6 California Towns to Visit for the Holidays

SACRAMENTO, CA [November 15, 2018] — A number of California towns capture the magic of the holidays with old-fashioned tree lighting ceremonies, Christmas parades, and tours of Victorian inns decorated in all of their holiday finery.  The Califonia Association of Boutique and Breakfast Inns (CABBI.com) has compiled a short list of festive holiday destinations around the state along with cozy places to stay.   

PACIFIC GROVE Pacific Grove’s unique coastal take on holiday romance includes festive lights, picturesque Victorian architecture, and the sound of waves crashing against the rocky shoreline. A host of holiday events evoke memories of Christmases past, kicking off with the annual Holiday Parade of Lights and a night of caroling. There’s even a seasonal ice-skating rink to complete the holiday postcard image. During the Christmas at the Inns tour (November 27-28, 2018), the town's bed and breakfast inns open their doors to the public with live entertainment and refreshments at each stop. Where to stay:

  • Seven Gables Inn exudes opulence at every turn, with stamped-tin ceilings, crystal chandeliers, ornate columns, gilded-framed mirrors and artwork, high-quality antiques, and Persian rugs. Each room offers stunning views of the rocky coast.
  • Centrella Inn is a striking Victorian with 25 guest rooms, many of which feature Victorian-era antique furnishings and claw foot soaking tubs. Some even offer peeks of the ocean.
  • Martine Inn features museum quality antiques in every room, period-perfect wallpapers, and authentic paintings in the Plein Air tradition. Many of the inn’s 25 guestrooms feature fireplaces and claw foot tubs.  Several also offers ocean views.
  • Gosby House Inn is a cheerful, understated Victorian mansion with a corner tower, parlor windows trimmed in colorful blocks of stained glass, and a charming courtyard patio. Its 22 guest rooms are comfortably furnished with tasteful antiques.
  • Old St. Angela Inn is a Craftsman-style home with nine cozy guest rooms individually decorated with country antiques, old-fashioned wallpapers in muted hues, and floral-print duvets. Some rooms offer partial ocean views, fireplaces, or Jacuzzi tubs.
  • The Green Gables Inn is a meticulously-restored Queen Anne Victorian steeped in storybook style, with panoramic views of the Monterey Bay. Possibly the most iconic inn lining Pacific Grove’s dramatic coastline, the inn has 11 beautifully-appointed rooms, each more unique than the last.

FERNDALE The sight of America’s tallest living Christmas tree hovering majestically above town is like a vintage Christmas card come to life. On the night of the annual tree lighting, the town turns out to sing carols and gather over free cocoa and homemade cookies. Afterwards, visitors can meander through Ferndale’s historic neighborhoods to witness the holiday lights or tour the town's historic inns in their holiday splendor. On Hospitality Night, the first in a series of holiday-themed street fairs, gingerbread-trimmed independent shops stay open late to share holiday cheer with customers. Other delights include The Lighted Tractor Parade and Ferndale Community Choir’s Annual Christmas Celebration in Song. Where to stay:

  • The Victorian Inn combines elegance with nostalgia in each of its unique guest rooms. Built in 1890, the stately hotel retains its historic charm, with 16-foot ceilings, vintage fixtures and furnishings, and original redwood carved molding and doors throughout.
  • Well-known as one of Northern California’s most photographed inns, the Gingerbread Mansion Inn is the pinnacle of 19th century elegance. The AAA Four Diamond-rated inn has been lovingly restored and furnished with period antiques, with 11 unique  guestrooms.

SOLVANG Solvang tradition, Julefest is a month-long celebration of lights and holiday cheer. Options include a behind-the-scenes, candle-lit walking and caroling tour of downtown Solvang led by costumed tour guides, an elaborate stage presentation of the nativity story featuring live animals, musical accompaniment, and narration, and the Solvang Julefest Parade. The season kicks off with a tree lighting on December 7, 2018 and includes a holiday lights tour through the Santa Ynez Valley, live holiday music in the park, and strolling musicians greeting shoppers on the sidewalk.

Where to stay:

  • The Landsby, a newly renovated 50-room boutique hotel, combines a bright, contemporary design with Scandinavian elements inspired by the town’s Danish roots. The hotel offers airy guestrooms finished with blonde woods, brushed brass fixtures, genuine leather accents, and sophisticated handcrafted furnishings.
  • The Hamlet Inn is a hip, budget-friendly haven in the heart of town. The inn boasts modern Danish furnishings, colorful guest rooms, a bocce ball court, and complimentary bike rentals.
  • Bright and airy guest rooms at the Atterdag Inn feature modern Danish furnishings and surround a private courtyard. Second-level rooms feature lofted ceilings and views of the darling rooftops that characterize Solvang.
  • With beautifully landscaped courtyards, Koi ponds, an outdoor fireplace, and private gardens, the Wine Valley Inn & Cottages offers old-world hospitality with accommodations for every taste and budget. Each standard room, suite, and cottage is individually decorated with its own European charm and ambiance.
  • Mirabelle Inn features 11 romantic guest rooms, each themed after Hans Christian Andersen stories. Rooms feature antiques, fireplaces, Jacuzzi tubs, luxurious featherbeds, and down duvets.
  • Built in 1950 as the first motel in Solvang, the Solvang Gardens Lodge is a boutique country inn with 24 rooms. Fashioned after a classic Danish farmhouse and built on the fringe of Solvang's old world European village, the inn features rooms with unique décor and amenities.
  • Meadowlark Inn is situated on two peaceful acres studded with majestic trees. 18 cozy rooms and suites, some with hot tubs or kitchens, frame a lush courtyard garden with intimate seating, a fountain, and the twisting branches of a graceful old oak.

CALISTOGA During the Lighted Tractor Parade, vintage tractors and antique trucks bedecked with lights parade down Calistoga’s charming main street to kick off the holiday season. The annual tree lighting follows, along with the Calistoga Christmas Faire showcasing more than 40 artisans, local food, baked goods, hot cocoa, and the North Pole Wine Garden. A host of family-friendly events take place during the season, including carolers, live music, and dance performances. There’s even a community cake walk, a cookie swap, a gingerbread house competition, and complimentary trolley rides to downtown Calistoga.

Where to stay:

  • At the Mount View Hotel & Spa, guests experience the art of relaxation. Each of the hotel’s 33 elegant guest rooms, suites, and private cottages is individually appointed with a nod to art deco architecture, but with contemporary accents to evoke a relaxed and trendy vibe.
  • Reinventing the bed and breakfast experience, Embrace Calistoga is the new look and feel of Napa Valley wine country lodging. Embrace Calistoga offers five rooms, all individually designed and featuring the finest fabrics, linens, and unique appointments.
  • The Calistoga Wine Way Inn is Calistoga’s oldest bed and breakfast Inn. Within walking distance of historic downtown of Calistoga, the inn offers the best of its original Craftsman architecture while providing modern amenities and a distinctive gourmet breakfast.

CORONADO ISLAND Coronado Island is a magical seaside getaway during the winter months, with its mild temperatures, glistening beaches, and twinkling Christmas trees along quaint streets. The Coronado Holiday Parade is a true hometown holiday tradition, with thousands lining the street each year to kick off the holiday season in style. Many come early to sing carols and anxiously await Santa’s arrival via a fire truck. Once Santa arrives, one lucky local family is selected each year to help the Mayor flip the switch on Star Pine, lighting the giant tree in all its glory.

Where to stay:

  • At 1906 Lodge, guests can choose between a Historic Lodge room, Garden Suite, Garden Spa Suite, or Grande Spa Suite overlooking the beautifully landscaped courtyard. Grande Spa Suites boast huge in-room spa tubs, private porches, and fireplaces facing King-sized beds.
  • Glorietta Bay Inn is a boutique hotel with a grand, 11-room historic mansion plus 89 contemporary rooms and suites. The inn combines old world charm with contemporary Southern California comfort.
  • Hotel Marisol Coronado is a perfect blend of European elegance and a California beach vibe. 15 rooms and junior suites feature custom-designed furniture, fine Italian linens, and large HD TVs.

PALM SPRINGS Christmas in Palm Springs is as distinctive as one might expect, with a host of events befitting its reputation as nostalgic enclave of mid-century charm and modern quirk. RoboLights, spread across four acres and known as the largest residential light display in the country, is a must-see creation of eccentric, robot-inspired holiday installations. WildLights turns The Living Desert Museum and Gardens into a sparkling winter wonderland, including an opportunity to visit with reindeer and more than a million colorful lights throughout the park. Other options include ice skating under palm trees at The Renova Rink, The Christmas Nights of Lights Tour, or a selection of holiday classics performed by the Palm Springs Gay Men's Chorus.

Where to stay:

  • Westcott Boutique Hotel combines timeless art deco style with personal service and a relaxed ambiance. The hotel endows modern facilities with touches of art deco design to take you back to the glamour of 1930s Hollywood, when the hotel first began to host Hollywood stars escaping the city.
  • A historic boutique resort, Los Arboles Hotel features 21 well-appointed rooms, a heated pool, Jacuzzi, and room service. Within walking distance of downtown shopping, dining, and nightlife, the hotel is the perfect home base for enjoying Palm Springs.
  • Monkey Tree Hotel is a 16-room boutique hotel on a one-acre property, nestled against the backdrop of the gorgeous San Jacinto Mountains. Originally designed and built in 1960 by modernist architect Albert Frey, the hotel re-opened in 2016 after a loving restoration by its current owners to its original mid-century modern design.
  • The classic and intimate Avanti Hotel was built in 1954 in the famous Movie Colony neighborhood. Each of the hotel’s 10 rooms is unique and completely remodeled. Most have private patios and kitchenettes.
  • Las Fuentes Inn and Gardens is a bright, private, 800-square-foot suite featuring a fireplace, jacuzzi tub, and private Japanese spa. Its peaceful desert garden is a botanical delight, with four unique fountains, a 60-foot saltwater lap and swim pool, and spectacular lighting at night.

To learn more about these and other California inns, visit www.cabbi.com.

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Media Contact: Ranee Ruble, ranee@papermooncreative.net or 503-788-3938

California Association of Boutique & Breakfast Inns414 29th StreetSacramento, CA 95816-3211916-554-2673 

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The California Association of Boutique & Breakfast Inns (CABBI) is the largest and most influential bed & breakfast and boutique inn association in the nation and is the only California bed & breakfast association affiliated with the California Hotel & Lodging Association. CABBI was formed in 1991 to promote the bed and breakfast experience to the traveling public and to educate, support and encourage CABBI members to provide a quality stay for inn travelers.