With over 21 square miles of harbor, and eight miles of ocean beach, Newport Beach is home to over 9,000 docked boats in addition to 86,000 full-time residents. During the summer months, approximately 20,000 more people call Newport Beach home, as well as up to 100,000 tourists a day who visit Newport Beach to enjoy activities including surfing, sailing, fishing, rowing, kayaking, and paddle-boarding.
The city was first christened “New Port” in 1870 after Captain Samuel S. Dunnells successfully navigated the upper Newport Bay, and docked his 105-ton river steamer, the “Vaquero,” on the marshy shores. Prior to that voyage, the harbor was considered to be too treacherous for ships to pass. Today, Newport Beach hosts a variety of annual events that make good use of the largest small craft yacht harbor in the U.S., including:
- Newport to Ensenada Yacht Race
- Sand Castle Contest
- Flight of the Lasers sailboat race
- Character Boat Parade
- Wooden Boat Festival
- Newport Harbor Christmas Boat Parade.
The City of Newport Beach encourages its citizens to get involved with city government and serve on one of over 40 active boards, commissions, and committees. Monthly community meetings are open to the public and many are held in City Hall, which is located at the corner of Newport Boulevard and 32nd Street.
In 2008, the City’s Task Force on Green Development was created to provide information to residents and businesses on ways to reduce environmental impacts and to encourage green building and sustainability. For example, the Task Force assists with:
- Providing guidelines for planning and building green that includes energy and water efficiency, conservation of materials and resources, and enhanced environmental quality for new construction and remodels
- Linking business with resources for green building certifications and programs; State green resources; and other resources for green building
- Conservation and recycling programs
- Water quality and conservation efforts.
Back in the early 1940s, the Newport Beach Police Department consisted of a small 25 feet by 50 feet office with two jail cells, the police chief’s office, and a small area for the all male officers to review paperwork or change into their uniforms. In 1974, the NBPD re-located to its present home at 870 Santa Barbara Drive, and the department consists of over 120 sworn officers, including seven females. The NBPD also employs six detectives who investigate various crimes including sexual assault, economic crimes, crimes against persons, and property crimes.
Even though residents of Newport Beach live in one of the most popular tourist destinations in SoCal, residents sometimes leave Newport Beach for vacation, and when they do, they can request vacation checks of their homes by contacting the NBPD.