Christmastime in Southern California may not involve snow, but we find our ways to be festive. So when I heard about a Christmas tree right on the beach I knew I had to see it - and it was just as magical in person as I imagined!
Located at Crystal Cove, a section of coastline between Laguna and Newport beaches that's also referred to as Newport Coast, the tree is a bit hard to find if you don't know where you are going, but that's also part of it's charm. There were quite a few people making it hard to get unobstructed views in photos, but it wasn't as crowded as I expected and with a little patience I was able to get some good shots. I also went at sunset which I imagine is the most popular time.
The easiest way to find the beach and tree is to search for directions to The Beachcomber Café which will direct you to the Los Trancos lot across the street from the beach (which you can't actually see from the street). When you park in the lot you can either take a 5-10 minute walk on a path that leads under the street or you can take a Beachcomber shuttle for $1.50 a person each way. The lot parking is $5 an hour/$15 max or if you go to the Beachcomber and spend $15 you get three hours validated. The food at the restaurant is really good and I suggest that option!
The display is put on by Crystal Cove Alliance that preserves Crystal Cove, including historic beachfront cottages that you can rent. If you live locally, try to get out there to see it this year. Otherwise, add it to your bucket list for next year!