How Safe Is Newport Beach for Travel?

Newport Beach, United States
Safety Index:
84

We’ll call this the “Real Safety Breakdown of Orange County” in honor of the celebrity that surrounds Newport Beach, California.

This prestigious address lets tourists live the high life for a moment in time and soak in all the luxuries you can only find in Newport Beach.

This is beach life on the rocks, as the smooth Southern California beach gives way to rocky cliffs towering above surfers and whales.

Luxury shops adorn an island built for the rich and fabulous.

More than 450 restaurants are ready to cater to your every food desire.

The most dangerous part of a visit here might be sunburn if you don’t wear the right SPF.

Crime rates are fabulously low for the most part, but there are some spikes to be aware of before you settle into your Newport Beach vacation.

Warnings & Dangers in Newport Beach

Overall Risk

OVERALL RISK : LOW

There's a low overall risk of anything bad happening here, especially if you are just visiting and don't own a home or car. Property crime is the highest crime rate in town, and with an average housing price of $2.9 million, you can easily see why.

Transport & Taxis Risk

TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW

There's low risk if you take a rental car, taxi, bus, limo, or rideshare to and through Newport Beach. All the rides are regulated and drivers are used to catering to a high-end clientele, giving the average tourist a special feeling of being part of the elite.

Pickpockets Risk

PICKPOCKETS RISK : MEDIUM

This is where you need to use caution. A medium-risk exists for pickpockets. People tend to come to Newport Beach with a lot of money to spend and crooks are looking for a score. Keep cash, cards, and fine jewelry well hidden. The crime rate of larceny is 1,012 per 100,000.

Natural Disasters Risk

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : LOW

You might feel an earthquake every now and again, but rarely are they worse than a little bit of shaking that makes you wonder "was that an earthquake?" Locals are used to the seismic activity but it won't phase them. Other than that, there's a low risk here. The weather is warm and wonderful year-round, rarely do you see a thunderstorm, and even the notorious California wildfires don't impact this community as much as other beachfront towns, but there's always a risk of air quality impact when fires are burning.

Mugging Risk

MUGGING RISK : LOW

There's a low risk of being mugged. While thefts are pretty high, as we explained above, robberies are very low. What's the difference? Theft is when something is taken passively, like stealing a purse on a table, while robbery is generally taking something by force. The robbery crime rate is 21 in 100,000.

Terrorism Risk

TERRORISM RISK : LOW

The Los Angeles Metro area is a known terror target just because it's the second-largest in the nation. Other than that, there's nothing that would make Newport Beach a prime target, so there's a low risk here.

Scams Risk

SCAMS RISK : LOW

There's a low scam risk in Newport Beach IF you use common sense. Don't talk about money, personal information, bank accounts, or phone numbers openly. Don't let someone convince you of a deal that is too good to be true. Newport Beach Police ask tourists to keep their receipts and later shred them. Don't just throw them away or leave them lying around.

Women Travelers Risk

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW

Those Real Housewives of the OC instilled a good reputation for tough women in this town. There's a low risk for women traveling here. It caters to women in many ways through high-end shopping and spas.

Tap Water Risk

TAP WATER RISK : LOW

California's water quality standards are high, and Newport Beach's tap water meets or exceeds them all, giving it a low risk. The water is tested more than 1,500 times a year to make sure it stays up to the state and national requirements.

Safest Places to Visit in Newport Beach

The top tourist draws are going to be the safest for your visit to Newport Beach.

Several neighborhoods are “must-see”:

  • Balboa Island (Elysian village accessed via ferry)
  • Balboa Peninsula (The “fun” part with watersports and nightlife)
  • Corona Del Mar (A surfer’s dream)
  • Fashion Island (A shopper’s dream)
  • Lido Marina/Cannery Village (History on the waterfront)
  • Newport Coast/Crystal Cove (Upscale dining and shopping in a cottage setting)

The beaches are open from 6 am to 10 pm.

During the spring and summer, there are late-night beach adventures to watch the “grunion run.”

This is when the grunion fish “run” up on the beach to mate.

The female buries in the sand to lay her eggs, the male wraps himself around her and fertilizes the eggs, and then they both go back into the water.

This happens quickly, anywhere from 30 seconds to 3 minutes.

If you can time your trip to see the grunion run, you won’t regret it.

Places to Avoid in Newport Beach

You want to avoid any place you are going to be tempted to leave your stuff lying around.

Thieves could be looking for a quick take, so keep your wits about you.

If you are driving a car, don’t leave anything in plain sight and lock it up.

The real danger of Newport Beach is in the ocean waters.

Stay away from rock formations that can spin off a nasty rip current.

Rocks can also get slippery and you don’t want a broken ankle as you try to get a picture standing on the formation.

Lifeguards can be hit or miss in these waters, so look for a lifeguard stand if it makes you feel safer.

Safety Tips for Traveling to Newport Beach

  1. This might be one of the only times “When in Rome” doesn’t necessarily apply. In Newport Beach, there are luxury items for sale at every turn. It’s tempting to splurge and end up overspending on your budget. Window shopping is just as fun as real shopping, and you’ll be happy when you are home without having maxed your credit card if you can’t afford it.
  2. If you do go on a shopping spree, be smart about it. Carrying around a large number of bags is going to draw attention to would-be thieves. Try to condense your bags as much as possible and see if your hotel has a way to shuttle the belongings back to your room.
  3. You’ll get boat fever in Newport Beach with all the boating options, but before you book a rental or a charter, make sure the company has a permit from the city. Book through a verified vendor and avoid any “cheap charter” ads you see online. This is for the safety of your boating party and your pocketbook.
  4. There are bike paths galore in Newport Beach and it’s easy to get a bicycle rental. While it’s a bike-friendly community, don’t get distracted by the view that you lose focus on the road. Also, if you see a road with a marking like this: >>, that’s called a sharrow and it means a portion of the road shared by bicyclists and vehicles. These help safely move all road traffic along and keep cyclists from going the wrong way. Always lock the bike when you make a pitstop.
  5. You might see a celebrity here, like Gwen Stefani, Nicholas Cage, and Tiger Woods are just a few of the rich and famous that call Newport Beach home. Should you spot someone, be kind and polite. Don’t get pushy for a picture or stare incessantly. In Newport Beach, celebrity sightings are just a way of life and don’t be surprised if you see a TV show or movie being filmed while you are there.
  6. You are probably going to get approached about a timeshare. These pitches generally involve, “Come see our property, eat a meal and stay for a short presentation.” If you are not interested, just say no. If you are in no way going to get a timeshare, just say no. If you are considering it, enjoy the unique experience.
  7. Watch and watch out at The Wedge. This is a popular spot at the end of the Balboa Peninsula where giant waves bring out the big dog surfers. This is not a place to get your first surfing lesson. It’s dangerous. Even in researching this article, a story popped up titled “How to Not Die at The Wedge.” Nearly a dozen people have died over the years surfing this spot. Just bring a camera to get great pictures and leave the surfing to the daredevils.
  8. If you want to splurge on dinner but don’t want to pay the high price of wine, you can bring your bottle to many restaurants in Newport Beach. Many will waive the corkage fee as well, but be sure to ask ahead of time.
  9. Should you decide to rent a stand-up paddleboard while you are there, know the laws ahead of time. You need to have a floatation device, a whistle, and a flashlight. If you don’t comply you could face a $1,000 fine. Children under 12 are required to wear the floatation device, but those over 12 are not, but it’s highly recommended.
  10. There are beach fire rings around the Newport Beach area. These are first-come, first-served from 6 am to 10 pm daily. The color of the fire ring rim determines what you can burn in it, with the options being charcoal or wood. Make sure you are burning the right material. The green fire rings should never have wood in them to limit smoke exposure to nearby homes.

So... How Safe Is Newport Beach Really?

It’s relatively safe.

There were only 18 robberies in 2021.

Larceny is the highest crime rate, and again that’s due to the wealthy people who live in and visit this area drawing attention from thieves.

The entire city had less than 1600 crimes in 2021.

Even the Newport Beach Police Department website focuses a lot on safety advice for residents since burglaries are the second biggest crime.

Many people who live in Newport Beach don’t live there full-time or travel often, so the city has set up many ways for residents who won’t be home to let law enforcement know.

Don’t flash money around or openly talk about how much you are spending.

Keep valuables tucked away in the hotel safe and use a credit card when possible, as there’s more consumer protection than with debit cards if they get stolen.

How Does Newport Beach Compare?

CitySafety Index
Newport Beach84
San Francisco61
Philadelphia60
Houston59
Atlanta58
Belize City (Belize)37
La Paz (Bolivia)52
Sao Paulo (Brazil)45

Useful Information

  • Visas - You won't need a special visa of any kind to get into Newport Beach. The visa requirement will be fulfilled at the airport of your choice.
  • Currency - The U.S. Dollar is the currency here and be prepared to spend it. This is one of the most expensive cities in America.
  • Weather - The weather here is perfect year-round. It only rains 36 days of the year. High temperatures are always in the 60s or 70s and lows get down into the 40s in the winter. A shawl or jacket will do just fine.
  • Airports - John Wayne Airport is the airport of Orange County. It's just 10 minutes from Newport Beach. Be prepared for the takeoff when leaving. This airport was ranked one of the scariest because the runway is short and the planes have to adhere to Orange County noise restrictions. Sometimes it feels like you are in a rocket and not an airplane, as the takeoffs are fast and nearly upright. Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is 43 miles away through some pretty intense Los Angeles traffic. Hollywood Burbank Aiport is even further away at 57 miles.
  • Travel Insurance - Travel insurance is a good idea for your trip to Newport Beach. California wildfires have been growing in intensity over the past two decades and during wildfire season the skies can be shut down. Getting insurance for your trip will make sure you'll be surf's up in no time.
Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Newport Beach Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 14° C
Feb 14° C
Mar 15° C
Apr 15° C
May 17° C
Jun 18° C
Jul 20° C
Aug 21° C
Sep 20° C
Oct 19° C
Nov 16° C
Dec 14° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High
°C
181718181920222323222018
Low
°C
10101112141618181715129
High
°F
646364646668727373726864
Low
°F
505052545761646463595448

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