Christmas time is here, which means trees, decorating, and smelling fresh pine around your house. Sure, you can head to Home Depot and grab a prelite fake tree or pop over to a farm and grab a precut tree, but have you ever thought of cutting your tree down? Heading to a Christmas tree ranch and choosing the perfect tree with your family, then cutting it down together, will guarantee fun and lasting memories.
While it might seem a bit unusual for there to be Christmas tree farms along the Pacific Coast Highway, you’re in luck. There are a few locations spread out along the PCH that you can stop into and choose the perfect tree. Grab your axe, and let’s go to work.
Santa Cruz Christmas Tree Farms
- Address: 12200 Empire Grade, Santa Cruz
Head to Crest Ranch and walk the rows of Christmas trees to pick your perfect match. You can cut your own tree down, choose from precut trees, and enjoy concessions and refreshment stations. Crest Ranch provides saws to help chop your tree down, and they can also bag it for you. There is a wide selection of trees, including Arizona Cypress, Austrian Pine, Blue Spruce, and Douglas Fir. They’re open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 8 am to 5 pm and Monday to Thursday from 9 am to 5 pm. The ranch opens the weekend before Thanksgiving and typically closes the weekend before Christmas.
- Address: 4820 Bonny Doon Rd, Santa Cruz
Right off the PCH is Ward Ranch, a great place to stop and cut your Christmas tree down. They open the Friday after Thanksgiving through December 23rd, from 9 am to 5 pm. You can also choose from a precut tree if chopping your tree down doesn’t work for you. Their varieties include Douglas Fir, Incense Cedar, Sierra Redwood, White Fir, Scotch Pine, and Grand Fir.
Pescadero Christmas Tree Farm
Rancho Siempre Verde
- Address: 2250 Hwy 1, Pescadero
Rancho Siempre Verde has everything for Christmas, including pick-your-own trees, Christmas wreaths, and boughs. They provide saws, tree bags, and tree ties to make your journey home a little easier. The farm also has excellent amenities like picnic tables and a tractor-pull hay ride for the kids. Grab your tree starting the weekend after Thanksgiving through December 22nd from 9 am to 5 pm. Tree varieties include Easter Red Cedar, Eastern White Pine, Fraser Fir, and Leyland Cypress.
Half Moon Bay Christmas Tree Farm
Santa’s Tree Farm and Village
Address: 78 Pilarcitos Creek Rd, Half Moon Bay
Your kids will have an incredible time at Santa’s Tree Farm and Village. Besides picking your own Christmas Tree to cut down, they have a fun Christmas-themed park that includes Santa visits. Saws are included when you arrive to choose your perfect tree, plus you can grab complimentary cider, candy canes, and a visit with Santa with the purchase of your tree. Visit the farm from 9 am to 5 pm on weekends and 8 am to 5 pm on weekdays. They open the Saturday before Thanksgiving, and their holiday cheer runs through December 24th.
4C’s Christmas Tree Farm
- Address: 678-698 San Mateo Rd, Half Moon Bay
4C’s Christmas Tree Farm in Half Moon Bay is a small tree farm perfect for bringing the family. They have two options with trees, Douglas Fir, which costs $65 and Spruce, which is $75.
You have to bring most of what you need to cut and tie your tree down here, but the staff is friendly and will assist in any way they can. They’re open weekdays from 10 am to 5 pm and weekends from 9 am to 5 pm.
For those who don’t want to chop a tree down, they also offer precut Noble Firs and Nordman Fir trees, and you can grab a wreath and tree stand before you leave.
While there aren’t many, these choose-your-own Christmas tree lots warrant a road trip to find the best tree for your house. While there, you can explore the Pacific Coast Highway and all the fantastic towns that line it.