How to do the Holidays In Southern California

by: Wesley Somoza

Owner of Visit Southern California

The holiday season in Southern California usually entails the weather getting a bit of chill in the air and times of rain and wind. However during this holiday season if you can experience the beauty of Southern California I have some great recommendations.

Lunch at the Beach- In LA the beach area of Malibu is great for lunch on the water. Even though it has the reputation of being more of a toruist trap than a great seafood restaurant I recommend Gladstones located on Sunset and PCH. If you sit out on the patio you can enjoy some great ocean views along with a cocktail and good but not great seafood appetizers for the table. Last time I was their with my family we enjoyed the Grilled Fish Tacos. Those along with a cold Pacfico on tap was a perfect combination for lunch.

Going a little further south to Huntington Beach I always say to stop at Fred's Mexican Cafe located on the HB Pier. It does have some beach/ocean views to take in, but it is across the street. Again great tasting fish tacos and beer or margaritas go down smoothly.

In San Diego I always recommend Piatti in La Jolla. Not on the water and lacking a beach view this restaurant is on Avienda de la Playa and it is the best italian food in Southern California in my opinion. They have a good Ballast Point Red Ale on tap and their hot bread and dipping oil is by far and away excellent!

Holiday Decorated Communities- Below is some links to some great places to drive or walk through in Southern California with the family to treat them to the spirit of the holiday season. I have done Candy Cane Lane in Woodland Hills, Ca since I was a child and I have to say it was way better when I was young kid. This place still has its moments and homes to check out but it is not what it used to be. I do however get the pleasure each year to go to the Wakefield Wonderland, which is just a fantastic time for adults and kids. I tell anyone to park a distance away and hike down to the main street and walk. By walking rather than driving the traffic ridden street you can have the oppotunity to take in each home's unique design and attention to detail. The kids absolutely love the experience and so will you.

Outdoor Ice Skating- Their are plenty of places to ice skate in So Cal. Most are indoors on ice skating rinks made for hockey. It is always fun but lacks the holiday spirit. The two places I have enjoyed the most in So Cal are only available in December through the New Year. The first is located in Woodland Hills at the Promenade Mall. The outdoor rink is fun for the family and they do a great job of playing fun music along with an interesting light display that will try hard not to remind you that you're ice skating in the middle of a parking lot across the street from car dealerships. The Village next door is great for some dinner choices.

The other great spot for outdoor holiday ice skating is at the Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego. The famous haunted hotel offers Skating by the Sea  ice skating rink sits right on the lawn fronting the famed beach. It is rich in holiday themes and they sell hot choclate and other treats right outside that feed into the holiday vibe. My family and I love this more than anything during the holiday season and we even walk out to the beach at night and check out the amazing sand strutcures artists produce despite the colder weather of winter.

That is some ideas and tips during the holiday season that we at Visit Southern California wanted to offer. It is a bit of a break from what is highly publicized like Disneyland and Universal Studios which are great places this time of year but if you want something a bit different and less expensive this is our recommendations and if you don't love it then you are a scrooge! Just kidding.

Skating by the sea - Southern California
Skating by the Sea at the Hotel Del Coronado






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