Naples Gondola Rides
bring enchantment to any occasion, and when in Naples, you'll feel the
passion that's amore.
ABOUT NAPLES: There are about a mile's worth of canals in Naples,
comprised of a large semi-circular Rivo Alto Canal and a shorter, straight
Naples Islands Annual Boat Parade is usually held the 2nd or 3rd Saturday in
Naples, Calif. --Naples Boat Parade is usually held the second
Saturday in December. Boaters may decorate their vessels and enter the
parade. This parade attracts large crowds in and around the canals of Naples
and it is always great fun. Gondola Getaway does not book to the public for
this event, however.
The parade attracts approximately
60,000 people who can view the small boats cruise through the canals of
Naples Island and the larger vessels in the Alamitos Bay outside the island.
Decorated boats compete for prizes in this popular and fun event.
On Wednesday before
the parade (Saturday) the houses are judged for lights decorations. On
Saturday (2nd Saturday in Dec.) the Naples Boat Parade begins at 6 p.m.
Small Boat Parade begins near 2nd street bridge by the Long Beach
Yacht Club. The boats travel counter clock wise around the islands and enter
the interior Canal by the Colonnade. At that point they travel clockwise
within the canal and then exit and travel back to the Long Beach Yacht Club.
Large Boat Parade starts at 6:30 pm. The boats travel in the main
body of Alamitos Bay in a clockwise circle. You can't see the parade
from any restaurants, though the closest dining is probably at Alamitos
Landing. Free public parking begins at 3 p.m. at the Marina Parking
Lot next to Albertson's off 2nd Street near Pacific Coast Highway in Long
Beach, CA. Several groups of carolers wander around the islands by the
bridges and sing to the audiences as an added bonus to the boat parade
When in Rome, do as the Romans do. When in Naples, enjoy
the beautiful canals. The waterways are a source of entertainment in this
safe, peaceful village within the city limits of Long Beach. Children and
adults go up and down the canals in their boats, kayaks and jet skis. It
is possible for visitors to enjoy the experience in several ways. Rentals
are available at the end of the canals not far from the Belmont Shore Pier.
You can rent a boat or kayak or book a Gondola ride near Bayshore and Ocean
Boulevard by the Sailing Center.
When an editor at BEACHCALIFORNIA.COM turned 21, we decided
to have some fun. We rented the largest gondola available in Naples. We
started out with 7 interested people and an hour after announcing our plans,
had to turn away some friends as our reservations rose to 14, the maximum
occupancy for the only available gondola on this particular evening. You
are charged per person and get a break at 7. There are smaller gondolas
available for couples and small groups. For under $300 we rode along the
waterways of Naples and enjoyed one of our favorite wines from a Carmel
Valley winery, Chateau Julien, which we brought and they chilled as well
as supplying the glasses, plus a basket of bread with cheese and salami.
We lucked out and got the gondolier who loves to sing in Italian. He has
a beautiful voice and sang "Happy Birthday" in Italian, plus several other
popular tunes. A true Italian who lived in Italy for 10 years, he told
us that the Naples Gondola Getaway crew is the only U.S. crew to be invited
to an annual rowing and boating competition in Italy. He told us many interesting
things, including answering our questions. We asked what people do
in the gondolas and he asked us what they don't do. If you notice that
our gondola had 2 gondoliers seen in the photos above, one silent partner
Bring your sweater, a blanket if you like, your own soft
drinks or bottled liquor and prepare for leisure. If you are romantic,
the custom is that you must sit with your partner and kiss under every
bridge. We passed under 4 bridges and with some couples in the group and
few children to boot, there was a lot of kissing.
A kiss under every bridge
Gondola Getaways, Alamitos Bay at 5437
E. Ocean Blvd. Long Beach, CA Information: (562) 433-9595
For an insider's view, you can book an authentic gondola ride. The hour
long cruise includes a basket of food, music and a real gondolier.
You need to call and make a reservation for private tours. Boat rentals
are available, too. The closest hotels to the Gondola Getaway include many
nice Long Beach hotels such as Hyatt Regency, Queen Mary Ship, Westcoast
Long Beach Hotel, Hilton, Westin, Renaissance and several great, affordable
properties such as Best Western Golden Sails, Seaport Marina, Guesthouse
Inn, etc. Many people ask if there are any hotels on Naples Island.
Though it started out as a resort with a beautiful hotel, there are no
hotels there now.
NAPLES BOAT PARADE - Watch the artful gondolier and local sailors
with their decorated yachts cruise the islands of Naples, a section of Long
Beach near 2nd Street and Bayshore. Time: Begins after dark, approx. 6 p.m.
The Gondola rides are not available that night because their gondolas are
actually part of the parade. The parade is usually held the 2nd Saturday in
December. See the Calendar of Events for updated
Small Boat start time:
6:00 p.m. at the 2nd Street Bridge; Large Boat start time: 6:30 p.m. near
Alamitos Bay Yacht Club. Parking Alternatives: Naples Bayside Academy
(5537 The Toledo) offers parking for a donation of $10, no advanced
reservations. Gates open at 3:30 p.m. Proceeds benefit student programs.
Other Places to park include Mothers' Beach, marine lots east of Davis
Bridge, Marine Stadium, and 54th & Bayshore. Unauthorized Boats: Entry to
the canals by unauthorized boats during the parade will be restricted.
Patrol boats may deny access.
La Bella Fontana di Napoli is a three tiered
fountain (left) in a park-like setting which creates the atmosphere
of Naples, Italy. It began to flow in 1971 and has delighted
residents ever since. The fountain is at Ravenna Drive and
Corinthian Walk, in the center of a small, neighborhood traffic
circle where several streets converge.
Gondolas, Boats and Fountain
Streets and Map
Sunset on the Canal