balboa island improvement association

improving the island since 1918

about biia - visit and see what we are about and who our leaders are... see the links below...

RENTALS - Whether your renting, buying, or just staying a day or two... see the links below...

Destinations - Here are just some of the greater destinations on the island... see the links below...

Shop & Dine - Activities are in abundance here on the island. Learn more about us by selecting from the links below...

about balboa island - Activities are in abundance here on the island. Learn more about us by selecting from the links below...

Maps and travel - balboa island -whether your flying, driving, or walking, here are the maps that can get you there...

Events - balboa island - Has Several Annual Celebrations - Make sure you catch one of these...

Find out more about the BIIA or read our Bi-Monthly Newsletter to See Whats Happening... See links below...

Welcome to Balboa Island, CA

This is the Balboa Island Improvement Association's guide to Balboa Island. This guide offers listings of accommodations, activities, activities, maps, and travel information. Hopefully, this guide shall assist our visitors in enjoying the best of what Balboa Island has to offer. Stop by and stay a while, and see why many refer to this beautiful island as "The Host of the Coast".


Balboa Facts & FigurES

Island Life

Balboa Island is a distinctive community in the middle of Orange County's Newport Harbor offering coastal living with a neighborly vibe. A narrow waterway called the Grand Canal divides the community into the main island and Little Balboa Island. Together they have 1,450 expensive and in-demand homes.

There's no better place to call home, according to residents, who use words like "heaven," "sanctuary" and "paradise" to describe the island's seaside serenity. The island's main drag, Marine Avenue, is lined with gift shops, ice cream parlors and art galleries and serves as the town square. A few blocks away is Agate Avenue that sports a more nauticle theme with unique stores and venues.

Balboa Island is small. The larger island is 1¾ miles in circumference. Little Balboa Island is just ¾ mile around. Everything is within walking distance.

But Balboa Island is not for everyone. People who prize spacious lots and privacy should probably look elsewhere.

Welcome to Balboa Island :

History of Balboa Island - Come see what made this historic island great.

About The balboa island improvement association

In 1918 the Balboa Island Improvement Association was started (and is still going strong). The BIIA was a strong motivating force in working with the City on bulkhead repair, ferry service, a sewer system, water, gas, electricity, paved streets and sidewalks, and street lighting.

Wow factor

Life on the island is so casual and laid-back that it's easy to forget the million-dollar-plus prices. Waterfront homes start at about $3 million and offer views of Newport Harbor that might include the Balboa Pavilion Ferris wheel, docked sailboats or sunsets on the water. Most lots are about 30-by-85 feet and are valued at an average of $1.1 million.

Good news, bad news

Balboa Island's charm is at times its biggest drawback. Summer tourists can make parking difficult.

Insider information

Holiday decorating is competitive on Balboa Island. Some homeowners spend thousands of dollars sprucing up their exteriors for Christmas and even Halloween, attracting plenty of spectators.

Report card

Students attend Lincoln Elementary until seventh grade, after which they go to Corona del Mar High School, both part of the Newport-Mesa Unified School District. Lincoln's Academic Performance Index score for 2010 was 927 out of 1,000. Corona del Mar's score of 888 ranks it fifth in Orange County.

Hot spots

Which neighborhood is most desirable is subject to debate. Little Balboa Island residents say their part of town is best because it's neighborly and unsightly utility lines are buried underground. Those on the big island who live nearest to Marine Avenue claim they have the most convenient location. Residents on the waterfront street called South Bayfront boast that they have the best views of the harbor. Residents on the opposite side of the island on North Bayfront say they enjoy more peace and quiet.

Stock report

In the last week of April, only 27 single-family houses were listed for sale. They ranged from a small three-bedroom home on a half-lot for $800,000 to a four-bedroom waterfront home for $10.6 million. There were no condos on the market.

Historical values

Single-family detached resales:

Year...Median Price


*year to date
Sources: DataQuick Information Services, Abrams Coastal Properties,, School Wise Press.

Balboa Fun Facts & Figures

An unordered collection of facts, figures and statistics relating to Balboa , Newport Beach , California. This page is intended as an at-a-glance resource for journalists preparing articles or reports involving Balboa .

Balboa Island is a man made Island. The island, (which was once just a "sandspit"), was actually dredged and filled right before World War I.

The Distances around Balboa Island Are:
Balboa Island - 1.71 Miles
Little Balboa Island - .79 Miles
The Bridge and the Ramp - .5 Miles
Total = 2.60 Miles

Original property lots were sold for $250. Now lots on our beautiful island run in the hundreds of thousands, if not millions

Our magnificent Christmas Boat Parade began in 1908.On December 23, 1908, a gondolier named John Scarpa organized eight canoes and his own gondola, all lighted with Japanese lanterns and ceremoniously sailed around in the bay.

Errol Flynn owned a yacht in the Newport Harbor. As a matter of fact... so did Humphrey Bogart, Dick Powell, Shirley Temple, James Cagney, Mae West and John Wayne, Buddy Ebsen and Nicholas Cagge (to name just a few go to Celebrities page for more).