Balboa Island, Newport Beach, California offers so many wonderful ways to enjoy your days at the beach, whether you spend your time on the sand, on the land or on the water!
On the Sand
Swim, surf and sunbathe at the beach, reached by just using the crosswalk at the corner. Our incredibly beautiful beach has been named one of the top 10 beaches in the USA by both the Travel Channel and the Surfrider Foundation. Stop by the NEWPORT CHANNEL INN's front desk on the way and check out some beach towels. Swimmers have the run of the beach from mid-morning through late afternoon, safely separated from surfboards, and the jetties create good swimming areas. When you return from your fantastic day at the beach there is a place by the office to rinse the sand off your feet.
Great surfing can be found just across the street from the NEWPORT CHANNEL INN; in fact, it is one of the premiere surf spots in California. The angle of the beach here creates the ideal-shaped waves for both board and body surfing. Newport Beach also has some of the best surf shops in the world, where boogie boards and surfboards may be rented.
Sunsets are often breathtakingly beautiful, with prime viewing from the beach. For your beach barbeque and nighttime campfires, fire rings can be found on the beach in several locations. Beach volleyball courts and free public tennis courts are located just a few yards up the beach.
One of our best-kept secrets is our little island Beaches, secluded sand coves with some of the area's most outstanding views. It is also a perfect spot for sand play and sun tanning. The entrance is almost from every point on the island, check with our residents for directions. You can view all of the boats going in and out of the harbor from the Beach, a terrific family picnic beach. So come and visit our quiet beaches with pastoral views, you wont regret it. For you big wave fans we are walking distance from Newport and Balboa beaches, where some of the best surfing can be found.
On the Land
A most pleasant way to spend your day is to bicycle, rollerblade, or walk along the oceanfront boardwalk, which runs most of the length of Balboa Peninsula and connects the two piers. Bicycles and rollerblades can be rented at a number of shops. Another great place to bicycle or walk is around the Back Bay Ecological Reserve, where you can observe up close a wide assortment of wildlife and migrating birds. The Back Bay is also reachable by kayak, canoe or car.
Head to the Balboa Fun Zone. You can play the day away riding the Ferris wheel, bumper cars, carousel, and the "Dark and Scary Ride". Other diversions include laser tag, a trampoline bungee, and arcades. Next to the Fun Zone is the Balboa Pavilion, the main landmark on Balboa Peninsula, which was built in 1905 as an electric railway terminus and Victorian bathhouse. It now houses a seafood restaurant, which offers sweeping views of the harbor (see Restaurant page).
We highly recommend walking along the sidewalk at the water's edge all the way around Balboa Island. This walk takes about an hour and is a wonderful way to see the harbor and the Island's bayside homes and cottages. An after-dark stroll can also be very romantic! Check out the evening lights reflecting across the water from the Balboa Pavilion and the Fun Zone. Be sure to take a window-shopping detour up Marine Avenue, Balboa Island's main street. For a really cheap thrill (and a memorable one!), the most interesting way to reach Balboa Island is to take the Balboa ferry, which leaves from the Fun Zone area on Balboa Peninsula. This historic ferry departs every few minutes on its short trip across the harbor. The experience is also quite a value - adults 60 cents, children 30 cents, and you can drive your car on board for an additional 90 cents.
Walk to the end of either the Balboa Pier or the Newport Pier and see what the fishermen have caught. Near the Newport Pier, the Newport Dory Fishing Fleet returns from the sea every morning to sell their catch on the beach. Pelicans seem always to be on hand to scoop up any dropped fish.
On the Water
Newport Beach is known for its love of the water. Boating is extremely popular here, and Newport Beach boasts one of the world's largest and most beautiful small-boat harbors, with over 9,000 pleasure craft. As a NEWPORT CHANNEL INN Guest, rental discounts are available to you for sailboats, motorboats, electric boats, pedal boats, water bikes, canoes, kayaks, sailboards, and Jet Skis. Give it a try. No matter what your speed, there are boats for everyone!
If you would rather have a captain pilot the boat for you, there are many excellent cruise choices. The Balboa Fun Zone is the departure point for narrated tour boat cruises of the bay, on which you will see movie star homes, cute harbor seals, incredibly luxurious yachts, and some of the most expensive real estate in the world. The cruise stays within the calm harbor waters and takes about an hour. As a NEWPORT CHANNEL INN Guest, you will be overjoyed at how little you pay for your special discount tickets, available for purchase at our front desk.
Enjoy a day trip to Catalina Island aboard the luxurious Catalina Flyer (see "Other Attractions" page). For you romantics, gondoliers will steer your private gondola through some of the narrower canals in the bay, or you may prefer a dinner cruise aboard John Wayne's yacht, the Wild Goose (see Restaurants page). Adventurous spirits can experience the thrill of parasailing, board a deep-sea sport-fishing boat, or try a whale-watching tour (see "Special Events" page). Discounts are available to NEWPORT CHANNEL INN Guests for many of the above adventures.
Our beautiful coast offers just about any activity you could possibly want!
The perfect excuse for staying another day!