If you love festive holiday lights, waterfront views, and general merriment, then you definitely want to check out the 111th-annual Newport Beach Boat Parade. For over a century, the parade has drawn droves of people to Newport Harbor to see the hundreds of boats donning some of the most beautiful light displays you’ve ever seen.
You’ll find everything from humble canoes to multimillion-dollar yachts, all of which go all out to display unforgettably unique and extravagant holiday lights and decorations, which include special effects, themes, and narratives. There are also fireworks displays, contests for the best decorations, and boundless waterfront houses boasting beautiful lights of their own, so it’s pretty much impossible not to have a good time at the parade.
The event takes place from December 18th-22nd, beginning at 6:30 pm each night, and there are a number of different ways to experience it. If you want to fully immerse yourself in the action, then you can reserve a spot on one of the boat parade cruises being offered by various boating companies.
One of the most popular cruises is hosted by Davey’s Locker. Your ticket, which costs $36 for adults and $32 for juniors, lets you hop aboard a fully decorated ship and join the parade. You’ll cruise along the water for an hour, checking out all of the other boats in the parade in addition to the many decorated houses that you’d likely miss if you weren’t viewing by boat.
However, if you’d prefer to view the parade on land, there are plenty of options for you too. Among the various public viewing locations is the 10.5-acre Marina Park, which is the largest public viewing area on the parade route and offers the most parking options.
But if you’d prefer to nosh on some delicious grub while taking in the holiday beauty, then you can book a reservation at one of the waterfront restaurants along the route, like Harborside or Nobu, and check out the parade while enjoying a delectable dinner. This guide shows you which restaurants offer the best views and at what time you can expect to see the parade.
You can find the answers to any questions you might have here, including a detailed map of the parade route and the times that the boats are expected to pass by. Regardless of how you see it, the parade is definitely a holiday experience you won’t soon forget.
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