Holiday lights cruises have been going on since the 4th, but Wednesday through the 21st is a delightful spectacle that manages to back up Pacific Coast Highway to no end. Yes, the boat parades are baaack! This year, Leslie (This is 40) Mann and Mark (Sugar Ray) McGrath are grand marshals. Don't question, just roll with it.
If you plan on subjecting yourself to the hectic holiday festivities, look no further. We were given some useful restaurant advice to make navigating your evening that much smoother. Six locations in close proximity to those coveted views are offering special menus for all nights of the parade. Click on the names in each description to link to more detailed information.
A & O Kitchen + Bar, within the Balboa Bay Resort, offers first come, first serve seating in their gastropub. Smart, considering everyone else is likely booked up by the time you read this.
Billy's at the Beach has a three-course, prix-fixe, plus four seating times to guarantee a glimpse. We can't seem to locate a dollar amount, so call for specifics.
The local Hornblower Cruises has fancy dinners boarding at 6 p.m. Wednesday is already sold out, so inquire about other nights.
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Near the Balboa Island Ferry, that boat known as Newport Landing has multiple options. A $26 pre-parade seating is less than half the cost of their prime time reservations.
Waterline, an upscale experience within the Balboa Bay Resort, will have a $70 trio of courses.
Lastly, The Winery Restaurant & Bar will serve a $139 ($49 for kids) dinner menu from 5:30-8:30 p.m. each parade night. We admit to noshing on that roasted vegetable tower. They are easily the most expensive. Oh, but that view!