Griffith Park, Los Feliz CANCELLED FOR 2012 Exit Golden State Fwy (5) at Los Feliz and head west. Turn right on Crystal Springs Drive and proceed to the entrance of the Light Festival.
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. Plan ahead for next year’s Nutcracker Tea, as reservations are sold out one year in advance, or the Christmas Carol Luncheon, when the hotel brings snow to the property for the kids.
Westlake Village Inn, Westlake Village 800-535-9978 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 310-394-1049 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.
Pasadena Call the Pasadena Chamber ( 626-795-9311 ) before venturing out.
Christmas Tree Lane, Altadena From the 210, take the Arroyo Blvd. Exit toward Windsor Avenue. Turn left onto N. Arroyo Blvd. N. Arroyo Blvd. becomes Windsor Ave. Turn right onto W. Woodbury Rd. Turn left onto Santa Rosa Ave, which is Christmas Tree Lane.
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.
Christmas Tree Lane ends at Altadena Dr. Take a right on Altadena Dr. and turn right on Allen Avenue. Proceed to Mendocino Lane, turn left.
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. Although there were rumors in 2010 that this home was dark, we have received on-the-ground confirmation that the homeowners are setting up the lights this week!
Take N. Allen Ave SOUTH until it stops at E. California Blvd. Turn left on E. California Blvd. to S. San Gabriel Blvd. Turn right on S. San Gabriel Blvd. to W. Huntington Dr. Turn right on W. Huntington Drive. and continue to St. Albans Road. Turn right on Saint Albans Road, which is Christmas Tree Lane.
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.
Return to W. Huntington Dr. and turn left. Turn left again on S. San Gabriel Blvd. Turn left on E. California Blvd. Turn right on S. Fair Oaks Ave. and continue into Old Pasadena.
Christmas Tree Lane, Long Beach Daisy Avenue between Willow Street & Pacific Coast Highway 562-570-4450 From Mid-December. Celebrating Daisy Avenues 23 lighted and decorated Christmas trees. Musical entertainment is featured on weekends.
Canals of Naples, Long Beach 562-433-9595 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. Book a night at the romantic Seal Beach Inn or aboard the Queen Mary for a quiet retreat.
Block-long Light Tunnel, Reseda The tunnels straddle the sidewalk on both sides of the street and extend almost the entire block. Please Park on Valerio near the school and enjoy the walk through the tunnels.
Candy Cane Lane, Woodland Hills Lubao Avenue and Oxnard Street 818-347-4737 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.
If you know of any other Holiday Light display locations, please let us know.