Balboa Peninsula information
Four miles long but less than a half mile wide, the Balboa Peninsula has a white-sand beach on its ocean side and countless stylish homes, including the 1926 Lovell Beach House . Designed by Rudolph Schindler, one of SoCal’s most prominent modernist architects, it was built using site-cast concrete frames shaped like figure eights. It’s just inland from the paved beachfront recreational path , across from a small playground .
Hotels, restaurants and bars cluster around the peninsula’s two famous piers: Newport Pier near the western end and Balboa Pier at the eastern end. The two-mile oceanfront strip between them teems with beachgoers, and people-watching is great. Near Newport Pier, several shops rent umbrellas, beach chairs, volleyballs and other necessities. For swimming, families will find a more relaxed atmosphere and calmer waves at 10th St and 18th St. The latter beach, also known as Mothers Beach , has a lifeguard, restrooms and a shower.
At the very tip of Balboa Peninsula, by the West Jetty, the Wedge is a bodysurfing, bodyboarding and knee-boarding spot famous for its perfectly hollow waves that can swell up to 30ft high. The waves are shore-breakersthatcrest on the sand, not out to sea, so you can easily slam your head. There’s usually a small crowd watching the action. This is not a good place for learning how to handle the currents. Newcomers should head a few blocks west. Park on Channel Rd or E Ocean Blvd and walk through tiny West Jetty View Park.