Did You Know?
The highest and lowest points in United States, Mount Whitney at 14,495 feet (4,418 m) and Bad Water in Death Valley at 282 feet (86 m) below sea level, are both located in California and that too within 100 miles (160 km) of one another.
California, also known as the"Golden State", is one of the most well-known states of the United States. This beautiful state contains two of the most populous cities in the US, namely, Los Angeles and San Diego. Laid back beaches, picturesque mountain deserts and the world famous 'Hollywood' are just a few highlights of this state. Needless to say, there are plenty of activities to do. California has a diverse geographic terrain which ranges from the Pacific coast in the west, to the Sierra Nevada mountains in the east and from the Redwood-Douglas-fir forests of the northwest, to the Mojave Desert areas in the southeast. With such diversity, winters (December to February) can be a great time to visit California. The mountains turn into a winter wonderland for skiers and snowboarders. The desert, meanwhile, is beautiful, and temperatures are mild and pleasant. California beaches, like always, are lively and perfect for soaking your body in the sun.
Popular Winter Vacation Destinations in California
Desert Hot Springs
At 1,076 ft (328 m) elevation, Desert Hot Springs is mostly visited during winters because of the warm, sunny, clear and dry climate. It is popular for its educational park that showcases how the entire area gets access to high quality and pristine drinking water. So, if you're planning to spend some quality winter time, do consider this beautiful city that has been specially constructed over the world's finest natural hot mineral water aquifers.
Numerous activities in this city include, hiking, golf, tennis, shuffleboard, sightseeing, bicycle riding, ballooning and horseback riding. Moreover, nights are always filled of joyful activities like music concerts, theaters, museums visits, movies and cultural events related to the region.
Yosemite National Park
If you're planning for a winter vacation with your entire family or friends, you can bank upon Yosemite National Park. It is one of the first wilderness parks built in Eastern Central California. This park has been constantly ranked among the top 10 best winter vacation destinations in the world. Mid December to March, is the best time to visit. Some must-visit spots during winters are Badger pass, Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias and Crane Flat area.
The entire park area covers 761,268 acres and nearly 4 million tourists visit this grand park every year. Yosemite valley, a world heritage site since 1984, is popular worldwide for waterfalls, meadows, wetlands, rock formations, giant sequoias, granite cliffs, its amazing biological diversity, and wildlife tourism. Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, ice skating and numerous other Yosemite national park activities are available for adventure lovers.
The 2nd deepest freshwater lake in the US, and largest in North America, Lake Tahoe is situated in the Sierra Nevada range and is known for its clear water. During winters, this place becomes heaven for adventure and sports enthusiasts as it has a number of ski resorts and outdoor recreations. Snowboarding and skiing are among the most popular things to do at Lake Tahoe and they also form a major source of income for this area.
Other activities in Tahoe include water sports, hiking and bicycling and downhill snow skiing. The scenic beauty, along with the mentioned activities, make Tahoe one of the best vacation spots in this state. Tahoe can also be an ideal destination for a romantic vacation because of its serenity and natural beauty.
The 2nd largest city in California, and the eighth-largest city in the US, San Diego is known for its mild year-round climate. San Diego is a major tourist destination in the US owing to its excellent climate and some very popular destinations. Some of the major attractions in San Diego are Wild Animal Park, SeaWorld San Diego, the San Diego Zoo and Legoland California.
East San Diego offers nature lovers numerous activities like hiking, camping, fishing, observing wildlife in the 600,000-acre Anza Borrego Desert State Park. With Mexico to the south, San Diego's geographical borders are a melting pot of numerous cultures. Balboa Park, that houses 15 museums, many art galleries and beautiful gardens is the largest urban park in the US. Owing to many luxury spas, amusement parks and historic sites, one may face difficulty in choosing amidst innumerable fun things to do in San Diego! It is certainly one of the best places to visit in California during winter.
A California trip is incomplete without a visit to Los Angeles. The world famous Hollywood is a district in Los Angeles and the historical center of movie studios and movie stars. Other places to look out for are Santa Monica Pier, Hollywood Boulevard Walk of Fame, Walt Disney Concert Hall and Griffith Observatory. Los Angeles has plenty of sunshine throughout the year and the temperature in winters ranges from 57 to 66 degree Fahrenheit.
This vibrant city of California is world famous, and has inspired legendary artists like The Beatles, The Doors, RHCP, Guns and Roses, David Bowie, Frank Sinatra and many more. Los Angeles is often billed as the "Creative Capital of the World", because of the fact that one in every six residents works in a creative industry.
These were just a few vacation spots in California that are ideal for a winter visit. There are plenty of other places which are worth visiting at least once. Fun filled Disneyland resort, the historic Golden Gate Bridge, the beautiful Monterey Bay Aquarium, Death Valley, Big Bear Lake, the magnificent California Giant Redwoods, Napa Valley Wine Country to name a few.
Another activity that you cannot afford to miss is paddle surfing and whale watching along the central California coast, between Monterey and San Diego. California travel will be an amazing experience for you, if you're able to visit some or all the places mentioned here.