Neighborhood Guide: Balboa Village
For over a century, Balboa Village has been the center of Newport Beach’s history. Home to the iconic Balboa Fun Zone and the historic Balboa Pavilion, this seaside neighborhood is a must-visit for its waterfront restaurants, proximity to beautiful beaches and infinite array of recreational activities. When it comes to fun for the whole family, there’s no place like Balboa Village! Here’s where to stay, dine, shop and explore in this time-honored nook of Newport Beach.
For a taste of local charm, check in to Balboa Inn Resort—a 45-room boutique hotel that offers access to the best beaches in Newport and the best restaurants in Balboa Village. The inn was established in 1926 but has been remodeled several times. However, despite its upkeep, the property’s Spanish Colonial Revival architecture remains intact. Today, guests can enjoy a luxurious Mediterranean-style retreat, perfect for a by-the-beach vacation. Newport Beach also offers a variety of beach house vacation rentals if you’re looking to avoid the crowds and enjoy more space and privacy.
With a mix of fast-casual favorites and sit-down restaurants, Balboa Village offers something for every type of visitor. If you’re bringing the little ones along, consider stopping by Pizza Pete’s or Balboa Bar-B-Que for a quick bite. And when their sweet tooths kick in, hit Balboa Beach Treats for a scoop of ice cream or Balboa Candy for some saltwater taffy. If the kids weren’t invited (no shame) and you’re looking for a lively spot to dine, you’ll love Newport Landing’s waterfront views and seafood selection. Mint Leaf Thai Cuisine and San Shi Go Sushi are also great picks for date night!
On the hunt for the perfect souvenir? Visit the shops in Balboa Village to take a piece of our city home with you! The Mermaid Store carries everything from swimsuits and hats to keychains, beach towels and more! If you’re looking to buy your first (or next) surfboard, Main Street Surf Shop has been a staple since 1979. Fun N Sun is also a great stop for souvenir shirts, embroidered bags and other goodies!
Recreation is the heart and soul of Balboa Village, so you’ll never be bored in this part of town. Take a ride on the Ferris wheel at the Balboa Fun Zone or hop on a Jet Ski from Balboa Water Sports. You can also rent your own kayak, paddleboard or electric boat from Newport Beach Boat Rentals, or get an adrenaline rush (and a side of unbeatable views) with a ride from California Parasail!
Plan a day trip to the scenic island of Catalina—just a 90-minute boat ride from Newport Beach! The Catalina Flyer is the largest passenger-carrying catamaran on the West Coast, featuring everything from full-service cocktail lounges to sweeping sun decks. Enjoy comfort, stellar service and a friendly crew as you make your way over to the charming city of Avalon.
Written by: Kaylin Waizinger