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Searching for "quaint old town style" Christmas celebration

Melbourne
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Searching for "quaint old town style" Christmas celebration

Hi,

We will be travelling from Australia and staying for one week in Palm Springs over Thanksgiving but would love to check out a small mountain or country town one day to experience traditional old style Christmas festivities. I did find one member on an earlier post this year suggested Julian (i think approx 2 hrs from PS). I have discovered that Julian has its annual tree lighting ceremony etc on Sat 24 Nov which sounds really nice. Can anyone tell me if its worth the trip, or are we better going somewhere closer like Idyllwild (although one member has already advised me that Idyllwild is pretty small). We have a toddler so we dont want to drive for 2hrs if it really isnt worth the trip !!! We are looking for old town feel, quaint shops etc. Another option was Temecula??? Your opinions would be much appreciated.

San Francisco...
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1. Re: Searching for "quaint old town style" Christmas celebration

Will you still be here December 1st? For our annual Christmas parade?

I don't think 2 hours on winding roads would be much fun for a toddler, no matter where you're headed, or I would suggest Lake Arrowhead or Big Bear, but Idyllwild is closer than any of them,, including Julian or Temecula.

Fremont, California
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for San Francisco
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2. Re: Searching for "quaint old town style" Christmas celebration

I wouild highly recommend going to the Mission Inn - about an hour drive (can be a bit longer if traffic). This is a wonderful place to go for Christmas festivities. If you're lucky and have Friday night, its really special to go to when they turn on their lights, have fireworks, etc.

www.missioninn.com/fol/holiday_menus.php

This is considered one of the top 10 places to see Christmas lights, spirits, etc. They hvae some restaurants there so you may want to make a reservation in advance and enjoy. The hotel itself is interesting and worth wandering thorugh.

Your toddler will like it as they have cute little animated Christmas decorations ---children seem to really enjoy them.

Lots of fun - highly recommend.

San Francisco...
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3. Re: Searching for "quaint old town style" Christmas celebration

I would not recommend you drive into Riverside on Thanksgiving weekend unless you want to spend 2 hours each way, sitting in traffic.

Take your child to the Living Desert in Palm Desert

WILDLIGHTS

With over 350,000 twinkling lights illuminating the park after dark, this annual event kicks off the holiday season Thanksgiving weekend. Traditional holiday scenes, North American and African animals are depicted in lighted displays that are larger than life. The event becomes more spectacular each year with the addition of more beautiful lights and displays than in previous years. Highlighting the event is the popular LGB model train exhibits. WildLife at WildLights, a nighttime version of our very popular WildLife Wonders live animal show performs nightly in the Tennity Amphitheater. Cozy, wood-burning fireplaces, food, crafts and nightly live entertainment round out the evening’s festivities, as well as a visit from Santa. And the return of the "iceless" skating rink! Dates for 2007: Nov. 23-25; Nov 30-Dec 2; Dec 7-9, 14-23; Dec 26-Jan 1. Gates open at 6pm to 9pm. Admission prices: Non-Members: $7.25; Members: $6.00; Children ages 3-12: $5.50.

San Francisco...
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4. Re: Searching for "quaint old town style" Christmas celebration

and DONT MISS a stop to Kenny Irwins house on Granvia Valmonte, near downtown. The property is a whole block

and If you can't find it, ask someone. Everyone knows Kenny's house.

This is an eccentric artist / 33 year old guy who does millions of lights, himself, and every year there's more...as well as Santa and Pooh Gear the size of a small house......you have to see it, it's too much to explain.

He gives free tours after dark.

Topanga, California
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5. Re: Searching for "quaint old town style" Christmas celebration

The traffic between Palm Springs and Riverside will be fine on Thanksgiving Thursday through Saturday--the real traffic is on Wednesday and Sunday.

San Francisco...
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6. Re: Searching for "quaint old town style" Christmas celebration

Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year.

Driving between Palm Springs and Riverside there will be traffic to and from along the 10 from people heading to

the Cabazon Outlets

Inland Center Mall

Carousel Mall

Ontario Mills

Galleria at Tyler

and all the way through Redlands at the newer JC Penney/ Target centers.

Topanga, California
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7. Re: Searching for "quaint old town style" Christmas celebration

I'll stand corrected by PSP2SFO.

Friday can be bad near the outlets and malls. I've been caught at Cabazon before, but it really wasn't that bad if you stayed in the left lane.

I stand by Thursday and Saturday being fine.

San Francisco...
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8. Re: Searching for "quaint old town style" Christmas celebration

With Thursday being the Best !!

Most everyone is already at their desitnation

Maybe a little late night traffic for those who are coming home from a dinner..

Southern California
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9. Re: Searching for "quaint old town style" Christmas celebration

Idyllwild would probably fill the bill for "quaint", but not a heck of a lot going on. I also think Temecula's "small town" days are over (IMHO).

Personally, I'd head to San Diego (and surrounds). Lots of holiday festivities start about Thanksgiving. Check out Balboa Park (Sunday night organ concerts) and Del Mar (sdfair.com/holidayoflights/dates_tickets.html). El Cajon hosts the Mother Goose Parade (http://www.mothergooseparade.org/) the weekend before Thanksgiving. The Hotel Del should also be lit by Thanksgiving.

10. Re: Searching for "quaint old town style" Christmas celebration

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