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Newport Beach Blog

Discover Balboa Island

October 17, 2014

When the hustle and bustle of life becomes too much, Balboa Island provides the perfect escape. Nestled in the heart of Newport Harbor, this man-made wonder provides a small town feel just minutes from the style and business hubs at Fashion Island.

From the quaint shops along Marine Avenue, the main stretch of shops on the Island, to the spectacular views of the harbor, Balboa Island will make you feel at home.

Here are three ways to get to Balboa Island:
1. From Inland: Exit the 73 Freeway on Jamboree and follow it southwest. Keep taking it straight until you cross the bridge and it turns into Marine Avenue.
2. From Huntington Beach: Take Pacific Coast Highway south. Turn right on Bayside Drive. Turn right on Marine Avenue.
3. From Balboa Peninsula: Take Balboa Blvd. toward Balboa Village- Home of the Fun Zone. Turn on Palm toward the harbor and follow the Auto Ferry signs. Cross Newport Harbor on the Auto Ferry to Balboa Island.

Once on Balboa Island, a world of fun awaits. Here is a list of activities sure to make your trip a memorable one:

Indulge Your Sweet Tooth

Diets will go to the wayside once you are on the Island. No trip to Newport Beach is complete until you have treated yourself to a Balboa Bar. Not familiar with this local delicacy? The tasty treat is ice cream dipped in chocolate, covered in your choice of a variety of delicious toppings.

Two island institutions claim to be the creators of the Balboa Bar: Dad’s Donut & Bakery Shop and Sugar & Spice. Though no one can agree on the true original, everyone can agree that it is a delicious must try while on the Island, as locals call it.

Both shops also serve Newport Beach’s other famous dessert: the frozen banana, as seen on the hit show Arrested Development.

Shop

Strolling along Marine Avenue, you will find enough boutiques to keep you occupied for hours. Shops like Mode•ology, Crush Clothing, and Persimmon Tree Inc. have adorable outfits perfect for beach adventures, dining out, or just keeping on trend.

You can also stop in specialty shops like Candlessence, where candles are made in-house daily, and Olive Oil and Beyond, carrying a variety of olive oils and vinaigrette.

Stroll

Surrounded by beautiful waterways, Balboa Island demonstrates why Newport Beach was named one of the most beautiful canal cities by Travel & Leisure.

The walkway surrounding Balboa Island provides one of the most scenic waterfront paths in all of Newport Beach. At just under two miles, the path is perfect for casual walkers, joggers and dog-walkers alike.

With a view of the harbor to one side and grand houses to the other, you may find yourself making a few trips around the island to ensure that you have seen it all!

Dine

Unique eateries abound on Balboa Island. With so many restaurants, you may have a hard time choosing just one!

From seafood and Italian at Amelia’s to comfort food at Wilma’s Patio, Balboa Island is its own dining destination. You can discover all the restaurants Balboa Island on has to offer on DineNB.com.

Let your cares melt away and spend a day on Balboa Island. A perfectly quaint escape is waiting for you!

Written by Colleen Costello

Colleen Costello is a life-long visitor of Newport Beach. As marketing coordinator at Visit Newport Beach, she loves working to share the Newport Beach story. She enjoys the many scenes Newport Beach has to offer, from Balboa Island to Back Bay, Crystal Cove to Newport Pier and beyond.

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