The Ultimate Guide on where to watch the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade 2023

The Ultimate Guide on where to watch the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade 2023

The Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade is a spectacle like no other. Its dazzling display of illuminated boats and yachts cruising the Newport Harbor has become a must-see holiday event in Southern California. While there are countless spots to catch this maritime extravaganza, a few locations offer an unparalleled viewing experience. Here's the insider's guide to the best places to watch the parade:

Lido Marina Village:

  • Views: Lido Marina Village offers a panoramic view of the harbor, making it an ideal spot to see the boats up close.
  • Atmosphere: With its blend of upscale boutiques, chic cafes, and waterfront dining, Lido Marina offers a perfect combination of holiday vibes and a stylish setting.
  • Tips: Arrive early to secure a spot at one of the waterfront restaurants or cafes. Enjoy a leisurely dinner while waiting for the parade to pass by.
  • Our Top Favorite Restaurants: Nobu, Zinque, Lido Bottle Works

Balboa Island:

  • Views: The public docks and bayfront walkways around Balboa Island give spectators an up-close view of the boats as they make their circuit.
  • Atmosphere: The cozy island vibe, with its quaint homes and twinkling holiday decorations, adds to the charm of the parade.
  • Tips: Consider walking around the island beforehand to enjoy the holiday lights and decorations. Also, grabbing a Balboa Bar or Frozen Banana from one of the local shops is a must!
  • Our Top Favorite Restaurants:  If you go extra early, try one of our favorites: Royal Hen, Basilic, or Snipe Island.

Waterfront Restaurants:

  • Views: The stretch of restaurants along the Miracle Mile presents a fantastic elevated view of the parade and Lido Village.
  • Atmosphere: Pair the parade with fine dining, as many restaurants here offer special parade menus and cocktails.
  • Tips: Make a reservation in advance! Due to the event's popularity, spots can get filled up quite quickly. A window seat or outdoor patio spot is gold here.
  • Our Top Favorite Restaurants: Louis by the Bay, Billy's, The Winery, Nobu at Lido Village, A+O Balboa Bay Club

Newport Harbor Yacht Club

  • Views: As one of the premier yacht clubs in the region, NHYC offers an impeccable view of the parade.
  • Atmosphere: The club's elegant setting and maritime legacy set the tone for a sophisticated viewing experience.
  • Tips: This is a members-only spot. However, if you know a member, this is the time to cash in that favor for an invite!

Balboa Yacht Club:

  • Views: Situated right on the harbor's edge, BYC provides a frontline view of the parade.
  • Atmosphere: With its rich nautical history and ambiance, the Balboa Yacht Club is another elite spot to soak in the parade.
  • Tips: Again, this is a members-only location. If you're fortunate enough to have connections, don't miss out on this prime spot.

A Boat or Duffy:

  • Views: What better way to experience the boat parade than being on a boat yourself? You'll be part of the action, surrounded by the lights and festivities.
  • Atmosphere: The intimate setting of a boat offers a unique, personalized viewing experience.
  • Tips: Rent a Duffy (electric boat) or charter a boat in advance. Make sure to deck out your boat with lights and decorations to join in the festive spirit!

The Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade is a magical event, and the viewing experience can be elevated depending on where you choose to watch. Whether you opt for a chic dinner at a waterfront restaurant, the cozy charm of Balboa Island, or the exclusivity of the yacht clubs, you're in for a night of mesmerizing lights and festive cheer. Remember to plan in advance, dress warmly, and immerse yourself in the holiday spirit of Newport Beach!
For more information about the boat parade, check out our INSIDER'S GUIDE TO THE ANNUAL NEWPORT BEACH CHRISTMAS BOAT PARADE

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