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Key Info

Bay Front Road

Price & Hours

Free
24/7

Details

Free, Neighborhood/Area Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend

scorecard

  • 5.0Value
  • 4.0Food Scene
  • 5.0Atmosphere

A small, man-made island connected to the Newport Beach mainland by bridge, Balboa Island is bursting with fun activities. Marine Avenue is the island's main hub for shopping and dining. Here, you'll find independently owned boutiques, shops and restaurants. This street is home to restaurants that serve up the island's two signature treats: the Balboa Bar, which is an ice cream bar rolled in candy, and the Frozen Banana, which is loaded with toppings. For the best of the best, sample these desserts at either Dad's Donut and Bakery Shop or Sugar 'N' Spice. If you're looking to get out on the water, there are plenty of places to rent paddleboards, kayaks, sailboats and an array of water sports equipment. Bicycle rental establishments are also popular, as cycling is a great way to get around the small (only 0.2 square miles) island.

While you can drive to Balboa Island, many visitors suggest taking the ferry to avoid traffic and spend time on the water. Boarding the ferry on foot only costs $1.25 one-way for adults, and most ferries hold about 40 people. The ferries each hold about four vehicles, and it costs $2.25 one-way to board with a car. There is a sidewalk all around the island that makes walking from place to place a breeze, so you may want to consider leaving the car on the mainland. The ferry operates consistently between 6:30 a.m. and midnight every day, and a one-way ride takes about 10 minutes. It leaves from the port near Balboa Fun Zone and arrives at a public dock on the west side of Balboa Island. For more information on this destination, check out the tourism website.

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