Capture The Holiday Spirit

The Most Instagrammable Holiday Spots In Long Beach

Good luck going more than a block or two in Long Beach without running into some form of holiday cheer, be it lights, displays, decorations, ornamentation or some seriously large trees!

Terrace Theater Plaza

If you’re in the mood for some variety, this is the place to be. The Plaza has quickly become one of the most popular and recognizable spots for holiday shots, since there’s so much to choose from and it’s located right off well-traveled Ocean Boulevard in Downtown Long Beach. Let’s see: there’s the record-breaking 67-foot tree decorated with more than 500,000 lights, there’s the truly larger-than-life Christmas ornaments and snow globes that folks can pose inside, there’s dancing water, and a magical Santa Stroll which will immerse you in a winter wonderland.

Trees in the Bay

These are truly the holiday icon of Long Beach. The floating wooden wonders have colorfully lit up Long Beach’s holiday season for more than 70 years. Classic, bright and beautiful, they can be found practically anywhere there’s water in Long Beach, which is a lot of places. These 16-foot tall, pyramid-shaped wooden trees are wrapped in lights that gleam off the likes of Alamitos Bay, Colorado Lagoon, Rainbow Harbor, Spinnaker Bay and so much more. If you’re looking for that signature Long Beach shot, this is it.

Miracle at The Ordinarie

Already one of the most popular spots to eat and drink in Downtown Long Beach, The Ordinarie (210 The Promenade North) transforms into “Miracle at The Ordinarie” every holiday season, with nary an inch of the American tavern not adorned in some kind of colorful and/or kitschy decorations. There is tinsel and strung lights everywhere, ornaments, decked out trees and lots of Christmas statuary. And, of course, there is the Miracle Menu, featuring some of the most fun and creative holiday cocktails, some poured over real snowballs – at least one served in a SanTaRex Christmas dinosaur mug.

The Bembridge House

Of course, Christmas is all about traditions. The Queen Anne Victorian Bembridge House (953 Park Circle) is simply one of the most beautiful and historic residencies in the city. More than 115 years old, the house, owned by Long Beach Heritage, an organization that advocates for historic preservation, decks the house out each holiday season in traditional yuletide magnificence, with spectacular ornamented trees, gingerbread houses, as well as plenty of lights both inside and out. If you have followers of a certain age, or perhaps just read a lot of Dickens, you’ll want to get some shots of this.

Daisy Lane

Located in the historic Wrigley Neighborhood, for 67 years the medians on Daisy Avenue have been adorned with Christmas villages and nativity scenes. Plus, the entire neighborhood does its best to decorate their homes for the holidays. This place makes for great shots in the daytime, but you’re likely going to want to take photos in the evening when everything is lit up. And, if you want some movement, you can check out the annual Daisy Lane Parade that takes place on December 9 at 5 p.m.

Naples Island Christmas Lights

If you’re looking for a seemingly never-ending ribbon of unique, eye-popping shots, Naples is probably where you want to go. One of Long Beach’s most desirable neighborhoods, many of the homes that line the area’s famous canals are decorated not only in lights but many tell holiday tales through the use of audio and animatronics. It’s an amazing sight and one that attracts not only families but couples, so it’s a great place to take the shot when you’re ready to make your relationship official. If you’re looking for even more, on December 16, the canals will be alive with spectacularly decorated boats and watercraft taking part in the annual Naples Boat Parade.


This popular retail center by the bay hosts numerous events throughout the year, many of which are just perfect for photos. They’ve come up with another one for the holiday season. Now, not only can you get a photo of you standing in front of their large, decorated tree or your kids on Santa’s lap, you can take your animal buddy to have a shot with that jolly fellow as part of Paws & Claus. Bring your pet dressed for the holidays from November 27 to December 24, running from 4 to 7 p.m., to Santa’s roost near Caffe Luxxe. You can take the shots yourself, no reservations are required. Santa works on a strictly first come, first served basis.

About the Author
Steve Lowery
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