Winter wonderland takes its allure to the water once again for one of Southern California’s must-experience events of the season. A holiday tradition dating all the way back to 1908, the boat parades have touched the hearts of SoCal residents for generations through its spectacle of colorful lights, music, and entertainment.
Coastal communities from Venice to Newport play host to their own parades complete with friendly competition and awards. Whether you choose to spend the evening on foot along the shore, aboard the deck of a charter boat, or from inside a waterfront restaurant, you won’t miss out on the exceptional views of this magical night. Here are the five holiday boat rides that topped our list:
Dana Point | Dana Point Harbor Boat Parade of Lights
When: Friday, Dec. 7; Saturday, Dec. 8; Friday, Dec, 14; Saturday, Dec. 15; 7:30 pm
Where: Dana Point Harbor, 34555 Golden Lantern, Dana Point
It’s Lights, Camera, Action! for Dana Point’s “A Hollywood Holiday” theme complete with open houses, Strolling Jr. Carolers, and Boat Rides With Santa on select evenings throughout December.
Marina Del Rey | 50th Annual Marina Del Rey Boat Parade
When: Saturday, Dec. 8; 6-8 p.m.
Where: Main channel of the Marina
Venice Canals | Venice Canals Holiday Boat Parade
When: Sunday, Dec. 16; 4:30 p.m.
Where: Venice Canals
The Venice Canals provide an especially charming experience with historic bridges decked out for the season and onlookers spilling out from house gatherings close to the water’s edge.
Newport Beach | 104th Annual Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade
When: Wednesday, Dec. 19 – Sunday, Dec. 23; 6:30-9 p.m.
Where: Bay Island
All of Newport Harbor will be lit up for five consecutive nights as the city celebrates it’s Surf, Sand and Santa theme with the help of beautiful multi-million dollar yachts, kayaks, canoes, and other small boats.
Redondo Beach | King Harbor Christmas Boat Parade
When: Saturday, Dec. 15; 5 p.m.
Where: King Harbor Marina, 280 Yacht Club Way, Redondo Beach
Golden Globe nominated actress Bo Derek will help usher in this year’s “A Christmas Wish” theme as the evening’s Grand Marshal.