Newport Aquatic Center
1 Whitecliffs Drive
Newport Beach, CA  92660
Phone: (949) 646-7725   Fax: (949) 646-8398

Links about Upper Newport Bay:

Please read these instructions and tips before our trip:
1. Bring cash, arrive on time, assemble in front of Newport Aquatic Center by the scheduled time.
2. Apply plenty of sunscreen. You sitting position in the kayak, with the bright glare off the water, seems to lead to sunburns in places you don't normally worry about, so apply accordingly.
3. Even if it is sunny and hot when we leave, the fog might roll in and cool you down substantially. It is not a bad idea to bring a windbreaker that can get wet. Sweatshirts, etc., might get a bit soaked from splash if you put them behind you under the elastic bungies.
4. Be sure to use the restrooms before you go kayaking, for obvious reasons. There is one you can use inside the NAC. There is also a locker room where you can change.
5. Leave electronic devices, including your car remote, in someone's car where you can access it later. If you want to bring a vulnerable camera or cell phone, make sure that you have it in a container that is water-tight and floating, unless you are confident that you are not about to capsize, or be splashed somehow.
6. In my experience, it is usually big dudes who end up capsizing their kayak, and even those who have lots of experience in the ocean. If you are a big dude, please see number 5 above.
7. Everyone is required to wear a life jacket for the entire trip.
8. The single kayaks are easier to steer and are generally faster, even for beginners. Double kayaks are available if you choose to ignore this tip.
9. When you are headed for the Back Bay, stay to the right. Don't be tempted to go down that channel in the middle, to the left of a shallow island. It is a dead end and you are not supposed to go down there, for the birds' sake.
10. Most importantly, do not race back ahead of me. This always seems to happen unless I make a point of telling you that it is not time to go back until I tell you it is time. We want to hang out together, or at least in fairly close proximity, in the Back Bay. This is how we end up seeing the most seabirds, and you will be glad later that you did not get back prematurely.

Recommended driving directions (from


Alternative Directions from CSUF, through Costa Mesa (not recommended due to frequent traffic back-ups in Costa Mesa):

I-57S –> I-5 S –> I-55 S –> Costa Mesa
Turn L on 17th St., continue as it becomes West Cliff Dr. until it ends
Turn L on Dover, then two quick right turns to stay on West Cliff Dr.
Turn R at Fork (Santiago Dr.)
Road winds around to follow shore (Polaris Dr.)
Watch for wooden NAC sign, turn R, park by NAC

Maps (modified from NAC website):