Winter in Southern California may be warmer than a lot of other places in the US, but it's certainly still merry as heck.
There are a few places around the region that are merrier than others, however, and a visit to one of them can make your Chirstmas spirit go straight through the roof.
Here are six spots in sunny Southern California that prove that the west coast does Christmas right, from trees floating on the bay to fancy boats decked out in holiday lights.
The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa
Address: 3649 Mission Inn Avenue, Riverside, CA
Why You Need To Go: The Mission Inn goes all out for the holidays, and we DO mean ALL OUT. It's an absolutely magical setting, with this already gorgeous hotel decorated to the nines in lights to the point where it's an actual annual "Festival of Lights" event. This year, they're doing a socially distanced event called "Christmas Lights At The Inn."
Skypark at Santa's Village
Address: 28950 CA-18, Skyforest, CA
Why You Need To Go: For a Christmas experience that is just a WHOLE THING, Skypark at Santa's Village is THE place to go in SoCal. It's literally a theme park based on a Christmas village. A few highlights are the Silver Bells Arena (an ice skating rink), tons of festive shops, Santa's Workshop (a craft-making experience), as well as various special events occurring throughout the holiday season.
Fresno's Christmas Tree Lane
When: December 1 through 25, every year
Address: Entrance at Van Ness Boulevard and Shields Avenue in Fresno, CA
Why You Need To Go: Every December for 98 years, North Van Ness Boulevard has been illuminated in lights and covered in Christmas trees, giving visitors a near two-mile long stretch of Christmas decor to stroll through (this year, there's no walking allowed due to COVID but you can still drive through it!).
Long Beach's Floating Christmas Trees
When: Thanksgiving through New Year's Day, every year
Address: Long Beach, CA
Why You Need To Go: Since 1949, Christmas trees have floated on the water in Alamitos Bay in Long Beach. The trees turn on at 5:30 p.m. and stay lit through midnight, every night.
The ENTIRE Town Of Solvang
Address: Solvang, California
Why You Need To Go: A trip to Solvang is like a trip to Denmark without leaving California, and while it's lovely all times of the year, it's particularly magical during Christmastime. The quaint little city goes all out with its holiday decor, and the village-like atmosphere will make you feel like you're in a European Christmas market.
Address: Newport Beach, California
Why You Need To Go: Every year (except for 2020, unfortunately) Newport Beach has its annual Christmas Boat Parade, where people decorate a bunch of boats and yachts up in holiday lights and, well, parade them around. There's also the Ring of Lights event, where homeowners around the harbor decorate their houses to the nines in holiday lights and decor, and THIS is still happening.