Covering the dining scene in and around the OC
The 102nd annual Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade sets sail this week, and thousands of people will watch the parade from vantage points throughout the harbor.
You could opt to stand along the shore and view the vessels as they glide past your perch, but why not sit in the comfort of a waterfront restaurant and watch the passing parade while you enjoy a fabulous meal?
A handful of fine restaurants offer great parade viewing, but prime nights – Friday and Saturday – are often booked far in advance. However, many restaurants may still have openings on Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday nights, but make your reservations soon because those nights will fill up fast.
Here are our recommendations for optimum dining experiences during the Newport Harbor Christmas Boat Parade:
Balboa Bay Club & Resort / 1221 W. Coast Highway
The Balboa Bay Club & Resort offers a premier location to watch the Boat Parade, which passes the BBC after 7:30 pm. Dine in the First Cabin Restaurant or enjoy a drink in Duke’s Place Lounge and watch the parade. The beach and lawn will offer a family friendly and casual viewing experience, complete with a holiday beach BBQ. Reservations are highly recommended. Call (949) 630-4145.
Other Coast Highway Restaurant Viewing
Rusty Pelican / 2735 W. Coast Highway / (949) 642-3431
Billy’s at the Beach / 2751 W. Coast Highway / (949) 722-1100
Chart House / 2801 W. Coast Highway / (949) 548-5889
Villa Nova Restaurant / 3131 W. Coast Highway / (949) 642-7880
Balboa Peninsula Restaurant Viewing
Lido Deck / 3120 Via Oporto / (949) 673-9500
Newport Landing Restaurant, 503 E. Edgewater Ave / (949) 675-2373
Harborside Restaurant / 400 Main Street / (949) 673-4633
Note: Newport Landing and Harborside (inside the historic Balboa Pavilion) are both at the Balboa Fun Zone. Captain Mike Whitehead will return for each of the five nights of the parade with live commentary at the Newport Harbor Nautical Museum (located in the Fun Zone), so that area will be a hub of activity and could prove tricky as far as parking and dinner reservations.
For more information on Boat Parade viewing, visit the parade’s website at ChristmasBoatParade.com.