Newport Beach Harbor in the City of Newport Beach, Orange County, California, is located on the Central Orange County coast, roughly 40 miles southeast of Los Angeles, and 70 miles northwest of San Diego. The Newport Beach Harbor is contained within Newport Bay. Newport Bay is a combination of two distinct bodies of water – Lower Newport Bay and Upper Newport Bay. Lower Newport Bay, referred to as the outer harbor, was formerly a coastal lagoon. It is four miles long and is oriented parallel to the coastline. This lagoon was formed between 1824 and 1862 because of sand deposition from the Santa Ana River. Upper Newport Bay is geologically much older than the Lower Bay, and it is essentially a submerged river valley formed by a precursor to the Santa Ana River. Today, it comprises a marine salt marsh system. The lower portion of the Upper Bay is heavily urbanized, and supports adjacent housing development, recreational marinas, boat launch ramp facilities, and other commercial uses.
Newport Harbor and the adjoining coastal areas of Newport Beach and Corona del Mar present significant recreational opportunities on a local and regional level. The area serves as a major vacation destination within Southern California and the Southwest. The Lower Bay, having an open-water area of about 600 acres, offers recreational opportunities to a wide range of boating enthusiasts; from single-person rowboats to large sailing and motor vessels that are capable of trans-ocean navigation. The local beach front communities also support water recreational services, with tourism as one of the most important land use activities in the regional area. These areas offer opportunities for bicycling, roller skating, rollerblading, walking, as well as volleyball, picnicking, sunbathing, swimming, diving, and surfing.