Balboa Island Hike (Christmas Hike)

A hike (walk) around Balboa Island is scenic and fun anytime, but during the Christmas Holiday Season Balboa Island truly comes alive with Christmas spirit. In addition to the decorated houses, if you couple this beach hike with the Newport Beach Boat Parade, you are sure to have a magical night filled with Christmas cheer that the whole family can enjoy. This is not a traditional hike, like the others on our blog, however everyone needs a good hike to do along the beach (Newport Bay) or during Christmas time. For more pictures make sure to checkout our Facebook Page.

Directions to Trailhead: To get to Balboa Island in Newport Beach exit the 405 Freeway at Jamboree and head towards Newport Beach. Jamboree ends at Balboa Island. Parking on Balboa Island can be crowded, especially if you do this hike during the Newport Beach Boat Parade, however you can park anywhere you can find a spot. Parking is free which is a great thing.

Description of Hike: The hike around Balboa Island is on a paved sidewalk that is in the middle of the Newport Bay. The sidewalk is well maintained and the entire hike is virtually flat. The total hike is 2.6 miles roundtrip which includes both Balboa Island and little Balboa Island. This hike around Balboa Island is perfect anytime of year, but the best time to hike around Balboa Island is during Christmas time or during the warm summer months. The residents of this quiet island go "all out" every year and put on one heck of a Christmas holiday light display and boat parade. This is a fun hike the whole family can do together.

Further Thoughts: Ashley and I have a tradition that every year we take a hike around Balboa Island during December and see all of the Christmas lights and holiday displays. We make sure to stop at the Starbucks on Balboa Island and get a warm drink and enjoy this December beach hike. When doing this hike during anytime of year you always get a good view of Newport Bay and always have the chance of seeing dolphins, pelicans seagulls, and seals. December and the warm summer months are the best times to do a hike on Balboa Island.

Here are some fun facts about Balboa Island. Balboa Island is a man made Island and it's original property lots were sold for $250. Now, as everyone knows, the lots on Balboa Island run in the hundreds of thousands, if not millions. The Christmas Boat Parade in Newport Bay began in 1908 and has been voted one of the best Christmas light displays in the entire United States. Balboa Island has had a long laundry list of famous people that have resided and/or had boats in the bay. Errol Flynn, Humphrey Bogart, Dick Powell, Shirley Temple, James Cagney, Mae West, and John Wayne, (to name just a few) all owned a yacht in the Newport Bay.

If you are looking for a fun Christmas Hike or a fun holiday tradition, then this one is for you!

Rating: Elevation Gain: < 50 ft. (Easy), Distance: 2.6 Miles Roundtrip (Easy).

Time to Complete Hike: 1 - 1.5 hours.

View Balboa Island Christmas Hike in a larger map


  1. hello!! Very interesting discussion glad that I came across such informative post. Keep up the good work friend. Glad to be part of your net community.

  2. Haha, this is probably one of the last places I would have considered for a Christmas hike. And yet, it seems to work.


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