Best Holiday Boat Parades in the South
Santa’s sleighs have been busy since Thanksgiving, by land and by sea. Although the south doesn't get blanketed by snow, this hasn’t stopped Southerner’s from creating their own version of Santa’s winter wonderland. Last week, we had the pleasure of watching the largest holiday boat parade in the world, the 40th annual Winterfest Boat Parade. With Fort Lauderdale being the Yachting Capital of the World, it was no surprise to see million dollar yachts one by one floating north on the Intracoastal Waterway decorated in colorful lights, staging live music, blasting flame throwers, carrying planes, trucks and almost everything you could imagine. More than one million people lined the Intracoastal Waterway seawalls to watch this spectacular Christmas display celebrating the holiday season in South Florida. Finding fun things to do is important to retirees when considering the best state retire. Here are a few more holiday boat parades worth seeing in the Southeast:
- Beaufort South Carolina - Light Up the Night Boat Parade floats down the Beaufort River in front of Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park, the best place to view the holiday boat parade in downtown Beaufort. The following day, Beaufort is also known for its traditional holiday street parade. Dataw Island is the closest Intercoastal Waterway marina community with access to the Beaufort River. Coosaw Point is not far from Dataw Island and has day docks with Intracoastal Waterway access for property owners.
- Charleston South Carolina - Voted in 2011 as America’s favorite city, Charleston South Carolina hosts the Parade of Boats in December. This boat parade begins in Mt. Pleasant crossing the Charleston harbor and ends at the Ashley River. Charleston SC launches its own dazzling holiday fireworks display following the holiday boat parade. Resident’s of Daniel Island have front row seats because their South Carolina coastal community’s location is just beyond the Charleston Harbor. Property owners at Kiawah Island, Seabrook Island and Wild Dunes on the Isle of Palms all have marina access to the Intracoastal Waterway leading to the Charleston Harbor.
- Chattanooga Tennessee - The Lighted Boat Parade in Chattanooga takes place in November. Before the boat parade procession begins, 300 candle lanterns are released into the Tennessee River leading the holiday boat parade. During November and December, Chattanooga celebrates the holidays with the Grand Illumination in downtown Chattanooga along the Walnut Street Bridge. More than 100 office buildings and public buildings light up the sky during the month of December. One of our favorite master planned communities in Chattanooga is Cummings Cove, home to the Black Creek Club golf course located at the base of Lookout Mountain.
- Lake Keowee South Carolina - Celebrating their 2nd Annual “Jingle All the Way” boat caroling event, residents at The Reserve at Lake Keowee enjoyed “dashing through the lake” under the moonlight sky. Instead of parade procession, four boats carried 37 singing carolers stopped at various Reserve at Lake Keowee property owners’ docks sharing ear pleasing Christmas cheer.The evening ended with residents singing around a roaring fire, roasting s’mores for dessert. Lake Keowee is one of the prettiest Western South Carolina lakes. The Reserve at Lake Keowee has a 200 slip private marina on Lake Keowee.
- Knoxville Tennessee - In December, there are three holiday boat parades in the Knoxville area. The Riverlights Festival's Boat Parade along Volunteer Landing in downtown Knoxville. Activities include live entertainment, an ice carving competition and the Golden Ladle Soup Contest. The LIGHTFEST Lighted Boat Parade at Concord Marina departs south of Knoxville on Ft Loudon Lake making a loop on the lake and then back to the marina. Live music and a street dance follows. Tellico Marina’s Lighted Boat Parade takes place on Tellico Lake, a gorgeous Eastern Tennessee lake at the base of the Great Smoky Mountains. Two of the Loudon real estate developments overlooking Tellico Lake worth considering at Tellico Village and Rarity Bay. Both Eastern Tennessee lake communities have marinas and lake access on Tellico Lake. Tellico Lake is also a navigable lake to downtown Knoxville Knoxville.
- Savannah Georgia - On Thanksgiving weekend, Savannah held its 11th annual Savannah Harbor Boat Parade of Lights. Beginning with a tree lighting ceremony and ending with a fireworks display, Savannah Georgia’s southern charm rings in the holiday season by its nautical holiday celebration. Houseboats, sailboats and yachts decorated to the hilt parade along the Savannah River. Downtown Savannah is less than 30 minutes from The Landings at Skidaway Island and The Ford Plantation. Both waterfront Savannah neighborhoods have marinas where property owner’s can navigate their boats to the downtown Savannah River via the Wilmington River. The Landings at Skidaway Island is closest Intracoastal Waterway marina community. The Ford Plantation has the Ogeechee River and provides access to the Intracoastal waterway which connects to the Wilmington River.
- Wilmington North Carolina - On Thanksgiving weekend in Wilmington North Carolina, the North Carolina Holiday Flotilla Parade traveled on the Intracoastal Waterway from Wrightsville Beach to downtown Wilmington. Celebrating 28 years, the North Carolina Holiday Flotilla now attracts more than 50,000 people to see boats of all sizes decked out in twinkle lights followed by a spectacular fireworks display. Wilmington NC is known as one of the best states to retire because of the number of outstanding master planned communities. St. James Plantation and SeaScape at Holden Plantation are two Intercoastal Waterway marina communities with quick access to downtown Wilmington NC.
If you are looking for the best cities to live in the Southeast, we have a number of boating oriented cities to suggest. Write [email protected] or call us toll free at 866.384.1799