If you’re looking to find an area with a large concentration of decorations in one place, here’s a list of the best neighborhoods to see Christmas Lights in Orange County.
One of the best holiday traditions is driving around with the kids to look at Christmas lights. So grab your thermos, fill it with hot chocolate, and turn on the holiday tunes!
See also our list of where to see unbelievable Christmas lights displays.
King Eider Lane
Cross Streets: El Toro Road and Calle Corta
The residents of King Eider Lane join together to create a festive holiday neighborhood with decorated trees, twinkling lights, and a curbside forest.
Aliso Viejo Community Association
The AVCA hosts an annual holiday decorating contest, and you may be able to view a list of participating homes here.
The Bel Air Neighborhood of Anaheim Hills near Weir Canyon and Santa Ana Road has a festive neighborhood holiday display.
Eagle Hills Neighborhood
Primrose Avenue, Brea 92821 – Enter off of Birch Street at Starflower
Put your hot chocolate in a thermos and stroll the neighborhood. The best way to view the lights at this well-known spot for holiday lights displays is to park at Olinda School or Brea Sports Park and walk.
Coto De Caza
Gooseberry Court in Coto De Caza puts on a dazzling display of holiday décor.
The Dana Point Youth Board hosts an annual home decorating contest the week before Christmas. Look for the Candy Cane Lanes map of participating homes posted on the city website to view all the entries.
Heil and Brookhurst, Shadbush Street and surrounding neighborhood
Across from Mile Square Park
Many houses along this street and throughout the neighborhood decorate festively for the holiday season. In past years, this neighborhood has known to get quite busy with families coming in to look at lights. Consider parking and strolling for a few blocks to take in the seasons sights.
North Yale Avenue (Major Cross Streets Chapman and Raymond)
This neighborhood teams up to create a festive holiday display that includes a two-block stretch (600 block) of flashing sparkleballs.
Davenport Island, Humboldt Island, Trinidad Island, and Gilbert Island
You can see some of the lights from the street, but if you really want to get the full experience of this neighborhood, you’ll want to do it by boat. Many of the homes decorate for the holiday boat parades so you’ll get to experience some of the best light displays here.
Baudin Circle: The Neighborhood pitches in to put on a festive holiday display along the whole street.
Nellie Gail Ranch
Nellie Gail Road and Oso Parkway
Nellie Gail Ranch is a well decorated neighborhood during the holiday season. Follow along Nellie Gail Road and explore the surrounding streets to enjoy an evening driving around sipping hot cocoa listening to Christmas tunes.
The City of Laguna Niguel hosts a holiday lights home decorating contest. A map to all participating homes will be available on the city website the last two weeks of December.
Elder Court: The Elder Court Neighborhood is a full street of holiday light displays.
22981 Belquest Drive, Lake Forest, CA: Pay a visit to this neighborhood in Lake Forest to see a home with 40,000 lights that blink in synchronized fashion to holiday music, then enjoy the other festively decorated homes nearby. Lights are on from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve.
The City of Mission Viejo hosts a holiday home lighting contest. You can print a map to see all the home displays that entered the contest here. Map is available after all entries have been received, usually by the second week of December.
Balboa Island is magical place to stroll and view the Christmas lights. From themed to animated, these homes compete in the annual Ring of Lights Waterfront Home Decorating Contest to showcase their color and creativity. Plus, you can check out the Newport Beach Boat Parade during the holiday season.
Old Towne Orange aka the Orange Circle has many residential streets that are decorated with Christmas displays and glittering lights. One particular place is Pine Street at Chapman: There are many houses along the street that decorate for the Christmas Season. There is plenty to look at for either driving or strolling. Other streets in the neighborhood, including Almond Street have additional light displays to enjoy.
Rancho Santa Margarita
El Corzo Lane
Cross Streets: Melinda Road and Las Fieras
Locally referred to as Candy Cane Lane, this street in Rancho Santa Margarita really gets into the holiday spirit. One of the houses even had It’s A Wonderful Life projected on the garage door, and another house had a replica of Flick, from A Christmas Story, with his tongue stuck to a pole.
Cross Streets: Bolsa Chica and Westminster Blvd
The majority of the houses on this street decorate festively for the holiday season.
East Lake Village
5325 Village Center Drive, Yorba Linda, CA 92886
The East lake Village Community decorates festively for the holiday season. The walkable neighborhood is about two miles round trip if you explore the whole way. The Community also hosts an annual holiday boat parade every December.
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Heidi Deal is the author of the Newcomers Handbook to Living In Los Angeles & Orange County, and a children’s book author specializing in history and human rights.