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One day - Catalina or Balboa?

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One day - Catalina or Balboa?

We will be in Newport Beach for a week in mid-October. We have several days planned, including Hollywood and Temecula. We have one day open (a Monday). Should we spend it in Balboa Island or Catalina Island?

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Portland, Oregon
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1. Re: One day - Catalina or Balboa?

I think heading over to Catalina would be a good choice. Ride over is fun, the town is scenic and a golf cart ride up into the hills can make the visit charming. I loved Balboa as a kid because an aunt owned a place there, not far from an ice cream store. I think it is even more commercialized now. But either way, have fun!

Catalina Island...
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2. Re: One day - Catalina or Balboa?

Catalina is a great destination for a day trip. October on the island is absolutely gorgeous, and there is plenty to do. You could kayak, snorkel, rent a golf cart (as the above poster suggested) and tour the island, zip line, shop...the options are endless. If you are looking for activities, I think Catalina will have a lot more to offer. Have you checked out the website for the catalina chamber of commerce & visitors bureau? www.catalinachamber.com. It will give you a taste of what is available to do, see, and eat!

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3. Re: One day - Catalina or Balboa?

I vote Catalina.

Boat trip w. dolphins


Golf cart driving around the streets

Newport Beach, CA
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4. Re: One day - Catalina or Balboa?

Another vote for Catalina. Balboa Island is one of my fave places, but it doesn't have enough to fill a day. Go to dinner and walk on Marine St. (the main and only commercial drag) on Balboa Island after Catalina. The Catalina Flyer should get you back to Newport at around 6:00 p.m.

Corona del Mar, CA
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5. Re: One day - Catalina or Balboa?

It is not either or, if you are staying in Newport you have plenty of time to see Balboa Island. Go down there for lunch or dinner, breakfast even and stroll the island. BI should not take more than a couple of hours, tops.

Santa Cruz...
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6. Re: One day - Catalina or Balboa?

Yep. What Scott said. The Catalina Flyer leaves from Balboa. You could have breakfast on Balboa Island and lunch on Catalina and then dinner back on Balboa.

Newport Beach...
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7. Re: One day - Catalina or Balboa?

If you have a day at the destination, Balboa Island combined with a visit to the Peninsula would be a full day's worth of fun. You can boat around the harbor, paddleboard, canoe or kayak, surf. Catalina is beautiful too. But you do spend about an hour + going each way. If I had to choose, I'd spend the day in Balboa and hit the surrounding areas like Fashion Island, Corona del Mar, and the Balboa Peninsula.

Fremont, California
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8. Re: One day - Catalina or Balboa?

The simple question is - do you want to go to a peninsula - that describes Balboa Island better

do you want to go to an island where you have to take a fast ferry and its a stand alone island....

Then that is Catalina.

The thing about Balboa Island is that it is pleasant but you will be driving there actually when you take the ferry from Balboa Island to Catalina Island.


As such, just drive there ......take the ferry to Catalina Island....decide what water sports you want to do...and renting your own golf cart and driving it in Catalina for your own personal tour (takes about 2 hours or so) will give you more of an island flavor.

If you are a baseball fan, one thing we found it when touring was the close connection the island to baseball and the Chicago cubs - they had their spring training facility there


(note - realize you are from a different city than Chicago, but you will find unique historical things on your tour of Catalina).

If you do do Balboa Island - do take a boat cruise to see some of the fancy houses or rent a duffy boat and do your own water cruise.....far better than going to Fashion Island (which I like) but in general is like every other up scale suburban shopping center in the USA. They do have a nice Cheesecake Factory there....which I've enjoyed (since friends of mine in the area like that place for lunch).



Coronado, California
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9. Re: One day - Catalina or Balboa?

I think it would be hard to spend a full day amused by Balboa Island and the Peninsula. I think you can see BI in a few hours, Catalina is more an all day activity.

British Columbia...
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10. Re: One day - Catalina or Balboa?

Staying at Marriott Newport villas March13-20 . We are three adults and 2 children 11 and 16. At this time of year is it worth it to go over to Babola Island? Is it everyone's opinion if we went 3 or 4 hours is sufficient time to see the island?Thinking of the 11 and 16 year old's interest, weather, restaurnts, etc.

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