Happy December! I don’t know about you, but it seems more and more like it’s summer, and then all of a sudden the Holidays are here. Maybe it’s the beautiful weather here in Southern California, but like never before, time is flying! As they say, the days are long and years are short. Regardless, the holidays are hard to beat, especially when the weather in Southern California still allows us to spend much of the time outdoors. This year I thought it would be fun to share some of our favorite holiday outings around the South Bay and Palos Verdes, most requiring just a warm jacket, comfortable shoes, and friends and family to enjoy it with.
Torrance Christmas Lights
When an area becomes famously known, so much so that it’s call the “Christmas Light Area” to locals, it’s probably worth checking out. The area I’m speaking of is the Seaside Ranchos neighborhood in Torrance on the Redondo Beach/Hollywood Riviera border. We love to get an early dinner at the Riviera Mexican Grill (shameless plug for the family’s restaurant) then park at Tulita Elementary School, bring a thermos of hot chocolate for the kids, and enjoy the lights and festive atmosphere in this tree-lined neighborhood. The neighbors go all out so it can get pretty crowded on the weekends, so if you can spare a free weeknight, go early and enjoy it without the gridlock the weekends can bring.
Christmas Fireworks – Manhattan Beach Pier, December 10th
This is one of the big events not to miss if you want something much of the South Bay looks forward to each year. If you can make it down to the pier before hand, there are carolers, the infamous Hyperion Outfall Serenaders, and of course the fireworks show off the pier. We like to pick a spot in the sand on on The Strand 6 or 7 blocks away to get the full perspective without being in the thick of the crowd. It’s a great event to park somewhere to the south of the pier, and ride bikes to dinner, and then find a spot to watch the show.
For more information, visit: http://mbfireworks.com/
Naples Christmas Lights – Naples Island, Long Beach
This one has been a family tradition for over 30 years and another good excuse to try a new restaurant outside of our usual spots. Naples is a small island in Long Beach harbor with canals and walking paths much like the Strand. We like to get dinner at one of the many options in Belmont Shores, then find a parking spot and walk the 1 mile loop. Another option is to hire a gondolier to guide your tour around the island via a gondola (think Venice, Italy), or if you are really brave, bring your Stand Up Paddleboard and paddle around the island.
Have a great time and please feel free to share any of your holiday traditions with us!