Balboa Island
Balboa Island
4.5
About
This charming man-made island has been around for over a century and is filled with cozy homes and mouth-watering eateries. Here, you can enjoy a scenic walk along the waterfront, explore the adjacent Collins Island, check out the small Balboa Island Museum, or rent a bike to explore the peaceful streets. When it's time for lunch, head over to Marine Avenue where you'll find family-owned taverns, Swiss bistros, and classic diners. Make sure to stop by the taffy store for some sweet treats, too. Visit during the holiday season to see homeowners decorate their homes in sparkling festive lights. If you're keen on dolphin and whale-watching, many boat tours depart from Balboa Island. – Tripadvisor
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4.5
1,433 reviews
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psudino
Weehawken, NJ4,068 contributions
Mar 2023 • Friends
This island helps prove that some stereotypes of Southern California are absolutely true. The place is beautiful, surrounded by water, with great shops and restaurants and real estate that is completely unaffordable! To make matters even more stereotypical, when we were there the fireman were doing an exercise routine which involved them doing push-ups in the middle of the road without shirts on. You just can't make this stuff up!
Written 19 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

northernk
Phoenix, AZ12,659 contributions
Jan 2023
Wonderful main street with some unique shops and restaurants by day and early evening but what i enjoyed seeing is some of the beautiful lights on the homes still going first week of January.
Written 6 January 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tiffany W
St. George, UT6 contributions
Jul 2022
Although you cannot ride bikes on the main roads or the path next to the water, we still thoroughly enjoyed our bike ride around Balboa Island! We weaved our way up one residential street and down the next, ooh-ing and ahh-ing over one house after another. We then walked our bikes down the main street for lunch, frozen yogurt, and a little shopping. We rented our bikes at 20th Street Bike and Beach rentals, and took the ferry over to the island. The ferry is super easy, and costs $1.75 (cash only) per person. It's a great way to spend part of a day!
Written 30 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Spud71
Dorchester, UK20 contributions
Jul 2022
Beautiful island with lovely shops and restaurants, a definite must visit if you are in the area. Would highly recommend eating in Wilma’s restaurant for breakfast or evening meals.
Written 25 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

David M
Vero Beach, FL11,080 contributions
May 2022
The island has one upscale shopping street with an informative local museum and restaurants. There's plenty of parking on side streets nearby. If you like taffy, there's a candy store. There has been lots of replacement of older houses with new mansions on the same small lots.
Written 2 June 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MrGaucho1987
Santa Barbara, CA1,002 contributions
Feb 2022
Balboa Island is not large. It will get busy on the weekends, holidays and over the summer. And when I say busy, I mean packed with people. Parking on the main island is limited. There is basically street parking on the commercial strip then street parking among the closely packed and very cute homes. Wear good shoes. You can easily walk the strip, grab a meal and an ice cream, and by doing so have an enjoyable outing. The more ambitious can walk the island and check out the beautiful location or perhaps rent a bike. Consider a taxi or Uber on busy days. Lastly, bring a few layers as BI's coastal location can result in unpredictable weather.
Written 25 March 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

yazdragonfly
Ft. Lauderdale421 contributions
Mar 2021 • Family
Fun experience. It’s like a year round carnival with rides and carnival-type food. Fun little shops offer unique varieties of gifts. You should definitely take the ferry to get on the island, but there is a land route if you prefer not to ride the ferry.
Written 13 February 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

paws0810
Mesa, AZ2,513 contributions
Dec 2021 • Couples
I’ve never been here it was fun to walk around. Although it was chilly it is crisp and clear lots of sailboats and things going on out there. Very nice
Written 7 December 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mike
Newport Beach, CA1,121 contributions
Nov 2021
1. "Balboa Island" is actually two islands, one 1.75 miles around and one about .9 miles. They are the only islands in Newport Beach with a public sidewalk all the way around each. Walk the sidewalks and enjoy looking at the houses and boats.
2. Parking is tough. Consider parking on Bayside Dr and walking over the bridge. Then stroll the perimeter of both islands.
3. No trip to BI is complete without a frozen banana or Balboa Bar. BOTH Sugar & Spice and Dad's sell GREAT ice cream. Dad's has cookies and donuts.
4. Ride the ferry over to the "Fun Zone."
5. Enjoy a meal. There are several fine restaurants. You can't go wrong.
6. Understand that if you rent a bike, you can't ride it on the sidewalks.
Written 14 November 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dana Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA1,290 contributions
Sep 2021
A California coastal classic, and looking like a postcard on most days. No longer a secret, the area is swarmed with visitors and parking can be tough.
Written 28 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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BALBOA ISLAND: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about Balboa Island