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4 Group Teambuilding Activities Under the Sun in Newport Beach

Surfing in Newport Beach, California

Stretching 10 miles along Southern California’s Pacific coastline is Newport Beach, a chic meetings-friendly destination with an average of 328 days of sunshine per year and a plethora of opportunities for groups to get outside and soak it all up. 

The coastal community is made up of 10 distinct neighborhoods offering more than 450 restaurants, premier shopping, a bustling nightlife scene and more, such as Balboa Village, which has been attracting visitors for more than a century, and Corona Del Mar, a quaint seaside neighborhood with expansive ocean views and fine dining. 

Easily accessible from three award-winning airports, the nearest of which being John Wayne Airport, Newport Beach is an ideal meetings destination for more than its sunny weather. The area has a robust collection of hotels fit for groups, from top-tier brands to boutique independent accommodations, and more than 200,000 square feet of flexible indoor/outdoor meeting space across them all. 

Certainly, though, the sunshine sits at the top of the list of things that make Newport Beach ideal for meetings and events, allowing groups the opportunity to experience miles of beaches and the largest recreational harbor on the West Coast year-round.

From swimming and surfing to sunset cruises and whale watching, the opportunities for groups to build stronger teams under the sun in Newport Beach are abundant. Here are a few to consider incorporating into your Newport Beach meeting agenda.

[Related: Outdoor Teambuilding Excursions and Activities Unique to California]

Whale Watching

Whether by land or sea, whale watching in Newport Beach is ranked as one of the top activities to experience in the destination thanks to Southern California’s welcoming waters, and the opportunity is one to take advantage of all year long.

Whale Watching in Newport Beach
Whale Watching in Newport Beach

From December through April, the waters off Newport Beach become a hot spot for gray whales during their prime migration period, when hundreds of them travel along the coastline within minutes of Newport Harbor. From May through November, giant blue whales, fin whales and minke whales turn the waters into their home. Groups also have the opportunity to see dolphins, sea lions, marine birds, killer whales, humpback whales, sharks and more sea creatures during their whale-watching excursions.

Newport Landing has been in the Orange County whale-watching business for more than 20 years. The company provides multiple whale-watching trips daily, and groups can rent or charter a whale-watching boat for a private experience led by experienced professionals year-round. 

Davey’s Locker saw more than 1,800 whales in 2023 and also offers daily guided whale-watching tours with experienced professionals year-round. Cruises typically last between two to two and a half hours, and the company offers Luxury Whale Watching on a catamaran yacht for a limited number of guests. 

Both Newport Landing and Davey’s Locker offer vessels designed specifically for whale watching and comfort, with amenities onboard that include an indoor snack bar, indoor and outdoor seating, lavatories and an expansive observation deck. 

In addition to packing the essentials for being out on the water like sunscreen and sunglasses, attendees are also encouraged to bring a camera and binoculars for a close-up view of whales, other sea life and Newport Beach scenery.

Electric Boat Harbor Tour in Newport Beach
Electric Boat Harbor Tour in Newport Beach

Electric Boat Harbor Tours

There’s no better way to experience the largest recreational harbor on the West Coast than on the water itself. Groups can take advantage of all of Newport Beach’s nautical wonders by booking electric boat harbor tours, during which smaller groups between 10-12 people can cruise Newport Harbor in an electric Duffy Boat.

Sea Señorita Duffy, established by a mom and daughter duo, offers two-, three- or four-hour Duffy Boat rentals ranging from $395 to $955, with a driver included in the price. Up to 10 guests can fit on the Dazzling White Duffy, while 12 can fit on the Pretty in Pink Duffy. Groups are invited to bring their own snacks and drinks or consider gourmet add-ons including charcuterie platters.

Vision Electric Boat Rental allows groups to rent electric Duffy Boats that can fit up to 10 people and do not include a driver. Instead, a member of the group is the captain. Each easy-to-operate boat has a canopy top, window enclosure and CD player with MP3 player hook up. 

Vision Electric Boat Rental also invites groups to Dock & Dine in a dining experience that honors Newport Beach’s nautical founding. Groups can set sail through the harbor and dock their boat at one of many preferred vendors and waterfront restaurants serving fresh coastal cuisine. Meals can be enjoyed onboard, or groups can disembark to dine alfresco on a terrace overlooking the bay.  

[Related: 4 Unique Outdoor Meeting Venues in California]

Electric MOKE Car Rentals, Newport Beach
Electric MOKE Car Rentals, Newport Beach
Electric MOKE Car Rentals, Newport Beach
Electric MOKE Car Rentals, Newport Beach

Electric MOKE Car Rentals

To experience what Newport Beach has to offer on dry land, groups can rent electric MOKE cars—street-legal, open-air, low-speed electric vehicles—and drive up and down the city’s streets while still enjoying the sunny SoCal weather. 

Newport Beach MOKE describes the vehicles as symbols of “fun in the sun” that offer “a sensory experience of sight, sound and fresh air!” The company offers two- or five-hour MOKE rentals, with each MOKE comfortably seating up to four people. 

Groups that book MOKE tours are encouraged to explore Newport Beach, Balboa Island and the Peninsula to experience the areas in a new light. See the area’s piers, enjoy a ferryboat ride, visit the many historic homes on the Peninsula and Balboa Island and wrap up with a stroll through Lido Marina Village, offering a mix of alfresco waterside dining and boutiques to peruse.

[Related: 9 California Wineries Offering Outdoor Venues for Group Gatherings]


For those daring enough to not only get on the water, but in it, Newport Beach is home to some of the best surf spots in Southern California, such as The Wedge, 15th Street and 54th/56th Street, with swells that have drawn surfers from all over the country.

Whether your group is full of professional surfers, beginners or a mix of both, groups of every skill level have multiple opportunities to catch some waves and build stronger teams.

Since its establishment in 1963, Endless Sun Surf School has taught thousands of people of all ages and abilities how to surf. The company is Newport Beach’s original surf school and operates at the Newport Beach Pier, one of California’s best learning beaches for surf students. 

Surfing in Newport Beach
Surfing in Newport Beach

Endless Sun Surf School’s CPR-certified teachers are also World Surf League professional surfers that offer not only an in-depth knowledge of the sport but a passion for surfing that is sure to excite those participating in lessons. 

Lessons are offered every day year-round, and the company provides wetsuits and surfboards for all sizes. Private small group lessons are offered for 4-6 people with two surf instructors, while private big group lessons for more than six surfers can be booked by calling the company at (949) 533-1022. 

Newport Surf Camp is another company that teaches new surfers everything they need to get out in the water and start catching waves. The company chooses its instructors from an elite group of surfers with knowledge on everything from ocean safety to the latest surfing tricks and maneuvers. 

Newport Surf Camp offers private and group surf lessons year-round and can accommodate groups of around 20 people in a two-hour class for $69 per person, while larger events can be booked by calling (866) SURF-CAMP. Every private group lesson covers a number of surfing-related topics including basic surfing fundamentals, paddling technique, wave selection, pop-up and stance, board handling, balance and body positioning, wave riding and more. Wetsuits, surfboards and leashes are provided.

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This article was produced in partnership with Visit California.

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About the author
Taylor Smith | Content Developer, Destinations and Features

Taylor Smith joined Stamats in May 2022 as a content developer, destinations and features for Meetings Today. Smith has experience covering everything from travel to breaking news and graduated from Ball State University with a bachelor’s degree in news and magazine journalism. Previously, she’s written for St. Louis Magazine and worked as an editorial assistant and apprentice for Aubree Nichols, who has been published in premier publications such as The New York TimesELLE and The Los Angeles Times.