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Christmas and New Years Events

Marlton, New Jersey
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896 reviews
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Christmas and New Years Events

I know it is early but we planning a trip to California from Dec 26 to Jan 3 for later this year. We would like to see some Christmas events if possible. We will be flying into San Francisco, going to Mendacino, then making our way down the coast route to Carmel, Monterey, Hearst Castle, Solvang, etc before ending up in Los Angelos. I believe Hearst Castle and Disneyland will be decorated for the holidays. Not sure if they still will be decorated in early January. Also how do I get tickets for one of the shows? Thank you.

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Anaheim, California
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1. Re: Christmas and New Years Events

Many Theme Parks do special Christmas events and decoration.

In the Bay Area, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo does a good job, offered from Thanksgiving through early January (as with most other locations). I would say through January 5th, 2015.

In the Los Angeles area, Universal Studios has Grinchmas, Knott's Berry Farm is well known for its Knott's Merry Farm offering, and as mentioned Disneyland.

San Diego, SeaWorld does a good job with decorations and shows.

All these parks include the Christmas theming as part of the basic admission fees.

Another popular place that offers Christmas decorations and shows are large Shopping Malls

San Francisco...
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for San Francisco
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2. Re: Christmas and New Years Events

what shows are you talking about ?

Well if you are planning to spend time in SF, then downtown SF is lit up and has things to do post Christmas but if you are going North the small towns enroute may have things. Are you interested in going to other theme parks besides Disneyland . Frankly with 8 days you are doing and driving a lot. perhaps it would be best to do either NorCal or SoCal in the 7 full days you have here.

Edited: 02 March 2014, 13:45
San Francisco
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3. Re: Christmas and New Years Events

I quickly mapped this out and it's about 800 miles of driving (and that's assuming you take Highway 101 between SF and Mendocino). Assuming that Dec 26 and Jan 3 are travel days, you have 7 full days.

But I would assume you would want to spend one full day in Mendocino if you're going to bother driving all the way to get there. And you'll need another full day at San Simeon if you plan to see Hearst Castle. And at least one full day at Disneyland (which is in Anaheim, and hour south of Los Angeles). You'll also need 2 full days in SF and LA to even barely see these cities.

Let's review.

Dec 26 arrive

Dec 27-28 SF

Dec 29 drive to Mendo

Dec 30 Mendo

Dec 31 drive to Carmel

Jan 1 drive to San Simeon

Jan 2 San Simeon

Jan 3 Disney via Solvang

Jan 4 Disney

Jan 5,6 LA

Jan 7 Depart

As you can see, I think you have planned too much for the time you have available.

Santa Monica...
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for Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Mammoth Lakes
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4. Re: Christmas and New Years Events

You have too many things to see and do in only 8 days, and it's really impossible. You won't experience anything but the inside of your car and you won't see anything except the freeway billboards..

As mentioned above, pick either the northern area or the southern area.

Marlton, New Jersey
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896 reviews
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5. Re: Christmas and New Years Events

I have my itinerary as follows:

Dec 26: arrive at 9am. Drive to Mendacino

Dec 27: see sights of Mendacino until 1 or 2 pm. Drive to SF via Freeway

Dec 28: sights of SF, Alcatraz, Fishermans Wharf etc

Dec 29: sights of SF until 1 pm. Drive to Carmel. Overnight Carmel

Dec 30: Carmel morning. Drive to Hearst castle and do last tour. Drive to Solvang and spend night.

Dec 31: Solvang to Los Angelos. See mission in Santa Barbara.

Jan 1: Disneyland

Jan2: sights of LA; Queen Mary.

Jan3: studio tour, Hollywood

Jan 4: fly home around 2pm

We have both been to California at least twice before and I have done the whole coastal route etc before as well as Hearst Castle so we don't have to stop and see everything. Hope this helps. It is preliminary itinerary as I have to see what is happening where before I do the final. I can also do SF first before Mendacino if that is better. Thank you

Marlton, New Jersey
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2,122 posts
896 reviews
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6. Re: Christmas and New Years Events

Maybe I should allow an extra day in Hearst Castle area as I have almost 3 days in LA, but I have relatives in San Juan Capistrano so we were going to visit places with them as well.

7. Re: Christmas and New Years Events

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