Balboa Island one of the more picturesque spots in the area. Reachable by bridge or ferry, there is a wonderful palm-lined walking path around the perimeter, with great harbor views. It’s also mostly lit at night. The main path is 1.7 miles, but can be extended to 2.5 miles, using the short Park Ave. bridge to the southern edge of the island. There are lots of shops and restaurants in the area near Marine Ave. & Park Ave.

You can drive over to Balboa Island, but parking can be limited. A better way is the quick Balboa Island Ferry, which runs continuously from 6:30 a.m. until 12:30 a.m. It costs $1 and takes only a few minutes. The ferry enables a lovely longer run, incorporating the 3 mile trail on the Balboa Peninsula.

Add-On: Use the ferry to connect to the Balboa Peninsula. It’s only 0.2 miles to the Balboa Pier and the terrific 3-mile Newport Balboa bike trail.

Ferry Info  Newport Balboa Bike Trail Route
  • 2.5 mile loop, using Park Ave. bridge
  • Flat
  • Ferry terminal or bridge on Marine Ave.
  • Ferry or bridge. Ferry eliminates parking hassle