‘Tis the season for holiday events and attractions across Southern California, including parades, light displays, toy drives, and more. Trade road trip hassles for scenic views, comfortable onboard amenities, and quality time with family and loved ones when you travel by train.
Here are our top picks for festive events near Pacific Surfliner stations:
Capistrano Lights – Select Nights Through December 30, 2022
Visit Mission San Juan Capistrano on select nights for extra holiday fun. Take photos under a giant wreath, watch the tree lighting, enjoy performances by Dickens era Carolers, and take a photo with Santa. The grounds are beautifully decorated in lights. Details
How to Get There: Ride to the San Juan Capistrano Station and walk to the Mission.
Holidays at The Disneyland® Resort - Through January 8, 2023
Both Disneyland® and Disney California Adventure feature festive sights and events all season long, including special holiday foods, parades, entertainment, and decorations. Use a recent or upcoming reservation number to unlock a 5 percent savings on admission. Details
How to Get There: Ride the train to Anaheim. From there, request a shuttle ride from Anaheim Resort Transit through the A-Way WeGo app (free when you show your train ticket). The bus drops off and picks up passengers at the Disneyland® Main Transportation Center. Learn more
Rose Parade - Monday, January 2, 2023
Visit Pasadena to experience the historic Rose Parade, an internationally recognized New Year’s Day celebration. This tradition has been part of the community for more than 100 years, with floats that are meticulously decorated with flowers and plants by hundreds of volunteers. Details
How to Get There: Ride to Union Station in Downtown Los Angeles and connect to the Metro Gold Line which stops near the parade route.
Holidays Made Here Studio Tour – December 22, 2022 - January 1, 2023
Visit Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood to tour Stars Hollow, Central Perk, and other sets that are festively decorated around Christmas. Take part in holiday-themed trivia, get the behind-the-scenes scoop on fan favorites like Elf and Christmas Vacation, and purchase exclusive merchandise. Details
How to Get There: Ride to Burbank Downtown and catch the “Pink Route” from Burbank Bus. Ride for 15 minutes to the Olive/Hollywood Station.
Ventura Snow N Glow Holiday Festival – Select Nights Through December 26, 2022
Stroll through millions of festive lights, slide down a hill of snow, watch fireworks, visit with Santa and more at the Ventura County Fairgrounds. Upgraded experiences include private igloo rentals and smores kits. Details
How to Get There: The fairgrounds are adjacent to the Ventura Station.
Holiday Parade of Lights – December 11, 2022
Celebrate the season California-style in the seaside town of Santa Barbara. On December 11, participate in a tree lighting at historic Stearns Wharf, visit a Winter Wonderland on the City Pier, and watch 30 boats adorned with lights and holiday decorations coast along the shore. The night will end with a fireworks show over the water. Details
How to Get There: Ride to the Santa Barbara Station and walk two blocks to the beach.
Julefest – Through January 6, 2023
Considered one of the “10 most Christmassy towns in America,” the Danish village of Solvang brings Old World traditions to the holiday season with beautiful lights, pop-up shops, Santa’s Village, a parade, candlelight tours, and more. Details
How to Get There: Book a Pacific Surfliner trip to Solvang (SLV). Riders connect to an Amtrak Thruway bus at the Santa Barbara Station for a 50-minute ride to downtown Solvang.
Holiday Plaza – Through January 2, 2023
Visit Mission Plaza in Downtown San Luis Obispo to ride a classic carousel, watch a musical light show, send a letter to Santa, and stop by Santa’s house! There is also live entertainment, lights throughout the downtown area, and more. Details
How to Get There: The downtown area is a short walk from the San Luis Obispo train station.
Wishing you a happy and safe holiday season!