Christmas Tree Lane Is Aglow (Oh Yes, and There's an App)

The iconic Altadena thoroughfare is now glimmering nightly through early January; in-person festivities are off for 2020, but people are welcome to see the sparkle from their vehicles.

Karol Franks

What to Know

  • Santa Rosa Avenue in Altadena (at Calaveras Street)
  • The lights will be on nightly from 6 p.m. to midnight through Jan. 7, 2021
  • Visitors are asked to stay inside their vehicles (so no impromptu strolls, please)

Holiday drive-ins, drive-throughs, and drive-bys have, yes, snowballed in 2020.

And with understandable reason: Festive-minded families are seeking safe and socially distant ways to connect with the season, all while staying inside their car.

A number of places, producers, and companies have responded to this not-so-usual December, creating car-based experiences that are big on Christmas sights.

But there always have to the originals in any category, those essential spots that started it all, and you'd be up a tree, opinion-wise, if you didn't cheerily call out a certain Altadena thoroughfare for inclusion on this lofty list.

It's that lovely landmark Christmas Tree Lane we're rhapsodizing over, of course, or Santa Rosa Avenue as it is known throughout the non-December parts of the year.

The lane's ginormous, and we did truly mean to use that out-sized word, deodar cedars are world-famous for their year-round beauty.

But come the holidays, when they're wearing their lights (bulbs lovingly and mindfully placed by a team of dedicated volunteers)? The bedazzlement is almost too much to behold, if beautiful sights tend to send you into a tizzy.

But behold it, people still can, even at the end of 2020, a year that has changed so much.

For, on Dec. 2, the lights officially flickered on at Christmas Tree Lane, meaning you're now welcome to drive by and enjoy the ethereal line-up of landmark trees.

And "drive" is key here: Organizers are asking everyone to remain in their vehicles this year. So plan to save any Santa Rosa Avenue strolls or saunters for some year in the future, and enjoy the 2020 treeful to-do from inside your auto.

Something twinkly about 2020, a year that could definitely use a bit more twinkle?

There's a new Christmas Tree Lane app, if you really want to dig down into this oh-so-SoCal experience.

Find out how to access all that excellent Christmas Tree Lane information now.

Call the app a modern and welcome twist for a great grouping of trees that has its literal roots in the 1880s.

Those noble and seasonal sentinels have been a must-visit for Southern Californians for a century, come the holidays, and they'll shimmer on, even as we savor their sparkle from the driver's seat or passenger seats of a car.

Pictured: A past season at Christmas Tree Lane.

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