The Loop: A complete view of Newport + A note for the out-of-towner
After filling out a simple form I was given my very own rental bike, a basket, and a bike lock (all for only $5 an hour). I rode around the parking lot for a few minutes before returning to Jeff so that he could adjust the bike seat to my height and even tilt the seat to my preference.
My next question was, “where should I
go.” Since I had never been on a bike
ride around Newport Beach before I asked Jeff to send me on a path that would
allow me to see the greatest amount of what Newport Beach had to offer. He suggested that I bike the loop.
Starting from the blue star, which indicates the approximate location of Newport Cruisers, Jeff suggested that I ride northward up the beach, east along Highway One, and then south over the bridge to Balboa Island where I would find a good amount of worthwhile shops and restaurants. He mentioned that after I was finished shopping around, I could buy a ticket for the Balboa Ferry and ride back to the main beach where I could then head west back to Newport Cruisers and return my bike.
Looking at the map with Jeff, it was obvious that this was the best route to experience the most of Newport Beach in one bike ride. Depending on how fast you ride, this can adventure can take from two hours to all day and is a highly recommended way to experience all that Newport Beach has to offer.
For information about other bike routes to take in and around Newport Beach visit, http://bikenewportbeach.org/rides/ .Coming in from out of town?
Here is a hot tip; parking close to Newport Beach is a pain in the neck. Similar to most cities in Southern California, Newport Beach is congested with cars. If you are lucky enough to find a metered parking spot close to the beach, parking can be as low as $.50 - $1.00 per hour. However, if it is before 6 p.m. (everyday but Sunday) you will most likely have to return to your car every two hours in order to feed the meter. Otherwise, you may risk getting a ticket, which typically run between $50.00-$80.00.
If you cannot find a metered parking space, there are two parking lot options. The Balboa Pier lot (located at the intersection of Palm and Balboa Blvd) cost $.50 every twenty minutes with a maximum charge of $15.00 per day. The great thing about this lot is that they will allow you to stay parked overnight and for up to seven days at a time (just in case you have a grand adventure planned). However, if you do choose to leave your car in the Balboa Pier lot for an extended amount of time, make sure you pay in advance, otherwise you risk being towed, which can cost anywhere from $130.00-$800.00. The Corona del Mar parking lot offers the same prices as the Balboa Pier lot but does not allow over night parking.
The unfortunate thing about leaving your car in one of these parking lots and going to the beach is that it limits you to one section of the beach, especially if you are unwilling to pack up all of you accessories and walk a few miles.
Thankfully, Newport Beach is highly accessible to the bike rider. This small beach community is lined with bike lanes and packed full of bike rakes ensuring that you can safely ride and lock you bike almost anywhere you go. At $20.00 per day, $30 per over night rentals, $60.00 per week, and $120.00 per two weeks (with even lower rates for group rentals such as $40.00 per week to rent 3 or more bikes at a time) It is much more cost efficient to leave your rental car in the hotel parking lot and rent a bike for your Newport Beach Vacation.