About the Museum

We have been voted one of the best museums!

best of OC 2020

Balboa Island has long been one of the most popular destinations for Orange County residents and visitors, alike. Now, since the grand opening of the New Balboa Island Museum and Historical Society on November 30, 2018, locals and tourists can experience Balboa as never before, with an entertaining and in-depth look at the rich and storied history of this beloved island.

Originally founded in 2000 in a much smaller space a few blocks away, The Balboa Island Museum and Historical Society – now located in a historic building at 210 Marine Avenue – has nearly tripled in size. The new facility allows for expanded exhibits, new collections and other amenities, including a children’s interactive zone and space for community gatherings and events.

The Museum’s new home, at 210 Marine Ave., was first developed in 1927 as “Richardson’s Yacht Club Garage,” for boat repair and boat storage. Throughout its years, the building has housed a temporary fire department (1927-31), the lab for California Vitamins, Inc. (AKA: Nutrilite, 1937-1939), a series of locally owned hardware stores (1942-1979), the famous Original Balboa Beach Company (1984-1998) and the beloved Art for the Soul (1998-2018).

10 Minute History Talks

The Balboa Island Museum has an array of exhibits related to the history of Newport Beach and Balboa Island. We would like to introduce our new video series of 10 Minute History Talks with Celeste.

Click here to view all 19 videos.
What Visitors are saying

Wow! What an impressive Shirley Temple Exhibit! Thanks

Annette B.

Was wonderful. We didn't even know this was here. Way to go keeping the history alive

Azi & Ali E.

Lovely exhibits, especially of the Duke!

Finneran Family

Loved all the interactive experiences!

Bri W.

Very interesting exhibits, we've been visiting for 50 years!

Chris T.

Lovely, nostalgic, look at Balboa Island! Thank you!

Dawn A. & Patrick D.

Fabulous displays of yesteryears- incredible

Audrey B.

Spectacular job of artistry, professional presentation, bravo!

Barbra and Dan A.

John Wayne FOREVER ! We miss you, Duke !

Bob M.

Very interesting exhibits, we've been visiting for 50 years!

Chris T.

Beautiful Museum- wonderful displays enjoy all the history - photos and info- thank you!

Joe and Dawn A.

Fantastic!! We will be back and bringing people with us! Such a rich history.

Robert and Michelle S.

Fabulous museum! brings back fond memories.

Paulette N.


The New Balboa Island Museum pays homage to the island so many of us know, love and call home – and a place that continues to capture the imaginations and hearts of visitors the world over.


Hours of Operation:

The Museum Store is OPEN: Monday – Thursday 10am to 4pm, Friday – Sunday 10am to 5pm

Closed: New Years Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, 4th of July

Admission: Free general admission on all days. We gladly accept cash donations!

Ask about our Kids Scavenger Hunt!

Parking: Two hour parking is available on Marine Ave. You can park in the surrounding neighborhood for the extended day.

OUR Mission and Vision Statement


To collect, preserve and promote the culture and history of Balboa Island and Newport Beach.


Inspiring our community. A place to gather. Celebrating our heritage.

Board of Directors

  • President

    Paula Castanon

  • President Elect

    David Beek

  • Vice President

    Dennis Bress

  • Secretary

    Jo Ellen Heck

  • Treasurer

    Bernadette Peterson

  • Past President

    Shirley Pepys

  • Tony Guanci

  • James "Jim" Quandt

  • Sue Sibley

  • Brenda St. Hilaire

  • Linda Young

  • Don Abrams

  • Jack Callahan

  • Keith Curry

  • Wing Lam

  • Michele O'Leary

  • Renee Pepys Lowe

  • Jon Remy

  • Cynthia Schafer

  • John Scudder

  • Bill Stewart

  • Pete Weitzner