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Of all Newport Beach’s man-made islands, Balboa Island is by far the most charming. It also feels more like a quaint East Coast harborfront village than the rest of Newport’s distinctly Southern Californian settlements. The first order of business: getting your hands on one of the island’s famed frozen bananas. Choose from rivals Sugar N Spice or Dad’s Donuts; both claim to be the originators of the chocolate-covered frozen treat. Then take a jaunt around the 1.6-mile boardwalk that surrounds the island or the mom-and-pop shops along Marine Avenue. Visitors to Balboa Island can enter by driving onto it via Marine Avenue, but it’s far easier—and more fun—to park your car on the Balboa Peninsula and take the Balboa Island Ferry for a quick and scenic five-minute trip across the water.