Balboa Island, Newport Beach, Calif.--Once a sand pit, Balboa Island is a man made island that was dredged and filled right before World War I began. Skeptics and doubters were unimpressed with developer plans to turn the newly formed land into a community mapped out with streets and houses. Many later regretted missing the chance that escaped them. Parcels which originally sold for around $250 now cost hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars.
Like Corona del Mar, Balboa Island retains its own identity and character but is part of the City of Newport Beach. Cottages and castles line bejeweled streets named after stones; Agate, Emerald, Ruby and Sapphire are a few of Balboa's paved treasures. More precious than rare stones is the pavement for parking your car on the little island, especially on weekends and holidays. Hundreds of people drive to the Newport Peninsula and park, then walk to the ferry boat, climbing aboard for a 5 minute ride across the bay. Manicured lawns with colorful flowers, private boat docks, tiny sections of sand beach and stunning views of the Newport Bay await those who take the ferry and walk to downtown Balboa Island shopping district along Bayfront. Arriving at Marine Avenue, guests can browse through gift and clothing shops, dine on gourmet meals or snacks and enjoy meeting friendly people who love their island paradise.