(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)


Orange County is rich with culture and history, and any history-lover will especially enjoy a visit to Balboa Pavilion. With a little something for every visitor, this locale is filled with activities and entertainment for the whole family. Your first impression is a breathtaking view of Newport Beach harbor from the Balboa Peninsula. Good for a full day of entertainment, the Balboa Pavilion is a quaint, picturesque area filled with music, food and fun for everyone young and old.
(credit: Shutterstock)

(credit: Shutterstock)


Balboa Pavilion
400 Main St.
Newport Beach, CA 92661
(949) 675-1905
balboapavilion.com

On the waterfront of Newport Harbor, you’ll find the oldest-standing building in Orange County, the Balboa Pavilion. Dedicated on July 4, 1906, this Victorian-style dance hall was designed to attract real estate buyers to swampland being developed into the city of Newport Beach. It opened at the same time as the Pacific Electric Railway, the iconic Red Car line that brought thousands of weekenders down from Los Angeles to dance the nights away in Jazz Age marathons. In the Big Band era, greats like Count Basie and Benny Goodman filled the ocean air with music. Swing dancing was so popular here they even developed a dance craze called The Balboa that swept the country.

(credit: MK./Yelp)

(credit: MK./Yelp)


Harborside Restaurant And Grand Ballroom
(949) 673-4633
www.harborside-pavilion.com

Enjoy history and fine dining at once in the Harborside Restaurant, bringing modern comforts to the atmospheric touches of the century-old building. Great family dining on the waterfront includes most of the family favorites with an award-winning selection of seafood to accent the amazing harbor views from the dining room. A kids menu will make ordering easy for even the pickiest toddlers. A selection of family favorites are offered, along with an array of great steaks and specials to please the entire family. A three-course, first seating meal begins at 5:00 p.m. on weeknights. Join their e-club program to find out about special promotions in advance of your trip to the harbor. There’s also a place to dock your boat while dining should you arrive by sea.

(credit: Balboa Fun Zone)

(credit: Balboa Fun Zone)


The Balboa Fun Zone Park
(800) 830-7744
www.thebalboafunzone.com

The classic amusement parks are not completely gone, and Baloba Fun Zone Park proves it. See the harbor from the best view available atop the Ferris Wheel inside the old-fashioned amusement park. Touch up your skills with classic skiball and arcade games and enjoy specialty taffy treats, seaside food stands and gift shops. Stroll the boardwalk up to the rentals area where you can enjoy a harbor ride on a SeaDoo or Parasail. It’s fun to tour the area from a little Marina Boat Rental that will putt around the harbor and show the sites from the Pacific ocean.

Related: Most Unique Tours In Orange County

(credit: D'Arcy L./Yelp)

(credit: D’Arcy L./Yelp)


The Balboa Island Ferry
410 S. Bayfront
Newport Beach, CA 92662
(949) 673- 1070

Right next the the Fun Zone, there’s a docking station for the ferry boat to Balboa Island, an afternoon trip to a residential area with gorgeous beaches all around. Visit and shop the quaint Island Market and stop in to enjoy lunch at the Park Avenue Cafe. An uncomplicated trip leading to a relaxing day in paradise. Enjoy the beautiful beaches and amazing sunset on this peaceful destination just off the Newport harbor. From the same dock, you can take whale watching and sport fishing tours, too.

(credit: Heather C./Yelp)

(credit: Heather C./Yelp)


The Balboa Pier

A family day at the beach is made just a little better when a trip to the Balboa pier is included on the agenda. The Pier was built to complement the Balboa Pavilion project in 1906 and draw people to a day at the beach that still has plenty of appeal today. The classic landmark Ruby’s Diner has cheese burgers sizzling and malted milks spinning in it’s 1940s retro-styled diner perched at the very tip of the pier. The view is magnificent, and the food is easy and affordable for the entire family. The surrounding area has a place for the kids to play and enjoy a day at the beach. Remember to include a relaxing walk on the pier with your trip to Newport Beach.

(credit: William S./Yelp)

(credit: William S./Yelp)


The OC Beach Bus Tour
The Anaheim Tour Company
(714) 817- 9733
AnaheimTourCo

Ride in ultimate California beach style and leave the driving and parking headaches behind on this versatile beach tour bus. Tours leave from the Anaheim Visitor Center three times a day. Customized for your day trip, the tour highlights the attractions on the beautiful OC beaches you want to include with available stops including the many points of interest on the Balboa Peninsula. Just arrange your custom tour and they will pick up your group for a day of fun and adventure. Tour options include Huntington, Laguna and Newport Beaches in a classic Woody cruiser wagon for added authenticity. Book the stops you want to see and enjoy the day getting chauffeured throughout the Peninsula for food, activities and fun.

Related: Best Places to Discover New Music In Orange County.

As a creative professional in Los Angeles, Cat West brings versatile skills to any topic. Whether freelancing as a writer or designing digital art from her studio, Cat provides excellent creative product with content-driven artwork and photography. Examiner.com.