Three Southern California cities offer rides on ferries and boats across
bays, and Newport Beach happens to be one. The others are San Diego and Long
Beach. The Newport bay is a gentle area that was dredged and created in the early
1900's. A series of jetties built along the ocean facing beaches, plus jetties
entering into the harbor helped create a bay that's been the location for
movies, the home of film stars, rock stars, executives, athletes and ordinary
people (some whose families purchased the property for a few thousand dollars.)
In the photo above, you'll notice a series of buildings. The scene includes a nautical museum, restaurants, shops, and kiosks where tickets for Newport Harbor rides are sold. 45 to 90 minute narrated cruises tell who lives in which houses, and lots of scoop about this enchanted area.
To ride the harbor ferry, all you have to do is enter on foot and have money (under $1 each way). The ferry can carry around 4 or 5 cars, depending on size, and there's a very specific manner to get in line to ride the ferry by car. It seems almost bizarre, but if you don't follow it, angry people get out of their cars, yelling and screaming or reporting you to the ferry captain, who will deny you entry in many cases. Apparently there's a sign on Balboa Blvd. that requires you turn right at a stoplight. You must then take a left at Palm, going through the stoplight on Balboa, and that puts you in line. It can be quite confusing. But if you manage to navigate the signage, you can get your turn. There is a fee charged for this ride. The islands are otherwise connected by roads. Both can be accessed from Pacific Coast Highway.