California: Newport Beach/Balboa Island

Balboa Island Entertainment Magazine

Balboa Island California

Balboa Island Ferry

Balboa Island comprises three modified or artificial islands in the 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 Island to the northwest of Balboa Island which is joined by a one-lane bridge.

The Balboa Island community is connected to the mainland by a short two-lane bridge on the northeast of Balboa Island. A privately-operated fleet of three, three-car ferryboats (Balboa Island Ferry) provide access across the harbor to the Balboa Peninsula on the south.

Balboa Island is one of the densest communities in Orange County, California. About 3,000 residents live on just 0.2 square miles giving it a population density of 17,621 person per square mile—higher than that of San Francisco, according to the 2000 US Census.

Despite having some of the country's most expensive homes, most of the dwellings are on small lots. The perimeter of the island along the Bayfront is dotted with piers for the homeowners' boats. Marine Avenue and Agate Avenue form the commercial spine of the island. The local tradition has it that Balboa Island is where the frozen chocolate banana was first marketed.

Source: Wikipedia Balboa Island Newport Beach

Balboa Island is 1.7 miles in circumference. Little Balboa is .79 miles in circumference. There are approximately 1,440 homes on Balboa Island. Balboa’s shopping district along Marine Avenue allows guests to browse through more than 70 gift and clothing shops, galleries and restaurants.

History of Balboa Island

Once a sand pit, Balboa Island is a man-made island that was dredged and filled right before World War I began. Skeptics were initially unimpressed with developer plans to turn the newly formed land into a charming community mapped out with streets and houses, but many later regretted missing the chance to purchase parcels of land for a mere $250. Those same parcels today cost hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars.

Balboa Island, like Corona del Mar, manages to retain its own identity and character despite being an official part of the city of Newport Beach. Beach cottages and mansions line picturesque streets named after rare stones, such as Agate, Emerald, Ruby and Sapphire. Manicured lawns with colorful flowers, private boat docks, tiny sections of sand beach and stunning views of the Newport Bay await those exploring downtown Balboa Island.


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