Southern California residents are able to enjoy a special treat at Christmas time the inlanders don’t get. Floating parades of lights in our many harbors and bays.
There are several Christmas Boat Parades in Los Angeles and down in Orange County. We have rounded these up for you. Some of these have already passed, but many are yet to come and they will all be happening year after year.
Updated for Christmas 2019
Orange County residents have it a little better than Angelenos. While the Holiday Boat Parades in Los Angeles are one night affairs, the ones in Orange County are multiple night parades.
Be sure to head to your Christmas parade of choice early. Traffic can be heavy and parking scarce on parade nights. You will also want to secure a good viewing spot ahead of the crowd! You’ll also want a good camera capable of capturing the beauty of the boats decked out for Christmas. These are the ones I use and recommend. They also make great Christmas gifts for the photographer on your list!
Marina Del Rey Holiday Boat Parade
The Marina del Rey parade happens on December 14th 2019 and is one of the best. It’s a full day packed with a Snow Wonder Day where snow sides are put in for the kids during the daylight hours. Then at 5:55 pm is a fireworks display and at 6:00 pm the Holiday Boat Parade begins. Click the links to see the Marina Del Rey Fireworks and the Marina Del Rey Holiday Boat Parade.
- Burton Chace Park, 13650 Mindanao Way, Marina del Rey (Music, commentary, and judging)
- Fisherman’s Village, 13755 Fiji Way, Marina del Rey (View from along the channel or from one of the restaurants with a waterfront view)
Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade
If you missed the earlier boat parades, you can still make it to see the beautiful Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade. It happens on multiple dates fat approximately 6:30 p.m. each night from December 18 – 22 2019. The parade starts off at the Tip of Lido Isle at 6:30 pm and finishes at 9 p.m. The Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade is in its 111th year!
- Marina Park
- On the bay side of Balboa Peninsula from 18th Street to the end of Bay Avenue
- Anywhere along the water on Balboa Island
- Along the Pacific Coast Highway between Balboa Bay Club and Riverside Drive
- Along the water on Lido Isle
LA Harbor Holiday Afloat
This beautiful Holiday boat parade takes place in the main channel of the Port of Los Angeles. Now in its 56th year, Angelenos enjoy watching beautifully decorated boats parade through he water in celebration of the Holiday season. The parade of boats starts at 6:00 pm December 7, 2019 in the Port of LA’s East Basin.
Dana Point Boat Parade of Lights
You can view the parade free from anywhere in the harbor, or make reservations at one of the waterfront restaurants to view while you eat. This year’s theme is “Tiki Holiday.”
When: Dec. 6, 7, 13 & 14 2019. Family fun starts at 4:30 and the boat parade begins at 7:30 pm.
Viewing Locations: Dana Point Harbor, 34555 Golden Lantern, Dana Point
King Harbor Boat Parade in Redondo Beach
The King Harbor parade takes place on December 14, 2019 with boats starting at 5:30 PM
The Redondo Beach Boat Parade is not as big as an affair as its northern neighbor in Marina Del Rey. There is no snow and no fireworks but it is still a fun parade. Parade vantage points include along the waterfront from King Harbor Marina to the Redondo Beach Pier.
Parking: Paid parking in the Pier Parking structure, Redondo Beach Marina and street parking.
208 Yacht Club Way, Redondo Beach, CA
Long Beach Parade of 1,000 Lights
The Long Beach Boat Parade takes place on Saturday, December 7th. The parade begins at 5:00 p.m. The parade starts outside the Shoreline Marina and the colorfully lighted boats and yachts sail past the Pine Avenue Pier, across the bay and past the Queen Mary.
The best viewing locations are in Shoreline Village, Rainbow Harbor, and the Queen Mary. Parking is available at Shoreline Village, the Aquarium of the Pacific and the Pike, metered street parking, pre-paid ticket boxes at the Downtown Marina.
Naples Christmas Boat Parade
It’s unfortunate so many of the Holiday Boat Parades in Southern California take place on the same date. Many of us love the beautiful parades so much we would like to see more than one of them! The Naples Island parade of boats in Long Beach takes place Dec. 8, 2018.
Large boats start at 6 p.m. along the peninsula. Small boats start at 6:30 p.m. from the Appian Way Bridge. Large and small boats will travel in opposite directions.
Get there early and stroll around the houses on Naples island. They have some of the most beautiful Christmas light displays to be found in Southern California.
- From the bridges and along the canals around Naples Island you can see the small boat parade.
- From the 2nd Street Bridge, Appian Way Bridge, and along Alamitos Bay Marina you can also see the larger vessels that don’t fit in the canals.
Parking: Marine lots east of Davis Bridge, metered parking at Mothers’ Beach lot off Appian Way, Marine Stadium, and 54th Street and Bayshore. Surrounding streets close at 5 p.m.
See Videos of the Holiday Boat Parades and Fireworks after the ad break
Video of the Marina Del Rey Holiday Boat Parade
Video of the Marina Del Rey Christmas Fireworks Display
This site does contain some affiliate ad links from various companies including Amazon and I do earn a small commission from qualifying purchases. I try to only recommend products and services I believe are of good value.