Looking for a Winter Wonderland Close to Home?

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Looking for a Winter Wonderland Close to Home?

Michael Pruchanskiy

Michael Pruchanskiy

Michael Pruchanskiy

Marla Giordano, Staff Writer

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If you are dreaming of a relaxing getaway, or perhaps a beautiful winter wonderland, there are quite a few places in California that are worth exploring.

  Lake Tahoe is a favorite among active locals. Although it is one of the farther winter destinations, it is filled with fun activities for those who like to be out and about. There are many mountain adventures to explore on the slopes such as skiing, sledding, and snowboarding. If you feel like dashing through the snow, sleigh rides and snowmobile tours are available for people looking for an exhilarating thrill (tahoesouth.com).

  According to a popular trip destination website, Orange County and Newport Harbor are the perfect winter getaways if you are more interested in a warm winter. A favorite among those from Southern California is the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade. You’ll see yachts, boats, and even tiny sailboats all glammed up in holiday lights. If you are seeking a more relaxing option, be sure to check out the Irvine Park Railroad. There you can take a scenic train ride through all of the Christmas decorations and lights, travel to the North Pole, and even meet Santa Claus (tripsavvy.com).

  “Big Bear is my favorite place to go with my family in the winter. Tubing, camping, and fishing are things I love to do every time I visit. I look forward to it every year around the holidays,” said Junior Jordan Freedman. Many people like to rent cabins in Big Bear, go fishing at the beautiful lake, and sit by a fire while drinking a steaming cup of hot chocolate. Big Bear Mountain is best known for its freestyle snowboarding park, Snow Summit and the Adventure Academy, which attract families and downhill skiers (bigbear.com/things-to-do).

  Mammoth is the place to go if you love nature. There are beautiful places to sightsee as well as explore. There is a big beautiful lake, stunning scenery, and fun places to ski. During the winter, you’ll have slopeside access to watch some of the nation’s most elite skiers and snowboarders compete in major events at Mammoth Mountain (visitmammoth.com/events). Around the holidays, there are endless festivities including parades and concerts taking place in the town of Mammoth.

  If your idea of a winter getaway involves cozy bed and breakfasts and apple pie, Julian is the place for you. Along with Big Bear, Julian is one of the more popular winter destinations among local San Diegans. “Apple pie from Julian is my favorite thing about winter. Every year, my family and I take a trip up there just for the comfort of the small town and their pie,” said Junior Mica Giaconi. An annual tree-lighting ceremony takes place in Pioneer Park the Saturday after Thanksgiving and marks the beginning of Julian’s Country Christmas. Hot apple cider, horse-drawn carriage rides, brunch with Santa, and theatrical performances mark the enchanting start of winter in this small town.

  Whether you are looking for a thrilling adventure, a relaxing weekend, or some holiday fun, you’ll be sure to find the right winter getaway driving distance away in California.

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