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Balboa Pier and Peninsula Park in Newport Beach

Balboa Pier and Peninsula Park in Newport Beach

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
  • The BIG spiderweb climber is no longer there, but there is a smaller set of climbing platforms for horizontal movement
  • Huge bank of swings! (4 bench swings, 4 baby 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

Be Aware:

  • 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. Or during the summer, take the Balboa Penisula Summer Trolley.
  • 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 ($1.30-$1.90 per hour with a max of $19.80/day). Click here for up-to-date parking info from Newport Beach. (I find it helps to create a ParkMobile account ahead of time – where you enter your license plate and credit card number. Then, when you get to the beach, all you have to do is enter the parking lot number on your phone app. It will send you reminders about when your meter will run out and you can re-load directly from the app.)
  • The Balboa Peninsula Summer Trolley is set to run again for Summer 2018 starting Memorial Day Weekend. You can read my post about our fantastic experience on the Balboa Peninsula Summer Trolley during Summer 2017. New hours for 2018 will be 9:30am to 9:30pm.
  • 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)
  • 31 fire rings (about half designated for wood burning and about half designated for charcoal only) available from 6am-10pm on first-come, first-serve basis (consult Newport Beach’s fire ring page for details and charcoal recommendations)
  • Official Newport Beach website
  • Nearest public library branch: Balboa Branch of the Newport Beach Public Library system

Nearby parks:

Would you like to play at other beach playgrounds in Orange County?

Originally posted August 2011.


Saturday 18th of April 2015

Hi I'd like to know if we are allowed to have birthday celebrations where the park is on the grass area??

Michele Whiteaker

Sunday 19th of April 2015

I usually put an "official" link to the City in each post. Looks like you just need to give Newport Beach a call with your question.


Tuesday 8th of November 2011

Thanks for this Post!! I've been wanting to take my kids to Balboa for a long time! Now I am equipped with some knowledge about what to do before I go!

Dan Kelley

Saturday 13th of August 2011

We may attend a family Beach Party here in Sept 2011. Can you recommend an RV Park that is close which will accomendate are 36' 5th wheel trailer?


Sunday 14th of August 2011

Although I'm not an RV expert -- Newport Dunes is fairly close to the Peninsula. And I believe Huntington Beach and Bolsa Chica State Beach allows for camping. Check these links: Newport Dunes: Huntington Beach: Bolsa Chica: