Clipboard researched by Susan Greene and Rick VanderKnyff / Los Angeles Times. Graphics by Doris Shields / Los Angeles Times

Location: Balboa City Beach stretches along the ocean side of Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach, from Newport Pier southeast to the jetty at the ocean entrance to Newport Bay.

Facilities: Shops and restaurants are near Newport Pier, the oldest pier on the Southern California coast, and near Balboa Pier. Also within a short walk of Balboa Pier is the Balboa Pavilion, a popular dance hall dating back to the early years of this century, and the Balboa Fun Zone, which includes arcades, a Ferris wheel and a merry-go-round. Fire pits and volleyball courts (first-come, first-served) are on the beach near both piers. Restrooms and lifeguard services are offered along the length of the beach.

Activities: Swimming and sunbathing are popular activities. Fishing from the piers is a favorite pastime, and several tackle shops are nearby. Surfing is also popular--the Wedge, at the jetty at the entrance to Newport Harbor, is one of the best-known surfing spots in the world--but hours and locations are regulated.

Parking: Metered parking is available along Balboa Boulevard and on side streets. There is also a pay lot (fee: $5) at Balboa Pier.

Bus: OCTD lines Nos. 1, 43, 53 and 65. Call (714) 636-7433.

Beach information: (714) 644-3047.

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