It's older than the Macy's T-Day Parade and the tree lighting at Rockefeller Center. Charting a 14-mile route through Newport Harbor, the 101st Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade kicks off on Wednesday, December 16 at 6:30PM and runs nightly until Sunday, December 20th. It is said to be the longest-running holiday boat parade and no doubt is one of the biggest, with more than 100 vessels "decked out" in holiday finery.
You'll see everything from canoes and kayaks to million dollar yachts wend their way throughout the scenic harbor. The show is free and viewing areas are available on public beaches on Balboa Peninsula, at the Fun Zone, and on Balboa Island. And several restaurants and watering holes along the waterfront offer prime viewing (reservations advised). (And while you're in SoCal, don't forget about the great winter birdwatching, which I wrote about last winter.)
For free, kid-friendly fun, you can't beat this wonderful Southern California tradition.
Details: For more info on the parade, including viewing spots, click here. For lodging and dining info, click on the Newport Beach tourism website.