As the home to SeaWorld and an incredible beachfront location, Mission Bay is one of San Diego's most exciting neighborhoods. A visit here is worth it at any time of year, but come mid-December, this is when the bay really shines. Boat owners spend weeks getting their vessels ready for the big night by carefully stringing lights across the bows and masts. All the hard word pays off when the lights are switched on, and the ships make their way across the water to create a mesmerizing holiday display. The evening culminates in a wondrous fireworks display that soars high above the bay with the boats glowing below.
Make sure to plan ahead and get to Mission Bay early. This sparkling boat parade kicks off at 7 pm from Quivira Basin, and there are several great viewpoints to see the boats. A few top spots are from Crown Point, the east side of Vacation Island or the west side of Fiesta Island. Best of all, this popular tradition is totally free and open to everyone.