The 14 passenger van special! $180 for a 3 hour tour from 5p-8p. $60/hr after that, unlimited.
Wherever you’d like to go, your friendly driver can take you as directed!
Here are the highlights on our annual Tour of Lights:
- Gardenbrook Drive neighborhood (from Highway 99) — Heading north, take this exit before going to Keefer Road, and be prepared to wander around some great yards. The houses may not be as big as Songbird, but this neighborhood pours a lot of heart into its decorations. Wander down Morning Glory Place, Wild Rose and others. You can get to Keefer by going back to Highway 99, or head north on Greenberry Lane as you browse the houses.
- Songbird and Covey Court (from Keefer Road) — Only about half of the houses are decorated, whether it’s the economy or new power meters that are responsible. Yet, there are old favorites: The wonderful white angel over the Nativity, a scattering of lawn cutouts, including three kings and angels, and the famed cat in the tree rescue by Santa. Other houses have small touches, just lights, or deer or a scattering of wreaths. Covey Court is avoiding winter with bright palm trees and flamingos.
- Keefer Road — Santa’s been caught climbing in through a gabled window, with a Nativity scene on the lawn. At Hereford, enjoy the white-glow house with 20 deer, a moose, polar bear and dog.
- Garner Lane (between Keefer and Highway 99) — You can cruise in and out of neighborhoods to see bright decorations. There are no street lights, so street signs and addresses are hard to see but navigation is possible by following the glow.
- Hackamore Lane (off East Eaton Road) — Turn off Eaton at the bright house. This is one overflowing lawn of light that creeps into the trees. It’s worth a stop-and-look. The end-of-the-road house is full of Santas, candy canes and music.
- Amber Grove neighborhood (off The Esplanade) — This neighborhood is a must-see this year. There are some WOW houses here, and a lot of creativity. Choose Yellowstone, Greenfield or Amber Grove drives to get inside the neighborhood. Don’t miss Silver Lake, by far our favorite. Catch the Hawaii-themed lawn with jumping dolphins and hula-ing flamingos or the 18th hole, with a golf-club wielding snowman hitting the “ball” up, up, up. We like the wrapped flagpole and flag on Hidden Creek, and don’t miss Mount Whitney and Sandy Cove.
- Stonebridge Drive at West Shasta Avenue — Light-wrapped trees crown this corner house, and strings of lights crisscrossing the lawn for a huge glow. The sleigh was handmade by Grandpa. Roll down the car window for music.
- Silverado Estates Court (off Alamo Avenue, north of East Avenue) — This neighborhood hits a home run every year. Nearly every house has something to see, from lights to lawn ornaments. A good walking tour.
- Mathews Drive, Quista Lane (West East Avenue to Guynn Avenue, turn south) — More neighbors have joined in decorating. Outlining trees in red or green lights is popular, along with several lawns just stuffed with inflatable creatures and Santa trying to escape on skis. The white snowflakes are stunning against one house wall.
- 2135 Nord Ave. No. 42 (south of East Avenue) in Royal Palms mobile home park — This homeowner started as a teen decorating his parents’ house and now he’s got his own. A great yard sale meant adding 70 molded plastic lawn ornaments, including ones he hasn’t seen before. Look for Minnie Mouse and “tree” ornaments. Smile for the security camera. Neighbors have gotten in the spirit too. There will be one dressed as Santa starting Saturday and possibly handing out candy canes.
- West Wind Drive (Nord Avenue to Oak Way) — New on this returning home at 1206 is the 4-foot by 8-foot flag on the roof. Hubby and his employees created the flag out of paint and lights. Making sure the tractor goes in the right direction is Stewart the Elf while “Rudy” rests his hooves as the handmade Mr. and Mrs. C watch approvingly. Good in the day.
- Jetta Court (Nord Avenue to West Eighth Avenue) — Several houses here have added lights and decorations. We like the sailboat and herd of penguins. Blue lights are really bright and cold. Keep going west on Eighth, turn right on West Sacramento, and left on Westmont for the next one.
- 1581 Lazy Trail (West Sacramento to Westmont to Lazy Trail) — We like the birds in this one, from the egrets in front to the metal ornate one near the house. Other homes are decorated too. We liked the alternating blue and white lights, with blue bulbs in the tree.
- 1518 E. Lassen Ave. (east of Eaton Road) — Stop, look and listen at this one that one E-R elf described as “pretty crazy.” The flashing light strings capture attention, as Christmas carols play on your car radio. Catch the fake chimney with Santa peeking over the top.
- 1264 Glenshire Lane (off Floral Avenue) — A very real-looking Santa rules this lawn, but is brightened by other lawn decorations.
- Cabaret Drive (Floral, north of East Avenue, east on Artesia) — New this year, a short dead-end street means four houses of utter glow, but a difficult turnaround space. Consider parking on Artesia and walking in.
- Hancock Park/Ceanothus Avenue — From East Avenue, head north and slow down for this newer neighborhood. It has narrow streets, but the neighborhoods have come alive with lights. Special attractions are on Coach Lite Drive (off Patriot) with wildly flashing strings. Watch out for the roundabouts at night; they make getting lost easy.
- 2410 Floral Ave. (south of East Avenue) — An L-shaped lawn means this veteran decorator has plenty of room to show off plastic-molded Santa, reindeer, carolers, drummers, penguins, angels and more. She doesn’t mind if you take a closer look at the molded decorations.
- 15 Montclair Drive (off Manzanita Avenue) — At the end of the street, this house’s yard is decorated to the hilt. On the way back to Manzanita, stop and check the next one, which can be seen across Lindo Channel.
- 1177 E. Lindo Lane — This behemoth tree with its white star on top is a favorite. This light wizard creates the “ornaments” from round, chicken-wire balls strung with various colored lights. Even prettier seen from Manzanita Avenue when Lindo Channel is filled with water.
- East Fifth and Sherman avenues — This veteran decorator can’t stuff the lawn any fuller.
- East First and Downing avenues — A landscape company and this homeowner spent about 200 hours making this creation. Santa and his team head off the roof, while Baby Bear tries a flip off the ski ramp under the watchful eyes of Mom and Dad. Don’t miss the working train that carries grandkids under the ski slope. That lake punctured with an island and palm tree for Santa is for a relative in Hawaii.
- Dog Leg Drive (Yosemite to Idyllwild to Peninsula to Dog Leg) — This is the featured house in this story, but beware the road is the narrowest and smallest cul-de-sac yet.
- Wildflower Court (off Forest Avenue, south of Highway 32) — Each year this family does something a little different, and the glow brightens the cul-de-sac. Skymountain Circle has some nice decorations too.
These homes didn’t make the list or came in late but deserve recognition for their efforts. They are listed in no particular order:
1170 Whitewood Way, off Floral Avenue
965 Majorie Ave., off Manzanita Avenue
1057 Alder St., off East Ninth Street
CHECK OUT interactive map of 2010 Tour of Lights – (View larger map)