posted on December 15th, 2015

In true Griswold-family fashion, lots of folks load up their families for some good ol’ fashioned, holiday fun: holiday light viewing.

In our Nation’s Best Holiday Lights survey of 1,000 people nationwide, we found that 86.93% of respondents have gone on a drive just to see holiday lights. And holiday light viewing is a tradition that is sticking around, with 68% of respondents planning on cruising the avenues again this year.

If you’re like most people, then you’ll join the 92.49% of respondents who want to drive one hour or less to view lights. xmas-lights-body-2

So where are the best light-viewing locales in your neck of the woods?

Load your thermos up with hot chocolate, put on your coziest slippers, and tune into your favorite holiday-obsessed music station while riding down one of these eight streets/neighborhoods (in order of popularity):

South 13th Street, Philadelphia, PA (46.24%) 

This was the most popular light location in the US according to our respondents. You’ll specifically want to head to the 1600 block to view what’s known as The Miracle on South 13th Street (between Tasker & Morris).

Candy Cane Lane, Woodland Hills, CA (13.76%)

Located at the intersection of Lubao and Oxnard Streets (by Pierce College), this lights display is footed by neighborhood residents who enjoy keeping this 1950s-era tradition alive.

Hastings Ranch, Pasadena, CA (8.29%)

Block captains vote for holiday block themes each year, which dictate what kinds of lights each resident will put up in this area.

Dyker Heights, Brooklyn, NY (8.00%)

Inspired by a resident named Lucy who decorated her home in 1986, residents now try to outdo each other with professional displays, motorized scenes, and all kinds of light effects each year.


Christmas Tree Lane, Alameda, CA (7.80%)

This location boasts the oldest large-scale holiday lighting spectacle in the US, born when the Woodbury family planted 134 deodar trees along what is now Santa Rosa Avenue.

Peacock Lane, Portland, OR (7.22%)

Known as Portland’s Christmas Street, the crowds get so thick that there are designated pedestrian-only nights (you can park the car several blocks away and walk in).


Interlochen, Arlington, TX (4.78%)

This year marks the 40th anniversary where each resident who has decorated for all 40 years will get a special award (they also hand out other awards each year). The entrance point is at the intersection of Randol Mill Road and Westwood Drive.

37th Street, Austin, TX (3.90%)

What’s known as The Miracle of 37th Street, this Festival of Lights is working hard to maintain the 20+ year tradition despite homeowner turnover rates over the last few years. It’s suggested that you park on Guadalupe Street and walk in.

And if the spirit so moves you, or you just want to stretch your legs, then hop out of your car and sing a few carols to unsuspecting homeowners. You never know who’s night you might make.


Photo credits:

Dyker Heights, Brooklyn: Wally Gobetz

Christmas Tree Lane, Alameda: Thilo Salmon

Peacock Lane, Portland: Portland Mike

Amanda L. Grossman is a stretcher of paychecks and a post-it note lover. When not blogging at Turo, she's transitioning to her new Mommy-role in Houston where she lives with her husband and two cats.