Experience the holidays in a way that is unique to Florida.
Coastal communities across the Sunshine State celebrate the season with amazing holiday boat parades – a tradition that is dearly embraced. Some residents go all out with their designs – think synchronized lights and huge inflatables – while others keep it simple.
Exploring the Florida suburbs over the next few weeks? Be sure and add these jaw-dropping holiday boat parades to your must-see list.
Palm Beach Holiday Boat Parade (North Palm Beach and Jupiter, FL)
December 3, 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Jupiter is a boat lover’s dream. This laid-back beach town is situated on an Atlantic Ocean inlet and features miles of white sandy beaches and waterways. The parade starts at the North Palm Beach marina just across the water from the Palm Beaches’ only state park. Holiday boats make their way up the Intracoastal Waterway from North Palm Beach for this festive annual tradition. The parade ends at the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse where everyone can enjoy a spectacular firework show.
Waterfront restaurants offer some of the best views for this parade. See if you can book a table at Waterway Cafe, Charlie and Joe’s, Square Grouper Tiki Bar, U-Tiki Beach or find a spot along the scenic Jupiter Riverwalk.
Palm Valley Boat Parade (Palm Valley and Ponte Vedra Beach, FL)
December 3, 6:00pm – 8:30pm
Just a short drive from Jacksonville, Ponte Vedra Beach is a charming seaside town on the scenic A1-A. This beachy community is home to world-famous golf course TPC Sawgrass (where THE PLAYERS PGA Championship happens) — but it’s also a major boating hub.
Many North Floridians look forward to the annual Palm Valley Boat Parade which travels from Palm Valley to Ponte Vedra Beach for a grand finale firework display. Residents gather under the Palm Valley Bridge and at restaurants along the Intracoastal Waterway like Valley Smoke Restaurant for the best views. Take note of your favorites so you can cast your vote at the parade ends.
The Boynton Beach Holiday Boat Parade (Boynton Beach and Delray Beach, FL)
December 9, 6:30pm
Boynton Beach, which locals call the “Gateway to the Gulfstream,” offers year-round seaside recreational activities. Located just north of Delray Beach, this town is a hotspot for snorkeling, fishing and waterfront dining. Some of these eateries, like Banana Boat and Two Georges Waterfront Grille, are prime spots to watch The Boynton Beach Holiday Boat Parade. The event kicks off in Lantana and heads south past Hypoluxo before ending in Delray Beach where the little ones can see Santa.
CHAOS Greater Pompano Beach Holiday Boat Parade (Pompano Beach, Lighthouse Point and Deerfield Beach, FL)
December 9, 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Lighthouse Point, with its palm-tree-lined streets and turquoise waters, is a charming small town with miles of deep water canals. Named for the iconic Hillsboro Lighthouse, this suburban community is a favorite with boaters who enjoy easy access to both the Hillsboro Inlet and the Atlantic Ocean. The 60th annual CHAOS Greater Pompano Beach Holiday Boat Parade travels from Lake Santa Barbara in Pompano Beach, through Lighthouse Point and ends with plenty of fanfare in Deerfield Beach.
More than 50 festive boats will travel up the Intracoastal Waterway on December 9 and prime viewing locations include Alsdorf Park, Sullivan Park, Sands Harbor Resort & Marina waterfront restaurant and Two Georges at the Cove.
Christmas Boat Parade (Naples, FL)
December 10, 6:15pm – 8:30pm
Did you know Naples is connected to the Gulf of Mexico? This little slice of paradise is famous for its lush tropical landscape, luxury shops and world-class golf courses. After playing a round, head to Naples Bay to join in the annual boat parade tradition. Boats of all sizes join in the festivities which start at Tin City Docks. The Boathouse on Naples Bay and Bayview Park offer some of the best parade views in town.
Want to get out on the water? Take a special holiday parade cruise to catch the sunset, look for dolphins and cheer on the festive boats.
The Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
December 10, 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Fort Lauderdale hosts the premier holiday boat parade in Florida. Everything from private boats to corporate megayachts join in the parade and travel along a section of the “Venice of America’s” 300 miles of canals. More than one million spectators take part in the annual celebrations which include music, over-the-top decorations and an impressive fleet of festive boats.
Tickets are on sale for the official parade viewing area in Las Olas Intracoastal Promenade Park. The Downtowner Saloon and Riverside Hotel also offer great views of the unforgettable holiday extravaganza.
Tampa Riverwalk Lighted Boat Parade (Tampa, FL)
December 17, 6:00pm
Head to Tampa for one of the largest holiday boat parades in all of Central Florida. The Tampa Riverwalk, a 2.6-mile stretch of beautiful waterfront views is the best place to watch as festive boats float along the Hillsborough River. Located in the heart of Downtown Tampa, the Riverwalk offers something for everyone from restaurants to museums and more. Settle in at Armature Works to soak in the holiday fun.
Boca Raton Holiday Boat Parade (Boca Raton, FL)
December 17, 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Boca Raton is all about access – access to world-class golf courses, tennis courts, manicured parks, miles of beautiful beaches, arts, culture, fine dining and, of course, water access. Decked-out boats will travel along the Intracoastal Waterway, a coastal highway lined with some of the most luxurious properties in South Florida. Boca Raton residents really get into the spirit of the season and this year marks the 48th annual boat parade.
Scope out a spot before the festivities start at 6:30pm in one of the town’s waterfront parks. Red Reef Park, Silver Palm Park and Boca’s newest Wildflower Park offer some of the best views of the parade.
Don’t let the holidays stop you from exploring the suburbs. Reach out today and we’ll help you map out your next town tour complete with festive stops along the way.