Best Places in California for a Winter Getaway

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.

San Diego as one of the best places in California for a winter getaway

Lake Tahoe

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.

a woman standing close to Lake Tahoe

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.

Death Valley

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.

Disneyland

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.

Pasadena

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.

Yosemite in winter as one of the best places in California for a winter getaway

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!

Palm Springs

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!

A little snow in the California desert

Author’s bio:

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.

Photos used:

https://pixabay.com/photos/san-diego-skyline-night-evening-4353504/

https://pixabay.com/photos/yosemite-national-park-california-1936632/

https://pixabay.com/photos/tahoe-lake-winter-girl-sport-2110056/

https://pixabay.com/photos/landscape-scenic-winter-snow-1902042/

5 Things to do in Orlando

In a place with unlimited activities and attractions, there is obviously more than 5 things to do in Orlando. This Florida city often crops up on people’s bucket lists. Filled with theme parks, fun and adventure it’s the perfect destination for anyone looking for a fun, stress free trip with lots of laughs. Whether you are looking for an action-packed week away with the kids, or the chance to explore on your own, Orlando has plenty to offer.

With so much going on it’s essential that you choose the right base. Somewhere like Marriott’s Grande Vista is the perfect place to relax at the end of long days, getting a good night’s sleep and preparing for your next great adventure. But, wherever you stay it’s a good idea to do a bit of research first. With so much to do it’s easy to miss things that you would love. So, here’s a look at 5 of the things that you should put on your to-do list for your trip to Orlando.

Unsplash

Disney’s Magic Kingdom

The Magic Kingdom was Walt Disney’s first theme park and remains one of the most popular theme parks in the world to this day. No matter how old you are, a little bit of Disney magic can be a great way to relive your childhood. You can’t help but smile as you look up at Cinderella’s castle or watch the evening fireworks. This theme park includes rides, roller-coaster, simulators and various Disney themed areas. A must for any Disney fan.

Universal Studios

If your movie love is a little wider than just Disney, Universal Studios is the place to be. Home to rides and attractions based around all of our movie favourites this is a fantastically fun day out. If you prefer a bigger adrenaline rush or are traveling with older children, you might want to buy a “park to park” pass so that you can also head over to the Islands of Adventure park.

SeaWorld Orlando

SeaWorld is always a big hit with kids and adults alike. Home to various different species of sea life and fish, SeaWorld lets you get up close and personal with your favourite creatures, while learning more about their environments and lifecycles. There are also talks, displays, shows and aquatic themed rides.

The Kennedy Space Centre

If theme parks aren’t your thing, and you’ve got no desire to spend your days on roller-coasters and rides, Orlando still has plenty to offer. Just a 45-minute drive away from Downtown Orlando on the Eastern coast of Florida is the Kennedy Space Centre. At the Kennedy Centre you can see actual rockets that have left the earth’s orbit, you can learn more about space and space crafts and you can walk on the same ground as many of NASA’s greatest astronauts.

Aquatica Park

Yes, Orlando has lots of theme parks and plenty of museums and historic sites, but it’s also known for its water parks. Aquatica park is perhaps the biggest and best of them all. Home to head to head slides, flumes, rapids and the famous Dolphin Plunge it’s a fantastic family day out.

Christmas in Vienna

A Christmas in Vienna is is one not to be missed. It’s worthy of “bucket list” inclusion and one you will remember for a very long time. There is something magical about the Christmas markets in Vienna. Soft sparkling lights, gently falling snow, the smell of freshly roasting chestnuts, and musicians wandering through the streets. It sounds and feels like a fairytale, but Christmas in Vienna is very real.

From mid-November until the end of December, Austria is the place to enjoy traditional Christmas markets. Festive lights, seasonal treats and snow-covered roofs make for a special experience that only Austria can provide. Austrians often refer to the Advent period as the country’s “fifth season”. Vienna always shines, but during the Advent season, it dazzles. Festivities take place in historic squares and pedestrian areas, making long walks from cafés to museums and shops even more enjoyable.

Christmas Markets in Vienna

In Vienna, the markets are an age-old tradition that help to put a smile on everyone’s face and provide an overwhelming Christmas spirit. The forerunners of the present-day markets date back to 1298 in the Middle Ages when the Duke of Austria granted Vienna’s citizens the privilege of holding a “Krippenmarkt” or December Market. The character and prevalence of these markets has naturally changed considerably over the centuries.

Vienna itself says that there are 20 official Christmas Markets. There are in fact many more smaller ones. As you walk through the central old city, you’ll come across small squares (or platz) where small markets and vendor booths are open and waiting for you.

The most well-known and largest market is at Rathausplatz and known as Vienna Christmas World. The market sits right in front of the Rathaus (Town Hall) with some 150 booths. The adjacent City Hall Park has an ice rink, ice paths through the park, and a children’s area with nativity path, reindeer train, ferris wheel and carousel. The unique arts and crafts blend perfectly with baked goods and sausage stands.

A short walk away is the Christmas Market on Maria-Theresien-Platz, between the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna and the Naturhistorisches Museum Vienna. Over 70 booths offer traditional Christmas handicrafts and original gifts throughout the season of Advent. There are regular visits by Gospel choirs and music groups to amplify the festive mood. The Christmas Village then transitions seamlessly into the New Year’s Eve Village.

Christmas in Vienna

The Imperial and Royal Christmas Market on Michaelerplatz, in front of the Imperial Palace features Austrian products, sweets, pewter figures, hand-made crafts and more in its white huts. The Christmas Market on Stephansplatz focuses more on tradition, with some 40 booths and huts beside St. Stephen’s Cathedral offering high-quality Austrian products. The Advent market at the Opera House has gingerbread, cheese, meats, punch and wine from regional producers in Austria.

The best time to head to the markets are weekdays and early evening when the lights come on and the day turns into evening. Weekend days are very busy.

Enjoy the Lights Above The Graben And Kärntner Strasse

The Christmas lights of Vienna shine with a magical beauty. Thousands of crystals and giant chandeliers make you feel like you are in a large imperial ballroom as you walk along the main pedestrian areas in the old city center. Start an early evening walk from the State Opera House building, down Kärntner Straße to St. Stephen’s Cathedral, then along the Graben and up Kohlmarkt to the Hofburg Palace. Walk through the Palace grounds and you’ll end up back at Ringstrasse (and just a few blocks from your starting point).

Christmas in Vienna - The Graben

Walk the Ringstrasse

The Ringstrasse is the grand boulevard that circles the historic Innere Stadt (Inner Town) where ancient fortifications once stood. Along the “Ring” you’ll see museums, parks, restaurants, five-star hotels, luxury stores and Christmas markets. Ringstrasse is decked out with lights and many Christmas displays to highlight Vienna’s impressive architecture. You can walk the “Ring”, get on a public bus or tram, or take a scheduled sightseeing tram with guide.

Weihnachtspunsch Or Glühwein?

Most street corners feature a mulled wine or punch stand where locals and visitors gather for a warm drink and conversation. The local Lions Club has a number of drink stands along with a slightly lower price and a Styrofoam cup. The markets serve their punch in collectable mugs with a unique design for each market. You’ll pay a deposit when you order your drink, so you can keep the mug (or just buy the mug separately). The slightly more popular steaming mug of warmth is Weihnachtspunsch (Christmas punch). It comes in dozens of flavours across the old city. The more traditional drink is a mug of hot Glühwein (mulled wine). You can’t go wrong with either and should try both. Either choice will take the chill away on a cold winter’s evening. Multiple drinks into the evening may have you singing songs from the “Sound of Music”.

Christmas in Vienna

Try Maronis (Roasted Chestnuts)

You’ll find at least one “Maroni Stand” at every market and at many major street corners in the winter months. They are selling roasted chestnuts from one steaming steel barrel and roasted potato snacks from another barrel. It’s a Christmas experience that goes back to the Middle Ages. You can almost imagine children blowing on a hot, freshly peeled chestnut to cool it down. Now you can follow in their footsteps.

Christmas in Vienna - Roasted Chestnuts

Eat Sausage or Leberkäse? (or both)

Sausage stands are year-round in Vienna, but they somehow seem more inviting in winter. Austrians love their meat and these roadside stands don’t disappoint for taste. If you need a little food energy and break from exploring, try a Käsekrainer or Bratwurst. The other must try Viennese snack is Leberkäse. It is a kind of rectangular sausage cut as a thick slice of meat on a fresh bread roll with mustard. It is an Austrian staple, cheap and delicious (trust me- I’ve eaten a lot of Leberkäse).

The Austrian capital is the perfect destination for a holiday hiatus. Vienna combines history, traditions and culture into the world’s most livable city.

Your Christmas spirit will come alive in this fairytale setting. Vienna is really the perfect destination for Christmas – this is Christmas in Vienna.