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Where the Wild Gyms Are

After what seems like an endless barrage of cloudy days and cold, wind-whipped nights, today the sun is finally shining. It’s the perfect weather to ditch the gym and instead, have yourself a little fitness session in the great outdoors. Plus, with Fitbits, Apple Watches and even an old, trusty smartphone, it’s easier than ever to monitor your workout progress while breathing in that fresh, spring air.

Not sure where to start? Let us guide you … 

Marina Park

1600 W Balboa Blvd., Newport Beach, CA 92663

We’re listing this one first because if you didn’t know now you do: Marina Park actually has gym equipment sprinkled in careful order around its expansive, manicured lawn. Pull up, push down and get your sweat on and when you’re through, enjoy a cool beverage at The Lighthouse Cafe or a breezy view from the sliver of sand bordering the space.  This is outdoor exercise at its organized, well-equipped finest.

West Newport Park

5700 Seashore Dr., Newport Beach, CA 92663

Sure at West Newport Park you could swing on the swing set or slide down the slide in playground, reliving the dusty vestiges of your bygone youth but you could also grab a tennis racket (and a friend) then hit the hard courts. There’s four of them in total and while they do tend to fill up on sunny days, the usual wait is no more than a few minutes before someone surrenders his or her spot and you’re free to serve, set and volley until your heart’s content.

Handball Courts on the Beach

13th St. and Newport Balboa Bike Trail

Recommended time to visit: sunset. As the glob of burning star known as the sun wanes in a cloud-dappled sky, you can play basketball, roller skate on the asphalt or even hone your tennis skills (see notes about tennis courts above) to the tune of crashing waves and backdrop of a glittering coastal paradise.

Balboa Island Loop

331 Marine Ave, Balboa Island, CA 92662 (This address will get you close to the walking trail.)

The most bucolic and easygoing of our options, Balboa Island is a walker’s oasis. (Spots are tight on the island. Parking tip: Park on Balboa Peninsula near the Fun Zone and take the ferry across.) There’s a 1.7 mile-long sidewalk that circumnavigates Balboa Island, dotted with familiar sights (the famed seasonal sandcastle creations, a quick layover at the frozen banana stand) and friendly perambulators who, like you, want to enjoy the beautiful day.

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