Balboa Pier and Peninsula Park in Newport Beach make me think of the good ‘ole days at the beach. There are always families wandering around the shops and restaurants, kids riding bikes, and tourists visiting from out of town. On the summer day we visited, Junior Lifeguards were there, in force.
Location: There are two piers on the Newport Peninsula: the Newport Pier and the Balboa Pier. The Balboa Pier is the furthest towards the end of the Peninsula. From Interstate 405, take the 55 Freeway towards the beach and it will take you right onto the peninsula on Newport Blvd. (eventually turning into Balboa Blvd.). You’ll travel past all the numbered streets to the lettered streets. Get there early to get a spot in the lots off Palm Street or B Street (turn right to get to the lots). Pay at the machines by the hour or by the day. MAP TO BALBOA PIER AND PENINSULA PARK IN NEWPORT BEACH
- Lots to do here besides the beach and playground!
- Playground is on the sand at the base of the pier
- My kids loved the big spiderweb climber
- Huge bank of swings!
- Play equipment appropriate for 5-12 year olds
- Peninsula Park has a huge lawn area appropriate for kite flying or soccer games, plus gazebo for bands or entertainment
- Balboa Fun Zone
- Ride bikes on the Newport Balboa Bike Trail along the peninsula
- Take the Balboa Ferry to Balboa Island for a stroll
- Eat at the original Ruby’s on the pier
- The Peninsula can get extremely busy on weekends and holidays, especially because there’s only one way out (back the way you came)!
- Get there early to grab a parking spot and stay for the whole day.
- The beach can have big waves and I noticed a pretty sizeable drop-off (where it gets deep very fast on the south side of the pier). However, the north side looked good. I always talk to the lifeguards before I take a dip at a new beach, they always seem happy to give me pointers on any hazards BEFORE I get in!
- Fee for parking
- Parking in dedicated lots ($1.20-$1.75 per hour with a max of $15.00/day). Click here for up-to-date parking info from Newport Beach.
- Play surface: Sand
- Restrooms right next door to the playground
- Nice to have lifeguards nearby in summer, in case a need for first aid arises
- Picnic on the beach or find a nearby restaurant
- Bring bikes if you want to ride the trail (also available to rent)
- 33 fire rings (charcoal only) available from 6am-10pm on first-come, first-serve basis (consult NB beaches page for details and charcoal recommendations)
- Official Newport Beach website
- Nearest public library branch: Balboa Branch of the Newport Beach Public Library system
Originally posted August 2011.