If you are looking for a nature outing, check out the tours offered by Southwind Kayak rentals. My friends and I explored the tidal wetlands of Upper Newport Bay and observed numerous bird species during a two-hour-plus guided outing via kayak. It was a welcome break from city life, and it's located in our own backyard.
Southwind Kayak Center, (949) 261-0200, http://www.southwindkayaks.com. Kayak tours by preregistration only. Harbor Highlights or Back to Nature tour of the Upper Newport Bay ecological reserve, $55, or $45 with your own gear.