The holidays are, as the song goes, the most wonderful time of the year. But we here in California tend to think that they’re a little more wonderful here. Here’s why:

It’s Warmer

The simple fact that you don’t have to deal with waiting for the car to warm up, or only being able to stand being outside for about one minute at a time during the holidays here is pretty huge. Southern California is a destination for holiday lovers who aren’t cold lovers. Also, if you want to ski, the mountains are not a far drive either.

There Are Beaches

This is building off the whole “it’s warmer here” theme. We have beaches, which is the ultimate symbol for rest and relaxation for many travelers. Since holidays and vacations go hand-in-hand, it makes sense that beach people would head to the coast in late December.

Our Holiday Traditions Rival The Best Of Them

Throughout Santa Barbara County, there are a number of holiday markets, tree lighting ceremonies, and appearances by Santa Claus. You can find performances of The Nutcracker in and around Santa Barbara, with various other holiday shows rolling through town. The point is, while you can find sunshine here, you can also find the holiday traditions that make this time of year special.

It’s Great For Those Who Are Outdoorsy

If you need to work off those sugary Christmas cookies, or all the latkes you had at Chanukah dinner, than Santa Barbara and California offer a great atmosphere to do that. For some examples of what we’re talking about, check out this extensive guide to the Best Hikes Along the Pacific Coast Highway.

This Is An Excellent Road Trip State

California is also an excellent road trip state. So, if you want to do something with those off days between Christmas and New Year’s, you could hit the Pacific Coast Highway and visit destinations like Monterey, or Malibu. For a little guidance there, we also have a breakdown of The Ultimate California Road Trip.