San Francisco Christmas trees and holiday decorations feature gorgeous lights that bring warmth and cheer on winter nights. City landmarks and destinations like Union Square and Ghirardelli Square have lit-up Christmas trees, as do major hotels and malls. Each neighborhood has a couple of avid decorators who create twinkling holiday scenes in front of their homes.
Here are some of the most photogenic displays of holiday lights in San Francisco:
Macy's Tree in Union Square
Macy's annual holiday gift to San Francisco is a Christmas tree laden with a gazillion lights that dominates Union Square.
The outdoor ice rink next to the tree is open through Jan. 20, 2014 (see our Ice Skating in San Francisco guide for details about it and other holiday ice rinks). And stroll over to Stockton and O'Farrell streets to gush at the cutest holiday window display in town: Cuddly, adoptable kittens and puppies from the SPCA, in Macy's windows until Jan. 6.
Light plus water is a magical combo. Here you get festive lights draping the fishing fleet at Fisherman's Wharf and their shimmering reflections. Along Jefferson Street between Jones & Taylor.
More than 17,000 lights trace the Embarcadero Center's towers. Through Jan. 5, 2014, you can twirl around the center's holiday ice rink while taking in the scenery.
At Five Embarcadero Center, step into the Hyatt Regency San Francisco. Crane your neck at the Christmas tree and the streams of lights cascading down the 17-story lobby atrium. You can also catch snow falling in the lobby three times a day.