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Naples Christmas Boat Parade: A Holiday Lights Extravaganza in Long Beach

Thousands upon thousands of twinkling lights reflected off the moonlit canals. The soothing warmth of a peppermint mocha in your hand. The excitement of quality holiday time with the ones you love. Nothing says Christmas like the Naples Christmas Boat Parade in Long Beach, CA. This annual Christmas Boat Parade, to be held on Naples Island December 17th, is one of the annual Christmas activities I look forward to most. I was first introduced to this Long Beach Christmas time tradition about six years ago by a tried and true girlfriend as well as fellow CSU Long Beach alumnus. The promise of a parade of twinkling Christmas lights on the water, a stroll among the ridiculously (in a good way!) decorated houses, and the chance to meet my girlfriend’s new man was too much to turn down. While I wasn’t all that thrilled with the new guy (Memo to men: A gentleman DOES help a lady out of a boat), overall it was a fantastic display of Christmas spirit, and I vowed to make it one of my own personal traditions.

Boat Decorated with Christmas Lights

The houses and boats on Naples Island, known for having one of the best displays of holiday lights in Southern California, are decorated to the nines using a theme chosen by the Naples Island Association. (Think Magic of Christmas Past in 2009 or this year’s TV Land Holidays, paying tribute to residents’ favorite holiday specials.) Those residents who like a little healthy competition are encouraged to enter their decorated houses to be judged and receive awards such as Best Use of Lights and Best Window Display.  While taking in the sight of Naples Island bedecked in Christmas cheer, you can also watch the beautifully decorated boats parade around the island. The many canals and bridges lend themselves perfectly to this display and many of the residents open their doors to guests of the festivities with holiday parties. And while these residents obviously don’t offer lodging, the Ayres Hotel Seal Beach does and it is just minutes away from this holiday event. So do yourself a favor and check out my pick for one of the most entertaining holiday events in the area. It will surely keep you on Santa’s nice list!

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About 3 years ago by ayreshotels

6 Responses to Naples Christmas Boat Parade: A Holiday Lights Extravaganza in Long Beach


    I have always wanted to see this boat parade,now with a date and time I hope and pray we can make it happen :^) thank you ,Deborah

    December 6, 2011
  2. Tiffany Says:

    Walkin through the canals at Naples in Long Beach has been our family tradition at Christmas since the 1980’s. Now, I continue the tradition with my son each year. The smell of the ocean, gorgeous houses all filled with the holiday spirit, covered in lights and other seasonal decorations. It brings memories back of when I was a little girl, running ahead of the adults to be the first to find the best scene on a lawn or prettiest lights on the house/boat, and run back to tell everyone they “have to see this house”! Those feelings of joy seem so near to me as I write this, and it’s because each year the area seems to go back in time at the holidays, crisp clean air and festive residents putting on a show for everyone to enjoy.

    December 6, 2011
  3. Amy Lee Duprey Says:

    I love the Naples boat parade! Everything is so beautiful with the lights and festive feeling in the air. I hope everyone gets the chance to see this at least once in their lifetime.

    December 6, 2011
  4. Linda Beeson Says:

    We have a boat parade here in Ventura and in Oxnard. Last year was our first year to take it in and it was so pretty!

    December 6, 2011
  5. Sheila M Says:

    The Naples Christmas parade is the best. I have stayed at the Ayres in Seal Beach in order to attend the parade with my young daughter. It is an easy drive from Seal Beach to Naples and the nicest hotel near Long Beach/Naples, without a doubt!

    December 8, 2011
  6. Sheila M Says:

    The best holiday tradition in the city of Ventura happens every year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving when Santa comes to town on a fully restored steam train engine. The train is decorated beautifully and Santa hands out candy canes. It is just wonderful!

    December 8, 2011


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