The Best Candy Cane Lanes in San Diego

Ah, winter time in Southern California. Despite the presence of palm trees and weather in the ‘60s, holiday cheer still makes an appearance when December comes around. Case in point: You will find no shortage of San Diego Candy Cane Lanes. If you didn’t know, San Diego is huge. While plenty of neighborhoods and nearby cities get festive during the holiday season, some go above and beyond to stand out from the pack. Don’t know where to begin? Here’s where to see Christmas lights in San Diego:

Chula Vista Candy Cane Lane

Take the Christmas Circle in Chula Vista, which makes its home on Whitney and Mankato Streets. Together, these streets form a large loop. You can stroll or drive through this attraction that boasts more than 55 homes lit up in the holiday spirit. Think elaborately decorated trees, homes dripping in lights from roof to foundation, and illuminated reindeer (Rudy, is that you?). Indeed, these are some of the best Christmas lights in San Diego. Can’t you practically taste the eggnog already?

Directions to Chula Vista Candy Cane Lane

To experience the lighted loop of Christmas Circle, take the 805 or I-5 freeway and exit on H Street.

When: First Saturday of December – December 26th, 5-10 p.m.

Where:  Whitney and Mankato Streets between First and Second Avenues, Chula Vista

Should I walk or drive? Either

Parking: Nearby residential streets

Rancho Peñasquitos Christmas Card Lane

As we wrote about in our first Candy Cane Lane post, Rancho Peñasquitos’ Christmas Card Lane has been a holiday tradition since the ‘80s, making it a quintessential San Diego Candy Cane Lanes. More than 200 families go all-out to decorate their homes, with the icicle on the cake being the human-sized Christmas cards placed in their front yards. How much was postage for those things?

Directions to Rancho Peñasquitos Christmas Card Lane

Exit Black Mountain Road off the 56 Freeway.


When: December 10-31st, 6-10 p.m.  

Where:  Oviedo Street, off Black Mountain Road, Rancho Peñasquitos

Should I walk or drive? Either

Parking: Nearby residential streets

Poway Candy Cane Lane

If you’re in search of North County San Diego Christmas events, there is plenty of yuletide cheer in this neck of the woods. In fact, Poway has one of the most memorable light shows in San Diego County. This Candy Cane Lane is best experienced on foot. While you can certainly drive through this event, much of it is located on a cul-de-sac. We advise parking on a nearby residential street and walking to and through the glowing decorations. With everything from mailboxes to parked cars covered in lights, you will be able to enjoy each and every detail much better when you’re strolling at a leisurely pace.

Directions to Poway Candy Cane Lane

Ready to see a sea of lights in the City in the Country? Exit Poway Road from the 15 freeway and head east.

When:  First Sunday of December –January 1st, 6-9 p.m.

Where: Hickory Street and Saddlewood Drive

Should I walk or drive? Walk

Parking:  Nearby residential streets

Although San Diego won’t be the snowy winter wonderland you’ve come to associate with Christmas, the city’s not lacking in holiday cheer. Slip into your holiday best and don’t be shy about heading to the beach to stick your toes in the sand before checking out some epic Candy Cane Lanes. We’re sure Santa would do the same if he could ever get a day off—those dang elves are ball busters.