6 min read

Top Destinations in SoCal to Visit This Holiday Season 2021


Written by Leslie Ingraham

Veterinary reviewed by:

Published: 11/24/2021, edited: 11/24/2021


If you and your pup are anticipating a trip or a stay-cay this holiday season, there’s a great time waiting for you in Southern California. The holiday season is when SoCal comes alive with good cheer, pawsome decorations, and Santa Claws! 

Southern California’s natural attractions are furtastic, too. With miles of beaches, magnificent mountains and lakes, and parks galore, it’s easy to find adventure to share with your furry hiking buddy. 

three brown Cocker Spaniel Dogs in holiday attire in Christmas

The Music Center Plaza, Los Angeles

The Music Center in the Little Tokyo district of LA hosts several events during the holidays, and is near the colorful Arts District!

  • Begin the season right with the LA County Christmas Tree Lighting is on December 2nd at 5:00 PM at the Music Center Plaza on N. Grande Avenue. It’s free and Fido is welcome to watch the beautiful display on a leash. Enjoy live performances of holiday fur-vorites, by the Brass Pacifica Chamber Music Ensemble, with chorale performances as well. Grab some complimentary hot cocoa while you sing along.

  • Head southwest to The Bloc for the Sparkle DTLA where 18 million hues of lights synchronize to music. From November 11th to January 2nd, you and your furry pal can enjoy LA’s largest interactive holiday displays complete with a 32-foot Christmas Tree!

  • Check out the Garey building to the east on December 18th from 2 PM to 5 PM for the Holiday Pop Up Market and Ugly Holiday Sweater Contest where dogs are encouraged to come! Come equipped with your ugliest holiday sweater and do some shopping with various vendors, participate in dog activities, enjoy refreshments and prizes, and take some pawsome photos with your furry pal!

  • Get away from the crowds and let your pooch run with the neighborhood dogs at the Grand Park Dog Park across the street from the Music Center Plaza.

Candy Cane Lane, Woodland Hills

This neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley has lit up its houses and trees in a spectacular fashion since 1952, and invites everyone to join the fun! The decorating is by the homeowners of Woodland Hills, who try to outdo each other every year with lights and lawn decorations.

  • Starting at the corner of Lubao and Oxnard Streets, drive by slowly with your headlights dimmed from December 11th through December 31st to enjoy the lights, figures and artificial snow on display at this furtastic celebration. Homeowners request that visitors stop driving through by 10:00 PM on weeknights and by 11:00 PM on weekends. Santa and his elves will be roaming the neighborhood wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and standing for photos with you and yours.

  • After your visit to Candy Cane Lane, chug on over to The Local Peasant eatery where you can dine on the patio with your pup by your side. The Local Peasant serves up furbulous gastropub fare for you (and Fido) to enjoy!

  • Take a winter stroll along the Caballero Canyon Trail to the south, or explore the 10 miles of trails through the Santa Monica mountains at the Westridge-Canyonback Wilderness Park.

Corona del Mar, Newport Beach

Translated as the “Crown of the Sea”, Corona del Mar is the seaside neighborhood of Newport Beach you want to visit for the holidays. Vintage cottages and gorgeous Pacific Ocean beaches are an idyllic backdrop for activities year round, but December is when this hamlet really lights up!

  • Delight in the Corona del Mar Christmas Walk on December 5th from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM. This free event allows residents and visitors alike to stroll the streets enjoying beer and wine gardens, live entertainment from over 17 local bands playing holiday tunes, children’s activities, and even a visit from Santa! Neighborhood shops and restaurants provide gifts ro random attendees, and Fido may even score an early Christmas present from one of several local dog-friendly pet stores!

  • Find a furbulous spot on the oceanfront to enjoy a view of the 113th Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade! From December 15th to 19th, a stream of decorated boats, yachts, kayaks and canoes parade through Newport Harbor from the tip of Lido Isle to Corona del Mar, and back starting at 6:30 PM each evening. Join in the fun and register your own decorated vessel to take part in the parade and see the decorated waterfront homes and businesses that make up the Ring of Lights!

  • Does your adventure hound dream of a sandy holiday? Across Newport Bay on the Balboa Peninsule, Newport Beach is just a waiting to fulfill their dreams of romping in the sun and surf!

  • For the hikers, enjoy the sights of gorgeous SoCal on the Mountains to Sea Trail featuring 22 miles that starts just north of Corona del Mar. 

Liberty Station NTC Park, San Diego

This waterfront San Diego district park offers lots of space for outdoor fun, and is situated near gourmet eateries, pawdorable boutiques, art galleries and museums for a cultural experience not to be missed. 

  • Start the season with the Liberty Station Tree Lighting on November 26th from 5 PM to 9 PM. Located in the North Promenade, visitors can gaze in wonder at the huge 88-foot Norfolk pine while enjoying live entertainment, including a choir and an outdoor showing of The Grinch. Fire truck rides and an ice rink are available for the humans, and admission and parking are free.

  • Celebrate Hanukkah in style on November 28th with the lighting of the menorah in the Central Promenade at 5 PM. This traditional activity is accompanied by festivities for the whole family and music.

  • Take a stroll along the Historic Decatur Road to admire the holiday art installations in Liberty Station. This free event is self-guided, and open from Thanksgiving weekend through the new year.

  • Is your dog ready to give Santa his holiday wishlist? Check out the Unleash the Holiday Cheer event in Liberty Station on December 5th from 11 AM to 2 PM to let them bark it out to Santa while you catch a photo of the action. Enjoy music, live dance performances, crafts, a holiday vendor village, a pet costume contest, and gifts and sponsored adoptions for veteran and military families to promote pet adoption and military appreciation. Tickets are $5 for civiliansand free for military with valid IDs.
  • Get your dog holiday shopping done with your pup at the Small Pawliday Market on November 27th from 12 PM to 4 PM! This pop-up event features unique items from local vendors, including dog bandanas and jewelry, in front of the Puppy Picnic Co. storefront on nearby Wimble Road. 

Jewell Park, Pacific Grove

Gorgeous Pacific Grove’s coastal vibe attracts many throughout the year, but during the holidays, this Monterey County town shines!

  • Begin your holiday festivities with the official Christmas Tree Lighting inside Jewell Park! On November 29th from 4:30 PM to 8 PM, join Santa and several bands and choruses in making merry. Watch a dance show, enjoy seasonal refreshments and watch the tree light up at 5:30 PM! 

  • Along the southern perimeter of Jewell Park runs Lighthouse Avenue, home to the Annual Holiday Parade of Lights on December 2nd! Grab your spot early to watch this lighted spectacle of holiday floats, marching bands, equestrian groups and dance teams as they march down Lighthouse Ave from 6 PM to 9 PM. 

  • Head down Forest Avenue to Morse Drive to Pacific Grove’s Candy Cane Lane! Throughout the holiday season, pack up the pup and fam, and take a leisurely cruise through this colorful neighborhood of spectacularly lighted and decorated houses.

  • Is your pooch getting antsy? Let them run free in the dog area at the nearby Rip Van Winkle Open Space Park to get out those wiggles for the next holiday event.

  • Need some sun and sand for your holiday? Head to the coast to Asilomar Beach for a furbulous, pup-friendly romp to kick up the sand or splash in the waves.

Got an event in SoCal that doesn’t allow your pooch? Keep the celebration going this holiday season by booking a pawtastic local dog sitter! Friendly dog sitters with Wag! can entertain your furry pal in your home or hotel while you explore all the fun Pacific Grove has to offer. 

Happy Holidays and Merry Pupmas!

Comments (0)

Leave a comment

Your name




Add photo(s) of your petoptional