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Saturday, January 19 , 2019, 12:57 am | Fair 49º


Local Man Offers Directions to Self-Guided Holiday Lights Tour of Santa Barbara

Harley Hahn has been posting annual updates on his website since 2009 to help people find the best decorations

man standing in front of house decorated in holiday lights
Harley Hahn has been posting directions for a self-guided holiday lights tour on his website since 2009, with annual updates for the best decorations to see in Santa Barbara.  (Contributed photo)

Holiday lights are shining brightly around Santa Barbara, and one local man is sending people on a free, self-guided tour pointing out the dazzling displays.

Harley Hahn, who has lived in Santa Barbara for 28 years, pulled together the best spots in the city that are guaranteed to leave residents wowed through the holiday season. He started his nighttime light tour in 2009.

“This is my effort to make the community a little fun and nice through the holiday season,” said Hahn, adding that he first followed a guided holiday light trolley tour and took notes on the directions. 

“I keep doing it as a public service because many people like it,” he continued, noting that the locations are updated every year. “It allows a lot of people to have a free, enjoyable experience.”

The tour winds through downtown Santa Barbara and nearby neighborhoods, where twinkling lights glisten in the dark of night. It’s estimated to take one hour to complete the driving route and Hahn recommends printing out the directions on his website.

A spectacular light show, he said, is at Peter Estrada's home on 1209 E. Quinientos St. on Santa Barbara’s Eastside. The holiday displays there have been attracting visitors for more than 20 years, Hahn said.

“You have to see it to capture it,” he said of the location. “There is no doubt, that is the best one.”

The tour is more than just seeing colorful lights and decorations, Hahn said.

“When people see it at first they are going to see pretty lights — but I want them to see past that,” Hahn said. “I want them to see that all of those lights were put there by somebody who wanted them there — and wanted to make Santa Barbara a little more special for one month of the year.

“It’s a work of art,” he said.

His website has detailed directions for the holiday lights tour. 

For a guided experience, multiple companies take guests on lights tours during the holiday season, including The Santa Barbara Trolley Company and Rockstar Trolley in Santa Barbara, according to their websites.  

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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