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So Cal Boat Parade of Lights

HP5A4347It’s a California holiday tradition. Rain or shine, colorful boat parades will be lighting up harbors up and down the coast almost until Santa comes down the chimney.

Most of the parades take place this weekend. So, bundle up and watch twinkling lights glowing off the water, as festively decorated boats and yachts decked out with Christmas trees, candy canes and even a Singing Santa or two make our coastline extra merry.

Parades in Dana Point and Ventura Harbor run tonight and tomorrow night ( Fri-Sat Dec. 12-13 2014). Marina del Rey and Redondo Beach host their parades Saturday night (Dec. 13). I am your friendly announcer in Burton Chace Park, in Marina del Rey (to get there, take Mindanao until it ends in the Marina).  Parking is free in the County lots, so plan to arrive early to get a spot (well before 5pm). Fireworks kick off the Marina del Rey Christmas Boat Parade at 5:55pm.

'Santa's Helpers' assist boat parade announcers  Lisa & Mickey Lazslo with holiday carol singalongs at Burton Chace Park, Marina del Rey.

‘Santa’s Helpers’ assist boat parade announcers Lisa & Mickey Lazslo with holiday carol singalongs at Burton Chace Park, Marina del Rey.

Sunday in Santa Barbara, it’s an all afternoon affair – Santa’s Village on Stearns Wharf will keep kids of all ages busy until colorful vessels parade along the breakwater.

Starting on Tuesday, December 17th, head to Orange County for the granddaddy of Southern California boat parades. Hundreds of boats and yachts are expected to participate in the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade, which runs for five nights. This parade has been going on for more than 100 years. See Newport Harbor packed with watercraft, from kayaking Santa to dancing elves. Boat owners go all out for this parade, it’s not uncommon to see $70,000 worth of decorations lighting up each boat!

Saturday, December 21st, is the Naples Holiday Boat Parade in Long Beach. The parade starts at 6pm, but nearby streets close at 5pm, so plan to arrive early.

If you plan ahead, you might still be able to get a reservation at a waterside restaurant with a view. But, it can be just as much fun to watch the parade outdoors, it’s free and what a fun family Christmas activity!

Click here for details on the Christmas Boat Parades across the Southland.

Traffic411 Insider’s Tip: Dress warmly – it might feel cooler than the temperature outside sitting waterside to view the parade.




Retro Road Trip: Route 66


True to the song, Route 66 enthusiasts can get plenty of kicks in Seligman, Arizona. The main drag of this small town is a blast to the past of the days when Americans loaded the family in the Oldsmobile or Chevrolet to see the U.S.A. When … [Continue reading]

Jalama Beach: Off the Beaten Path

Jalama Beach in Lompoc is one of Southern California's hidden gems. Miles of uncrowded pristine coastline. (photo by Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411)

Nestled in a cove at the southern end of Vandenberg Air Force Base, just above Point Conception, is a gem of a beach and camping site, Jalama Beach! My boyfriend and I visited Jalama (pronounced 'huh-LAH-muh') in an effort to beat a recent early … [Continue reading]

Wine & Art Fans Love Santa Barbara’s “2nd Saturdays”

The Santa Barbara Art Foundry hosted a wine reception during the Funk Zone Art Walk in August. I enjoyed looking at their artwork, including several Erte statues. (Photo: Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411)

Looking for a fun one-day getaway on Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner? Check out "The Funk Zone Art Walk" in Santa Barbara. It takes place on the second Saturday of every month in the 'Funk Zone,' a renovated industrial area that's now home to … [Continue reading]

Do You Waze?

Waze is a free app that uses mobile crowdsourcing to provide driving directions and route users around traffic jams (Photo credit: Waze)

The Waze real time traffic navigation app has almost made driving fun! I've been commuting at rush hour recently (I don't know how anyone does this everyday!) and, when I log on each morning, Waze offers up the most congestion route and provides the … [Continue reading]

Santa Monica Daycations


A great thing about living in Southern California is you don't have to travel far to at least FEEL like you are on vacation, even if it's only for a few hours. Santa Monica is a favorite quick getaway for me.   Walking in Palisades Park with … [Continue reading]

Cliffside Respite: Wayfarers Chapel

The architecture of Wayfarers Chapel in Rancho Palos Verdes showcases the church's gorgeous cliffside setting (Photo Traffic411/Ken Pfeiffer)

You might feel as if you are in Big Sur along the Northern California coast when you visit Wayfarers Chapel in Rancho Palos Verdes. The glass church perched atop a seaside cliff is surrounded by tall pine trees and other trees, lush plants and … [Continue reading]

Get High on New Las Vegas Ride

TheHigh Roller in Las Vegas is the world's tallest observation wheel, located on The LINQ, a new entertainment & dining arcade. (Photo Peggy Miles/Traffic411)

Now anyone can be a high roller in Las Vegas. Just hop aboard Sin City's newest tourist attraction, the High Roller.  The High Roller is the world's tallest observation wheel (550 feet tall). It  opened this Spring (2014) near the Flamingo Hilton, … [Continue reading]

Tours: Wild Ways to See Santa Barbara

Guests on the Santa Barbara Land Shark tour get to see the city by land and by sea without leaving the amphibious bus. Here's a shot of Stearn's Wharf.

Spending spring break or summer vacation in Santa Barbara? There are some adventurous city tours you wouldn't expect to find in this upscale stretch of Pacific coastline nicknamed the 'American Riviera.' Santa Barbara Land Shark You'll see … [Continue reading]

So Cal Resortist: Live like a Billionaire

Hit the beach at Terranea Resort in Los Angeles.  You don't need to be a guest to explore the grounds at this seaside luxury resort. There are also plenty of trails in the area for hikers to explore (Photo Traffic411/Pfeiffer)

The Terranea Resort and Trump National Golf Course in Rancho Palos Verdes sit atop gorgeous stretch of cliffside coastline. These world-class properties are not far from the bustling Port of Los Angeles but, when you're there, you'll feel like you're … [Continue reading]