Balboa Island – Eat.Sea.Do. Christmas Walk
To visit Balboa Island during the holidays is to be charmed anew. Accessible by car, foot, or ferry, Balboa Island is one of Newport Beach’s most popular destinations year-round, but the holiday season adds an extra element of warmth and community. At just 0.2 square miles, Balboa Island is a true gem down to its streets, almost all of which are named after a precious stone. Trust us, you will be as dazzled meandering down Diamond Street as you will be sauntering along Sapphire. So how do you replicate the cozy itinerary you saw here? Follow along for our favorite spots.
Arriving by ferry, a mode of transportation celebrating its 100th year of operation, you walk right into a beautiful residential community with a few locally-owned businesses nestled on Agate Avenue. Warm-up to the day in Succulent Roasters, a local favorite for its excellent coffees. Enjoy every perfect sip.
Arriving by car or foot brings you to Marine avenue, which is dotted with quaint boutiques and intimate restaurants. Every Saturday and Sunday in December, Balboa Island is hosting a Christmas Walk – just look for the window decals that identify participating merchants and restaurants. Enjoy unique decorations and merchandise that will inspire numerous gift ideas (to give and get, of course).
Even the iconic Balboa Bar gets a holiday makeover. Stop by Sugar N Spice and order a Cringle Balboa Bar; the same luscious ice cream but with a candy cane coating in lieu of summertime sprinkles.
Pop into Island Home, a boutique with great taste in all things especially gifts. The friendly staff and unique selection make the experience a treat for locals and visitors alike.
As the sun starts to dip, it’s time to head to Royal Hen, a cozy California gastropub with an artfully edited menu bursting with seasonal ingredients.
The perfect end to your holiday on Balboa Island is a walk around the boardwalk to take in blocks of dazzling decorations. More than two dozen of these gorgeous homes are officially registered in the Ring of Lights, an annual tradition that lights up the waterfront in glorious color and creativity.