Sunny, palm tree-dotted Los Angeles gets a lot of slack for not having seasons (perhaps from those who would secretly rather be lounging at the beach than shoveling snow). Yet although the city blisfully enjoys "70 degrees and sunny" weather most of the year, one thing is certain: Snow or no snow, Angelenos demand on having a very merry holiday season.
But how do you celebrate the winter holiday season in the City of Angels?
To find out, we researched the best of the city and spoke to , a travel expert and spokesperson for Lonely Planet (which just ranked Los Angeles as in the world for 2017). Whether you find yourself visiting Los Angeles, or are an Angeleno needing a little holiday inspo, use this guide for the best holiday happenings of the season.
Where To Eat: The Restaurant At Mr. C
Care to feast on Christmas Day (and Christmas Eve, if you so please)? Look no further than at the luxe Venetian-style in Beverly Hills.
"They have a fantastic four-course Venetian meal," says Finney. "Hotel dining in Los Angeles is just as excellent as it is in New York or Miami."
On Christmas Day ($89 per person/$35 wine pairing), you can expect to choose from a pre-fixe menu of tartar of wild salmon or beef carpaccio, potato gnochhi or house-made veal ravioli, pan roasted halibut or veal medallions, and for dessert, panettone with mascarpone cream and chocolate fondant. Yum.
In case you suspect you'll want even more, you can also stop by on Christmas Eve for an equally-priced meal of marinated Alaskan halibut, shrimp and tuna tartar with seafood risotto, wild branzino over flat pea pods and semifreddo with red berry coulis.
The best part is, you won't have any dishes to clean after.
Where To Drink: The Polo Lounge
The Beverly Hills Hotel is an iconic landmark that has hosted stars from Elizabeth Taylor to John Lennon, but you don't need to book a luxurious suite to get a taste of the hotel.
Stop by , which will seduce you with its perfectly edited, fantastically smooth ambiance and its crafty holiday offerings of traditional staples such as spiced mulled wine, spiked egg nog and the fig sidecar.
The holiday specialties, offered from December 1 to January 1, will be available at both The Polo Lounge and the hotel's , where you'll find a charming terrace with sweeping views of the gardens, pool and palm trees.
Where To Sight-See: Olvera Street
Los Angeles is known for its celebrities, but they're only a tiny part of what makes the City of Angels so special. Go back to where it all began on Olvera Street, a vibrant Mexican marketplace in Downtown Los Angeles that has been dubbed as "the birthplace of Los Angeles."
"Olvera Street is rich in Mexican heritage and is supposedly where Los Angeles was founded," says Finney. "They have a very big celebration for the holidays there."
Known as , the celebration pays tribute to the Biblical journey of Mary and Joseph, and has been reenacted in Mexico since 1538. In Los Angeles, the commemoration is played out every night beginning at 5:30 p.m. from December 16 to Christmas Eve, and includes a candlelight procession, performances from children and groups singing in English and Spanish, and complementary champurrado (a hot beverage) and pan dulce (sweet bread).
Where To Shop: The Americana At Brand
During the holidays, outdoor mall is illuminated with a 100-foot Christmas tree, holiday lights and dancing fountains. The gorgeous outdoor mall — distinguished by its incredible landscaping — offers stores ranging from big brands like BCBG Max Azria and Apple to boutique shops. Though it's technically in Glendale, a town adjacent to Northeast Los Angeles, it's worth a visit for its ambiance (and typically has smaller crowds than some of the larger shopping destinations in Los Angeles).
Oh, yea, and during the holiday season, there's a nightly "snowfall." Who said California never gets a white Christmas?
Even more, if you can't find what you're looking for at The Americana, you can head right next door to the sprawling .
If you're looking for one-of-a-kind gifts, you can also try in Venice for edgy art and hand-made gifts or, for the foodie in your life, the in Los Angeles' La Brea neighborhood.
Where To Take The Family: Universal CityWalk
Like The Americana At Brand, (the open-to-the-public plaza of cinemas, shopping, dining and that leads to to ) features nightly snowfall, in addition to concerts, parades, an outdoor skating rink and carolers.
You can also hit the Los Angeles zoo, which hosts "" from November 18 to January 8 nightly. There, you and your family can take tours of zoo areas decorated with 3D projections, animated displays and animal-themed LEDS, partake in a "black light party" in the zoo's reptile house and visit Santa.
Oh, and of course, you can visit his reindeer too.
Where To See Christmas Lights: Christmas Tree Lane
Few winter storms means many opportunities for outdoor lights in SoCal. Take advantage of the sights by driving down , where more than 130 Deodar Cedar trees make up what's been called the oldest large-scale outdoor Christmas display in the world. Found in Altadena (technically an "unincorporated area" in L.A. County), the mile-long street's trees are more than 100 years old.
The official Christmas Tree Lane lighting ceremony will take place December 10 at 6 p.m., following an arts and crafts festival that begins at 2 p.m. But any time after during the holiday season, you can check out the glory of the street on your (50,000 cars drive down the avenue during the season).
Alternatively, visit Upper Hastings Ranch, a neighborhood in the Pasadena foothills. Each year, the homeowners in this neighborhood coordinate decorating themes to awe visitors who drive through their community.
Where To Find A Great Photo Op: Pershing Square
For that perfect Instagram pic, visit in Downtown Los Angeles, which is transformed into an outdoor ice rink from November 10 to January 16. The picturesque rink is surrounded by art and the city's glimmering skyline.
In other words, it's #PicturePerfect.