Christmas in California: 17 BEST Places to Go in 2024

Reviewed by Mimi McFadden
Last updated:

*This article contains affiliate links, which help run this site at no extra cost to you.

TL;DR: We’ve celebrated Christmas all over the state—here are our 4 favorite places to spend Christmas in California:

  • Solvang’s famous over-the-top Julefest is celebrated throughout the month of December.
  • Visit the Nevada City Victorian Christmas Market and nearby Grass Valley’s Cornish Christmas Festival.
  • Cozy up in a Yosemite cabin, enjoy jaw-dropping winter vistas, and attend the Bracebridge Christmas Dinner.
  • In Los Angeles, Disneyland is open on Christmas day and Universal Studios Hollywood is decorated for Christmas.

People make fun of Christmas in California because it’s not “traditional” if it’s 70 degrees outside. But it’s the best, and after years of going to Christmas events here, my husband and I are basically encyclopedias on Christmas in California. 

Go ahead, send us your questions; we’ve got answers! What’s the best Christmas market? The Great Dickens Fair. Where should we rent a cabin? Lake Tahoe. Does it snow in San Diego? It did once while growing up there, and it’s all anybody talked about for a week.

There are so many things that make Christmas the best in California! Did you know that California is home to America’s tallest living Christmas tree, oldest lighted boat parade, and some of the country’s best neighborhood Christmas light displays?

Whether you love palm trees and sunshine, or cozy log cabins and snow, there’s a California Christmas for you.

In this article, we’ll take you around to the best places for a unique Christmas so that you can make the most of your holiday plans.

Christmas in California Map

Lake Tahoe

A view through snowy everygreens overlooking Lake Tahoe, with snowy mountains and a clear blue sky in the distance.

I’m a Bay Area gal, but there’s nothing like waking up in a quaint cabin with loved ones. Tahoe is at the top of my list for a snowy white Christmas in California.

You’ll find Christmas activities for adults and families with kids.

If you ski on Christmas Eve, you might even see St. Nick taking a well-deserved break to carve down the slopes.

Then, don’t miss my favorite, Noel Nights at the Northstar. Kids can toast s’mores while parents sip local craft brews by the fire.

Or spend Christmas Eve building gingerbread houses at the Ritz Carlton, where they have nightly live music.

And for some holiday cheer just for the 21+ crowd, I’m always a sucker for SantaCons. Tahoe SantaCon is on December 9th, 2023.

On Christmas day, sip hot cocoa while opening gifts. Then, test out your new snow gear from Santa.

I love walking around Heavenly Village any time of year, but December transforms Tahoe into a magical winter wonderland straight out of a holiday card.

Prot Tip: While North Lake Tahoe is better known for snow sports, go to South Lake Tahoe if you want a vibrant nightlife.

Looking for accommodation? Read our guide on where to stay in Lake Tahoe.

Nevada City

Nevada City fully embraces the Christmas spirit well before big cities even put up their holiday lights.

With Victorian-style buildings and gas lamps transporting you back in time, this little town truly captures that Hallmark movie charm.

Imagine carolers dressed in old-fashioned garb filling the streets with song, the air rich with the tantalizing smells of roasted chestnuts. That’s what awaits you every Wednesday and Sunday in December at their Victorian Christmas.

And just next door in Grass Valley, the annual Cornish Christmas Festival is a must-visit.

The event perfectly encapsulates that small-town warmth where folks gather fireside with mulled wine in hand, voices raised in song alongside the melodic Cornish choir.

Pro Tip: The Victorian Christmas at Nevada City is bucket-list-worthy, but if you can’t make it this year, the Great Dickens Fair in San Fran is similar, inspired by A Christmas Carol.


A red, storybook -style building in Solvang, California, with a storefront in the foreground bearing a white awning with red, old English text on it.

Windmills: check. Danish pastries: check. Bringing light and joy to the darkest days of winter: check! 

If you want a hygge Christmas, go to Solvang, the little Danish town hidden in California’s Santa Ynez Valley.

Solvang’s annual Julefest celebrates all things winter from November 24th to January 6th. (Psst, you can enjoy the Christmas spirit even after the holidays!)

When you arrive in Solvang, your first task is to try the Danish pancakes, called pandekager. They’re like thick crepes and oh so good. . . I could eat nothing but Danish pancakes for the rest of my life.

My family loves escape rooms and solving mysteries, so once our stomachs are full, we hunt for the Solvang Nisser, a mischievous gnome who hides in the village. 

You can visit as a day trip to enjoy the decorations, markets, and daily activities—but the candlelit evening tour is my favorite Solvang Christmas event. On the tour, you’ll learn about Danish traditions from a local guide while listening to carols. 

There’s also a Trolley Christmas Lights Tour if glittering light displays are more your thing. What’s more Christmasy than that?

Pro Tip: Try to align your visit with the tree lighting on December 1st, 2023. And stick around the following day for the Julefest parade at 11 am for marching bands, horses, and 500 participants.

Mendocino & Fort Braggs

A hand holds up two green train tickets that say, "Skunk Train." with a line of people and a train in soft focus in the background.

I love the quiet coastal town of Mendocino in Northern California. It’s the perfect antidote to the frantic commercialism of the holiday season. 

With not a chain store in sight, shopping for local, handmade gifts is a relaxing experience.

We strolled along the beach and through the redwoods, before cozying up in front of a fire at a romantic inn.

While visiting Mendocino, I hopped on the famous Skunk Train, departing from nearby Fort Bragg. 

This is the most famous Christmas train in California and a unique way to experience the ancient redwood groves.

I rode the holiday Skunk Train a few Christmases back, and it was a blast, complete with hot cocoa, sugar cookies, and SANTA.

You also don’t want to miss the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens Festival of Lights

The garden transforms into a winter wonderland of festive lights for the holiday season. Look out for the fire-breathing dragon and shooting stars!

After the show, head into the heated tent for a warm spiced cider or hot chocolate. You’ll find sweet treats for sale and live music, and kids (and kids at heart) can toast marshmallows over the campfire.

Looking for accommodation? We stayed at the Brewery Gulch Inn during the holidays a few years back and fell in love with the Christmas decor and hospitality.

San Diego

A fully-decorated Christmas tree on a beach in San Diego, with an early-evening sky behind it.

My husband is from San Diego, and I can fully vouch for a Southern California Christmas. Snow is fun, but by the 25th, I need a little sunshine back in my life.

Although you should expect some rain in December, San Diego has a warm and sunny climate year-round.

It’s also an excellent time to visit theme parks or the San Diego Zoo when the crowds are smaller and the temperatures milder. 

Switch up your traditional Christmas tree for palm trees this year and embrace a laid-back Southern California holiday.

While you could easily pass the time drinking margaritas in Old Town San Diego (I won’t judge), there are plenty of California Christmas activities going on in San Diego in December.

Visit polar bears and reindeer at San Diego Zoo through a path of lighted trees. Then, stick around for Aurora, an immersive nightly performance featuring sound, lights, 3D projections, and dancing.

The zoo is lit up with festive lights throughout December, and there are plenty of fun holiday-themed activities for kids too.

Besides the zoo, go ice skating at the beach at the historic Coronado Del Rey Hotel, a uniquely San Diego experience. The large ice rink faces the ocean, so you can enjoy the sea breeze while you glide.

On December 12th and 19th, head to the beach for the Parade of Lights. At 5.30 pm, watch the procession of beautifully lit boats sail around the San Diego Bay. 

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the popular boat parade.

On December 3rd, 5th, and 7th, Balboa Park hosts December Nights. Located just north of downtown San Diego, this is a fun annual tradition celebrating the city’s diverse cultures.

For 2021, the format is a drive-through, so visitors can enjoy international cuisine and live music from the safety of their cars. 

Read our guide to the best things to do in San Diego.


Wreaths decorate the facade of a green building with green striped awning and a sign that says, "Souvenirs," during Christmas in Disneyland.

If you want to recapture the Christmas magic of childhood, Disneyland in Anaheim, California, delivers. 

The whole park is splendidly decked out for the festive season, rides get a seasonal twist, and the cooler weather makes queuing more bearable.

Reservations are a must this year, but otherwise, it’s business as usual for Disneyland during Christmas.

Check out the 60-foot Christmas tree in Town Square, Sleeping Beauty’s Castle glittering in 80,000 LED lights, and the classic Disneyland attraction, It’s A Small World.

In December, the Haunted Mansion also gets a Jack Skellington takeover, based on the Tim Burton movie “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” 

Cars Land in California Adventure also receives a festive overhaul. This area is perfect for families with small children who are too little for the bigger rides.

And Disneyland has a new after-hours ticketed event this year, Merriest Nights. 

Guests enter at 5 pm and the party starts at 8 pm, ending at midnight. There’s live music, character-meeting opportunities, and a parade.

Read our guide to the best things to do in Orange County.

Los Angeles

Sparse crowds of people stroll past a red, amusement park-style, life-sized gingerbread house in an outdoor shopping center.

LA residents go ALL OUT for the holidays. If you love Christmas light displays, head to LA for a merry and bright Christmas in California.

We dedicated a whole week last December to experiencing all the holiday lights and events in Los Angeles, and there was more than enough to keep us busy.

Our favorite free neighborhood lights were at Torrance Candy Cane Lane and El Segundo Candy Cane Lane. (Yes, there are multiple CC Lanes.) 

You can also explore the city in search of the best Christmas trees. We turned this into a scavenger hunt—my favorite trees were at the City Library and Union Station.

We had a little too much fun admiring the animal-themed light displays at Zoo Lights and wandering in the Descanso Enchanted Forest. Astra Lumina was neat, but Descanso was awe-inspiring.

If lights aren’t your thing, get dressed up and head to The Music Center in downtown Los Angeles for a concert. See the LA Philharmonic, LA Symphony, or LA Opera, all in one location. 

Or visit Universal Studios Hollywood for Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, where you can sample a Butterbeer and see Hogsmeade in the snow.

Pro Tip: The Griffith Park Holiday Train is fun but kiddy, and the wait times are loooong for a very short ride of about 5 minutes. Go early and during the week for a shorter line, or skip this one.

Read our full bucket list for 100+ Things to do in LA

San Francisco

Sf City Hall seen at night illuminated with green and red lights for Christmas in San Francisco.

This is my seventh Christmas in the San Francisco Bay Area, and there’s a San Francisco Christmas event for every taste, from the quirky to the grand.

I have boatloads of experience here, so we’ll keep it brief. San Francisco is a small city, so mix it up and attend multiple events in one day.

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair at Cow Palace should be first on your list. It’s very San Francisco-esque and the perfect place to find hand-crafted Christmas gifts.

Afterward, visit Union Square Ice Rink, where you can work up an appetite for warming clam chowder in a sourdough bowl (there’s a Bourdin Bakery in Macy’s).

Then, dress up and book a holiday tea or Christmas dinner at the elegant Fairmont Hotel, where you can dine in festive style under the enormous glass dome.

Even if you’re not planning to eat at the Fairmont, stop by the lobby to gaze at the two-story Victorian gingerbread house in its iced glory.

In the past, Entwined at Golden Gate Park was a highlight of my holiday season, but I was unimpressed this year.

Instead, I’ve enjoyed the many themed holiday bars, especially Miracle at PCH and Cavana Rooftop Bar. 

Finally, nothing beats seeing your favorite Christmas movie accompanied by a live score from the symphony.

Read our other guides for Christmas in San Francisco and Christmas Lights in San Francisco, or our complete bucket list for 100+ Things to do in San Francisco.

Pro Tip: If you’re trying to avoid crowds, ice skate at Thrive City Christmas instead of Union Square. Here, you get the festive fun without the fiasco of people.

Mammoth Lakes

Mammoth Lakes Christmas

High in the Eastern Sierras, Mammoth Lakes is a beautiful spot with mountains, lakes, and snow. 

Take a gondola to the summit of Mammoth Mountain at a breathtaking 11,000 feet and admire the view before skiing or ice tubing down. 

Aside from the usual winter fun, Mammoth Lakes is a laid-back resort town with Mammoth Village boasting a movie theater, bowling alley, spa, several restaurants, and shops.

On December 18th, fireworks light up the sky for Night of Lights, a free evening with live music, a torchlight parade, kid’s activities, and snowmobile rides.

Mammoth Mountain has plenty of slopes to choose from if you love to ski or snowboard, including beginner and more challenging routes. 

Or, if this doesn’t appeal, snowmobiles, ice tubing, and cross-country skiing are all fun alternatives.

And Tamarack Lodge and The Westin are serving Christmas dinners this year, so you can relax in a cozy ski lodge without any of the stress.

Nearby June Mountain is known as one of the most family-friendly ski resorts in the state. 

This is the ideal place to take kids with gentle slopes and fewer crowds. And as an added bonus, under 12s ski for free.

For a fun side trip, Death Valley is a three-hour drive south. Ski in the morning and hike to the hottest place on earth in the afternoon for a uniquely California experience. 

Palm Springs

Palm Springs Christmas

After a tough year, Palm Springs is the ultimate destination for some R&R. 

This desert resort town located two hours east of LA basks in 300 days of sunshine a year, and average December temperatures peak at a balmy 70F.

Eating, floating on a lazy river, and drinking cocktails by the pool are all perfectly acceptable Palm Springs activities. 

However, if you’re craving some festive cheer, there are plenty of fun Christmas events in December as well.

Leave the palm trees behind for the lofty heights of Mt San Jacinto State Park on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, the world’s largest rotating tramcar.

On the ten-minute journey, you’ll travel two-and-one-half miles along Chino Canyon, marveling at the view.

By the end, you’ll find yourself at an elevation of 8,516 feet, where you may find snow. 

Adventurous souls can try snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and even snow camping on the mountain.

If snow hasn’t arrived yet, enter the annual snow-guessing competition. The winner receives four tram passes and a special memento.

At the Living Desert Zoo, experience Wildlights. The annual Christmas lights festival of animal lanterns, sparkling tunnel of lights, and colorful pathways at the zoo is a much-loved local tradition.

Another fun Palm Springs Christmas event is Santa’s Fly In when Santa arrives at the Palm Springs Air Museum in a helicopter to greet excited children.

On the first Saturday of December, catch another event to get you into the festive spirit – the Palm Springs Festival of Lights Parade

The colorfully lit floats, marching band, and performers delight the crowd along Palm Canyon Drive every year.

Read our full guide to the best things to do in Palm Springs.


A large, decorated Christmas tree in front of City Hall in Sacramento, framed by trees with a blue, partly-cloudy sky behind it.

Christmas is a great time to visit California’s capital when the beautiful buildings shine with colorful lights, and the waterfront becomes a winter wonderland.

Bar crawls, live performances, ice skating, and holiday markets – there are plenty of special holiday events throughout the month of December in Sacramento.

The Theater of Lights is a free event at the Old Sacramento Waterfront that happens throughout December. 

The 20-minute Christmas lights show takes place on the balconies above K St., culminating in the nightly lighting of the Christmas tree by Santa himself.

The city also installs a 65’ Ferris wheel and carousel on the waterfront for the season.

A fun way to explore Sacramento during the holidays is to participate in Holiday Hunt, a free, festive-themed scavenger hunt. The prize is a stay at the Kimpton Sawyer Hotel and gift cards.

Also downtown is the popular open-air ice skating rink, perfect for a date night.

Sacramento also has some great holiday markets throughout December. 

Pop-up markets, like Warehouse Creative on December 11th at the waterfront, are a great way to avoid crowded malls and pick up a thoughtful gift from a local artisan.

To get into the “spirit” of the season, join The Zebra Club for its Christmas Bar Crawl on Saturday, December 11th. 

To participate, you must buy a ticket and purchase a toy for donation to Toys For Tots.

Read our detailed guide to 101 Things to do in Sacramento.

San Jose

Crowds walking through an open air holiday market at Christmas in San Jose, with a clear blue sky above.

Silicon Valley’s biggest city has a vibrant downtown and its famous Christmas in the Park event to fill you with cheer.

I took a break from holiday shopping to check out Christmas in the Park—and it’s now my favorite Christmas event in San Jose.

Christmas in the Park is also San Jose’s biggest Christmas event. It happens each year at Plaza de Cesar Chavez Park in the heart of downtown.

Each December, the park transforms into a winter wonderland with entertainment, Christmas trees decorated by local kids, food, music, and rides.

Downtown San Jose also hosts a huge ice rink at Kristi Yamaguchi Downtown Ice

This is the only ice rink in the world circled by 32 palm trees, a uniquely Californian winter experience. Delicious hot cocoa is sold just outside the gate.

Get dressed up and see The Nutcracker at San Jose Dance Theater, an annual San Jose Christmas season tradition for 56 years. 

Or, for something a little different, check out the magical Cirque production, A Magical Cirque Christmas, at the San Jose Center.

Over at Santana Row, finish your holiday shopping at the boutiques, or find the perfect handmade gift at the pop-up Holiday Makers Market on December 11th.

Then head across the road to the mysterious Winchester House, which is decorated in Victorian style for Christmas. The daily tours include holiday music and decor in honor of the season.

During December, families also love Great America’s Winterfest, which features fun events to celebrate the holidays. 

Winterfest has something for all ages with over 60 rides and attractions, dazzling light displays, and fun, festive performances.

Read our full guide to the best things to do in San Jose.

Big Bear Lake

A sunny day looking down a main street in Big Bear Lake at Christmas, with a banner overhead wishing Happy Holidays.

When I lived in San Diego for five years, we rented cozy cabins in Big Bear every winter.

Big Bear Lake is Southern California’s winter playground, with skiing, snowboarding, tubing, and bobsledding on the famous Alpine Slide at Magic Mountain.

Not far from the city of Los Angeles, Big Bear is a fun getaway in the snow and has plenty of holiday events to welcome the start of the season.

Big Bear and Summit ski resorts are open throughout the Christmas period, making this is a great time to hit the slopes.

Parents can take their kids to meet Mr. and Mrs. Claus at Santa’s Village in Big Bear each weekend until December 19th. 

On December 5th, head to Chirp Nature Center for hot cocoa and caroling at 5 pm.

Animal lovers can support the Grateful Heart Animal Sanctuary at their annual fundraiser event on December 18th and 19th. It features holiday music, decorations, pictures with Santa, hayrides, and more. 

Another cool event for kids from Gold Rush Mining Co. is Jingle Gems and Geodes, running throughout December. Pan for gold, crack open snowball geodes and post your letter to Santa.

Pro Tip: Big Bear Lake has tons of winter activities that make great experiential Christmas gift ideas. Buy your sweetheart a helicopter ride around the lake or take the family bobsledding.

Newport Beach

A nighttime scene of a yacht illuminated with Christmas lights at a dock during the Newport Beach Christmas-lighted boat parade.

This laidback Orange County beach town pulls out all the stops for the holiday season with a magical boat parade and stunning Christmas tree.

Shop in style, dine out on a sunny patio surrounded by festive decor, and enjoy the lights on California’s southern coast.

California’s largest and oldest lighted boat parade takes place this year on December 15th to 19th on Newport Harbor. 

The parade of beautifully decorated boats has been taking place annually at Newport Harbor for 113 years.

Sit and enjoy the show at a harborside restaurant, or book a cruise and view the event from the water.

Check out the 90-foot Christmas tree at the open-air shopping center, Fashion Island, where you can also get your last-minute shopping done at Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdales.

With shopping finished, relax on the outdoor patio at Farmhouse restaurant in Roger’s Gardens, a holiday boutique selling stunning decor.


The tiny community of Skyforest in the San Bernardino Mountains is famous for its California Christmas theme park, Santa’s Village.

Opened just weeks before Disneyland in 1955, the whimsical park has survived bankruptcy and wildfires over the years. 

Today, it’s a year-round adventure park but the best time to visit is Christmas when it becomes a winter wonderland.

Visit Santa and Mrs Claus in their Southern California home for a magical North Pole village experience, then stay for the fun outdoor activities offered at Skypark.

Skypark offers mountain biking trails, hiking, archery, rock climbing and bouldering, pedal cars, zip line, roller skating, fly fishing, and more, all included in the price of admission.

You can also skate on the park’s open-air rink in a beautiful alpine setting in the winter. Smaller kids will love the nature-inspired playground and, of course, visiting Santa.

You’ll find Santa at his house in Santa’s Village, at the heart of the park. 

Cookie decorating, night walks through an enchanted lit-up forest, puppet shows, and character meets are all offered at this time of year as well.

Yosemite National Park

A brown wooden church nestled in a snowy forest scene in Yosemite.

Editor’s Note: We’re going back to Yosemite for sky diving and mountain biking in January, and we’ll update you on more fun things to do in Yosemite after our trip!

Yosemite is absolutely stunning in the winter. It’s less crowded than during the summer, and the trails are peaceful. 

This year, spend Christmas in nature, walking among giant sequoias in the snow.

There are plenty of fun winter activities on offer at Badger Pass, including skiing and snowboarding—unique offerings for a National Park. 

For an old-fashioned Christmas in California, stay at Tenaya Lodge

You can participate in several traditional Christmas activities, including decorating a gingerbread house, savoring Christmas dinner with all the trimmings, or just cozying up in front of the fire.

In the heart of Yosemite Valley, under the shadow of Half Dome, Curry Village also has an ice rink during the winter season. Skate away, then warm up with a hot chocolate by the fire pit.

If fresh snow has fallen, you can ski, snowboard, or tube down the mountain at Badger Pass Ski Area. Yosemite is a great destination year-round, but it’s especially magical at Christmas time.

Although suspended for this year, the Bracebridge Dinner at Ahwahnee is a unique Yosemite tradition. Part performance, part Yuletide feast, there’s nothing else quite like it.

Read our guides to the best things to do in Yosemite, two days in Yosemite itinerary, and the ultimate San Francisco to Yosemite road trip.


A yellow and orange Victorian mansion surrounded by hedges and a palm tree in Ferndale at Christmas.

In the far north of California, between groves of ancient redwoods and the Pacific Ocean, is the Victorian town of Ferndale. 

This is quintessential small-town America, and if it hasn’t been in a Hallmark movie yet, it certainly deserves to be.

During the holiday season, the residents try to outdo one another with their lights for the annual festive lights competition, while America’s tallest living Christmas tree twinkles at the end of Main Street. 

It’s a perfectly charming spot to spend Christmas.

Don’t miss the Christmas tree lighting ceremony in early December, when the town gathers to celebrate the start of the holiday season. Homemade cookies and hot cocoa are passed around to attendees.

Ferndale has a surprisingly vibrant entertainment scene for a small, remote community, especially in December. 

Restaurants in town frequently host musicians, and you can catch a live performance at The Olde Steeple most weekends.

Brass bands playing holiday favorites stroll down Main Street on Saturdays in December, bringing Christmas cheer to shoppers. 

There’s even a lighted tractor parade. The one-of-a-kind celebration takes place on December 19th this year.

FAQs About Christmas in California

A 'snowman' made from sand on the beach, complete with a carrot nose and a Santa hat.

Where are the best places to have a White Christmas in California?

Nowhere is guaranteed, but Yosemite, Big Bear, and Mammoth Lakes are the best bet. 

Read our guide to the best places to find snow in California.

What is there to do in California at Christmas?

Skiing, surfing, shopping, eating, swimming, hiking… it would be a lot easier to write a list of what there isn’t to do for Christmas in California.

What is the most Christmassy town in California?

Nevada City and Solvang consistently make it to the top of the list for their events, small-town charm, and community spirit.

If you’re in the Bay Area, the Dickens Fair in San Francisco recreates the streets of Victorian London inside a convention center warehouse, bringing lots of holiday cheer.

Is December a good time to visit California?

California is a big place with many different climates. Whether you love sunshine and palm trees or skiing and snow, there will be something for you.

Where can you find the best Christmas lights in California?

Mission Inn in Riverside is said to have the best lights in California, but Los Angeles has the most light displays overall. You’ll also like the lighted boat parade in Newport Beach or the lighted tractor parade in Ferndale.

Are there Christmas markets in California?

The Nevada City Victorian Market and the Great Dicken’s Christmas Fair are both worth visiting for their Christmas markets.

Get your FREE California Travel Planner – including printable checklists and my favorite two-week itinerary for the state. 


Mimi McFadden Headshot

Mimi McFadden
Founder & Editor-In-Chief

Mimi McFadden grew up in Santa Cruz, California, and started The Atlas Heart in 2013. What started as a blog to keep her family up-to-date on her travels is now a full-time website where she shares her love for her home state of California and the outdoors. When Mimi’s not hiking and exploring new places in California, she loves to travel abroad, eat paneer, play basketball and guitar, sing karaoke, and connect with friends and family over board games or a good escape room. Over the 28 years that she has been in California, she has lived in Santa Cruz, San Diego, San Francisco, and most recently, Berkeley, California.

Sarah McDonald headshot

Sarah McDonald

Sarah McDonald is a travel writer based in the Bay Area. She writes for the national parenting website Red Tricycle and on her own family travel blog, Tiny Trailblazers. She loves exploring California’s outdoors and has a weakness for a national park gift shop.

Sarah enjoys sharing her Bay Area expertise with readers curious to try popular restaurants and off-the-beaten-path adventures in California. When she’s not writing reviews and travel guides, you’ll likely find her trying to keep up with her kids on a hiking trail or deciphering the menu at a new restaurant.

Additional Expert Contributors: Suneel Jain and Elina Ansary.

Looking for more Christmas guides and inspiration for what to do this winter? Read our related articles below!

Christmas in California Pin 1
Christmas in California Pin

Pin one of these images for future reference

Hi, I'm Mimi! I'm an outdoorsy Californian who has spent over 28 years immersed in the incredible natural beauty that California has to offer. My goal is to inspire others to get out and find their next adventure in California. Whether it’s escaping to an alpine lake in the Sierras, finding peace among the giant redwoods, or road tripping down the PCH, there’s always more to explore in this beautiful state.


Leave a Comment