San Diego Bay Parade of Lights


The San Diego Bay Parade of Lights is a time-honored holiday tradition brought to San Diego by the boating community. The parade will be on Sunday December 21st begining at 5:30 p.m. for the annual Parade on San Diego Bay, with more than 80 boats lavishly decorated according to a new theme each year. The San Diego Bay Parade of Lights is held two consecutive Sundays each year in  December. The Parade  proceeds from Shelter Island past Harbor Island, the Embarcadero, Seaport  Village, and Ferry Landing in Coronado. 

The parade takes approximately one  hour to one and a half hours to pass any given point along the parade route.  The approximate arrival time of the parade at various locations are:

  • Shelter Island (start of parade)       5:30 p.m.
  • Harbor Island                                 6:00 p.m.
  • The Embarcadero                          6:30 p.m.
  • Seaport Village                              7:00 p.m.
  • Ferry Landing on Coronado             7:30 p.m.

The San Diego Bay Parade of Lights  is seen by approximately 80,000 people every year. As a result, parking will be  limited in and around the Bay.  Attendees to the event are  encouraged to utilize San Diego Public Transit, such as the San Diego Trolley.  All three trolley lines and several Bus lines serve Stations with parking lots that provide convenient service to the North  Embarcadero area include Fashion Valley, Old Town and America Plaza.

To get within a short walk of Harbor Drive, take the Green Line to the Santa Fe Depot, or the Orange or Blue Line to the American Plaza stop. On Sundays, two children ages 12 and under ride free on MTS Trolley and Bus with each paid adult, and an Adult Day Pass fare is only $5 on a Compass Card.  For more  information go to

Another Alternative is to park  downtown and utilize San Diego Pedicab service for transportation to the  Embarcadero. Fares run about $1 per minute.

Metered spaces along Harbor Drive Metered – 7 Days a week
Allright Parking (Broadway &  Harbor Dr.) Paid
Seaport Village Paid (Two hours free with purchase)
Parking Lot in front of Fish Market Restaurant north of Seaport Village Metered
Harbor Island Free but limited
Shelter Island Free


One of the best places to view the  Parade is from the water! A good area for boaters wishing to view the Parade is where the Parade turns west for Coronado, near the 10th Street  Terminal.

For landlubber viewers, the north  and south ends of the Embarcadero are great areas for viewing, as well as the  pathway along Coronado as these areas tend to be less crowed. Another excellent  viewing point is the park behind Seaport Village.

If you plan on viewing the parade  from Harbor Island, get there early and be aware that parking is at a premium.

Parade of Lights



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