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Beach destinations don't get any better than Balboa Peninsula, located in Newport Beach. From world-class surf breaks and miles of sandy shores to laid-back bars and restaurants and a vintage amusement park with soaring coastal views, this throwback destination is ideal for L.A. couples and families.
But even the most seasoned beach goers need an itinerary, which is exactly why we've rounded up a few must-do activities. Read on for our picks…
World-class surf breaks are not rare at The Wedge. Swells originating in New Zealand pummel Newport during peak summer season, and after hitting the jetty they create waves that converge with other waves, doubling in size before flying skyward as they hit the rapidly rising ocean floor of Balboa Peninsula. The result is one of the most dramatic and unpredictable surf breaks in the world. But it's no place for a board. Instead, bodysurfers brave the waves and shallow waters. If you've got the skills, try your luck, otherwise enjoy the action from the safety of the shore.
Balboa and Newport Pier
Balboa Peninsula's soft, sandy beaches can be tough to tear yourself away from, but a ride or stroll to the stunning Balboa and Newport Piers is worth the trek. Take in the five mile stretch of beach from the back of a beach cruiser bike or on a guided Segway tour as you cruise along the boardwalk to the acclaimed pier. Along the way you'll spot surfers, fishermen and wildlife like pelicans, dolphins and seals, not to mention pristine views of the Pacific.
The Balboa Fun Zone
Mixing education with good old fashioned carnival-style entertainment, The Balboa Fun Zone is a perfect spot for your entire family. One of Southern California's oldest and last great coastal amusement areas, the Fun Zone harks back to a bygone era thanks to a fully restored Ferris wheel, arcades and a new mechanical bull shark ride. For prices and hours, visit TheBalboaFunZone.com.
In addition to the rides and games, kids can explore the region's maritime heritage with family-oriented interactive exhibits, ship models, artifacts, art and special performances at ExplorOcean, home of the Newport Harbor Nautical Museum.
For more information about Balboa Peninsula and everything else Newport Beach has to offer, head to VisitNewportBeach.com.