Holidays With a Beach Vibe: Christmas in Pacific Beach

Christmas in San Diego is an experience not to be missed — and not just because of the unique sight of palm trees adorned with festive holiday lights. There’s an array of fabulous events that happen in the city’s Pacific Beach neighborhood each year, from a holiday parade to a Santa-themed 5K. Below, we round up three of our favorites.

Pacific Beach Holiday Parade – December 14, 1-3pm

Walking distance from the hotel, the Pacific Beach Holiday parade is one of the city’s oldest holiday parades and is a beloved December event. Taking over the roughly one-mile course from Garnet Avenue and Haines Street to Bayard Street, it features color guards, marching bands, over-the-top floats, and dancing groups. Expect decked-out cars, smiling Santas, and dance costumes — after all, even in December, San Diego’s weather still feels like summer.

Visit with Santa and Crystal Pier Tree Lighting – December 7, 2-5pm

Christmas on Crystal Pier is an ideal event for those who wish to get their picture taken with Santa, or simply to support a good cause, as it directly supports the Pacific Beach school system. Participants are asked to donate school supplies in order to receive their photo and may subsequently observe a beautiful tree lighting at sunset, along with festive wreaths hung along the pier. The holiday tree on Crystal Pier is a unique San Diego Christmas staple and is available for viewing until December 31. Be sure to check out the Pacific Terrace wreath. displayed! 

Santa Run – December 14, 9am-1pm

The San Diego Santa Run sees thousands of runners facing off in Santa hats and suits, from professional athletes to dog owners racing with their dogs. It includes a 5K and various mile runs targeted toward individual groups, such as the aforementioned dog owners and “Santa’s Elves” (that’s parade-speak for children under the age of 12). All runners receive sunglasses and a drink ticket; those trying the 5K score an Official Sunny Santa Suit.

If you’re planning on visiting San Diego for these holiday festivities, make sure to check out the exclusive offers at Pacific Terrace Hotel.