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Newport Beach vs Laguna Beach vs Corona del Mar - which iconic coastal Orange County town is the best place to buy a home?

Newport Beach vs Laguna Beach vs Corona del Mar: A Homebuyer’s Guide to Coastal Orange County

If you’re a homebuyer comparing Newport Beach vs Laguna Beach vs Corona del Mar, the truth is all of these picturesque Orange County beach communities offer some of the most sought-after real estate in Southern California. But each has its own unique vibe and amenities that will appeal to different types of homebuyers. As a top luxury real estate agent serving buyers and sellers in these coastal cities, I’m here to give you an insider’s comparison to help you decide which town to focus your home search on.

Newport Beach & Newport Coast: Accessible Luxury Living

While Newport Beach and Newport Coast are now technically one city after merging in 2002, the two areas still maintain somewhat distinct identities. Newport Beach proper has the feel of a charming, upscale suburban beach town. It offers a variety of housing, from cozy cottages to lavish waterfront mansions, with plenty of public amenities like beaches, piers, and a bustling harbor.

In contrast, Newport Coast has a more exclusive, resort-style atmosphere. Perched in the hills above the coast, many homes here boast panoramic ocean views. You’ll find mostly large luxury properties in gated communities. While farther from the sand, Newport Coast offers the utmost in privacy and prestige.

Both Newport Beach and Newport Coast are known for their highly-rated schools, making them popular with families. And with great access to major freeways, shopping at Fashion Island, and John Wayne Airport, these communities offer unparalleled convenience in addition to coastal beauty.


Rooftop infinity pool with ocean views at a luxury home in Newport Beach
Many Newport Beach homes boast incredible amenities like this rooftop pool with panoramic water views.

Laguna Beach: Laid-Back Luxury With an Artistic Soul

Drive down the coast and you’ll arrive in Laguna Beach, an enchanting seaside village with a bohemian spirit. Long an artists’ colony, Laguna’s creative roots show in its many art galleries, festivals, and the famous Pageant of the Masters. The terrain is more dramatic here, with homes clinging to cliffs above secluded coves and beaches.

Laguna Beach has a more relaxed, eclectic vibe than its northern neighbors. You’re more likely to see surfboards than supercars. The community is tight-knit and engaged, with a focus on the arts and the environment. Tourists flock here in the summer, but off-season the town is quiet and moves at a slower pace.

While Laguna is a bit less conveniently located than Newport, many residents are willing to deal with a slightly longer commute to enjoy the incredible natural beauty and unique character of this special place. From cottages to contemporary showplaces, Laguna offers a variety of gorgeous homes with stunning views.


Open concept living room with expansive ocean views in a Laguna Beach luxury home
Laguna Beach homes often feature open, airy living spaces that showcase the incredible coastal vistas.

Corona del Mar: Coastal Charm Meets Suburban Convenience

Nestled between Newport Beach and Laguna Beach, Corona del Mar (Spanish for “Crown of the Sea”) is a quaint seaside village with a tight-knit, friendly feel. It has a small-town ambiance, with a main street lined with boutiques and cafes, and beautiful beaches below the coastal bluffs.

Homes in Corona del Mar range from original beach cottages to newly-built luxury residences. Many streets are named after flowers, adding to the charm. CDM (as locals call it) offers a slightly more low-key and less touristy environment compared to nearby Newport and Laguna.

With top-rated schools, nearby shopping and dining, and easy access to the rest of Orange County, Corona del Mar is a great choice for anyone looking for a tight-knit coastal community with all the conveniences of suburban living. Its central location between Newport and Laguna is perfect for exploring all the area has to offer.


Indoor-outdoor living space with fire pit and pool in a luxury Corona del Mar home
Corona del Mar offers the best of coastal living, with homes that blur the lines between indoors and out.

Newport Beach, Laguna Beach or Corona del Mar: Which Coastal Orange County Town is Right for You?

As a real estate agent in Laguna Beach, Newport Beach and Corona del Mar, I know all three of these incredible coastal communities have so much to offer homebuyers. It really comes down to your personal preferences, budget and lifestyle. Are you drawn to the prestige and resort-style luxuries of Newport Coast? The natural beauty and artistic spirit of Laguna Beach? Or the charming seaside ambiance of Corona del Mar?

Whichever town you choose, you really can’t go wrong. They all boast gorgeous homes, stunning beaches, top-notch schools and amazing quality of life. I hope this comparison guide has given you helpful insights into what distinguishes each community.

As a top luxury realtor, my team and I have an organized process and a proven track record. We’re happy to show you around and answer any questions. When you’re ready to dig deeper and find your dream home in coastal Orange County, get in touch!


andy stavros scaled

Andy Stavros

Andy Stavros is the renowned expert in luxury real estate along Orange County's prestigious coast. Andy stands out because of his extensive experience in national real estate firms and overseeing prominent commercial projects. With a nationally recognized sales record and exceptional skills, Andy and his team are fully equipped to assist you with buying or selling a premier coastal property.
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