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“I love the feel of Balboa Island”
Review of Balboa Island

Balboa Island
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Beach Biking and Bites Tour
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Man-made island that features upscale shops, restaurants and an amusement park.
South Africa
Level Contributor
42 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“I love the feel of Balboa Island”
Reviewed February 6, 2013

This is a quaint town within a town in Newport Coast, California.

There are some amazing shops. A very pleasant couple of visits.

Visited December 2012
Thank RevaB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,038 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Murrieta, CA
Level Contributor
78 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 119 helpful votes
“We wished we lived here”
Reviewed February 5, 2013

Charming community, beautiful homes, amazing beach, plenty of luxury cars. The kids especially enjoyed playing in the water on the beach, watching the dolphins, and then getting candy at the candy store near the boardwalk by the ferris wheel.
We took the ferry over then took the long way back out of the island.
We were able to park easily on a Sunday morning/ afternoon.

Visited February 2013
1 Thank DavidHitchcock33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Balboa Island, California
Level Contributor
66 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“A nice place to visit and you will kill to live there”
Reviewed February 5, 2013

For the visitor, BI is mostly about Marine Avenue, where the shops are. The bridge is accessible from the corner of Bayside Dr. and Jamboree Road, just South of PCH. There is other access by the Balboa Ferry, and that drops you at the other end of the island so you get a lovely walk along the bayfront to Marine Avenue. If you arrive that way, it does not matter which way you go, the bayfront circles the island and you will end up at Marine Ave. The shops are an eclectic mix, with only a Starbucks chain store. Everything else is mom and pop owned, and most have been family run for over 50 years. There is a great Chinese restaurant on Marine and Balboa Avenues, been there for over 50 years, and no they don't serve duck that they catch in the bay. (or cats either-urban legends) For shopping, there are lots of cut price offerings and the winter months are off season for the best bargains. This is really where to go for a great experience instead of Fashion Island, where you pay $$$$. Other than the shopping, the island is ringed with bay beaches. You are inside the harbor, so don't expect any waves, but for small kids, this is the great place to go, play in the sand without any danger of surfboards, waves or any of the problems from an ocean beach. Float on an inner tube or pool raft if you want. One of the best beaches is located North Bayfront, at Collins Ave. The best viewing beaches are on South Bayfront as they face the main channel with the greatest amount of boat traffic. Other attractions include the fire station (Marine and Park), the Post Office (it says Balboa Island PO above it but the USPS denominates it as Newport Beach!) and the Auto Ferry (S. Bayfront and Agate). Most of the streets are named after gemstones. BTW- there are actually 3 islands that make up "Balboa Island" and you can walk the bayfront on 2 of them. Oh, yes, parking, well, there is limited space, the residents mostly park on the street, and if you need to park right in front of the store you want to visit, you will be disappointed. Weekends after 10, holidays like July 4, Labor Day, can be impossible. Be flexible, go early, park a few streets away from Marine, and take a walk on the bayfront, breathe the sea air and relax. After all, that is what life there is all about.

Visited February 2013
1 Thank LeBeauxVoyager
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
63 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Cute shops”
Reviewed February 1, 2013

I was visiting Newport Beach and decided to make a side trip over to the island. I paid for parking at a lot nearby and walked to the little car/ pedestrian ferry. For a dollar each way, the ferry was a great way to get there. I enjoyed walking along the shoreline, looking at all the quaint homes on the island as I made my way to the main shopping area of the island. It was about a 10 minute walk or less. Very quaint stores. I found deals on cute fashions for myself and my daughter. One store had very cute items for $15 for anything in the store! I saw many tempting restaurants but most were not open for lunch. Wish I had arranged to spend more time here.

Visited January 2013
2 Thank aimbame79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cebu Island, Philippines
Level Contributor
43 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed January 23, 2013

I love Balboa Island, the shops are cool, and we always find something cool to buy there. It isn't too expensive considering the price of real estate in the hood and the people are friendly (unlike a lotta places in so-cal). It is nice to take a walk down the streets as you will find some architectural gems in the area and then sit at the water's edge and watch the yachts go by. very nice piece of California history is this island.

Visited January 2013
1 Thank christopherdb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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