It's Warm in HB (except at night)
Huntington Beach, Calif. - Surf City Californians
are spraying down their palm trees as they bring out
the holiday lights to decorate their lawns and
boats. Anticipating another balmy Christmas in
Huntington Beach, the first set of warm, Santa Ana
winds arrived recently as they do each year just
around the time folks purchase a Christmas tree.
PHOTOS OF THE HOLIDAY
CRUISE or click on calendar on this page to see
specific daily Cruise of Lights events. Or see full
calendar of events.
As locals sit in the warm sand at Huntington Beach
and look over to the snow-topped San Bernardino
mountains two hours away by car, they only dream of
a white Christmas. The weather will remain warm and
sunny, most often.
"Getting in the holiday spirit is easier when you
step on a ladder to hang holiday lights with your
shorts on, sipping ice tea in the afternoon sun,"
said Craig MacDonald, of Huntington Beach. MacDonald
is one of thousands of Surf City residents who
experience the ritual of untangling strings of tiny
lights and adorning most everything in sight.
In Huntington Harbour, Huntington Beach's five
manmade islands with multi-million-dollar homes that
include docks with yachts and boats, residents often
hire a professional light installer to decorate
their estates, mansions and houses for the holiday
season. The community has contests for best home and
best boat decorations so many take the holiday on as
a challenge to come up with something creative to
catch the eye of the critical judges, some who've
been judging for over 20 years.
"What matters here is the spirit," said local
resident Sally Schwarz, a Harbour resident.
Schwarz's home enjoys a ringside seat in the large
channel near Peter's Landing (Marina). She watches
the sun go down every night over the Pacific Ocean
and in December, enjoys seeing the lighted boats
parade through the waterways of Huntington Beach.
For those visiting, it is possible to drive through
the neighborhoods of the five manmade islands to see
the lights on houses, but the best views are on the
Take a Cruise of Lights tour through Huntington
Harbour on one of the regularly scheduled boats and
to see thousands of twinkling lights, light displays
and animated figures such as snowmen, Santa Claus
and palm trees flashing in motion and reflecting on
the water. Be sure to bring a jacket because the
night air in Huntington Beach is chilly. The
likelihood of seeing snow anywhere but on the
mountains is very slim.
Huntington Beach is centrally located between Los
Angeles and San Diego and is just 10 miles from John
Wayne Airport (Orange County Airport - SNA).
Disneyland Resort in Anaheim is only 15 miles from
Huntington Beach and features a very festive holiday
display, all year long!
HUNTINGTON BEACH, CALIFORNIA enjoys
an annual event to help you get in the holiday mood.
You can cruise the waterways of Huntington Harbour
in December. If you book the Cruise of Lights Tour,
you leave the driving to someone else. The money
raised from that tour helps provide music programs
for public school children. You may also reserve you
own Duffy Boat available in Sunset Beach for hour
and two hour rentals. The electric vehicle travels
no more than 5 miles per hour in the harbor and is
like driving a golf cart. DUFFY ELECTRIC BOAT
CO. 6732 Pacific Coast Highway, Sunset Beach, CA
90742 Tel: (562) 592-3028
a boat parade (no cruise
available, must rent a boat if you don't own one). Boat Parade - Huntington Harbour
Cruise of Lights Huntington Harbour Boat Parade is
event, held in conjunction with Cruise of Lights.
a boat decorating contest open to registrants who
light their vessels and compete for awards. For two
consecutive nights, the festive boats join in a
parade that begins near Warner Avenue and heads
south, making its way through the channels of
Huntington Harbour. The Huntington Beach islands are
closed to car traffic during this event so parking
is extremely limited. Time: 5 to 8 p.m. Location:
Warner Avenue near Pacific Coast Highway. Cost: Free
Huntington Harbour Philharmonic Committee presents a themed annual narrated
boat tour through the waterways of Huntington Harbour. Visitors can see thousands of twinkling
lights on decorated boats, docks and homes. Proceeds
benefit music programs for students. Parking and
ticket location: 16821 Algonquin Street. Cost: $10-
$17. Phone: 714-840-7542 www.cruiseoflights.org
include: Don the Beachcomber, House of Brews, Sam's Seafood, Captain
Jack's, Mahe, Super Mex, Mimi's, California Pizza
Kitchen, King Neptune's and many more for after
cruise dining or eating before hand.
Cruise of Lights Links:
Cruise of Lights - HUNTINGTON BEACH - Holiday Boat Cruise
Photos of Cruise of Lights Tour
Huntington Harbour Mansion Holiday Lights
Huntington Beach December Events Calendar
Cruise of Lights Press Release
- Media Archive