corona del Mar, Balboa Island, Balboa Peninsula (also known as Balboa), Newport Coast, San Joaquin Hills, and Santa Ana Heights, and West Newport.
Newport Harbor and Newport Bay
Linda Isle, Newport Beach, California
Newport Harbor is a semi-artificial harbor that was formed by dredging an estuary during the early 1900s. Several artificial islands were built, which are now covered with private homes: Newport Island, Balboa Island, Little Balboa Island, Collins Island, Bay Island, Harbor Island, Lido Isle andLinda Isle.
Newport Harbor once supported maritime industries such as boatbuilding, shipbuilding, andcommercial fishing, but today it is used mostly for recreation. Its shores are occupied mostly by private homes and private docks. With approximately 9,000 boats, Newport Harbor is one of the largest recreational boat harbors on the U.S. west coast. It’s a popular destination for all boatingactivities, including sailing, fishing, rowing, canoeing, kayaking, and paddleboarding.
Commercial maritime operations today include the Catalina Flyer ferry to Catalina Island, harbor tours, sport fishing and whale watching day trips and charters, and a few small commercial fishing boats.
Newport Bay is divided by the Pacific Coast Highway bridge, which is too low for most sailboats and very large boats to pass under. North of the bridge is referred to as Upper Newport Bay, or the Back Bay. South of the bridge is commonly called Lower Newport Bay, or Newport Harbor. However the Back Bay also has harbor facilities, especially the marina and launch ramp at The Dunes.
The north end of the Newport Harbor channels around Lido Island have a number of small business centers and were at one time used by the fishing fleets as its home. On the North East side of the channel, the Lido Marina Village now provides the local port to many “Newport Party Boats” as well as small merchants and local restaurants and hosts the area boat show each year as well as a Organic “Farmers Market”Sundays and in addition to port for the local Gondola Company.
In 1927 a home was built at the mouth of the entrance of Newport Harbor that came to be known as the China House of China Cove. The home was built using the traditional Chinese architecture. It was a landmark in the Newport Beach Harbor until it was demolished in the 1980s. Some of the original roof can been seen on a home located in the China Cove.
Upper Newport Bay is an estuary that was formed by a prehistoric flow of the Santa Ana River. Today it is fed by a small stream from San Diego Creek. Much of Upper Newport Bay is a protected natural area known as the Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve, established in 1975.