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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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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Nice unique shops. Beautiful homes to see. Some shops expensive others affordable 50/50. It is free to walk and enjoy the experience and sunshine.  more »
  • What a fun little place. We were here with our girls, ages 8 & 6. We walked all around the island checking out the shops and sights. Lots of cool places to shop and eat. The beach is amazing. We came ...  more »
  • This is a must see side trip if you are staying in the area. We drove across but there is a ferry to also use to access the island. We enjoyed walking out on the pier, even though it was foggy, many p...  more »