Best of Broward / Palm Beach

Winterfest Boat Parade 2012: Ten Best Places to Watch It

It's offiical: the holiday season is now in full swing. Christmas on Las Olas has come and passed. The Delray christmas tree is well it. Now it's time to settle down, enjoy the parties, and get ready for the next big holiday event. The Winterfest Boat Parade is coming up Saturday, December 15. And we have a list of the ten best places to check it out.

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10. Pirate Republic Seafood Bar & Grill
Just steps from the parade's staging area, the Pirate Republic Seafood Bar & Grill is a prime spot to party the boat parade away. The restaurant is taking reservations for normal dinner service, but tables are booking up fast. However, the bar is all open seating, all night. Call ahead for table bookings or just pull up a stool at the bar.

9. Coconuts
Located just north of the mouth of the New River, Coconuts is a great spot to enjoy the boats paradin' on by. It's casual, but serves great food--including tons of fresh seafood--and has a nice selection of mixed drinks. Be forewarned, they only take reservations for parties of five or more. If you want to snag a seat at this boat parade spot, you'll either want a large party or be prepared to settle in at the bar.

8. Shooter's Waterfront Cafe
Looking for a set-price, easy option? Shooter's Waterfront Cafe is may be one of your better bets. The restaurant is selling evening table from $75 to $175 per person, depending on the table. Obviously, the more expensive tables are in closer proximity to the water. The set price includes appetizers, soup or salad, buffet dinner, dessert, and two drinks. Plus, you have the option of heading in at the time of reservation to pick out your table. 

7. The Chart House
If you're looking for some nice food and a prime view, the Chart House is a great spot to take in the festivities. The restaurant is offering table from $75 to $175 per seat, based on the table. The dinners include a salad, appetizer, entree, and dessert. Drinks are not included. For reservations, call Kathleen between 10am and 3 pm.

6. Briny Irish Pub
This slightly out of the way downtown bar is right smack dab in the middle of the action for this big event. Briny Irish Pub is directly on the New River just steps from the beginning of the parade. If you're looking to score a spot in this prime location you better arrive early and expect to pay. The restaurant does not take reservations and is charging $25 per seat after 5 o'clock.

5. Benihana
Just across the intracoastal under the Commercial bridge, this Benihana has prime views of the boat parade. Starting at 6 pm, from $125 per person, guests can enjoy an hour of happy hour sushi, soup, salad, scallop appetizers, chicken fried-rice, filet mignon and lobster dinner, and a dessert. There is no outside seating, but there are awesome window views of the parade. The restaurant highly recommends stopping by in advance to pick out seats.

4. The Downtowner Saloon
Not exactly the easiest spot to find by land, the Downtowner Saloon is a fantastic place to take in views of the water. This local institution is selling seats for it's prime boat parade real estate. Seats are going for 25 bucks a piece, but if you buy four seats, you are entitled to a VIP parking spot. The restaurant is doing a champagne toast during the parade and a special customized menu. Call ahead or visit the bar for reservations.

3. Da Campo Osteria
If you're looking for swanky, this upscale waterfront spot is offering a couple different options to watch the parade in style. For $105, diners can get a four course meal. Want a window-side seat? Extra $25. For those looking to lay-back outside, Da Campo Osteria is selling off Cabanas, which can accommodate up to eight people, for $100 per person. There is no prix fixe option out there, but the restaurant will be offering appetizer platters for patrons wishing to nibble as they watch the passers-by. Call ahead for reservations

2. The Riverside Hotel
Situated directly on Las Olas Blvd, the Riverside Hotel has multiple boat show viewing options depending on how much dough you would like to spend. For $30 per person, the hotel will be offering stadium seating in the valet parking lot. Neither food, nor drinks are included, but there will be outside vendors on the premises. If you're looking to step things up a notch, for $75 per person you can attend the VIP dock party, which includes an open bar. Again, food is not included, but will be available through vendors. For those of you looking to go all out, $119 per person gives you access to the river patio party, including open bar, hors d'oeuvres, and dessert. For tickets or more information check out the website here.

1. Blue Moon Fish Co.
This local-favorite is offering a number of packages for those wishing to watch the parade. Blue Moon Fish Co. will be serving a four-course dinner throughout the restaurant. The price varies upon the seat: $150 per person on the dock, $125 per person for a patio seat, $100 per person inside, $75 per person at the bar. Reservations are currently being accepted.

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Sara Ventiera