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Explore Balboa Island, Newport Beach

Balboa Island, Newport Beach - Ferris wheel
Carla Docdocil
Carla Docdocil
May 12, 2023

Don't visit Newport Beach without dipping into Balboa Island! Balboa Island is a picturesque treasure nestled within Newport Beach. Gated by bridge, ferry, or dock access, this community is famed for its pedestrian-friendly concrete boardwalk that serves as a gateway to shopping, dining, and stupendous views. Here's a quick guide to exploring Balboa Island Newport Beach.

Getting to Balboa Island

Car Ferry to Balboa Island

Accessing Balboa Island Newport Beach is tricky! The easiest way to enter is to take the Balboa Island Car Ferry, which travels just under 1,000 feet between the island and the peninsula. You'll get there in about five minutes! However, you can also take the bridge from Bayside Drive.

Things to Do on Balboa Island

A visit to Balboa Island is all about leisure! First, most people find that simply going from shop to shop is enough to keep them busy. Balboa Island has many specialty shops offering clothing, art, artisanal nuts and chocolates, and much more! Of course, many people are lured in by the call of the harbor from the moment they step foot on Balboa Island. Luckily, plenty of local tour operators can take you on a paddleboard, kayak, or sailboat for fun on the water. Renting a bike is another popular thing to do on Balboa Island!

chocolate-dipped frozen bananas

While there are many great ways to explore Balboa Island, most people agree that simply exploring on foot is the best way to dip in and out of attractions. If you're all about finding the best food on Balboa Island, find your way to a main street for an activity called Marine Avenue. You'll enjoy lovely porch dining while admiring all the stunning homes facing the harbor. While Balboa is known for its amazing seafood, one "specialty" dish might take you by surprise. At some point during the 1950s, Balboa Island became obsessed with chocolate-dipped frozen bananas. You can't wrap up your day without trying one if you want to claim that you truly had the full Balboa Island Newport Beach experience.

Visiting the Beach on Balboa Island

It's good to know that all beaches on Balboa Island offer public access! Families love dipping in the water here because the harbor keeps waves away. Just be warned that some beach access around the island disappears at high tide.

The Balboa Fun Zone

ferris wheel

Everyone is a kid at heart when they step foot on Balboa Island because everyone becomes enchanted by the Balboa Fun Zone. What is this magical slice of California culture all about? As one of Southern California's oldest coastal amusement areas, this attraction represents one of the last great "wholesome" experiences for the whole family in the entire country. Play games, ride on the waterfront Ferris wheel, load up on sugary snacks from vendors, or take in the beauty of palm trees swaying with the delicate harbor breezes as you enjoy the iconic Balboa Fun Zone.

Balboa Island Is Calling: Start Early to Get a Full Day of Fun

A visit to beautiful Balboa Island is a great one-day excursion that will make you feel like you've traveled to a hidden paradise thousands of miles from the mainland in just five minutes! Remember to caffeinate before starting your journey if you're getting an early start to the day! This list of amazing coffee shops in Anaheim will help you perk up before you reach the harbor.

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