USA travel: why you’ll love Christmas on the West Coast

Some may enjoy the hot summer Christmas (usually at the beach), that South Africa has to offer, while some may prefer a white or rather cooler Christmas. And which country can be better that the USA for that white or cooler festive season holiday?

There is a big debate regarding which USA coast is the best to spend Christmas: east or west. While the East Coast often gets all the glory when it comes to Christmas in the U.S (here’s looking at you, Hallmark movies), this year, we’re looking west. “While the East Coast is simply magical as it morphs into winter, you could just as easily be taking part in an American winter on the West Coast, where it’s not as chilly,” says Jessica Clarke, Marketing Manager for Busabout.

Think golden beaches and boardwalks, majestic national parks, road-trips, backyard barbecues and ice-cold Budweisers, not to mention a deluge of Christmas lights, parades, and twinkling neighbourhoods spread across Los Angeles, in particular. If you like the sound of that, here are Jessica’s top picks for why you’ll love Christmas out west:

Grinchmas at Universal Studios
During Christmas in New York, Santa reigns, but in Califonia, the Grinch and the Whos of
Whosville take over Universal Studios Hollywood. Wander down Dr. Seuss-inspired streets and meet some of your favourite characters from this classic tale. You can have a photo taken with the Grinch and his dog Max.

Holiday cacti
In Las Vegas, you'll experience a Christmas with more glitz, glam and Christmas cacti than you could ever imagine. You can try the standard activities such as ice skating and shopping but in Vegas, it’s all about the Christmas quirks. Curb your chocolate craving among three acres of cacti draped in lights at the Ethel M Chocolate Factory.

Christmas Tree Lane 

While L.A. often lures in visitors with its breezy palm trees, the region is no slouch when it comes to conifers. During the festive season, this grand, mile-long driveway in Altadena fills up with Christmas trees and lights, transforming into Christmas Tree Lane. While you may feel inclined to drive through it with your headlights off, that would be illegal so we recommend you resist the urge.

I’m on a Christmas boat
From Marina del Rey to Newport Beach, the waters off the Southern California coast sparkle with lights, as decorated boats cruise throughout the night in a parade free to the public. Some cities have just one parade, but places like Long Beach offer multiple celebrations throughout the season.

Las Posadas
Since LA was once part of Mexico and the Mexican-American population is still the majority, it is not surprising that the tradition of Las Posadas is alive and well. On Olvera Street at El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Site a costumed Mary and Joseph accompanied by a procession of singers, musicians, and community members go from house to house looking for a room.

Christmas at the Grand Canyon
There's no better time to avoid lines and traffic at the Grand Canyon National Park than the winter holiday months. The restaurants in the surrounding area are decked out in Christmas gear, with a laid-back festive atmosphere in the small desert towns. The best part is of course the canyon itself, when the sun sets and rises over the contrast of a light snow against its red rocks.

If you’re looking to explore the U.S during Christmas or throughout 2019, Busabout has several East to West or West to East road trips available that cover 12 states over three unforgettable weeks.

If this has not yet convinced you, check out my latest article in the January edition of Bloss, available now via, about my experience in Los Angeles! Trust me, you will want to either be on the first plane out, or add this to your 2019 bucket list!

Magdel Steyn
Magdel Steyn

Editor: Travel

Magdél is a communication specialist and entrepreneur who creates opportunities for traveling and stories through her digital nomad lifestyle. She is the owner of MSMedia and a Digital Influencer who shares various business and travel tips.

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BLOSS is an international media platform for South African women who live all over the world in the age group, 20 – 35 years. We integrate print and technology through innovative and exiting ways to keep things fresh, modern and interactive.