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Huntington Beach vs Newport Beach: Which Is Better For Your Next Trip?

If you are an adventurer, choosing between Huntington Beach vs Newport Beach can be difficult. They both are located in Orange County Southern California and offer stunning water and a variety of fun activities.

So which one is a better enjoyable spot? To find the answer, I invite you to check out this detailed location comparison. Let’s start exploring!

Huntington Beach vs Newport Beach

Huntington Beach vs Newport Beach: Quick Comparison

Huntington Beach and Newport Beach both are amazing destinations to take a trip to. They share some great features which are the following:

  • Surfing;
  • A great nightlife;
  • Iconic piers.

Besides the similar traits, these locations have their differences as well. Huntington Beach has a larger size and is busier while Newport Beach is relatively calmer. However, both spots have considerably more to offer. Continue reading as I dive into their famous attractions, best places to stay, costs, and much more. Let’s get started!

Huntington Beach vs Newport Beach: Comparison Table

The following comparison table will provide a brief look at the differences and similarities between the two places.





Orange County

Orange County


Wide sandy beaches

Wide sandy beaches


Surfing and watersports

Whale-watching, sailing, and hiking


More warm and friendly

High-energy and youthful


More crowded

Less crowded





Less expensive

More expensive

A Visit To Huntington Beach: The Positives and Negatives

Here are some reasons why you should consider going on a trip to Huntington Beach, as well as some downsides you may experience during your visit.

The Positives

The following are the points that go in favor of Huntington Beach:

Pros of Huntington Beach

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  • Surf City USA: There is a reason why the Huntington City Beach area is known as Surf City USA. It is simply the main hub of surfing in all of the United States. From the extreme waves and even top surfing competitions, you will not get a comparable experience if you are a fan of water sports.
  • Diverse Dining Options: Huntington Beach boasts a variety of dining choices. You can experience from seafood shacks to upscale restaurants, catering to a range of tastes.
  • Exotic Scenery: Water sports aren’t the only thing you can experience at this place. I can say without hesitation that you will be left amazed at the stunning view of the sun setting over the Pacific Ocean. Sunbathing will give you a moment of calm. And let’s not forget the main attraction, the beautiful, soft sandy beaches.

The Negatives

Here are some cons that you should know:

Cons of Huntington Beach
  • Busy Atmosphere: Huntington City Beach’s popularity isn’t just among US citizens; even international tourists love to visit. That might cause you various kinds of discomfort, such as difficulty finding parking, the beach being too crowded, and lots of traffic trouble.
  • Seasonal Pricing: Some services and accommodations might have higher prices during peak tourist seasons.

A Visit to Newport Beach: The Positives and Negatives

If you’re wondering how your trip to Newport Beach would go, look at these positives and negatives to make a better judgment.

The Positives

The following are the perks of visiting Newport Beach:

Pros of Newport Beach
  • Funny Activities: Newport Beach offers a huge list of opportunities for a fun time. You can take a short and sweet trip on a ferry to get to Balboa Island. It has a games zone that has all kinds of exciting arcade games that will grab your attention if you’ve had enough of the outdoors.
  • Exciting Parks and Art Festivals: Visiting Laguna Beach is also accessible from Newport where you can enjoy hiking trails and wilderness parks. This fun beach offers you a lot of exciting summer art festivals.
  • Sailing and Whale Watching: Newport Beach has a multitude of sailing boots that you can rent out. Either you can captain yourself or even hire one to sail for you. When you’re done with that, you can join up with the many whale-watching groups that get a once-in-a-lifetime experience of watching these beautiful creatures up close.

The Negatives

Here are the downsides you should know:

Cons of Newport Beach
  • Higher Pricing: The cost in Newport is higher due to its yacht culture and exclusive waterfront properties.
  • Environmental Dangers: Heatwaves can be somewhat of a problem in the summer, especially if you’re not adjusted to the weather. Also, some places in Newport Beach can have extremely strong currents and waves that can be fatal, so definitely have a lifeguard nearby if you plan to get in the water.

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Exploring the Location: Newport Beach vs. Huntington Beach

Both Newport Beach and Huntington Beach are located extremely close to each other. That is, just a 15-minute car drive away.

Newport Beach

Newport is situated south of Los Angeles and north of San Diego. It’s surrounded by the Pacific Ocean to the south and west. It has a population of around 85,000, so it can be described as a small, quaint city.

Huntington Beach

Huntington Beach is located just to the north of Newport Beach, also along the coastline. Huntington is a much larger city than Newport, with a population of around 200,000. It also has a more diverse population with many African Americans, Hispanics, and Asians living there.

Comparing The Beaches of Both Locations

Both of these beaches are truly spectacular, however, keep in mind that they do offer a slightly different experience. Let’s dive in and find out.

Newport Beach

In Newport, California, you’re never far from a beach with a warm, blue ocean and soft, white sand. The city is a sunny heaven, and its beaches are its most famous feature.

  • Corona del Mar: Corona del Mar State Beach is a great place to soak up some sunshine. This beach is great for swimming and splashing about with youngsters because of the gentle waves. There are outdoor showers and picnic tables, making it very accessible.
Corona del Mar State Beach
  • The Wedge: This is another well-known beach in the city. Because it is considered a paradise for surfers, its terrain creates near-shore waves that can reach heights of 30 feet.
  • Main Newport Beach: This beautiful beach is perfect for a variety of watersports, including volleyball, surfing, sailing, and more. In addition to this, Newport Beach is an excellent location to observe whales.
Main Newport Beach

Huntington Beach

With its ten miles of sandy beachfront, Huntington Beach is a true sandy paradise. Multiple beautiful, spacious beaches await you and your loved ones.

  • Main Huntington Beach: One of the most convenient beaches in the city, it’s located directly off the Pacific Coast Highway. This beach is well-known as a great site to fish and watch the sunset. You can easily spend a weekend here because of the abundance of dining options, water activities, and camping facilities.
Main Huntington Beach
  • Sunset Beach: At Sunset Beach, the fun never ends. Delight from its sandy coastline by kitesurfing, playing beach volleyball, or letting your youngster play at the nearby playground. In any case, if you become tired of being near the water, the grassy area is only a few steps away, making it perfect for a picnic.
  • Dog Beach: The place is also known as Huntington Dog Beach where your canine companion is welcome to take a dip whenever it pleases.
Huntington Dog Beach

The Best Activities in Huntington Beach

Let’s explore all the exciting excursions you can expect to take part in while on your visit to Huntington Beach!

  • Huntington Beach Pier: This place is the hub of all the major surfing that goes on at Huntington City. Only at Huntington Beach Pier, you will find the biggest waves on all of the West Coast.
  • Huntington Central Park: This biggest park in Orange County is located in the middle of town. Because of its massive size, the park is actually split into 2 sections. You can enjoy movie nights or spend your doing golfing. Also, you can try the enormous park with your pet friends and play fetch or frisbee with them at the many designated dog parks.
Huntington Central Park
  • Exciting festivals: Huntington Beach, California, is home to a number of fun festivals throughout the year, including the yearly Coastal Country Jam.

The Best Activities in Newport Beach

Now get ready to learn about all the excitement on offer at Newport Beach!

  • Upper Newport Bay: Nature lovers will definitely want to frequently visit this place above others. It has a fantastic trail complete with stunning views of the city and over a hundred different kinds of bird species. You can navigate either on foot, on a dirtbike, or even on horses.
Upper Newport Bay
  • Lower Newport Bay: This is kind of the opposite of the upper Bay, as it’s more touristy and packed with various kinds of retail shops and eateries. A local favorite spot is the Cannery Village. The famous ‘Wedge’ beach mentioned before is also located here, giving surfers an option for activities as well.
  • Dory Fleet Market: This lively fish market initially founded in 1891, is a great place to get a sense of the history of the area as well as enjoy some delicious seafood at nearby restaurants. Don’t miss out on the Fly ‘N’ Fish Oyster Bar, a favorite among local fishers.
Fly 'N' Fish Oyster Bar
Credit:,@Fly N Fish

How Shopping Experience Differs In Both Locations

Shoppers in either Newport Beach or Huntington Beach can find a wide variety of options to satisfy their needs.


Fashion Island, an outdoor shopping center filled with designer stores, is one of Newport Beach’s most well-known attractions. There are also several other lovely shopping districts in the region. Take a good look around, you might discover unique souvenirs, apparel, and decorative items.

Fashion Island, Newport Beach

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Huntington Beach offers plenty of options for excited shoppers and tourists. You can surf shops for beach gear and beautiful jewelry. Plus, Pacific City offers everything like attractive apparel and souvenirs a shopper could desire.

Comparing the Nightlife

The nightlife of your holiday destination is one of the most important things tourists look out for. It can tell them if the vibe of that location suits them or not. Let’s compare what Newport and Huntington have to offer.


Newport’s nightlife is completely different from its vibe during the day, with an energetic and vibrant club scene.

  • Bayside: Bayside is for you if you want to get lost in the music. It hosts many bands and performers who play live music all night long.
  • Balboa Saloon: If you prefer a scenic view of the beach while partying, Balboa Saloon has you covered. They also feature a grand variety of imported and local beverages, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic.
Balboa Saloon


Huntington Beach is filled with an abundance of sports bars and clubs just waiting for you. The vibe is generally warmer and calmer compared to the nightlife in Newport.

  • Downtown: The Downtown Huntington Beach nightlife offers some of the top experiences you’ll find on Southern California’s infamous Pacific Coast Highway. The nightlife in Huntington Beach offers great food, live bands, and good times for you and your friends.
The Downtown Huntington Beach

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Comparing the Dining Experience

Food and fun can be found aplenty at both Newport Beach and Huntington Beach.


It is home to a wide variety of popular eateries, from trendy bistros to casual waterfront dining. Exotic cuisine, freshly caught fish, and a lot of other delectable foods will delight your tastebuds. The Rusty Pelican is a personal favorite of mine.


Huntington offers a thriving food scene, especially in its downtown. There is a wide variety of pubs, restaurants, and cafés to choose from, each with its own vibe and menu. Tasty Shrimp and crabs will definitely catch your eye. The availability of Italian, Mexican, and Japanese cuisine is also a plus. Take a trip over to Duke’s restaurant for some delectable seafood.

Duke's restaurant , Huntington Beach
Credit:, @Duke’s Huntington Beach

Best Places to Stay in Both Cities

Both places have become tourist hubs as Orange County has put a lot of care into establishing the best hotels and inns so tourists can have the best possible experience. We’ll be looking at the best budget and luxury hotel options in both cities.


Here is a breakdown of the accommodation budget:

  • Economical: A one-night stay in a room at the Newport Channel Inn will run you back around $275. Each room is equipped with complimentary wifi, air conditioning, a TV, and even a coffee maker. It is definitely the best bang for your buck.
Newport Channel Inn
  • Luxury: Doryman’s Oceanfront Inn is a charming Victorian inn that fits in perfectly with the town’s historical atmosphere. Even more importantly, it is located directly on the beach, so you won’t have to sacrifice any ocean views. However, be prepared to fork over around $660 a night for the added luxury.
Doryman's Oceanfront Inn


The following section explains the budget breakdown:

  • Economical: The Ocean Surf Inn & Suites offers a charming room with basic amenities like free wifi, a TV, and air conditioning for the price of around $260 a night. An added bonus; breakfast is also included.
Ocean Surf Inn & Suites
  • Luxury: The Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa is the place to go for a taste of grandeur. This is a pleasant and elegant location to stay, thanks to its two outdoor pools, proximity to the beach, breathtaking views, and attentive staff. Nevertheless, this luxury comes at a cost, the cost being around $650 a night.
The Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa

The Distinction in the Safety

Safety is paramount on any trip. So of course you should know which location is safer for both you and your family. Here is the breakdown of crime rates of both locations:




Violent Crime



Property Crime



The above table shows that the ratio of violent crime is less in Newport Beach while Huntington Beach offers better security in terms of property safety.

Important! However, keep in mind that these both have lower crime rates than the US average which means you can enjoy your trip without worries.

Crowd’s Density Comparison

Huntington Beach is obviously busier between the two. It is more popular among surfers because it offers better value for money compared to other beaches. During large events like the U.S. Open of Surfing and the Pacific Airshow, there can be an increased crowd.

Huntington Beach vs Newport Beach: crowds

Newport is known for its yacht culture and high-end waterfront properties, which can contribute to addition to the crowd. However, Newport Beach is often considerably calmer. But the area around Balboa and Fashion Island can get relatively busy, especially during shopping events and holiday seasons.

Which is More Expensive?

Huntington Beach prevails in this respect. You and your fellow vacationers may enjoy a wide variety of free or very low-cost activities, from volleyball on the beach to the $4 Adventure Playground in the park.

Huntington Beach vs Newport Beach: cost to visit

Newport on the other hand is more upscale, with more high-dining restaurants, waterfront properties, and so on. Even the shopping options are more pricey, with multiple high-class designer boutiques.

Comparing the Overall Experience

Newport Beach is a haven for individuals in search of a tranquil and refined beach vacation. The beach regions are well-known for their cleanliness and relaxed atmosphere.

On the other side, Huntington Beach is always bustling with activity. During the warmer months, the beach and central business district become hubs of activity. People of all ages are drawn here because of its happy, laid-back atmosphere, which is mirrored in its surfing and friendliness.


What beach is better Huntington or Newport Beach?

Both beaches are equally as good as they aren’t much far apart. They both offer a variety of fun activities like surfing and water sports.

Why is Huntington Beach so popular?

Huntington Beach is so popular because of its beautiful sandy beach and the enormous waves found here that gave birth to the surf culture.

Why is Newport Beach so popular?

Newport Beach is so popular because of the variety of entertainment it provides. From game arcades to sailing to fancy restaurants.

Do people swim at Newport Beach?

Yes, people swim at Newport Beach.

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Summing it up, both Newport and Huntington Beach are worthy of your attention. But, if you are not a crowd person and prefer a peaceful environment, you would love Newport. It has a calm and relaxing vibe. You can explore the stunning beaches, sample food from the high-class eateries, and maybe go for a relaxing walk after shopping at Fashion Island.

In contrast, Huntington has a much more busy vibe. Compared to Newport it is definitely more crowded. However, it still has all sorts of fun activities for you, such as countless music festivals and its massive central park. What makes it stand tall among any other destination is its surfing culture. For avid surfers, there is no better place.

Both places are amazing to visit and you will be sure to enjoy them. If you found this article helpful and informative, be sure to share it with your friends.

Huntington Beach vs Newport Beach