21 Christmas Light Neighborhoods That Are Worth The Drive in San Diego

(photo by @famdiego at Clairemont "Christmas Park")

Twinkle Twinkle Christmas lights, where can I find you shining so bright? See below for some neighborhoods that are worth the drive. 🌟

The list below only includes NEIGHBORHOODS with lots of houses lit up; which makes it more worthwhile to pack up the kiddos. It's usually better to get out and walk around, but sometimes parking is hard to find so if you drive around, please watch out for pedestrians who may be out walking around since it'll be dark. 🌟


👉 GO EARLY in the month AND evenings before 6pm. Plan your visits between 5-9pm. The car lines get really long after 6pm and the closer it gets to Christmas.

👉 Bring cash as some neighbors sell cookies and hot cocoa for $1 or so. We hit up Starbucks on our way over to grab some vanilla steamers and hot chocolate. 😉

👉 Bring a kids potty or a *pee bag with you or put your kiddies in a pull-up because there are NO bathrooms. 😲

*Amazon affiliate link

👉 Dress kids in their pj’s & pull-ups because they may even fall asleep on the ride home. Hopefully you can just carry them to bed. 😴

👉 Print Out this CHRISTMAS LIGHTS SCAVENGER HUNT to add a little extra fun to your night.


jump to: south, central, east, north inland, coast (dates & times are subject to change)


🌟 CHULA VISTA: “Christmas Circle”

📍 Along Whitney St. + Mankato Circle, between First and Second Ave. off H St. and 1st Ave.

📆 Dec. 9-26 from 5-10

🏠 55+ homes

This is a small but mighty circle drive so it gets pretty jammed with cars the closer it gets to Christmas.



📍 Falling Star Dr. + Porch Swing St. (nearest intersection is Olympic Parkway + Windingwalk St.

📆 unk

🏠 unk



🌟 SOUTHPARK: "Luminaria"

📍 Along 30th St. + Fern St.

You'll find a small-town vibe tucked away here along the tree-lined streets with brightly decorated shops, restaurants & homes.


🌟 CLAIREMONT: “Christmas Park”

📍 Lana Dr. & Jamar Dr. off Mt. Abernathy

📆 Dec. 1-25

🏠 40+ homes

This is a circular street so you can drive around the circle a couple times to see the lights on both sides. Santa is usually in front of one of the houses in the little side culd-de-sac, sitting in a chair and will gladly take free Santa photos with the kids. (Not sure about this year in 2021 though...)

Many houses offer treats & hot chocolate for sale.

If you're nearby, you may want to check out:

Candy Land House

📍 4005 Mount Albertine Ave.

They create a life-size game of Candy Land with activities & lights. It's really fun to do this in daylight, so maybe head here first before it gets dark.



🌟 SANTEE: “Starlight Circle”

📍 off of N. Magnolia Ave. and Tomel Ct.

📆 Dec. 1-31 from dusk-10

🏠 75+ homes