It can be hard to settle into winter when it’s 90 degrees outside, but Southern Californians have their own ways of getting their winter on. During the holiday season, SoCal goes overboard with lights and decorations to help set the mood for winter. But what do you do after the holidays end? We have some ideas for extending that winter bliss just a little while longer.
Mountain High, Wrightwood
Can you believe this winter wonderland is just 90 minutes from Los Angeles? Nestled in the idyllic San Gabriel Mountains, Mountain High is a ski resort and recreation area that caters to SoCal residents and transplants alike. You don’t have to be a skier to enjoy this winter wonderland; Mountain High also has dining and shopping for those who want to experience the views without braving the cold. Make sure to bring you camera – this is the perfect spot to shoot that snowy new profile picture.
Pershing Square, Downtown Los Angeles
Each winter, Los Angeles’s historic Pershing Square keeps a holiday schedule through the New Year – and it’s the perfect spot for a date night (for adults) or daytrip (for the kids). The park transforms into a romantic skating rink until January 18, and hosts events like skating exhibitions and DJ nights, with plenty of street vendors on hand. For an extra-special view of the park and sparkly downtown L.A. skyline, plan your visit around a trip to the nearby Broad Museum of contemporary art; just make sure to register for tickets in advance so you don’t miss out!
Rose Parade Showcase of Floats, Pasadena
After Pasadena’s epic Tournament of Roses Parade on January 1, get an up-close look at the gorgeous floral floats made famous for their colorfully intricate designs. Enter along Sierra Madre and Washington Boulevards in Pasadena, where you can enjoy the street fair with food and entertainment before learning more about the Rose Parade floats from event volunteers. When you get done admiring the handiwork, wrap things up with a hot chocolate in beautiful Old Town Pasadena.
Furnace Creek, Death Valley
What do you do when it gets a little too cold in SoCal? You head to Death Valley, of course. With record temperature topping 125 degrees in the summertime, visiting Death Valley is a daunting task – but while everywhere else is becoming colder and grayer, the desert comes alive. Start out your adventure by booking a room at The Furnace Creek Resort. From there, you’ll have easy access to otherworldly landscapes like Artist’s Palette (for multicolored volcanic hillsides), and Badwater Basin (the lowest point in North America). While you there, don’t forget to look up at night! The stargazing in the desert is, well, stellar.