Lido Island Newport Beach OC Beaches


Lido Island is primarily residential. While traffic moves at a good little clip on the island's "in & out" roads, boats take slower paces, lazily mooring and relaxing in this charmed location.
 

In the sunset photo above, there's a great contrast of deep browns, orange and blue the boats take on from the cast shadows that surround the boats and luxury yachts. Lido Isle is a residential community and not really a tourist destination. The way it is configured, you can take a drive down the strip but mostly what you'll see are the backs of houses that face the ocean on both sides of this island.

Lido Island in Newport Beach, was no more than a swamp, sandbar or mudhole at one time. But that was nearly 100 years back, and now, that swampland is gold (to put it mildly). On a recent search of home prices, we discovered a home in Lido Island on Via Lido Soud listed for sale with an asking price of a cool $15,995,000 give or take a few thousand. 

 

Blame Henry Huntington and partner William Collins for creating this paradise. When Huntington agreed to lay his rail line through Huntington Beach, he got the town named after him in 1904. When he agreed to continue the railroad further south to Newport, among the offerings was a muddy bog just flat enough to dredge and turn into something. It went by several names before it was finally fashioned into Lido Isle in during the 1920's. Names ranged from Electric, Pacific Electric, and Huntington Island. You'll see remnants of that early legacy of "electric" along this section of coast from Seal Beach on the north through Sunset Beach and ending in Newport where the train route stopped near the Balboa Pavilion.

 

The fully residential community with a homeowner association that collects assessment fees, grants island homeowners (just under 2,000) membership in Lido Isle Yacht Club. There are other yacht clubs in Newport Beach (the oldest is said to be Balboa Yacht Club), and plenty of passion for boating.

Lido Island, one of a handful of islands that comprise Newport Beach's harbor area, is connected by a bridge from Lido Village where automobile and foot traffic pass and gain access. With nearly everyone on the island geared toward boats and yachts, most residents own some sort of seafaring vessel or even just a kayak for boating the bay in addition to their automobile collections.

While driving along Lido Isle with its limited public parks and tiny beaches, the most enjoyable part of the journey is the views, looking across several bays to see familiar sights. Restaurants along Pacific Coast Highway are visible from one side of the channel. Lido Village and Balboa peninsula can be seen the other direction.

Lido does contain some limited or "no view" residential properties, with the finest lots sporting water frontage and boat docks. Homeowners with the west facing water views enjoy sunsets that are breathtaking, as shown above. The vision to re-create the Italian lifestyle was seen throughout Southern California during the early 1900's. Venice, Naples and Lido were played out realities of that concept. In Lido, it was developer W. K. Parkinson who created this Mediterranean paradise where tall palm trees sway ever so gently in the afternoon breeze.

 

If everything seems almost perfect in lot layout, again you can thank or blame fantasy island creator Parkinson, who purchased the land and built his dream in 1923 after paying $45,000 for the property. Credited with designing a master-planned community (so prominent today in the surrounding neighborhoods of Irvine and South Orange County),  the visionary spent money on esthetics by adding underground wiring.  In stark comparison, take a drive to nearby Balboa Island to see what effect the utility poles have on the appearance of a similarly formed island that features a variety of home styles. Compared to Lido Island's uniform Mediterranean Revival Style architecture, some prefer the character and ambience of the latter, which grew into a tourist destination for day-trippers (there are not hotels on Balboa Island, but there are shops and restaurants.)


For tourists, there's not much going on and Lido doesn't necessarily rank as a place to visit. Your best views of Lido Island will likely be seen from the air on a jet that flies into or out of Orange County Airport located a few miles east in Santa Ana. The aerial images often confuse, as many mistake this island for the more touristy, popular Balboa Island.

 

Huntington Beach < Newport Beach > Laguna Beach

 

Lido Island Newport Beach OC Beaches

lido island sunset
lido island boats

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