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Newport Beach Blog

Discover Balboa Peninsula

April 2, 2014

When driving along Pacific Coast Highway through Newport Beach, visitors may miss the hidden neighborhood gems of Balboa Peninsula – Balboa Village, Cannery Village and Lido Village, located only minutes off of the main road.

Our unique villages are what give our cosmopolitan city the “small town” feel that makes it so charming. From historic landmarks to quaint, casual dining, these neighborhoods offer a trip down memory lane and are sure to instill new memories as well.

Here are three ways to enter the peninsula:

  1. Coming from Huntington Beach on Pacific Coast Highway, turn right on Balboa Blvd.
  2. Coming off of 55 South, keep on the freeway until it ends, the road will take you straight onto Balboa Peninsula. There is an on-ramp on Pacific Coast Highway to take you over the 55 bridge onto Balboa Peninsula from both sides.
  3. Coming from Jamboree Road, take Jamboree until the road turns into Marine Ave, taking you onto Balboa Island. Follow the Auto-Ferry signs on the island. Cross Newport Harbor on the Auto-Ferry onto Balboa Peninsula.

Once you are on Balboa Peninsula, here are places to go, shop and dine in each Village.

Cannery Village and Lido Village

With world-class surf spots, historic waterfront districts, a pier and boardwalk bike path along the beach, Cannery Village and Lido Village offer the best of California beach culture in the form of quaint Newport Beach neighborhoods.

Eat/Drink

Dock & Dine at harbor side restaurants including The Cannery Seafood of the Pacific, Bluewater Grill, The Dock and Woody’s Wharf. The Cannery Village area is full of local hotspots such as Bear Flag Fish Company, Sabatino’s Sausage Company and Crow Burger Kitchen. Dine with a view at 21 Oceanfront near Newport Pier, or try the classic Crab Cooker for fresh local seafood in a cool and casual setting.

Shop

Meet the locals every Sunday at the Certified Farmers Market at Lido Marina Village. Buy fresh fish straight off the boat north of Newport Pier when the Dory Fishing Fleet returns from its nightly run, a tradition that has gone on since 1891. The shops and boutiques in Cannery Village and Lido Village offer everything from board shorts and bikinis to art and gourmet goodies.

Explore

Bike along the boardwalk or stroll to the end of Newport Pier and peruse the shops and galleries in this classic beach neighborhood. Feeling adventurous? Take to the sky on a water-powered jet pack with Jetpack America. Looking to relax? Head to the Art Deco Lido Theatre in Via Lido Plaza where you can view independent and general release films. The theatre also includes options for pre- and post-movie dining. After your movie experience, explore the intriguing architecture of neighborhoods that are alive with the area’s boat building and fishing history.

Balboa Village

Balboa Village offers locals and visitors a nostalgic and relaxed celebration of good times and family memories. Landmarks such as Balboa Pavilion and Balboa Pier, both built in 1906, give the Village the rich history that make it one of Newport Beach’s most beloved neighborhoods. Other attractions such as the historic Fun Zone and ExplorOcean define the unique nature of Balboa Village. The walk-able neighborhood also boasts quaint shops and restaurants.

Eat/Drink
Don’t miss the view at Harborside Restaurant in the historic Pavilion or Ruby’s Diner at the end of Balboa Pier. New favorites in the neighborhood include Sliding Door Café and Bakery, a chef-driven, casual restaurant, and Balboa Barbie Q in the Fun Zone that offers a great view of Newport Harbor. For diverse, ethnic cuisine, try Mint Leaf Thai Cuisine, San Shi Go sushi, Great Mex or Zizo’s Kabob. The history of this neighborhood can be seen in the classic beach and harbor bars that are local favorites, like Balboa Saloon and Class of ’47.

Shop

Spend your afternoons strolling through scenic Balboa Village and experience art galleries, gourmet shops and gift stores. Half Moon Fashion, Main St. Surf Shop, Bohemia Gals, Kathryn Aileen’s Boutique and Kohana Skin are just a few of Balboa Village’s unique boutiques.

Explore

It’s less than a half of a mile to walk from the end of Balboa Pier to the Fun Zone and Pavilion, so make the most of your sunny days by exploring the neighborhood on foot. Arrive by ferry from across the harbor, ride the Ferris wheel and play classic arcade games at Balboa Fun Zone, or learn about the nautical and ecological history of the coast at ExplorOcean. If water-friendly activities are more your style, you can rent an electric boat and take a cruise around the harbor, go sport fishing on the open ocean, or take a trip to Catalina Island from the harbor side of the Village. Balboa Boat Rentals, Davey’s Locker, Electra Cruises, Catalina Flyer and Newport Landing Whale Watching can help you with your aquatic needs. Swim and surf on Balboa Peninsula beaches at popular surf spots such as Blackie’s Beach, The Point (located off of 18th street), or The Wedge, a world-renowned spot at the end of the peninsula.

Written by @visitnewportbeach

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