Long Beach CA’s Naples Island Holiday Lights Stroll – A Bike, Hike ‘n Brunch Excursion

By Richard Fox, Author, enCYCLEpedia Southern California

Naples Island lies at the east end of Long Beach (where the ocean is to the south), surrounded by Alamitos Bay.  This Italian themed-neighborhood is one of the most charming (and expensive) in the LA metro area, featuring a circular canal system and a central park with Italian fountain. Across a small bridge along 2nd Street to the west is Belmont Shore, one of the region’s hippest districts, lined with restaurants and boutiques.

During the winter holiday season, the homes lining the Naples canals outdo each other with elaborate Christmas and Hanukkah light displays, frequently featuring animated holiday themed delights such as roller coasters.  An early December boat parade around the canals has been a crowd  pleaser since the 1940’s.  Since the canals are lined with public pathways, you can take your hot cocoa and enjoy a marvelous holiday stroll to view all of the displays.

It’s best to do the holiday walk on foot. Bikes are allowed on Long Beach sidewalks, however it’s too crowded and rude to ride on the narrow paths during the holiday light season.  Or, partake in a gondola ride where you won’t see quite as much up close but will have a blast. http://www.gondolagetawayinc.com.

The Long Beach region is one of our favorite places for an easy scenic cycle, so you can take a ride on our LO1 along the ocean to downtown and the Queen Mary (see post http://wp.me/p4pOXg-6F ) and/or LO2 around Belmont Shore and Naples Island.  Upon nightfall enjoy dinner along 2nd Street in Belmont Shore or Naples Island, and an unforgettable stroll to view the holiday lights, one of our favorite activities during the season.

Cycling around the Long Beach waterfront rewards you with great bike trails and awesome scenery such as the Queen Mary, cruise ships, and Long Beach Harbor.
Daytime on lovely Naples Island with a gondola passing by.
The following photos of the canals at night are courtesy of Flickr using Creative Commons license:   https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/legalcode
Naples Boat Parade (source: Rachel Moore)
Naples Boat Parade  (source: Rachel Moore)
Along the Naples canals (source Rachel Moore).
Along the Naples canals   (source: Rachel Moore)
Along the Naples Canals (source: Rachel Moore).
A boat in the Naples canals (source: Rachel Moore)
More lights along the canals (Source: Rachel Moore)
More lights along the canals (source: Rachel Moore)
Lit trees in Alamitos Bay between Naples Isl and Belmont Shore (source: Terrell Woods)
Tree lights in Alamitos Bay between Naples Isl and Belmont Shore (source: Terrell Woods)
Check out YouTube for various takes on the holiday lights tour, such as https://youtu.be/bMa7AC2Vejo.
And don’t forget to visit the Queen Mary, decked out for the holiday season as well, and accessible via an ample bike path on a bridge over the river..

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