Light Up Your Holidays in San Diego

As the holiday season approaches, San Diego transforms into a dazzling wonderland of twinkling lights and festive cheer. From waterfront parades to enchanting garden displays, the city comes alive with the spirit of the holidays. In this guide, we’ll take you on a luminous journey through some of the best places to experience the most magical lights of the holidays in San Diego.

San Diego Bay Parade of Lights (December 17th, 2023)

(Photo: @sdparadeoflights)

For an equally festive nautical extravaganza, check out the San Diego Bay Parade of Lights. This floating procession takes place on the San Diego Bay and features boats adorned with vibrant holiday lights, turning the bay into a magical waterway of color. Find a cozy spot  (our sister Shelter Island properties Humphreys Half Moon Inn and Best Western Plus Island Palms are excellent options), or treat yourself to a dinner cruise for a front-row seat to this enchanting display. The combination of shimmering reflections on the water and the city’s skyline provides a unique and unforgettable holiday experience.

Old Town Trolley’s Holiday Sights & Festive Nights Tour (2.3 miles)

(Photo: @visitoldtownsd)

This guided tour of San Diego’s holiday lights is an expert-narrated trek guide through the city’s most illuminated neighborhoods and iconic landmarks — all accompanied with shared stories and historical tidbits. Guests can relax and enjoy the dazzling displays from within the comfort of a festively decorated trolley without the hassle of driving. It’s an excellent way to discover hidden gems and local favorites, ensuring you don’t miss any of San Diego’s holiday magic.

4010 Twiggs St, San Diego, CA 92101

”All That Jazz” Light Show on Coronado Island (9.2 miles)

(Video: @daniellabraggtravels)

Coronado Island, known for its pristine beaches and historic charm, takes holiday lights to a whole new level with the All That Jazz Light Show. The picturesque beaches of the island become the canvas for a mesmerizing display of lights choreographed to the sounds of jazz. Grab a seat on the sand, sip on a hot beverage, and enjoy the symphony of lights dancing across the landscape. It’s a unique and sophisticated way to celebrate the holidays, combining the classic elegance of Coronado with the festive spirit of the season.

1500 Orange Ave, Coronado, CA 92118

Enchanted Village (18.8 miles)

(Photo: @noah_homes)

Wrap up your holiday lights tour at the Enchanted Village at Noah Homes, a heartwarming display that combines community spirit with festive decorations. Located in Spring Valley, this charming village features thousands of twinkling lights, holiday-themed displays, and joyful festivities. Take a walk through the village, enjoy live entertainment, and bask in the warmth of the holiday season. Best of all, all proceeds from Enchanted Village go toward helping people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. What better way to spread a little cheer during the season of giving? The Enchanted Village at Noah Homes is not just a light display; it’s a celebration of community, compassion, and the magic of the holidays.

12526 Campo Rd., Spring Valley, CA 91978

Snow N’ Glow Holiday Festival At Del Mar (19.7 miles)

(Photo: @snownglowdelmar)

Experience a winter wonderland in sunny San Diego at the Snow N’ Glow Holiday Festival in Del Mar. This family-friendly event brings the magic of the holidays to life with festive lights, snowfall, and a variety of holiday activities. Kids can play in the snow, visit with Santa Claus, and enjoy seasonal treats, creating cherished memories for the whole family. The Snow N’ Glow Holiday Festival is a delightful blend of Southern California charm and traditional holiday festivities.

2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd, Del Mar, CA 92014

Lightscape at San Diego Botanic Garden (25 miles)

(Video: @localemagazine)

Venture inland to the San Diego Botanic Garden for a magical stroll through Lightscape, a dazzling light display that transforms the garden into a winter wonderland. Stroll along illuminated pathways, marvel at the vibrant light installations, and immerse yourself in the holiday spirit. Lightscape’s delightful displays offer a serene and enchanting escape, perfect for a romantic evening or a family outing. Don’t forget to check the schedule for special events and live entertainment that add an extra layer of holiday magic.

300 Quail Gardens Dr, Encinitas, CA 92024

More to Explore

There’s truly no end to the stunning seasonal lights displays in “America’s Finest City”. Looking for more? Check out this interactive area map to find your favorite, and bask in the warm glow of holiday magic!

Lighten Up Your Holi-”Days” 

(Photo: @daysinnhc)

The holiday season in San Diego is a truly special time when the city’s natural beauty and vibrant spirit come together to create a magical experience for residents and visitors alike. Days Inn San Diego Hotel Circle is the perfect place to be for your San Diego holiday lights adventure! Comfortable accommodations, festively fantastic rates and special holiday travel offers are the perfect package for planning your yuletide journey. See you soon!