by Lilia Walsh
We’ve shared the knockout Christmas Light displays from the East Coast and Midwest, and now its time to head southwest; from the small town (Leavenworth) to the mega-resort (Disneyland/world), here are some of the best places in the south and west to enjoy Christmas light displays. Ride the carousel, drive through the cave, take a stroll and enjoy the lights!
Candy Cane Lane – Seattle, Washington
This holiday mecca has been an institution since 1949, and today at least twenty-three houses participate, usually sharing an organizing theme, such as the Nutcracker. Even if you are not in the Christmas spirit, try to refrain from acting like the vandals who wrecked Candy Cane Lane last year and stole an inflatable Grinch (presumably he was their mascot).
Leavenworth Christmas Lights – Leavenworth, Washington
Leavenworth is a really Christmassy town, its not just lights; it’s a Christmas experience. Take in the lights on the town square, and if you are lucky you could catch a showing of A Christmas Carol at the nearby theatre, and then shop for gifts at the craft fair or the Christmas Bazaar on Front Street. Later you can listen to a Christmas concert at the Church of the Nazarene. If you aren’t in the Christmas spirit after all that, you probably never will be.
The Annual Christmas Boat Parade - Newport Beach, California
Described as “Newport Beach’s Christmas Card to the world”, this parade of yachts, kayaks, canoes and other small boats decorated with Christmas lights and other decorations makes a loop starting and ending at Bay Island. The homes and businesses along the bay and harbor also decorate, creating a ring of lights. If your appetite for Christmas still isn’t sated, come on the last day of the parade, when they launch fireworks from Balboa pier.
The River Walk - San Antonio, Texas
The river walk park gets festive for the holidays with 122,000 lights and in December, 6,000 luminaries. Explore the lights by foot, strolling along the river, and stop for a bite or a drink at Bourdos restaurant. Order your entrée and desert and then hop on the boat outside for a short cruise to explore the lights, and be back to the retardant just as your food arrives.
Tacky light Tours – Richmond, Virginia
The ‘tacky light tour’ tradition has spread to other cities as well, but the Richmond tour is particularly noteworthy and spectacular. There are a number of websites, including the one, below which map out all of the listed homes and businesses that have been decorated to the nines. You can walk the denser areas, drive yourself around following the map, or pay a pretty penny (about $150 +) to be driven around in a limo. If you are shooting for a lower carbon footprint, and or higher dork quotient, you can even cruise the lights on a Segway with Segway of Richmond.
Lights Under Louisville – Louisville Mega Cavern, Louisville, Kentucky
As far as we know, this is the only place where you can drive through a Christmas light display in a cave! There are about 17 miles of underground passageways and over 800 lit up figurines. It takes about 30 minutes to see it all, and you can do it all from the comfort of your own vehicle.
The two U.S. Disney parks go all out for Christmas, and we would expect nothing less. The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights on the Streets of America in Disneyworld in California features a street of facades ‘painted’ with bright blankets of light. The display at Florida’s Disneyland features sleeping beauty’s castle dripping from Christmas light icicles. Except for the crowds, this might be a great time to visit Disneyland; Christmas decoration to the hilt, and not nearly as cold as much of the US this time of year.
Find these light shows and other adventures on Roadtrippers:
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