How To Make The Most Out Of Winter Holidays In California
When visiting California, most people like to visit during the summer to take advantage of the sunny days. After all, this is the state for surfing, shopping, and being seen! But in the winter, this state also offers a lot of great things for you to see and do. Here’s how to really enjoy your Californian winter stay.
Your best activity for winter in California is taking advantage of all of the snow that hits the mountains around this time. There are a number of ski resorts which are in driving distance of big cities, such as Mammoth Mountain. Going up for just one day, or staying in a lodge on one of the resorts for a longer period, will give you a chance to get a really different view of California. This is a real winter highlight, and you can’t miss seeing the snow sparkle before you as you head down the slope.
See the Sights
There are some places in California which arguably get even more beautiful during the winter. One of these is Lake Tahoe, which becomes a glittering spectacle once the ice hits. The blue lake is surrounded by picturesque snow-capped mountains, making it an ideal photo spot. Then there’s the Yosemite Valley: get there after a recent snowfall to see it at its best. By the way, San Francisco also experiences more colourful sunsets in the winter, so you don’t have to get out of the city to see the most beautiful sights.
Nature lovers will be in their element in the winter, even though you might expect summer to be the best time. The monarch butterfly migration takes place from November through to March, which means hordes of the colourful insects flapping their wings across the state. Grey whales also migrate during this time, so you can go on a whale watching tour from most coastal cities. Then there’s also elephant seal mating and birthing season near Santa Cruz and Piedras Blancas – these seals are huge, and they live in enormous colonies that you have to see to believe.
Celebrate the Holidays
Of course, when you arrive in mid-winter, there are a few great celebrations that you can time your visit around. Christmas is celebrated a little differently in California: you’ll see Christmas boat parades, musical concerts held in wine caves for the acoustics, Christmas gala pageants, and even surfing Santas catching a wave or two. Then you can catch the fireworks for the New Year, followed by Chinese New Year celebrations if you visit a little later. The celebration in San Francisco is one of the largest in the US, with a lot of events going on to mark the lunar festival.
Brave the Weather
Whether it rains or snows, you can still enjoy the majority of summertime activities in California all year round. There are a few things to watch out for: if you plan to take a day trip or travel around, be aware that there are a few major roads which often close in the winter thanks to the snowfall. Get a 4×4 vehicle so that you are equipped to drive on snow, as some roads will be open only to suitable vehicles. Otherwise, dress appropriately, stay warm, and explore at will!
While you might not think of visiting California in the winter immediately, it can actually be a lot more fun than visiting in the winter. Those who like to avoid crowds will especially appreciate the season, which can thin out tourist visitor numbers.