Sunset Ridge Park
Sunset Ridge Park
We frequently see Sunset Ridge Park on our way between Newport Beach and Huntington Beach along Coast Highway. Do you recall where the Jack in the Box is located at the junction of Coast Highway and Balboa Blvd, just opposite? A hill covered with drought-tolerant plants lies diagonally across that enormous intersection, to be precise. From the street, it looks like a vacant lot. The only indication that a park lies above this location is this sign — and some steps off Superior Street and a stairway down Coast Highway.
Even in my wildest fantasies, I didn’t expect to find the park’s hidden treasure on the bluff overlooking the sea. It’s breathtaking how big it is. On the east side of the park, a lovely butterfly garden with pavers that resemble a monarch at the high point. Look south across the park and you’ll find the playground and picnic area, which are both located at the west end.
The park is at the intersection of Coast Highway and Superior/Balboa Boulevard. Because the parking is on the northbound side of Superior, you’ll want to enter from Coast Highway. You must use the ramp up after you’ve reached the top because there’s no free parking lot accessible by way of Superior Street.
A part of Newport Beach City Council is exploring the addition of a pedestrian bridge, additional parking, and a dog park to a local park as part of its planned improvements.
The Superior Avenue Parking and Safety Project, which includes the construction of 64 parking spaces, a 0.2-acre dog park on its northern end, and a concrete bridge that connects it to Sunset Ridge Park, was presented by the City Council’s development committee Tuesday with preliminary approval.
Sunset Ridge Park was completed in 2014, but it has been underutilized due to parking and access issues, officials claim. The park includes a walking path, a playground, two general sports fields, and a baseball diamond with 13.7 blufftop acres of space but no on-site parking.
Sunset View is a large, open grassy area with benches and a paved 64-space parking lot for Sunset Ridge visitors as well as the beach.
Superior is a curved, divided highway with four travel lanes and three turning spaces that connects drivers to the bigger Coast Highway. Pedestrians must cross Superior, which is a curving, divided roadway with four travel lanes and three turn facilities to link motorists to the even larger Coast Highway..
The dog park is the most divisive of the suggested improvements, with certain condo owners in the neighborhood expressing concerns about noise, stench, and traffic. To allay residents’ worries, city planners came up with proposals that replaced the fenced dog park with open grassy grounds to alleviate their fears.