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The Santa Barbara
Holiday Light Tour

(Updated for 2016 on Dec 4. Small changes on Dec 5 and Dec 9.)

Every year in December, there are wonderful displays of holiday lights in Santa Barbara, California. If you live there or if you happen to be visiting, you can have a wonderful time driving around looking at the festive decorations — if you know where to look.

When you have some time on a December evening, the directions below will take you on an amazing tour of the Santa Barbara holiday lights. If you drive at a reasonably slow pace, the entire route will take you about an hour.

For your holiday pleasure, here are some extra special holiday Web pages you may enjoy:

Holidays and Celebrations (by Harley Hahn)

To find out about a wonderful Santa Barbara-based holiday service for children all over the United States, take a look at:

Accidental Santa

For information about Santa Barbara: places to stay, restaurants, activities, attractions, and so on:

Directions for the
Santa Barbara Holiday Light Tour

The full Holiday Light Tour takes about one hour if you drive slow. I recommend starting your tour between 6:30 pm and 7:30 pm.

There are four parts to this tour:

• Part 1 runs through downtown Santa Barbara.
• Part 2 visits the West Side.
• Part 3 takes you over the Portesuello hills.
• Part 4 is to the west of Las Positas.

Hint: If you don't know your way around Santa Barbara, it is a good idea to take a GPS, or a map, or a real estate agent with you, in case you accidentally stray from the route.

The beginning of the Holiday Light Tour: State and East Yanonali

The tour starts heading north (away from the ocean) on State Street at EAST YANONALI, so we can begin with the wonderful lights on lower STATE STREET.

If you are not sure how to get to State and Yanonali, here are the directions:

• Take Highway 101 to the GARDEN STREET exit and turn towards the ocean. (From the north, turn left; from the south turn right.)

• Drive one block south to EAST YANONALI STREET.

• Turn right, and drive five blocks to STATE STREET.

To start the tour, turn right (north) on STATE STREET, away from the ocean.

Part 1 of the Holiday Light Tour: Downtown Santa Barbara
From State and East Yanonali:
Right State
To start, go under the bridge and enjoy the wonderful holiday lights downtown.
Continue on STATE STREET all the way through the downtown area.
When you get to CARRILLO STREET, we will make a short detour away from STATE STREET to see the largest Holiday tree in Santa Barbara.
Note: At CARRILLO STREET, you will see a No Left Turn sign. However, you can make a left turn after 6:00 pm.
Left Carrillo
At the end of the first block, you will approach a stoplight at CHAPALA STREET. Look across the street to the right, and you will see the largest holiday tree in Santa Barbara.
Right Chapala
You will now return to STATE STREET to continue the downtown part of the tour. To do so, continue one block and turn right at the next stoplight, FIGUEROA STREET.
Right Figueroa
In one block, at the stoplight, turn left to return to STATE STREET.
Left Figueroa
Continue on STATE STREET until you pass VICTORIA. Look for the big Holiday Tree in the center of the street. (The Arlington Theatre will be on your left.)
This is the point at which official City of Santa Barbara holiday light display ends. Continue on STATE two more blocks to MICHELTORENA.
Left Micheltorena
As you pass DE LA VINA, slow down to admire the very old house with many lights across the street on your left.
Continue straight on MICHELTORENA until you get to the bridge. Cross the bridge.
Part 2 of the Holiday Light Tour: Santa Barbara West Side
After you cross the Micheltorena bridge, you will come to a stoplight at SAN ANDRES STREET. You are now on the West Side. Drive straight on MICHELTORENA through the stoplight.
Continue Micheltorena
Drive slowly, looking at the lights, until you get to MOUNTAIN AVENUE.
Right Mountain Avenue
Left Valerio Street
Right Clearview Road
Right Pedregosa Street
Left Mountain Avenue
Part 3 of the Holiday Light Tour: The Portesuello Hills
Continue to the end of MOUNTAIN, driving uphill through several slow curves, until you see a stop sign at a T-intersection.
Left Portesuello
Drive up the steep curving hill and continue on PORTESUELLO for a few minutes. Look for CRESTLINE on your left. It comes after BEL AIR.
Left Crestline
Right Rialto
Go down the hill and, as you approach the bottom, look up above the bottom house. In the distance, there is a high ridge. At the top, you will see a beautiful line of brightly lit palm trees.
At the end of the street, make a U-Turn.
U-Turn Riato
Left Crestline
As you get to PORTESUELLO, slow down to look at two wonderful displays: one on your left as you approach Portesuello, the other on the right, across the street. You may want to park your car near the intersection and look at these two displays up close.
To continue, drive straight on CRESTLINE through PORTESUELLO.
As you are driving down CRESTLINE, you will see, on your left, a house with a very large entrance in the shape of an arch. Notice the huge chandelier hanging under the top of the arch.
Crestline will now curve to the right. At the end of the street, make a U-Turn.
U-Turn Crestline
Left Sonora
Right Portesuello
Continue until you get to a hill. Go down the hill to the stoplight at LAS POSITAS Road. Go straight and cross LAS POSITAS. Continue until you see VERONICA SPRINGS, which will be the first street on your right.
Part 4 of the Holiday Light Tour: West of Las Positas
Right Veronica Place
At the end of the street, make a U-Turn.
U-Turn Veronica Place
Left Veronica Springs
Left Las Positas
Look for the first left around the gentle curve. (Slow down through the curve, so you don't miss the turn to the left.)
Left Las Positas Place
At the end of the street, make a U-Turn.
U-Turn Las Positas Place
Be careful making the left turn onto Los Positas.
Left Las Positas
End of Holiday Light Tour: Las Positas Lane and Las Positas
You are now at the end of the Santa Barbara Holiday Light Tour.
To leave the neighborhood, continue north on LAS POSITAS, through the stoplight at Modoc Road.
Continue Las Positas
To get to Highway 101 South, turn right at the first stoplight past Modoc.
Right Entrance to Highway 101 South
To get to Highway 101 North, turn left at the second stoplight down the frontage road (CALLE REAL).
Left Calle Real
At the next stoplight, bear left to enter Highway 101 North.
Left Entrance to Highway 101 North

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