If you don’t like winter, it’s definitely a good idea to travel somewhere warm and nice. And as the rest of the country is mostly covered with snow in winter months – California seems like a perfect getaway option. Warm temperatures, empty beaches and not busy tourist spots make this place even more amazing to visit. That’s why you should pack your bags – we’re taking you to California. Here are the best places in California for a winter getaway, and you try to choose the best one for you and your family.
Winter in San Diego
When it comes to the best places in California for a winter getaway, San Diego comes as the first and one of the most popular options. Being a popular tourist spot in the spring and summer months, San Diego is a great getaway place in winter since it’s not as busy and crowded. You can visit the beaches and watch whales on a perfect sunny December day and have the time of your life. December is also the month of holidays, and in San Diego, you can experience a true Christmas spirit. Festivals, festive lighting and decoration, and many other attractions will make this winter perfect.
Even though it’s a very different location from the previous one, Lake Tahoe is also one of the best places in California for a winter getaway. This time, we’re talking about some of the best ski spots in the area – luxurious resorts for both beginners and experienced skiers. So, if you’re looking for an idyllic, snowy winter experience, Lake Tahoe can offer everything you need.
Bonus tip: If you are not looking for a place to do winter sports, check out all the places you can visit in Lake Tahoe if you’re not skiing – and there are many of them.
A complete opposite to Lake Tahoe – Death Valley is a hot place most of the people won’t visit during summer. But in winter, this can be an amazing winter getaway, with temperatures finally dropping at around 73° F. However, don’t forget to plan this trip in advance, since it can be pretty busy during winter months.
Yes, the most popular place in California can be truly enjoyed during winter months. The reason why it’s one of the best places in California for a winter getaway is that you can finally enjoy it without having to wait hours in line. The crowds are much smaller after the holidays, so you can really have fun and plan your Disneyland day just the way you want it.
New Year’s Day in Pasadena can be truly something spectacular. You can watch the Pasadena Rose Parade which is a true spectacle but also join some other activities related to the event. Again, be sure to book your trip months/weeks in advance, since this is a very popular event and many people rush to Pasadena for the New Year holiday.
Mammoth Mountain and Yosemite
Another amazing place to spend a true winter day skiing and enjoying the sun. What’s also great about it is the proximity to the Yosemite National park. You can make a trip and visit both of the locations when coming here. You can easily reach it by Mammoth Yosemite airport, which is great if you don’t live in California.
Christmas in Orange County is the best
Winter is all about the holidays, and one of the best places in California for a winter getaway and also a perfect Christmas location is definitely Orange County and Newport Beach. Here you can see an amazing Christmas Parade, decorated yachts and houses, etc. Sink into the festive spirit and enjoy your amazing winter getaway!
Running away from any sign of winter and cold can really happen in Palm Springs. Here, December is the coldest month with over 68°F – can you imagine spending your winter holiday in a t-shirt? In Palm Springs, there’s a lot to do, even in winter – visit the zoo, go hiking, ride a bike, go around the city to see local arts and architecture, etc. Palm Springs is one of the best places to visit in California during winter for a good reason!
General California getaway tips
Whatever the location(s) you choose, you need to get ready for your trip. If you’re well-prepared, you will enjoy California even more. Don’t be surprised if you fall in love with some of the places from the list and decide to move here. Many people experience the same thing. In that case, relocation will not be a problem – you can move to any part of California with ease. Choosing a local moving company will make everything smooth and fast.
And now, let’s go back to the getaway preparations. Depending on where you’re coming from, and who you’re traveling with, your preparations will be more or less complicated. However, make sure you don’t forget these things:
- do some research on the place you’re visiting – check all the attractions and places you want to see and get the tickets in advance.
- book accommodation beforehand – check the hotels or other accommodations you want to stay in and book your rooms in advance. Even though you’re visiting in winter, some California locations can be very busy.
- check the weather forecast and pack accordingly – since you’ll be traveling in winter, make sure you check the weather forecast a couple of days in advance. This will help you pack properly and be ready for your trip.
- check your cellphone plan or put your phone on airplane mode
- book a day or two more – you’ll probably want to stay longer.
It can be very difficult to choose only one out of the many best places in California for a winter getaway. That’s why you should definitely expect coming back again since California gives the best winter holidays! Enjoy!
Jeffrey Wilson is a book lover who really enjoys traveling. That’s why he uses his experience to write blog posts related to travel organization and destinations. His big passion is nature photography.
10 thoughts on “Best Places in California for a Winter Getaway”
Never been to San Diego, but my parents recommended so I added it to my list! I would love to see the zoo, and obviously just enjoy the nice weather.
These look like great places to visit! I have never been to America before. Thank you for sharing! These destinations look great!
You’ve got to get to California at some point. Thanks for the comments.
It’s so cold on the east coast right now that a Cali vacay seems to be just what the doctor ordered. Thanks for these tips. 🙂
Think warm…thanks for the comments!
I’ve never been to the west coast of America but I’ve consistently heard good things about Lake Tahoe and Palm Springs so I think I may need to rectify that omission at some point. And good tip about Disneyland being less busy in winter, that’s very useful to know, my daughter reeeeeeeeally wants to go!
The west coast is great and Disneyland is too, thanks for the comments!
Oooh there are some amazing places here, I’m loving these places!
Love, Amie ❤
The Curvaceous Vegan
They are great destinations, thanks for the comments!
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