As much as I adore traveling, there’s nothing as incredible as a visit home after a long trip. Southern California -Orange County to be exact- is home for me. After a few months in Australia, I was able to spend a month at home, which was just what the doctor ordered. Spending time with my good friends and family was lovely, but of course…once a traveler, always a traveler. Newport Beach is only a 10 minute drive from my neck of the woods, so my cousin, Chloe, and I decided to spend a day exploring Balboa.
Balboa Island is a beautiful coastal town just north of Laguna Beach. You can either stay on the mainland (like we did) or take the ferry to the separate island. If visiting on a warmer day, I would suggest heading over to the Island, but since it was winter and we were in sweaters, we figured a day at the beach was just not in the cards.
If you are looking for cute boutique shops, then this is your place. Balboa is about a 5-block stretch of amazing stores. You can find beachy trinkets, swimsuits, home decor, and so much more throughout the shops.
Shopping is sure to work up an appetite and while there are plenty of delicious Italian restaurants, the Mexican cuisine from Picante Martins is my favorite. From their burritos, to their enchiladas, to their chips and salsa – you really can’t go wrong. If you are looking for just a yummy treat, then I’d suggest stopping at one of the frozen banana stands. They both say they are the original, (which is a mystery we have yet to figure out) but I don’t think you can really go wrong when it comes to a chocolate covered banana.
Picking which of the beautiful homes we would most like to live in is one of our favorite pastimes. You can pretend to live like these lucky individuals by renting a duffy boat and sailing around the harbor for the day.
On the way home from Balboa, I insist that you stop by Sprinkles. This is my absolute favorite cupcake store in the entire world! Just next door, they have their ice-cream shop where you can have a cupcake cut in half with a scoop of ice-cream in the middle… *excuse me while I google if Sprinkles delivers to Australia*
Hopefully this post was helpful, and let me know below if you need any other suggestions for Balboa or Newport in general. See ya next time!
Little Brantley Abroad