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Back Bay Science Center Community Days in Newport Beach

Back Bay Science Center Community Days in Newport Beach

Back Bay Science Center in Newport Beach is open most Sundays for Community Days (Open House) from 10am to 2pm — making it the perfect destination or starting point for a bike ride along Back Bay Drive (Mountains to Sea Trail & Bikeway) to/from Big Canyon or Vista Point.  It’s an open house style event with tanks to see and volunteers to help guide you through the Center’s exhibits.

Directions to Back Bay Science Center in Newport Beach: When driving, take Jamboree towards Balboa Island – and past the Hyatt Newport– turn right onto Back Bay Drive as if you were going to Newport Dunes Resort but drive past it. Where the road dead ends, turn left into the Back Bay Science Center parking lot or park along the street there. Address: 600 Shellmaker Rd, Newport Beach. MAP TO BACK BAY SCIENCE CENTER IN NEWPORT BEACH


  • Local high school students intern for research projects and interacting with the public. My kids really enjoyed interacting volunteers that were closer to their age.
  • Going early means you might get the benefit of a foggy and cool bike ride. The sun came out when we were on our way back to the car.
  • The Mountains to Sea Trailhead is at the entrance to the Back Bay Science Center.
  • The inside tank with the shark and sometimes an octopus are always a highlight for me. Feedings tend to happen between 11am-Noon.
  • Outside the touch tanks have a variety of sea creatures.
  • Look for osprey flying outdoors and if you are lucky you might see a nest.
  • Great birdwatching in the Back Bay estuary.

Be Aware:

  • This is more of a research facility than a tourist destination. It’s a great opportunity to see what’s happening in the bay, but don’t expect a museum-quality experience designed for the public!
  • Only open to the public on Sundays from 10am-2pm or for special events.
  • The gates will close at 2pm, so make sure you don’t leave your car parked here.
  • Most enjoyable for school age kids 5+
  • If you do the bike ride or even walk/hike the Mountains to Sea Trail — be aware of cars and bikers which are allowed to drive one-way on the single lane road.


Originally published in June 2015.