Newport Beach came into being around 1870 when the streamer Vaquero made its first trip to a marshy lagoon for trading. Ranch owners in the Lower Bay decided from then on that the area should be called Newport. In 1905 the Pacific Electric Railroad completed the route that connected the beaches to Los Angeles and the next year the city was officially incorporated as the City of Newport Beach. Most of the city, surrounding beaches and islands are man made. These include West Newport, Balboa Island and Lido Isle.
Much of the Newport is made up of residential and tourist areas. With its location on the Pacific Coast, residents and visitors can find many opportunities to enjoy the temperate climate and many beaches to surf, kayak, swim and enjoy the abundant flora and fauna. Attractions include beaches on the Balboa Peninsula (featuring body-boarding hot spot The Wedge) and Corona del Mar. Crystal Cove State Park is located at the southern end of the coast.
The historic Balboa Pavilion, established in 1906, is Newport Beach's most famous landmark where fishing, arcade games, and fine restaurants are located. The Balboa Fun Zone, located on the Peninsula near the Balboa Island Ferry, features a Ferris wheel, an old-time Merry-Go-Round and several quaint shops and restaurants. The Back Bay is a wildlife sanctuary, while nearby Fashion Island provides shopping experiences with department stores like Bloomingdale's. The Newport Beach public library's spectacular architecture has been featured in the movie "Romy and Michele's High School Reunion."
The Newport Aquatic Center offers kayaking, rowing, and canoeing. It has been a training ground for many Olympians throughout the years, and runs several programs for the youth of Orange County, including programs for at-risk youth. The Pelican Hill area has two golf courses, both of which are closed for the construction of a resort hotel, golf clubhouse and residences by the Irvine Company. It is located on a small 1.2 square mile sliver of land, and contours the Pacific Coast.