Balboa Village in Newport Beach, CA is a great, family friendly destination for people who enjoy being outside in the sun and being in the water. With adventures for everyone, a visit to the village is sure to delight everyone. Balboa Village has been around since 1936, providing family friendly fun to visitors from both the local area, as well as people who come in from all over the country and world.
It was rebuilt in 1986 and then refurbished again in 2013. Visitors can ride the history Ferris wheel, which has been around since the village was formed. The area is currently one of the most expensive for real estate, with some houses costing up into the three and four-million-dollar range. Although it is a major tourist destination, only 3000 people call the village home on a full-time basis. The village is only accessible by ferry or bridge.
Balboa Arcade - Visit the old school arcade parlor and game room! Featuring a wide array of video game machines, skee-ball, or play Deal or No Deal. The arcade opens at 11am with the exception of the off season, when they are closed on Tuesdays.
Ferris Wheel - Standing for over 80 years (erected in 1936), the Ferris wheel is one of the biggest draws at Balboa Village. While guests are up in the air, the views of Newport Harbor as well as the beautiful Pacific Ocean are breathtaking. Open daily, from 11am to 8pm Sunday through Thursday and Friday and Saturdays from 11am to 10pm, this attraction is a do not miss while at the village.
Fun Zone rides - Besides the Ferris wheel, the village offers a few other rides and attractions at the Fun Zone. Take the harbor cruise, which allows guests to view the multimillion dollar homes (some of the most expensive real estate in the country is located here). The cruise also allows guests to get up close and personal with the sea lions that live in the harbor. Bungee jump on the village boardwalk, ride the happy swing, or try climbing a palm tree. This attraction is open the same hours as the Ferris wheel, from 11am to 8pm Sunday through Thursday and Friday and Saturdays from 11am to 10pm.
Water sports - Guests who want to really get into the water should stop by and rent a Seadoo and either head off alone or with a guided tour of the harbor. More exercise conscious visitors can also rent a stand-up paddleboard (SUP). Check out the Facebook page for additional information and cost.
Ocean Motion - One of the newer attractions at Balboa Village is the ocean motion ride, offering an opportunity for visitors to flip, fly and bounce through the air on a bungee cord seat that allows them to go up to 20 feet in the air. The views from the top, although brief, are stunning! Additional fees apply.
Segway tours - Experience a guided tour by Segway, one of the newer tour fads to hit the village! Enjoy the views and ocean air while learning about the area on this unique tour.
One of the most popular special events at the village is the car show, which is free to attend and open to any and all unique, interesting, and just generally “cool looking” motorcycles and cars. There are free donuts (first come first served), a raffle (free to enter), live classic rock music, and a Best in Show trophy!
During the holiday season, visitors can check out the Christmas at the Beach event. Kick off the holiday season, view the annual tree lighting and visit with Santa himself! Grab a hot chocolate (even though the weather might not seem cool enough), bring friends and family and watch the twinkling lights reflect over the Pacific Ocean.
The website also maintains a comprehensive and frequently updated list of all the upcoming events, so visitors should check ahead of their visit to see if anything special is going on during the time they are at the village.
Shopping and Dining
Balboa Village has an immense variety of shopping and dining options for every palate and budget. Visit Bohemia Gals for unique clothing options, Balboa candy for handmade candies, and Naturally Newport for all sorts of beachy apparel and items. When hungry (after all that shopping), grab a bite and Ruby’s Diner, Cabo Cantina, or the Great Mex Grill. There truly is something for everyone!
Balboa Village, 600 E Bay Avenue, Newport Beach, CA, Phone: 949-675-8915