Inhabited by members of the Tongya and Juaneno/Luiseno nations for thousands of years, the area that is now Newport Beach was not explored by Europeans until 1543. At this time, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo sailed the coast of California for New Spain. It wasn?t until 1602, when Sebastian Vizcaino sailed for the Spanish Empire, that the California Coast was mapped. Years after completing an expedition to the area in 1769, Don Jose Antonio Yorba was awarded a enormous land grant from the Spanish Empire in 1810. The land covered more than 62,500 acres and included what is now known as Orange County.
牧场出售后，一些企业家被吸引到纽波特地区。其中包括詹姆斯·欧文（James Irvine）和詹姆斯·麦克法登（James McFadden）。尔湾（Irvine）希望积聚大量牧场，而麦克法登（McFadden）希望通过分割土地并卖给尽可能多的人来创建一个城镇。麦克法登（McFadden）成为纽波特（Newport）的第一个热情推动者，他致力于将其打造为重要的商业中心。
In its early years, Newport had many different names. Among these were Bolsa de Gengara and Bolsa de San Joaquin. The name Newport was finally settled upon when Captain Samuel Summer Dunnels arrived with supplies for the settlement and proclaimed that he now had a ?new port? in 1870. Five years later, McFadden and his younger brother Robert acquired the landing that Dunnels had previously established. The brothers went on to operate a thriving commercial trade and shipping business from the landing for the next nineteen years.
After receiving Federal funds for improvements in 1889, a harbor at San Pedro became Southern California?s major seaport. McFadden subsequently sold his Newport townsite and about half of the Peninsula to William S. Collins in 1902. Collins saw a new vision for Newport as he saw its resort and recreation potential. He went on to form partnerships and to acquire the Pacific Electric railway system, which he then used to promote new communities outside of Los Angeles. Four short years later, Newport Beach became a sourest destination. In August 1906 it was incorporated as a city.
1910年，麦克法登斯以$35,000的价格出售了纽波特，巴尔博亚岛和丽都。六年后，巴尔博亚岛被新港海滩吞并。 1923年吞并了Corona del Mar，并于三年后通过纽波特海滩修建了太平洋海岸公路。