Balboa Island Ferry

Best Ferry Ride, August 2011

The trip takes less than five minutes, the boat itself is a handful of planks lashed together, and you could simply use the nearby bridge, but the Balboa Island Ferry is otherworldly. A dollar buys a smooth glide from Newport Beach to the isle of amusements. The current fleet dates to the 1950s, but a floating transport has been plying these waters since 1919, escorting generations of beachgoers to an afternoon of cotton candy, carousel rides, and views from the 45-foot-high Ferris wheel.