Balboa Island

Newport Beach

In the middle of the harbor sits the island that time forgot. Its streets are still largely lined with tightly clustered cottages built in the 1920s and '30s when this was a summer getaway from LA. The 1.5-mile promenade that circles the island makes a terrific car-free stroll or jog. Departing from the Balboa Fun Zone, the ferry lands at Agate Ave, about 0.6 miles west of Marine Ave, which is lined with swimwear boutiques, Italian trattorias and cocktail bars.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Newport Beach attractions

1. Balboa Pavilion

0.58 MILES

Nearby the Balboa Fun Zone, the landmark 1906 Balboa Pavilion is beautifully illuminated at night. You can get boat rentals and catch ferries to Catalina…

2. Balboa Fun Zone

0.64 MILES

On the harbor side of Balboa Peninsula, the Fun Zone has delighted locals and visitors since 1936. There’s a small Ferris wheel (where Ryan and Marissa…

3. Discovery Cube's Ocean Quest

0.65 MILES

In the Balboa Fun Zone, this newly refurbished museum was recently taken over by Santa Ana's Discovery Cube and runs educational programs for local…

4. The Wedge

0.98 MILES

At the end of the Balboa Peninsula, the Wedge is famous for its perfectly hollow waves that can swell up to 30ft high. The waves are shore-breakers that…

5. Sherman Library & Gardens


A variety of lush gardens awaits at Corona del Mar's prize attraction. On 2.2 acres, the profuse orchids, a rose garden, a koi pond and even a desert…

6. Lookout Point

1.03 MILES

Locals enjoy impromptu, though not quite legal, cocktail parties at Lookout Point, perched above the beach with views of Pirate's Cove and the Balboa…

7. Pirate's Cove

1.06 MILES

Take the stairs off the north end of the Main Beach parking lot down to hideaway Pirate's Cove, a waveless beach that’s great for families. Scenes from…

8. Balboa Peninsula

1.07 MILES

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…