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What is Balboa famous for

Balboa Island Boat Rentals

Located in Orange County, California, Balboa Island is a popular tourist destination. It is known for its exciting boardwalk, pristine beaches, and tons of outdoor activities. But did you know that the island has a detailed and famous history dating back to the early 1900s? 

Take a look at the history of this charming island and find out how you can enjoy the many features that Balboa has to offer.

Balboa Island Historic Overview

Originally a sandbar covered by ocean waves, Balboa Island was created in 1899 by developer W.S. Collins. Collins had a plan to dredge up the sand and silt around the sandbar to create an above-ground landmass. After dividing the land, Balboa Island slowly became the attraction it is today. The following is a brief history of how Balboa Island rose to popularity amongst residents and tourists alike.

Early 1900’s

1905. Original construction of the Balboa Pavilion, a main focal point of the island for visitors. It was first used as a Victorian bathhouse and later turned into a dance and music hall. 

1906. Original construction of the Balboa Pier, a popular spot for tourists and locals alike. The creation of the Pier encouraged many visitors to purchase lots and build vacation homes. This solidified Balboa as the premier vacation destination of Southern California.

1913. The still famous ‘Illuminated Boat Parade’ was first debuted. Hundreds of holiday-themed boats made their way through the Harbor, ending with an impressive display of fireworks.

1916. The island gained access to Newport Beach city services after it’s official incorporation.

Mid 1900’s

1919. The first Balboa Island Ferry was implemented by the Beeks family, who still operate the Ferry’s services today.

1936. Original construction of the Balboa Fun Zone. This famous landmark of Balboa Island’s boardwalk was a tourist-destination favorite. It still includes impeccable views of Newport Harbor alongside theme park rides and food. 

1950s. One of the most famous attractions of Balboa Island was created: the Balboa Bar! The Balboa Bar is the signature frozen treat of the island – a creamy vanilla ice cream square covered in chocolate.

Best Attractions of the Island

The more visitors that arrived in those early days, the more popular Balboa Island became. There’s even been a steady increase of both vacation homes and family homes on the island, as well as local schools. But whether you’re a local or a visitor from afar, there’s so much to do and see on Balboa Island.

If fishing is your game, there’s plenty of great spots off the Balboa Pier to catch mackerel and flounder. Keep your eye out for starfish and mussels when the tide goes out around the pier, too. Marine life spotting is common, as well, especially dolphins and whales.

There’s also many opportunities for sightseeing, both on land and on the water. Balboa is known for its relaxing beaches, but you can also enjoy your time boating or taking the Ferry. Balboa Island Boat Rentals allows you to take in the sights of the island while relaxing out on the water. 

From the early 1900’s to today, Balboa has been known as a place for relaxation, exploration, and fun! Plan your trip to this historic landmark today.

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