Newport Beach is a coastal city in Orange County, California, United States. Newport Beach is known for swimming and sandy beaches. Newport Harbor once supported maritime industries, but today, it is used mostly for recreation. Balboa Island draws visitors with a waterfront path and easy access from the ferry to the shops and restaurants.
The Upper Bay of Newport is a canyon, which was carved by a stream in the Pleistocene period. The Lower Bay of Newport was formed much later by sand that was brought along by ocean currents, which constructed the offshore beach that is now recognized as the Balboa Peninsula of Newport Beach.
For thousands of years, the Tongva people lived on the land in an extensive, thriving community. Throughout the 1800s, Europeans colonized the land and forcibly removed and assimilated the Tongva. Present day Newport Beach exists upon the unceded homelands of the Tongva people, and they have a historical and continued presence as the traditional caretakers of the land. The State of California sold acre-plots of land for $1 a piece in the Newport area. Anglo-American inhabitation in the area grew substantially following the events of 1870 when a 105-ton steamer named The Vaquero, captained by Captain Samuel S. Dunnells (against warnings posted by surveyors) safely steered through the lower and upper bay of Newport where it unloaded its cargo. James Irvine, after hearing the astonishing news, quickly traveled from his home in San Francisco to the San Joaquin Ranch. Meeting in Irvine's ranch house near current day UC Irvine with his brother, Robert Irvine, and friend James McFadden, they all agreed that the newly found port should be named simply, "Newport" thus where Newport Beach gets its name. James McFadden built a long McFadden Wharf in 1888.