Taking the Trolley makes Exploring Balboa Peninsula a Breeze
Gorgeous beaches, palm-tree lined streets and world class dining and shopping make Newport Beach a vacationer’s paradise. With summer in full swing, the complimentary Balboa Peninsula Trolley let’s locals and visitors enjoy the very best one of Orange County’s most popular beach destinations without the hassle of parking and traffic.
Efficient, convenient, and free, the trolley offers riders 22 stops and operates every 15 minutes between 10 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. on the weekends. Made by beachgoers for beachgoers, the Balboa Peninsula Trolley accommodates bikes, surfboards (under six feet), and all other beach gear. While the trolley gives you access to the entire Balboa Peninsula, here are some must-sees and stops on the ride. Download the trolley map here to follow along!
Stops 4 and 18:
Stops 4 and 18 take you to the heart of Newport Beach at Balboa and 20th. With miles of sand and surf, give yourself ample time to stroll the palm-tree-lined walkways. Don’t forget to check out the stunning views from Newport Beach Pier and lively McFadden Square with its commemorative statue of lifeguard Ben Carlson.
If you’re looking for a local food and brew hotspot with spectacular Pacific Ocean views, make Dory Deli your next stop. From hearty breakfasts to post-surfing snacks, Dory Deli has you covered. They feature locally roasted coffee, sandwiches crafted using the finest ingredients, an abundance of fresh produce, and innovative craft beers and cocktails. One of their house specialties? The vegan Buffalo Mary. Imagine crispy cauliflower tossed in house-made buffalo sauce and served atop a freshly baked sub roll with vegan ranch. Even die-hard carnivores will devour it.
Stops 5 and 17:
Stops 5 and 17 showcase kid-friendly activities the whole family will enjoy at Marina Park. This ten-acre space includes the nautically-themed Lighthouse Park playground with its red-and-white striped lighthouse. The playground includes a giant slide, climbing obstacle courses, a wooden dock, sand for castle building, and more. Marina Park also provides ready access to sandy expanses of beach for seashell hunting, a pedestrian/cyclist path, and plenty of picnic tables.
After you’ve worked up an appetite, head next door to the Lighthouse Bayview Café, which serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, and multi-course weekend brunches with bottomless mimosas. The marine-chic ambiance makes it a great spot to take a break from the sun and surf. You’ll enjoy innovative takes on California cuisine and waterfront dining. Weekdays from 3 pm to 6 pm, check out their delicious happy hour deals.
Stops 10 and 12: Balboa and Adams
Stops 10 and 12 on the Balboa Peninsula Trolley bring you to the small-town atmosphere of Balboa Village. Here, you’ll find endless beaches, mouthwatering restaurants, quaint shopping, and chic art galleries. Depending on the season, prepare to whale watch, participate in water sports, or go sportfishing. No matter the time of year, give the Fun Zone a whirl.
The Fun Zone at Balboa Village will occupy you and your family for hours. From narrated harbor cruises to Ferris wheel rides, you’ll find something for everyone. The Fun Zone also offers skee-ball, arcade games, an ocean motion attraction, and interactive activities at the Discovery Cube’s Ocean Quest.
Just a short ferry ride away, Balboa Island sits steeped in the fragrance of countless blossoms, picturesque scenery, and one-of-a-kind shopping and dining. If you’re in the mood for something sweet, check out the island’s famed Balboa Bars and frozen bananas at Sugar ‘n Spice. Both treats are dipped in your choice of sauce and toppings.
Want to plan a few of your own stops? Click here for more information on the summer trolley in Newport Beach!
Written By: Engrid Barnett