Overview: Among the beautiful neighborhoods in the Newport Beach area, Balboa Island is definitely in the top five. This quaint community is surrounded by a concrete boardwalk, perfect for active people who walk, bike, or run the trail along the city. Marine Avenue is where many of the area’s high-end coastal shops are located. Many of them sell beachwear, contemporary art, and stylish accessories. Other amazing places to shop include A’Maree’s Sale Away, Amore, Balboa Beach Company, and the famous Fashion Island. Finding a great place to eat is never a problem in Balboa Island as the community always has access to local fresh seafood along with American, Mexican, French, and Italian restaurants. Within the area, the Newport-Mesa Unified School District as well as the private schools offer high-quality education. Balboa Island has plenty of spectacular condominiums and luxury homes that have large open floor plans and exceptional appliances and suites.
Location: Balboa Island is located in the lower part of Newport Beach. It is northwest of the neighborhood Corona del Mar. This quaint island is southeast of Costa Mesa, a suburban city in Orange County. Marine Avenue is the largest road in the community. It runs straight through the eastern part of the island, crosses the Pacific Ocean, and connects to the Corona del Mar neighborhood. Also, Balboa Island is slightly southwest of Irvine, a large and culturally-versed city in Orange County with a population of almost 260,000 people. South of Balboa Island is the beautiful Balboa Peninsula and Balboa Pier.
Commutes: Despite it being an island, the Balboa Island community is still accessible through Marine Avenue, the Balboa Island Ferry, and multiple public docks. Marine Avenue changes into Bayside Drive and eventually turns into Jamboree Road, a major route that runs through Orange County. Within Balboa Island, the first road on the island is Park Avenue, which begins on an eastern dock and runs southeast through the island until it crosses Marine Avenue, which only runs northbound and southbound. While there are no immediate highways close to the island, eventually Jamboree Road becomes a freeway and crosses the Pacific Coast Highway.
Culture: This densely-populated island has some of the most luxurious homes and most wealthiest families in the country. The Balboa Island culture is centered around outdoor activities and elegant lifestyles. Coastal living is filled with enjoying the captivating scenery of the beach, coastline, boats, and the landscape surrounding the houses. People living on Balboa Island spend their leisure time shopping at mom-and-pop boutiques, specialty shops, and galleries. It is like being on vacation all the time in this breathtaking, one-of-a-kind Newport Beach community. While this wonderful area is small, Balboa Island has different activities throughout the week to keep you entertained.
Overview: While Balboa Island does not have a school district of its own nor are there any schools on the island, it is an easy commute to schools in the Newport-Mesa School District. This school district is zoned for students who live in both Newport Beach and Costa Mesa. It has more than 22,000 students enrolled and 32 schools within the district. This allows families to choose the schools that accommodate and fit their needs the best. Newport-Mesa School District serves students of all academic levels and strives to help students excel in their academics and individual abilities. Many of the schools within the district offer a wide range of programs and extracurricular activities, aiding in building students’ characters and broadening young minds. Outside of the school district, students living on Balboa Island can attend private schools in Newport Beach. Most of these schools offer high-quality education, clubs, and extracurricular activities.
Lincoln Elementary School at 3101 Pacific View Drive.
Balboa Island elementary students can attend Lincoln Elementary School. This prestigious school has won many awards including a National Gold Ribbon in 1999 and a California Distinguished School award in 1997, 2004, and 2016. Most recently, Lincoln Elementary was awarded the Exemplary Arts Education award in 2014 for providing an amazing arts program for its students. It is known for leading its students into academic success and challenging them to be the best individuals they can be, both inside and outside of their classes. The school’s Gifted and Talented Education program (GATE) is for tested students who exhibit gifted characteristics.
Harbor View Elementary School at 900 Goldenrod Avenue.
Harbor View Elementary School is a public school that serves students who are in kindergarten through fifth grade. Students study the core curriculum of art, reading, technology, social studies, composition, and mathematics. Creative and critical thinking go hand-in-hand for ensure success for the Harbor View’s students. Not only does the school have the core curriculum, but also it offers clubs and sports after classes. Some extracurricular activities include orchestra, student government, art, choir, and theater. The upperclassmen can act in the Harbor View Elementary School’s annual play. The fee for students to participate in these programs is nominal and affordable.
Ensign Intermediate School at 2000 Cliff Drive.
Enrolling students in grades seventh and eighth, Ensign Intermediate School serves to provide amazing and opportunities to students inside and outside of the classroom. This middle school is only about three miles away from Balboa Island, making it a quick and easy commute onto the mainland. Students are able to easily build academic relationships with their instructors and friendships with their fellow classmates. Ensign has electives and extracurricular activities such as French, Spanish, orchestra, choir, robotics, and art. Along with these activities, athletic students at Ensign Intermediate School can participate in sports like cross country, track, soccer, volleyball, and basketball.
Corona del Mar Middle School at 2985 Bear Street.
Since the Corona del Mar neighborhood is close to Balboa Island, students in grades seventh and eighth can also attend Corona del Mar Middle School. It is amazing because school administrators put in place stipulations for those who want to participate in school activities and sports. Students must maintain good grades in order to play sports or be a part of an after-school club. The middle school’s athletic department is full of talented individuals who possess self-discipline. It offers sports such as track, tennis, football, and cheerleading. In the classroom, students can learn world languages like French, Spanish, and Mandarin.
Corona del Mar High School at 2985 Bear Street.
The closest high school that students in Balboa Island can attend is Corona del Mar High School. It has become one of the most popular secondary schools in Newport Beach. Preparing students for higher education and beyond is top priority. Advanced Placement (AP) is offered at Corona del Mar High School with the hopes that its students will receive college credit and be ahead of the game for four-year universities. This high school has talented varsity sports teams for each season. Many athletic students enjoy football, lacrosse, water polo, and basketball. Students can also learn Mandarin, Spanish, and French languages.
Carden Hall at 1541 Monrovia Avenue.
This private institution welcomes inquisitive mind and the exploration of curiosity because school administrators believe that is where the learning happens. With over 400 kindergarten through eighth graders enrolled, Carden Hall instills faith-based values, academic lessons, and facts of life in their students. Teachers and staff strive to give their students opportunities to freely exhibit their personalities through different performance arts, oral presentations, and course projects. Carden Hall offers a wide range of sports in its athletic department. Students can play basketball, football, soccer, and other sports. Students who are more artistically inclined can play instruments and sing in choir.
Harbor Day School at 3443 Pacific View Drive.
Harbor Day School is a private school located in a nearby neighborhood called Corona del Mar. This school was established over 60 years ago and continues to offer amazing course for elementary and middle schools students. With about six acres of landing surrounding the campus, Harbor Day uses that land for its sports teams and activities. World languages such as Spanish, Latin, and Chinese courses are offered. Also, the school has popular courses like computer technology and fine arts. There are over 400 students in the school with a 1-to-11 teacher-to-student ratio. Teacher are able to connect with students easier.
Overview: The majority of the residential buildings on Balboa Island are single-family beach houses and condominiums. Some combine a southern-style with beach cottages to create the Balboa Island residential look. These places are perfect for families who love to fish, boat, surf and swim because they are surrounded by water and have the perfect amenities for living on an island. The beach homes are gorgeous and have the coastal feel to them, making families who live in them feel like they’re on vacation. The majority of them have open floor plans and bigger windows. More expensive homes are three stories and have multiple balconies that face the oceanfront and the Balboa Peninsula. On the island, it is rare to find gated communities because this quaint place is so tightly knit and densely populated. The condominiums in this community are extremely luxurious, with their living spaces and amenities made with high-quality materials.
There are so many coastal, residential gems on Balboa Island. Beach houses are very populous. Single families love to occupy these types of homes because they are perfect for those who are participating in coastal activities. Some of these beach houses have garages and little backyard shacks to store your beach gear. Others have fireplaces in the living rooms and fire pits in the backyard for keeping you and your guests feeling cozy during gatherings. These chic homes have an American aesthetic as the designs are clean, modern, and serene. Balboa Island single-family homes range from one to three-stories high.
While Balboa Island is known for its wonderful coastal beach cottages and condominiums, there are a few apartments in the area. The apartments on this island are close to the Bayfront, supplying a magnificent view of the ocean. They are already furnished and are rented on a season-to-season basis. The furnishings normally included comfortable couches, flat screen televisions, large dining tables, and soft beds in each room. These apartments are perfect for people who are fishermen and want to work in Balboa Island temporarily. Some apartments are close to Balboa Island, near Marine Ave. This makes shopping and dining out easier.
High Rises and Condominiums
The Balboa Island community does not have residential high rises because those types of buildings are known to be built in larger cities and urban areas. With an island of this size, you are more likely to see luxury condominiums. These are great for beachside living. Some have Mediterranean floor plans, which are inspired by Italian, Spanish, and Moorish architecture. Larger windows are common for these condominiums because they let in more natural light. Also, these places have patios and exposed beams with red tile roof, popular in California and Spanish-speaking countries. Falling in love with these condominiums is effortless.
In the Balboa Island neighborhood, new-constructed beach homes are being built with more modern amenities and contemporary designs. Most of them are westward-facing. This is in the direction of the breathtaking sunsets in Balboa Island. A combination of East Coast flair with coastal California living architecture add to this island’s charm. Also, these new homes have open floor and larger living spaces to house larger families or host bigger events at home. Some on Balboa Island have multiple fireplaces within the household and both a front patio and central backyard. The typical structure of these newly-constructed houses are two-stories high.
If you’re interested in buying a home in this area, check out currently available Balboa Island homes for sale. You can also browse through the entire database of all the available Newport Beach homes for sale.
Overview: The real estate in Balboa Island is mainly single-family beach homes and condominiums. Buying homes in this area tend to be a bit more on the pricier side because of the beautiful views of the island. It also depends the proximity of the residential building to the ocean. The closer the house is to the ocean, the more a you will pay. Nothing beats a gorgeous view. Location is everything! Larger cottage-style beach houses can be priced as high as $8.6 million, especially if the house has a private deck and located directly on the boardwalk. People in Balboa Island want elegance and exclusivity, so private entry ways and extra space is a must. On the lower side of the spectrum, prices can be as low as over $1.5 million. Houses in this price range are usually a bit smaller and have a vintage classic island style and one-story high.
Things to Do
Overview: One of the best parts about living or visiting the Balboa Island neighborhood is the activities available to do on a daily basis. This Newport Beach island is packed with fun, whether you are riding the Balboa Ferris Wheel, going parasailing, going to the Balboa Fun Zone, or going fishing with family. Many people enjoy cruising the Balboa Island boardwalk on rented Segways. Those who love marine life can go on a cruise along the island and go whale watching or rent a boat and soak in the wonderful scenery. Also, Balboa Island is known for its amazing beach shops and retail stores. The area has specialty stores for pottery, clothing, jewelry, books, wine and spirits, groceries, fishing, and more. Shopping at these stores will never get old. If you want to enjoy a night of drinks and fun, Balboa Island has a few places like BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse.
Retail & Entertainment
Balboa Fun Zone
Packed with a bunch of family fun, the Balboa Fun Zone is one of Southern California’s oldest amusement parks. The big attraction is the famous Balboa Ferris Wheel. The area has arcade games, delicious beach refreshments, and tours. You can rent a bike or go on a wonderful harbor cruise.
For those who love the thrill of floating through the air above the ocean, parasailing on Balboa Island is perfect for you. It is both safe and exciting. You can get a panoramic view of the Newport Beach area. People can parasail as high as 800 feet in the air.
Fishing on Balboa Island is made simple with access to public docks around the area. It is free and perfect for families who want to catch some fish for sport or for dinner meals. You can catch fish at Sapphire and North Bay Front or Emerald and North Bay Front.
Kids in Balboa Island who don’t surfed but want to learn can enroll in Newport Surf Camp during the summer. Private lessons are available for all ages. Surfboards and wetsuits are provided. From beginner to intermediate, the instructors can show you everything you need to know about cruising the waves.
When it comes to breakfast, lunch or dinner, Balboa Island has spectacular dining options. Basilic Restaurant offer yummy French-Swish specials. Ciao has New York-style Italian comfort food. If you want an all-American style meal, go to Ruby’s Diner for ’40s-style diner experience. Shanghai Pine Gardens Restaurant has delectable Chinese dishes.
For unique and fashion-forward clothing and accessories, go to one of Balboa Island’s classy shops and stores. Amore Boutique is a women’s boutique, known for its elegant and bright styles. Balboa Beach Company offers active and every-day clothing with style and flair. Crush Clothing has Californian casual wear for all.
Yummy Beach Treats
If your not hungry enough to go to a restaurant and have a sweet tooth, you can walk to one of the area’s treat shops. Balboa Island is famous for its delicious Frozen Banana shop. Try out Too Sweet for some incredible creamy frozen yogurt, rich candies, and chocolate-covered fruits.
People in Balboa Island always have fun nights out. Although there are only a couple of spots, the island has a place like The Village Inn, where you can enjoy live entertainment and tasty drinks. You can enjoy a chill night of refreshments and watch local talent perform every night.
Balboa Island has $25 local cruises near the harbor. Whether with your significant other or your family, these sunset cruises are both captivating and even romantic. Food and drinks are available. Enjoy the sun as it glistens along the water. This will be the best 90 minutes of your life.
Have you always wanted to ride a Segway along the boardwalk? Well, you can participate in a Segway tour on Balboa Island. It is both a great and exciting way to travel around the island and enjoy in the view. Go solo or ride with a group for more fun.