Celebrate Christmas on the California Coast
Coastal Beaches - Hot or Cold Climates
Northern and Southern California could very well be different states for their cultural and geographical differences. No less is true when it comes to California beaches in December. You will find a cold and foggy walk, along breezy coastal waterways a relaxing pursuit in Northern California. Hot cocoa and tea coexist peacefully with their common counterparts in the local coffee house.
But in SoCal, as the natives call it, you'll still find bikini clad vixens and weight-lifting exercise gurus at surfside locations - off golden, sunny shores during the December holiday season. The temperatures will be in the low 80s, maybe even as low as 75, with a chance of mild rain for an hour or two!
So, which style is your preference? Where would you rather be for a Christmas holiday to the beach?
North Coast - A Christmas Trip to Mendocino
There will be no snowfall at the shore but expect the temperatures to reach into the sixties or fifties most days. One beautiful seaside retreat is the town of Mendocino, a small town filled with excellent dining choices, dog-loving folks in jeans, and boutiques for the shopper. Old churches ring bells, lovely bed and breakfast lodging is available and even camping is an option in Mendocino. The beaches are free to park at and easily accessed. The town is small (less than 1,000) and doesn't go quite to sleep as early as other small towns, due to it's ever-present but low-key tourist population. The nature of folks here is far more conservative than their Southern counterparts but they are still beach folks - a very down to Earth group of people. Enjoy the festivities:
- Festival of Lights at Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden (through next door town, Fort Bragg)
- Mendocino Tree Lighting
- Christmas Train Excursions (through neighboring town, Fort Bragg)
California Christmas Music
Ah, Venice. There isn't any other place like it, as far as beaches go. There are so many oddities and curiosities in the form of people, that just taking a walk along the beach is entertainment itself. Many hippies unite here. From the flamboyant ambler to the competitive body-builder, from the painter to the nearly nude sunbather, from the street musician to the bikini clad roller-blader, if you are here long enough, you will see enough to delight or possibly shock a traveler... for Venice folks are WILD!
You can take a walk on the wild side in Venice!
Santa Monica Beach
Santa Monica is a stone's throw away from Venice, except in the calmer, more traditional (but certainly not conservative!) community that dates back to 1886, with the famous Santa Monica Pier built in 1909. With 90,000 people living there, the infrastructure and flow of a city is in place but a beach town is a beach town is a beach town. There is still that SoCal beach town feeling, relaxed in attitude, people doing their own thing, professional jobs available for those wanting them, nice but to-themselves residents - just without as much drama as their Venice neighbors. Here are the homes of many celebrities. Here is a lovely outdoor pedestrian-only shopping area that has been upgraded for the new century and can be called a tourist-beacon but still provides entertainment for all.
St. Monica Church Offers a Popular Christmas Eve Service
Beach Town Christmas Vacation
Getting away from the typical Christmas to take a vacation at the beach is a tempting offer with lovely celebrations during the holidays. Take a look at the links below for holiday festivities listed in each of the town mentioned above.
A Video That Captures the Playful SoCal Attitude
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In The Southwest
There is more to do, see, and experience in the Southwest:
California - Celebrate on the California Coast
Nevada - Sin City! Free Las Vegas!
Colorado - Grand Canyon West & The Skywalk
New Mexico - Art & Nature Await in New Mexico
Texas - Top 5 Things To Do in San Antonio
Arizona/Utah - Monument Valley Tribal Park
Southwest - An Overview of the Southwest Region of the USA