One of the best part of the holidays is seeing all the Christmas lights up. Here’s a list of some of the best places to go around Southern California.
LOS ANGELES COUNTY:
Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills
Twinkle lights and red ribbons adorn the trees, lavish holiday displays decorate the shop windows, poinsettias are planted in the center divider, and the infamous Pretty Woman hotel, The Regent Beverly Wilshire, is bejeweled with lights and interior decorations. Make a day of it and stop in for Afternoon Tea at the Regent. The hotel has a Holiday Desk available to answer questions concerning their festivities.
Westlake Village Inn, Westlake Village
Thousands of twinkle lights bring holiday cheer to this charming European-style inn, set on seventeen acres in Westlake Village. Christmas trees and poinsettias are scattered throughout the property, creating a winter wonderland. Take advantage of one of their winter overnight specials and catch live entertainment every Friday and Saturday evening in Bogie’s Night Club & Bar. Or, just stop in for dinner at Le Cafe European Bistro.
Winterlit Celebration, Santa Monica
Elaborate light displays of Christmas trees, jutting icebergs, and icicles serve as the background for strolling carolers, a visit from Santa Claus and even a snowfall on opening day.
Christmas Tree Lane, Altadena
Turn off your headlights and drive through three very long blocks of large trees sweeping over the street, highly decorated with colored lights. I’ve been told this is very worth the drive.
Balian House, Altadena
Home to the famous ice cream manufacturer, this estate sits on 3.5 acres and is decorated with 10,000 colored lights and numerous holiday depictions.
Christmas Tree Lane, San Marino
This is the sister street to Christmas Tree Lane in Altadena. Said to be even more spectacular than the Altadena display of lights, this street is backlit with estate homes, whose homeowners have gone all out for the holidays. Meander the streets of San Marino and enjoy the sites, then continue on to Old Pasadena for a respite. There you will find a cup of hot cocoa or a full meal nestled amidst the season’s decorations.
Christmas Tree Lane, Long Beach
Daisy Avenue between Willow Street & Pacific Coast Highway
From Mid-December. Celebrating Daisy Avenues 23 lighted and decorated Christmas trees. Musical entertainment is featured on weekends.
Canals of Naples, Long Beach
Cruise the enchanting canals of Naples in an authentic gondola while viewing the intricately decorated homes along the waterfront. This attraction begins to book in July for the holidays.
Candy Lane, Woodland Hills
An eight-square-block area becomes a celebration of lights and figures. The 5 south to the 405 south to the 101 west, exit Winetka, make a right and then an immediate right onto Martha Street. Come during the week, as weekends are very busy. Most amazing, elaborate displays you’ve ever seen.
Queen Mary Tree Lighting Ceremony, Long Beach
This is a great opportunity to board an elegant ocean liner. In celebration of the season, visitors may board with just a canned food donation. Musical performances, a holiday sing-a-long and refreshments will take place on the Sun Deck.
Old Towne Orange
Considered the antique capitol of Southern California, this little town is an absolute delight to the eye at Christmas. Adorned with holiday ribbons, wreaths and twinkling lights, the shopkeepers have directed their attention to exquisite displays in their shop windows. Christmas carolers can be found strolling the streets until a few days before Christmas. For a great holiday light display of private homes, follow Cambridge St. from the Plaza.
The Disneyland Resort is traditionally sprinkled with extra pixie dust during the holidays to become a winter wonderland, “The Merriest Place on Earth.” The diverse offerings at the parks include the “Believe-in Holiday Magic” fireworks show with falling snow, a Christmas fantasy parade, the ever-popular Electrical Parade (a procession of nearly a half million twinkling lights), thousands of dazzling decorations and lights throughout the Resort. “It’s a Small World” has been transformed into an enchanting Christmas atmosphere. With over 300,000 glittery lights decorating the exterior, 300 animated “Children of the World” sing favorite Christmas songs.
Knott’s Berry Farm, Buena Park
Magically transformed for the holidays into “Knott’s Merry Farm,” brimming with the season’s brightest shopping, dining and entertainment.
The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel, Dana Point
With over 35,000 red lights on a 50-foot Noble Fir, you can’t miss this Christmas tree as you approach the property. There are more than 300,000 lights spread around the estate and two nutcrackers stand in the lobby to greet visitors as they enter. At the bottom of the grand staircase, you’ll find a seven foot tall Gingerbread House, complete with cuckoo clock.
Cruise of Lights, Huntington Beach
Forty-five minute narrated boat cruises glide past the homes along Huntington Harbor. Boats, docks and homes twinkle in stunning light displays as they vie to win trophies.
The Mission Inn, Riverside
This historic hotel holds an annual Festival of Lights with over 2,000,000 lights and 250 full-size animated characters on display. Dickens carolers stroll through the lobby Sunday thru Thursday and carriage rides are available encircling the inn. Walk off an incredible dining experience by exploring the many passageways and courtyards of this amazing landmark. Coordinate your visit with the spectacular Festival of Trees A little too far for you to drive? As part of the festivities, they offer a variety of room packages.
Wildlights, Palm Desert
Illuminated animal sculptures light up the night at the Living Desert. A model train exhibit, visit from Santa Claus, and live entertainment round out the fun.
SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY:
Christmas in the Village – Tree Lighting Ceremony, Big Bear
Santa and Mrs. Claus are present for an evening of caroling, the tree lighting ceremony and entertainment.
Oxnard’s Christmas Tree Lane
Located in the Oxnard Historical District, which runs on “F” and “G” Streets, from 5th to First Streets.
Channel Islands Harbor
Ride aboard the Channel Islands Harbor Water Taxi to view the bright lights and holiday decorations of the residents in Channel Islands Harbor.
Post Published on December 21, 2010. Photo by Caroline Tran