North Bay’s Best Spots For Holiday Decorations

November 20, 2012 10:12 AM
The holidays are always a special time of year for Bay Area residents. It’s when many families and friends pick out holiday-themed items such as Christmas trees, ornaments, nutcrackers and even mistletoe. It’s also a time when many retail stores are packed with shoppers, particularly in Union Square and Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. Fortunately for Bay Area shoppers, there are plenty of other interesting stores that sell holiday items without the large crowds of the city. The following is just a sampling of what’s offered just across the Golden Gate in North Bay for finding the perfect holiday decoration.

The Holiday Shoppe
660 Bridgeway
Sausalito, CA 94965
(415) 332-7432

It doesn’t matter what time of year you visit this family-run store for everything that is Christmas, because its items are sold year round. In fact, shoppers can purchase figurines of Santa Claus dressed in California beach attire. The Holiday Shoppe is located along the city’s main thoroughfare and just across from the visitor center. Over 700 unique products are sold here from hand-painted San Francisco cable car ornaments and lights with a California wine country style to snowman stockings and holiday glitter domes.

Related: Take a 10-Mile Drive from Sausalito to Tiburon

Little Hills Christmas Tree Farm
961 Chapman Lane
Petaluma, CA 94952
(707) 763-4678

There is a big advantage in shopping here because shoppers can pick out a Christmas tree and buy holiday decorations in one trip. In addition to selling a nice variety of evergreen trees, the farm’s gift shop sells a wonderful collection of holiday-themed items including stockings, ornaments, fresh wreaths, garlands and tree stands. The farm also has a corral with farm animals, which is a big hit for families with children. The Little Hills Christmas Tree Farm opens the day after Thanksgiving.

Marisa’s Fantasia/Christmas Fantasia
29 and 39 Petaluma Blvd. N.
Petaluma, CA 94952
(707) 762-5804

There is not one, but two different stores in which to shop for holiday items at Marisa’s Fantasia and Christmas Fantasia. Both stores are located within the historic Lan Mart Building, a structure in downtown Petaluma that survived the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Visitors to these unique gift stores might want to first visit Christmas Fantasia, as it is completely devoted to Christmas items such as hand-made ornaments, music boxes, Christmas cards and nutcrackers. The other, better-known store, Marisa’s Fantasia also sells holiday items but offers non-seasonal gifts such as crystals, vintage figurines, dinnerware and collectible dolls as well.

Muir Woods Trading Company
Muir Woods National Monument
1 Muir Woods Highway
Mill Valley, CA 94941
(415) 388-7059

This unique store is located in one of the most beautiful locations in the entire Bay Area – Muir Woods. Named after John Muir, the famous naturalist, novelist and founder of the Sierra Club, Muir Woods is well known for its old-growth coast redwood trees, its natural beauty and majestic vistas. The most popular holiday items sold are its ornaments carved from redwood trees. While every item that Muir Woods Trading Company sells at the store is also available online, making a visit to the park, as well as to the picturesque town of Mill Valley, is well worth the trip and the paltry $7 entrance fee to the park.

West End Nursery
1938 5th Ave.
San Rafael, CA 94901
(415) 454-4175

Each holiday season, the West End Nursery opens its Christmas House, a 100-year-old Victorian home that has been around as long as the nursery itself. Its rooms are adorned with thousands of items in which to purchase including ornaments, wooden soldiers, nutcrackers, indoor/outdoor holiday lights, wreaths and Christmas trees. The Christmas House is very popular amongst families with children, especially because Santa himself makes an appearance in December for photo opportunities. The nursery is considered the best in Marin County and is also a great place to find holiday gifts.

Related: Best Shopping Malls in the North Bay Area

Randy Yagi is a freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. His work can be found on

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