The long, rigorous mountain hikes are wonderful and plentiful in California, but if you're not one for the higher elevated hikes, there's a nice trail that follows along the coast of California called the Newport Coastal Trail. This scenic and short trail follows only about 100 feet from the water's edge.
The trail itself is a rural one, made from compacted dirt and grass that follows along the curves of the shoreline, sticking to a small, but worthy 4 feet width. The trail's main parking area starts at the southern portion of the trail, along a gravel parking lot on the side of Shoreline Highway. After making sure Fido is leashed and you're stocked up on water and food, you can walk along the road about a tenth of a mile to the start of the trail, where it begins on a private drive that connects to Shoreline Highway. Another access point is along a curve of the trail, and to get to that, walk west along the shore through rural fields to connect to the trail where it curves towards the ocean.
Once you're on the trail, the flat and even surface offers a lovely place to walk, with views of open fields and the coast, and features a connecting rural trail that leads to the edge of the cliff on the water for a better look. There are patches of trees along the trail that create shaded spots to sit under.
A number of activities can be enjoyed along the trail, including picnicking, bicycling, and whale-watching. The trail stays parallel to Shoreline Highway and ends at another gravel parking area on the side of the Shoreline Highway as well, around 1.2 miles from the start. Although its a nice and short trail, if you want something more, the trail connects to the rest of The California Coastal Trail, which connects multiple trails that span over 1200 miles.
Whether you're here for an hour, or plan on spending the entire day walking along the nearly endless trails, you and Fido will get plenty of sun, exercise, and nature viewing.