California Christmas Vacation

California
Anytime
2 guests

Choose the perfect vacation rental

Price per night
Up to $100
$100 - $199
From $200
Rating
Outstanding: 4.5+
Very Good: 4+
Good: 3.5+

Christmas in California: Top Destinations

There's Something for Everyone in a California Christmas

California Christmas vacations are the stuff of children's dreams. Whether you're carving fresh powder at Sugar Bowl ski resort or enjoying rides and fireworks at Disneyland, the state offers any kind celebration you might hope for. Take the kids to sit on Santa's knee at Legoland, stroll through an illuminated Eden in San Diego, or explore the giant gingerbread city at Lake Tahoe.

Christmas in California: Top Accommodations

Apartment Crystal Bay
Apartment ∙ 2 guests ∙ 1 bedroom
Crystal Bay, Washoe County, Nevada, United States
from $593
Grand Welcome Vacation Rentals
3.5
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House Tahoe Vista
House ∙ 5 guests ∙ 2 bedrooms
Tahoe Vista, Placer County, California, United States
from $439
Grand Welcome Vacation Rentals
3.5
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House Homewood
House ∙ 6 guests ∙ 3 bedrooms
Homewood, Placer County, California, United States
from $415
Grand Welcome Vacation Rentals
4.0
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Apartment Tahoma
Apartment ∙ 4 guests ∙ 2 bedrooms
Tahoma, El Dorado County, California, United States
from $634
Grand Welcome Vacation Rentals
4.6
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House California
House ∙ 9 guests ∙ 3 bedrooms
California, United States
from $536
Grand Welcome Vacation Rentals
4.6
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Apartment California
Apartment ∙ 5 guests ∙ 2 bedrooms
California, United States
from $716
Grand Welcome Vacation Rentals
5.0
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House Tahoe City
House ∙ 9 guests ∙ 3 bedrooms
Tahoe City, Placer County, California, United States
from $1,207
RedAwning
4.0
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Condo Zephyr Cove
Condo ∙ 6 guests ∙ 3 bedrooms
Zephyr Cove, Zephyr Cove-Round Hill Village, Nevada, United States
from $621
RedAwning
4.3
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Apartment Kings Beach
Apartment ∙ 6 guests ∙ 2 bedrooms
Kings Beach, Placer County, California, United States
from $408
Tahoe Signature Properties
5.0
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Where to See California's Best Holiday Lights

Whereas California doesn't usually see snow at Christmas, it makes up for this absence with its festive displays. Stop in at the following places to see the state's best lights.

  • 1. San Diego

    Disney characters illuminate Christmas Card Lane in Rancho Penasquitos with the glow of holiday cheer. Horse-drawn carriages are the most atmospheric way to see the lights, followed by some fireside s'mores. Tune your car's radio to 106.1 FM to listen to holiday music in sync with the twinkling displays on Belardo Drive. For more remarkable lights, head to the San Diego Botanic Garden, where 37 acres of all sorts of plants are strung with 125,000 glittering lights. Enjoy holiday carolers, jazz bands, festive food stalls, and nutcracker displays.

  • 2. Orange County

    More than 1 million onlookers come to Newport Beach for the Christmas Boat Parade. Boats adorned with lights glide by, and there are prizes for the best decorations. The seaside event, hosted by the Commodores Club, is a California Christmas classic.

  • 3. Los Angeles

    Candy cane ribbons of lights annually adorn the palm trees on Beverly Hills' Rodeo Drive, and that's just the start. Make your way to Upper Hastings Ranch for more traditional light displays. Every block has a different theme, and all are presided over by giant inflatable Santas. Just a few miles away from Hastings Ranch's Christmas Tree Lane, historic Balian House is adorned with lights and nativity displays.

Best Places to Stay for Christmas in California

Apartment Tahoma
Apartment ∙ 8 guests ∙ 3 bedrooms
Tahoma, El Dorado County, California, United States
from $683
Grand Welcome Vacation Rentals
4.4
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Condo Kings Beach
Condo ∙ 6 guests ∙ 3 bedrooms
Kings Beach, Placer County, California, United States
from $618
RedAwning
4.6
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House Tahoe Vista
House ∙ 8 guests ∙ 3 bedrooms
Tahoe Vista, Placer County, California, United States
from $835
RedAwning
5.0
View deal

The Best Christmas Getaways for Families in California

You'll be greeted with a diverse itinerary when you travel to California for the holidays. Look forward to amusement parks, scavenger hunts, and visits with Santa.

  • 1. Legoland, Carlsbad

    A LEGO Christmas tree, serenades from Santa's elves, and real reindeer are among the attractions you'll find at Legoland. There's even a holiday dive demonstration at the amusement park's Sea Life aquarium.

  • 2. Carmel Valley

    Stop in at Carmel Ranch for Santa Scavenger Hunts and holiday cookie decorating sessions. Besides taking part in exciting activities such as archery and horseback riding, adults can also enjoy tastings at the local vineyard.

  • 3. Pasadena

    Teddy Bear Tea at the Langham Huntington is just one of the experiences your children might enjoy in this charming city just outside Los Angeles. Kids can cuddle up to the teddy of their choosing and kick back with tea on Wedgwood china. Expect storytelling, puppet shows, and a visit from Santa, too.

  • 4. Long Beach

    The Queen Mary ship hosts the Chill Festival, featuring the 135-foot Glacier Glide ride, an outdoor ice rink, and an annual themed light show.

  • 5. Orange County

    During the holiday season, Disneyland is transformed into a winter wonderland. The 60-foot Christmas tree and dazzling castle are perfect for family photos, while kids yelp with excitement at the resort's holiday skating rink. Santa also visits regularly.

Recommended Accommodations for Christmas in California

House Kings Beach
House ∙ 10 guests ∙ 5 bedrooms
Kings Beach, Placer County, California, United States
from $598
Grand Welcome Vacation Rentals
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House Homewood
House ∙ 10 guests ∙ 3 bedrooms
Homewood, Placer County, California, United States
from $988
RedAwning
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House Tahoe Vista
House ∙ 8 guests ∙ 3 bedrooms
Tahoe Vista, Placer County, California, United States
from $640
Tahoe Signature Properties
5.0
View deal

California's Best Christmas Ski Destinations

Head to California for the holidays and hit the slopes. Look forward to swishing down the slopes during the day and sipping warm drinks by the fire in the evening.

  • 1. Lake Tahoe

    On Saturdays at Squaw Valley Resort, Santa stops by to hear children's Christmas wishes and take a selfie or two. You'll also spot Santa out on his skis. Your children can also enjoy Christmas stories with Mrs. Claus after a day on the slopes. During the holiday season, you and your family can explore a giant gingerbread village, and carolers regularly wander through town singing Christmas favorites. Additionally, don't miss out on skating, holiday craft events, snowman-making competitions, and magical ice-carving exhibitions.

  • 2. Yosemite Valley

    One of America's most exquisite national parks is transformed into the ultimate winter wonderland during the holiday season. Yosemite's ski and snowboard area stretches for 90 miles. Traditional feasts feature free-range turkey and desserts that pay homage to the location, such as the Chocolate Dome, inspired by the parks' famous Half Dome. You can also expect live music and dancing at special holiday concerts and events.

  • 3. Nevada City

    Not far from Nevada City, a plethora of ski resorts beckon during more sports-oriented California Christmas vacations, including Sugar Bowl, Donner Ski Ranch, and the Royal Gorge Cross Country Resort. While downtown gleams with light displays, the Victorian Christmas-theme includes period actors, chestnut roasting, horse-drawn carriage rides, and a walking Christmas Tree.

Top Offers for Christmas in California

House Tahoe Vista
In high demand
House ∙ 8 guests ∙ 3 bedrooms
Tahoe Vista, Placer County, California, United States
from $640
Tahoe Signature Properties
5.0
View deal
House Zephyr Cove-Round Hill Village
House ∙ 12 guests ∙ 4 bedrooms
Zephyr Cove-Round Hill Village, Douglas County, Nevada, United States
from $798
Lake Tahoe Properties
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House Tahoe Vista
House ∙ 8 guests ∙ 3 bedrooms
Tahoe Vista, Placer County, California, United States
from $845
RedAwning
5.0
View deal

The Weather in California

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- Rainy days

Average Nightly Rental Prices in California

Vacation Rental Price Information in California

Vacation Rental Availability in California

Rental Availability Information in California

California Christmas Vacation Inspiration

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