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Balboa Island Museum & Historical Society, Newport Beach

4.8
#19 of 38 in Museums in Orange County
History Museum · Hidden Gem · Museum
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Balboa Island, with all its allure and charm, has been a favorite California location for locals and vacationers alike. Now residents and visitors can discover all sorts of interesting and fascinating facts about this magical Island by visiting the Balboa Island Museum & Historical Society. Visitors will be fascinated by the display of Island memorabilia, including classic photographs that depict the Island’s captivating history.

The Museum was founded in 2000 after local Pat Buderwitz had the idea of turning the old Fire Station into an Island Museum. Pat and a group of Island neighbors started meeting regularly and formed an organization, the Balboa Island Museum & Historical Society (BIMHS). On May 13, 2000, a reception was held at the Newport Beach Yacht Club to introduce the BIMHS to the Island residents. When the fire station option fell through, the BIMHS decided to rent a space until a more permanent location could be found. They moved into their first location across from the ferry during March of 2002.

In the spring of 2011, the Board of Directors made the decision to relocate the Museum to 331 Marine Avenue, becoming part of Balboa Island’s “Main Street.” This charming vintage cottage is the perfect site to showcase the Museum’s artifacts and it is the hope and desire of the committee that this location will also provide a meeting place for the local community. (Coincidentally, the new location is very close to the old Fire Station, their original chosen spot!)

Locals and visitors are welcome to check out the new location and learn a little bit of Balboa Island’s enchanting history.
Take a look at our Newport Beach trip website to schedule your visit to Balboa Island Museum & Historical Society and learn about what else to see and do during your holiday.
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Balboa Island Museum & Historical Society reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
21 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • The Museum explains how the Island was developed, what its residents did (go to the Balboa Peninsula for the beach, among other things, so there's information on the Newport Beach lifeguards), and of....  more
    The Museum explains how the Island was developed, what its residents did (go to the Balboa Peninsula for the beach, among other things, so there's information on the Newport Beach lifeguards), and of....  more »
  • Cute little museum that tell history of this cute town. It is worth spending some time looking around after having lunch. 
    Cute little museum that tell history of this cute town. It is worth spending some time looking around after having lunch.  more »
Google
  • Small yet cute FREE museum with wonderfully charming staff! They have a nice gift shop but the museum section isn’t large. There was cool info about Balboa Island, Shirley Temple and more. You probably won’t spend more than 15 minutes in the museum. HOWEVER! I noticed an empty storefront down the street that said: Coming soon: The Balboa Island Historical Museum... so maybe they’re moving soon and will have more room! I never give FREE museums less than 4 stars, because anything they offer is gravy. Definitely check this out when strolling down the strip!
  • The guide explain everything you need to know about Balboa. Lots of History and gives you a hint of the places you need to visit there.

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