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Orange County Surf and Sand

Orange County Surf and Sand is here to help you find Orange County Beaches and Beach Related facilities, such as boat rentals, surf shops, Orange County Piers or any of a large number of other types of service which are surf and sand related. If you are looking for information, not listed below, in a specific city, go to the Orange County city map page (in the right hand column), and click on a city to find what you're looking for.
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Beach : Balboa Pavilion
City : Newport Beach


Location / Directions :

400 Main St., Newport Beach

Take the 55 Freeway south all the way into Costa Mesa where it becomes Newport Blvd, continue on across the bridge over Pacific Coast Hwy onto the Balboa Peninsula and then just follow the signs to the pier. It's about two miles past the Newport Pier directly across from the Balboa Piere and right next to the Fun Zone.

Description :

Famous for its world-renowned cupola and illuminated by more than 1,400 white lights, the Balboa Pavilion has served as the beacon of Newport Beach for almost a century.

The picturesque Victorian building, which opened in 1905, is listed on the National Register of Historical Places and designated a California landmark. From its early days as a terminal for the Pacific Electric Red Car Line and bathhouse for the stylish bathers to the bowling alley in the building once housed, the Pavilion has been the center for many activities that remain important parts of life in the area today. The Newport Harbor Christmas Boat Parade celebration, held every December, has floated past the Pavilion since 1908, and the Pavilion hosted the first surfboard riding championship in the United States in 1932. When the Big Band sounds of Count Basie, Benny Goodman, and Stan Kenton echoed across the nation, the Pavilion resounded to the beat of thousands of dancing feet as the Balboa Peninsula became known as the birthplace of a dance that swept the nation: The Balboa Hop.
Next door is the Balboa Funzone (600 E. Bay Ave., 949-673-0408). Carnival-like atmosphere on Friday and Saturday nights. Ferris wheel, arcades, fortune tellers, smoke shops and lots of other stuff that kids enjoy. Located a mile or two north of the Wedge.
Things to do near by - The Irvine Spectrum. A bit of a drive, but it's probably the best entertainment center in all of Orange County. Whether it's movies, adult arcades with beer, music shops, fine dining or specialty shops, the Spectrum's got it. Open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., it's at the intersection of the 405 freeway and Interstate 5. Improv Comedy Night Club (4255 Campus Drive, Irvine, 949-8545455). Laugh, cry, throw rotten vegetables.
In Newport Beach the word beach is not just part of the city name it's part of everyone's life. People here consider "the beach" a way of life. One of the most famous beaches of all the beaches in Newport is the beach at the Balboa Pier. With the Fun Zone, the pier, and the ferry to Balboa Island it's all here. It's just a short way down the beach to "The Wedge" which is one of the best known body surfing spots anywhere. A popular walk, or swim, is between the Balboa Pier and the Newport Pier, it's about 2 miles. Have lunch at Ruby's at the end of the pier then walk off the calories by walking to the Newport Pier and back and have dinner, before you head home.
At the Balboa Pavilion it's only a short walk to go from the beach on one side of the peninsula to the bay on the other, with a small beach village in between. One side has a vast expanse of sand and the other has all the wonderful boats you could ever imagine, from dinghys to yachts. Go out on the water or jump in the water. You can rent boats or take a harbor cruise. You can find anything from corn dogs to steaks and sodas to the hard stuff within walking distance of the pavilion.

Activities :

Enjoy free concerts at the bandstand (see picture above), swim, surf, dive, rollerblade or bike. You can rent equipment to do almost anything you can think of, even bikes for four people to ride up and down the great concrete strand.

Facilities :

Public bathrooms, grass area,

Links :

The Harborside Pavilion

The Historic Balboa Pavilion Website

Heal the Bay Weekly Beach Report (North Orange County)

40th Street Camera & Surf Report

36th Street Camera & Surf Report

Newport Pier Camera & Surf Report

The Wedge Camera & Surf Report

Orange County Marine Refuge Project