Balboa Peninsula, Newport Beach

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The Balboa Peninsula.

The Balboa Peninsula (also referred to as "Balboa") is a neighborhood of the city of Newport Beach, Orange County, California. It is named after the famous Spanish explorer, Vasco Núñez de Balboa.[1] Balboa is primarily residential but has some commercial areas as well.


The Wedge: a popular destination for skimboarding, surfing, bodyboarding and bodysurfing is at the end of the Balboa Peninsula, Newport Beach

The lower bay of Newport was formed much later by sand, brought along by ocean currents, constructed the offshore beach, now recognized as the Balboa Peninsula of Newport Beach.

Newport Harbor Sunset

In 1888, the McFadden family decided their shipping business would be more successful if they moved it from the inner shores of the bay to the oceanfront, where it was connected by rail to Santa Ana.[10] So they built McFaddens’ Wharf at the location where the Newport Pier is today. “McFadden Wharf soon became the largest business in newly created Orange County”, California. It lasted for eight years, the McFadden Wharf area was a booming commercial and shipping center and a company town began to grow. However, in 1899, the Federal Government allocated funds for major improvements to a new harbor at San Pedro, which would become Southern California’s major seaport. The McFadden Wharf and railroad were sold to the Southern Pacific Railroad that same year, signaling the end of Newport Bay as a commercial shipping center.[2]

Harbor front Home Newport Beach California

In 1902, James McFadden sold his Newport townsite and about half of the Peninsula to William Collins, who saw Newport Bay’s resort and recreation potential. Collins took on Henry E. Huntington as a partner in the Newport Beach Company. Huntington had acquired the Pacific Electric railway system and used it to promote new communities outside of Los Angeles.[2]

In 1905, the Pacific Electric “Red Cars” were extended to Newport. Collins began dredging a channel on the north side of the bay and deposited the sand and silt on tidelands that would become Balboa Island. Formerly known as Balisle, this enchanting little island was not always easy to get to. Newport Harbor was still largely undredged, and sailboats were often the only way to get around. Robert McFadden, an early Balboa Harbor developer had established a successful fishing wharf on the Balboa Peninsula.[2]


The Peninsula is connected from the land via Hwy 1 - Pacific Coast Hwy (PCH) at Balboa Boulevard, via Bridge at Newport Blvd from PCH and from Via Lido which connects via bridge to Lido Isle, via Bridge from Newport Island, via Bridge from Bay Isle and via Ferry Boat from Balboa Blvd and Palm St. to Balboa Island which is connected via bridge from Jamboree Rd and Hwy 1 (PCH). The west end of Balboa Island connects via bridge to Collins Isle and the east end connects via bridge over the Grand Canal to the Little Island. The center of the Peninsula is called Balboa Village and the end of the Peninsula is called Balboa Peninsula Point. Balboa Pier is near the Balboa Ferry in Balboa Village and about 2 miles toward PCH is Newport Pier at McFadden Square. Linda Isle and Harbor Island connect via bridge from Bayside Dr off Hwy 1 (PCH). The peninsula acts as a jetty enclosing the Newport Harbor and Newport Beach’s (8) islands.


Historical buildings include Balboa Pavilion (established 1906), the Balboa Theater (established 1928), and the Balboa Inn (established 1929).[3]



  1. ^ Morison, Samuel (1974). The European Discovery of America: The Southern Voyages, 1492-1616. New York: Oxford University Press. 
  2. ^ a b c Balboa Island Visitor's Guide,, 2002.
  3. ^ TalesOfBalboa - Your Portal To Balboa California

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 33°35′13″N 117°54′03″W / 33.58694°N 117.90083°W / 33.58694; -117.90083