California in December

California in December: Unforgettable Winter Bliss Await You

In December, California experiences mild temperatures and sunny weather. It is an ideal time to explore its beautiful beaches, visit national parks, and indulge in outdoor activities like hiking and surfing.

From the iconic coastal cities like san Francisco and los angeles to the stunning landscapes of Yosemite and Joshua tree national parks, California offers a diverse range of attractions for visitors. In addition, December also marks the holiday season with festive decorations, parades, and events throughout the state.

So whether you’re seeking relaxation or adventure, California in December provides the perfect blend of nature, culture, and festivities.

California in December: Unforgettable Winter Bliss Await You


Festivals And Events In California In December

California in December is a vibrant and exciting place to be. From dazzling light displays to festive parades, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, you won’t want to miss out on these incredible festivals and events happening in California in December.

1. Winter Fest Oc

  • Winter fest oc is a magical winter wonderland that brings the holiday spirit alive.
  • Enjoy ice tubing, ice skating, snow play, and a massive snow slide.
  • Marvel at the beautiful Christmas tree lighting ceremony and live entertainment.
  • Don’t forget to visit Santa Claus and his reindeer for a truly memorable experience.

2. Festival Of Lights At The Mission Inn

  • The festival of lights at the historic mission inn in riverside is a must-see event.
  • Witness the grand lighting ceremony, where millions of twinkling lights adorn the inn and its surrounding area.
  • Enjoy holiday music, visit Santa Claus, and indulge in delicious treats at the festive food stalls.
  • Don’t miss the captivating fireworks display that lights up the night sky.

3. Hollywood Christmas Parade

  • The Hollywood Christmas parade is a star-studded event that attracts both locals and celebrities.
  • Watch as larger-than-life floats, marching bands, and famous characters parade down Hollywood boulevard.
  • Keep an eye out for celebrities who often make surprise appearances during the parade.
  • This iconic event is a fantastic way to get into the holiday spirit.

4. Calistoga’s Lighted Tractor Parade

  • Calistoga’s lighted tractor parade is a unique and quirky event that showcases the region’s farming heritage.
  • Marvel at beautifully decorated tractors and other agricultural vehicles adorned with twinkling lights.
  • Enjoy live music, local food vendors, and a festive atmosphere that can only be found in Calistoga.
  • Join the locals in celebrating the holiday season in a truly one-of-a-kind way.

5. San Francisco Ballet’s Nutcracker

  • The san Francisco ballet’s nutcracker is a timeless holiday tradition.
  • Watch as the talented ballet dancers bring the classic tale to life with their grace and skill.
  • Marvel at the stunning sets, intricate costumes, and beloved Tchaikovsky score.
  • This enchanting performance is sure to leave you with fond holiday memories.

6. SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration

  • SeaWorld’s Christmas celebration combines marine life and holiday cheer.
  • Immerse yourself in the mesmerizing sea of trees, a sea of sparkling Christmas trees synchronized to holiday music.
  • Enjoy live shows featuring dolphins, sea lions, and orcas, all in a holiday-themed setting.
  • Don’t forget to visit Santa’s cottage and meet some adorable penguins along the way.

Why Is December A Great Time To Visit?

California In December

December is a wonderful time to visit California, with pleasant weather, exciting holiday festivities, and stunning natural landscapes. Whether you prefer to relax on the beach, explore national parks, or immerse yourself in the vibrant city life, California offers something for everyone during this magical month.

Embrace The Mild Winter Weather

  • Mild temperatures: December in California brings moderate temperatures, making it an ideal time to enjoy outdoor activities without the scorching heat or freezing cold.
  • Sunshine abound: Despite being winter, California still offers plenty of sunshine, providing the perfect backdrop for your adventures and excursions.

Experience Festive Spirit And Holiday Cheer

  • Festive celebrations: California truly comes alive during December, with numerous holiday-themed events and festivals taking place throughout the state. From magnificent light displays to enchanting Christmas markets, you’ll feel the joy and warmth of this season.
  • Disneyland magic: A trip to California in December wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Disneyland resort. The park is transformed into a winter wonderland, offering spectacular decorations, festive parades, and magical experiences for the whole family.

Explore The Natural Wonders

  • Snow-capped mountains: California boasts majestic mountain ranges like the sierra Nevada and the san Gabriel mountains, which become dusted with enchanting snow in December. Skiing, snowboarding, and other winter activities await you in these breathtaking landscapes.
  • National park adventures: With fewer crowds compared to the peak season, December allows you to explore California’s stunning national parks at a more leisurely pace. From Yosemite to Joshua tree, these natural wonders offer magnificent vistas, hiking trails, and opportunities to connect with nature.

Enjoy A Quaint Coastal Getaway

  • Coastal charm: California’s picturesque coastline, featuring charming towns and stunning beaches, beckons you for a peaceful retreat in December. Explore the iconic highway 1, watch the waves crash against the cliffs, and indulge in delicious seafood while enjoying the tranquil ambiance.

Delight In Holiday Shopping

  • Retail therapy: Take advantage of the holiday season and explore California’s vibrant shopping destinations. From bustling city centers to quaint boutiques, you’ll find unique gifts, trendy fashion, and local artisanal products to make your December visit even more memorable.

Indulge In Culinary Delights

  • Foodie paradise: California’s culinary scene is celebrated worldwide, and December presents the perfect opportunity to savor the state’s diverse flavors. From farm-to-table restaurants to gourmet food trucks and world-class wineries, your taste buds will be in for a treat during your visit.

With mild weather, festive spirit, stunning natural landscapes, and a range of engaging activities, December is undoubtedly a great time to visit California. Embrace the holiday cheer, explore the beauty of the state, and create unforgettable memories in the golden state this December.

Things To Do In California In December

California in December offers plenty of exciting activities for visitors and locals alike. The mild weather and festive atmosphere make it an ideal time to explore the state. From picturesque beaches to snow-capped mountains, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Here are some things to do in California in December:

Embrace The Festive Spirit In San Francisco

San Francisco is known for its vibrant energy, and in December, the city truly comes to life with holiday cheer. Some key activities to experience include:

  • Union square ice rink: Lace up your skates and glide across the ice at this iconic outdoor rink.
  • Holiday lights tour: Take a guided tour around the city to see the dazzling holiday lights and decorations.
  • Macy’s holiday windows: Don’t miss the chance to admire the creative and festive window displays at macy’s.

Discover Winter Wonderland In Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe is a magical destination during December, with stunning scenery and a wide range of winter activities. Here are a few highlights:

  • Skiing and snowboarding: Hit the slopes at one of the many world-class ski resorts in the area.
  • Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing: Explore the serene winter landscapes by snowshoeing or cross-country skiing.
  • Ice skating: Put on your skates and enjoy gliding on the ice at one of the outdoor ice rinks.

Soak Up The Sun In San Diego

Escape the winter chill and head to sunny san Diego for an unforgettable December getaway. Here are some noteworthy experiences:

  • Whale watching: Take a boat tour to witness the majestic gray whales as they migrate along the coast.
  • Balboa park: Explore the beautiful balboa park, home to numerous museums, gardens, and the famous san Diego zoo.
  • La jolla cove: Visit the picturesque la jolla cove to see the resident seals and enjoy stunning coastal views.

Enjoy Holiday Festivities In Los Angeles

Los angeles embraces the holiday season with a variety of festive events and activities for all ages. Here are a few highlights:

  • The grove: Visit this outdoor shopping destination for stunning holiday decorations, a giant Christmas tree, and festive entertainment.
  • Griffith observatory: Take a trip to the Griffith observatory to enjoy breathtaking views and special holiday events.
  • Holiday boat parades: Experience the magic of illuminated boats at the various holiday boat parades along the coast.

Immerse Yourself In Nature In Big Sur

For nature lovers, a trip to big sur in December is a must. Here are a few recommendations:

  • Coastal hiking: Explore the rugged coastline and marvel at the breathtaking views along the scenic hiking trails.
  • Mcway falls: Witness the mesmerizing mcway falls, a picturesque waterfall that cascades directly into the ocean.
  • Pfeiffer beach: Visit Pfeiffer beach to admire the iconic keyhole rock and its golden sands.

California in December offers an array of activities and experiences for every interest. From festive city vibes to snowy adventures and beautiful coastal retreats, there’s no shortage of things to do and see. So, pack your bags and get ready to create unforgettable memories in the golden state!

Weather In California In December

December is a prime time to visit California. The weather remains quite pleasant during this time, making it an ideal destination for travelers seeking a winter getaway or some time off during the year-end holidays. The state offers a diverse range of climates, from the coastal regions to the mountainous areas.

Let’s take a closer look at what you can expect in terms of weather in California in December.

Coastal Areas:

  • The coastal areas of California experience mild and moderate temperatures throughout December.
  • Average temperatures range from the mid-50s°f to mid-60s°f (around 13-18°c).
  • It’s a great time to explore the famous coastal cities such as san Francisco, los angeles, and san Diego without the summer crowds.

Mountainous Regions:

  • If you’re a fan of winter sports and activities, the mountainous regions in california offer a snowy wonderland in december.
  • Popular destinations like lake tahoe, mammoth lakes, and yosemite national park are perfect for skiing, snowboarding, and outdoor winter adventures.
  • Temperatures in these areas tend to drop significantly, with average highs ranging from mid-30s°f to low 40s°f (around 1-6°c).

Southern California:

  • Southern california enjoys a mild climate throughout the year, and december is no exception.
  • Temperatures range from the upper 60s°f to mid-70s°f (around 20-24°c) during the day, making it ideal for outdoor activities.
  • Places like palm springs, santa barbara, and joshua tree national park offer a pleasant escape from the cold winter temperatures elsewhere.

Central Valley:

  • The central valley experiences cooler temperatures compared to the coastal areas and southern regions of california.
  • High temperatures average around the mid-50s°f (around 13°c) during the day, with cooler evenings.
  • Cities like sacramento and fresno are great places to explore during december, with fewer tourists and a chance to experience the local culture.

Desert Areas:

  • California’s desert regions, such as joshua tree national park and death valley, offer a unique winter experience.
  • Daytime temperatures can reach the high 60s°f to low 70s°f (around 21-24°c), while evenings can get chilly.
  • December is a quieter time to visit, allowing you to appreciate the stunning landscapes of the desert without the scorching heat.

California’s diverse weather in december provides something for everyone, whether you prefer a coastal escape, snowy adventures, or mild temperatures. It is important to note that these are general weather patterns and can vary from year to year. It’s always a good idea to check the local forecast before planning any outdoor activities during your visit.

So, pack accordingly and get ready to enjoy all that California has to offer in December!

Best Beaches To Visit In California In December

California in December is a great time to visit if you want to escape the colder weather in other parts of the country and enjoy some sunshine. While it may not be peak beach season, there are still plenty of beautiful beaches in California that are worth exploring.

Whether you want to relax on the sand, go for a swim, or indulge in some water sports, here are the best beaches to visit in California in December.

1. Venice Beach:

  • Venice beach is one of the most iconic beaches in California, known for its quirky atmosphere and vibrant boardwalk.
  • Take a stroll along the boardwalk and soak in the unique street performers, artists, and vendors that line the path.
  • Enjoy the skate park, basketball courts, and fitness areas, or rent a bike and explore the area on two wheels.
  • Don’t forget to snap a selfie with the famous Venice beach sign before you leave.

2. La Jolla Cove:

  • Located in san Diego, la jolla cove is a picturesque beach with crystal clear waters and stunning cliffs.
  • Explore the tide pools and discover an array of marine life, including colorful fish and playful seals.
  • If you’re feeling adventurous, go snorkeling or kayaking in the calm waters and get up close and personal with the sea creatures.
  • With its natural beauty and tranquil atmosphere, la jolla cove is a must-visit beach in December.

3. Pismo Beach:

  • Head to Pismo beach on the central coast of California for a relaxing and laid-back beach experience.
  • This beach is known for its wide sandy shores, perfect for long walks and beachcombing.
  • If you’re a nature enthusiast, don’t miss out on the opportunity to witness the annual migration of the monarch butterflies at the Pismo beach monarch grove.
  • With its small-town charm and beautiful coastline, Pismo beach offers a serene getaway in December.

4. Santa Monica Beach:

  • Situated adjacent to the famous Santa Monica pier, Santa Monica beach is a popular destination for both locals and tourists.
  • Walk along the sandy beach, enjoy a game of beach volleyball, or simply soak up the sun.
  • Take a ride on the Ferris wheel or roller coaster at the Santa Monica pier for some added excitement.
  • With its vibrant atmosphere and stunning ocean views, Santa Monica beach is a must-visit spot in December.

5. Coronado Beach:

  • Located just off the coast of san Diego, Coronado beach is known for its pristine white sand and sparkling blue waters.
  • Take a leisurely walk along the beach and admire the historic hotel del Coronado, a grand Victorian-style hotel that dates back to the 1880s.
  • If you’re feeling adventurous, try your hand at surfing or paddle boarding in the gentle waves.
  • With its picturesque beauty and tranquil ambiance, Coronado beach is a hidden gem in California.

When it comes to beach destinations, California has it all. Whether you’re looking for a bustling boardwalk or a serene coastline, these beaches offer something for everyone. So, pack your swimsuit, grab your sunscreen, and get ready to enjoy the best beaches California has to offer in December.

Frequently Asked Questions On California In December

What Is The Weather Like In California During December?

During December, California experiences mild and pleasant weather. The temperatures range from 50 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit, offering a great climate for outdoor activities and exploring the beautiful landscapes of the state.

Are There Any Special Events Or Festivals In California In December?

Yes, December is a festive month in California. You can enjoy events like the san Francisco ballet’s nutcracker, the festival of lights in riverside, and the Hollywood Christmas parade. These events add a touch of joy and sparkle to your visit during this time of the year.

Is December A Good Time To Visit The Beach In California?

While the water may be too cold for swimming in December, visiting the beach in California is still enjoyable. You can take leisurely walks on the sandy shores, admire the stunning coastal landscapes, and witness beautiful sunsets, all while enjoying the pleasant weather and avoiding the crowds of the summer season.


Overall, California in December offers a delightful blend of sunny skies, mild temperatures, and a variety of attractions and activities to enjoy. From exploring the stunning coastal landscapes to wandering through charming small towns, this state has something for everyone.

Whether you’re a nature lover, adventure seeker, or a food enthusiast, California in December will not disappoint. The bustling cities like los angeles and san Francisco offer endless entertainment options, from shopping and dining to world-class museums and theaters. Moreover, the national parks like Yosemite and Joshua tree provide breathtaking views and opportunities for hiking, camping, and wildlife spotting.

The holiday season also brings festive cheer, with Christmas markets, parades, and light displays adding to the magical atmosphere. So, don’t miss the chance to experience the unique beauty and vibrant energy that California has to offer in December. Grab your sunscreen and start planning your adventure today!

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