7 of the Best Things to Do on the Balboa Peninsula

What is your idea of a great vacation? Whether you enjoy relaxing on the beach or riding the renowned Southern California surf, there is an endless selection of things to do on the Balboa Peninsula. Make the most of your trip to our beautiful stretch of coastline with this collection of tips and tricks for your next vacation to Newport Beach!

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The Top 7 Things to Do on the Balboa Peninsula 

1. Relax on the Beach

If you’re searching for some of the best things to do on the Balboa Peninsula, a day (at least) spent on the beach should be number one on your list. Miles of sand beckon visitors to bring a chair and a towel and spend the entire day basking in the Southern California sun. Pack your favorite book or try to get in on a competitive game of beach volleyball near the Balboa Peninsula Park while you’re there. Of course, you can also head straight for the water to cool down! Whether you’re here for a couple of days or an entire week, you need to check out the beach.

2. Play Like a Kid at Balboa Fun ZoneBalboa Peninsula

Take a trip down memory lane at the Balboa Fun Zone. This classic bayfront entertainment hub includes small rides for kids and a large arcade that are great for families! Bumper cars, carnival games, and a Ferris wheel create a sense of nostalgia that will have you feeling like a little kid again. It’s within walking distance of a collection of shops and restaurants as well as the beach around Balboa Pier. 

3. Go Whale Watching With Discovery Cube’s Ocean Quest

Whale watching is one of the top things to do on the Balboa Peninsula, and Discovery Cube’s Ocean Quest offers a fun and immersive experience for all ages. The museum serves as the base for their whale watching operations. There are more than a handful of interactive exhibits inside that introduce sailing and boating concepts, from building a boat to navigating a ship. Discovery Cube’s Ocean Quest offers special ticket packages that include museum admission and whale watching for reasonable prices!

Tip: The best seasons for whale watching on the Balboa Peninsula are spring and summer.  

4. Soak in the Views From West Jetty View Park

West Jetty Park offers some of the best views from Newport Beach. Walking along the waterfront and gazing across the channel at Hidden Beach, Corona Del Mar State Park, and the hilly coastline is enjoyable for visitors of all ages. Watch fancy yachts float in and out of the harbor as you walk among locals relaxing at this local hangout spot. Head here during the early hours of the evening for great sunset views on the Balboa Peninsula.

5. Admire the Architecture of Lovell Beach House

Keep your eyes peeled for a unique, futuristic building sitting along the beach at 13th Street. This is the famous Lovell Beach House, and it offers a look into some of the most cutting edge architecture dating back to the 1920s. While you can’t enter the home, it’s well worth a stop while taking a leisurely walk along the beach.

6. Grab a Bite to Eat 

You’ll need to fuel up during a day of enjoying all of the things to do on the Balboa Peninsula. There are more than a handful of places to grab a bite to eat. The Lighthouse Cafe, Newport Landing Restaurant, and Harborside Restaurant and Grand Ballroom all offer a great variety of seafood dishes in a family-friendly atmosphere with fantastic views of the bay. If you want something a little more casual, Great Mex Grill, BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse, Cruisers Pizza Bar and Grill, and Cabo Cantina serve up tasty lunch and dinner fare.

7. Catch Some Waves at The Wedge

The California coast is home to some of the best surfing in the country, and that’s no different here! One of the best things to do on the Balboa Peninsula for surfers is hitting The Wedge. This popular surf spot at the very end of the peninsula cranks out 30-foot waves that are perfect for experienced boardriders. From May 1st to October 31st, a Blackball Flag signals that there is no board usage allowed between 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (body surfing only). 

Other Newport Beach-Area Attractions and Activites

While there are plenty of things to do on the Balboa Peninsula, we recommend venturing out and exploring the rest of the Newport Beach area. You’ll find tons of shopping, dining, and outdoor activities that provide the ultimate Southern California experience. 

Fashion Island

Fashion Island is the top shopping hub in the Newport Beach area. This massive outdoor complex has hundreds of stores, a large movie theater, and plenty of great places to eat. 

Corona Del Mar Beach State Park

Corona Del Mar Beach State Park offers visitors a collection of great vantage points along the coast, but adventurers will love hiking over a large rock structure down to Hidden Beach. This cove is one of the few places where you won’t find crowds of people on the sand. Of course, it’s not quite hidden anymore, but you still won’t want to miss out on feeling like a pirate in this secret oasis.

Upper Newport Bay Nature PreserveUpper Newport Bay Nature Preserve

If you want to enjoy nearby hiking trails, head to the Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve. A network of trails winds through acres of marshland and waterways, where sweeping views of the surrounding Southern California mountains provide great photo ops.

Crystal Cove State Park

More hiking opportunities await you further down the coast in Crystal Cove State Park. This beautiful area is home to some fabulous scenic lookouts. If you’re hungry, stop by The Beachcomber or the Crystal Cove Shake Shack for a bite to eat. 

Discover the Ultimate Newport Beach Vacation


When you book with Burr White Realty, you aren’t just getting an incredible vacation home. You’re working with a company that has over 50 years of experience in the Newport Beach area. So you can trust that you are working with one of the most trusted vacation rental companies in the area. Whether you want a large family home or a small house for a couples retreat, we have a variety of properties that fit everyone’s budget. Don’t forget to check out our Things to Do page for more ways to enjoy your trip.

Discover our collection of homes today and start planning your next vacation. We look forward to welcoming you to the Burr White family!