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Balboa Island, Newport Beach

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Balboa Island is an area of Newport Beach, California, actually comprising three modified or artificial islands in Newport Harbor: Balboa Island, the largest; the smaller Little Balboa Island to the east of Balboa Island, joined by a two-lane bridge; and the smallest Collins Isle to the northwest of Balboa Island, joined by a one-lane bridge. The Balboa Island community is joined to the mainland by a short two-lane bridge on the northeast of Balboa Island, and a privately operated fleet of three, three-car ferryboats (Balboa Island Ferry) which provide access across the harbor to the Balboa Peninsula which lies to the south.HistoryMudflatOriginally, Balboa Island was little more than a mudflat surrounded by swampland. Today's Newport Harbor emerged only after dredging millions of tons of silt. In the late 1860s, James McFadden and his brother, Robert, purchased a large portion of the future site of Newport, including the oceanfront of Newport Beach, much of Balboa Peninsula, and the sandbars that were to become Balboa Island and Newport Harbor's other islands. They immediately began subdividing and selling their property.They established a successful fishing wharf on the Balboa Peninsula and the townsite of Newport Beach. In the late 1860s, the bay was used as a landing to load hides, tallow, hay and other goods for export. In September 1870, Captain Samuel S. Dunnells’ steamer Vaquero ventured into the bay to offload a cargo of lumber and shingles. Captain Dunnells soon established “Newport Landing” by constructing a small wharf and warehouse near the west end of the present Coast Highway/Newport Bay Bridge.
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TripAdvisor
  • Balboa Island--one of a kind-- picturesque and charming. Look for the “dutch” doors. Spend a couple of hours walking through the mini-downtown and around the island. Great on a sunny day and not too b...  more »
  • When in Newport , one must stop at Balboa Island. It is so lovely. The Main Street is full of lovely little shops , restaurants and rather old fashioned in a nice way. The frozen banana and ice cream ...  more »
  • We liked walking along the harbor and the neighborhoods to see the beautiful houses. There is one street of shopping but nothing exceptional. A few nice restaurants but no real bars.