It’s time to head west for the winter! California has long been known as one of the United State’s top vacation destinations thanks to its sunny weather and beautiful beaches. If you’re wanting to escape the cold this winter, California is the place to go. Staying at one of many cozy California vacation rentals is the perfect way to have an unforgettable getaway this winter. That said, check out the most cost-efficient places in California for snowbirds.
1. Laguna Beach
Summer attracts plenty of tourists to this seaside arts town, but when the school starts up again, you’ll have this beach all to yourself. With jaw-dropping ocean views, romantic restaurants, and art galleries galore, there are plenty of things to see and do. Plus, you’re only 50 miles south of Los Angeles. Expect temperatures of 65-70 degrees as you stroll along Laguna Beach’s clean, warm sand.
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2. Catalina Island
Explore the charming harbor town of Avalon on Southern California’s storied island, Catalina. There are plenty of island activities suitable for all ages, or you can enjoy some laid back time of shopping, a trip to the spa, or soaking up the sun. Golf, hiking, and art museums are some of the top attractions on this beautiful island in addition to more adrenaline pumping activities like fishing, scuba diving, jet skiing, parasailing, paddleboarding, and more.
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3. Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara can be a tourist magnet, but during the winter, this California city can be all yours. Also known as The American Riviera, golden hillsides transformed into lush wineries meet the sparkling seas of the Pacific Ocean. Downtown is full of wonderful high-end shopping, and there are more than 15 notable parks in the city.
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4. San Diego
San Diego’s warm winter temperatures make this city feel like summer year-round. With a spectacular coastline, great restaurants, and a slew of outdoor activities, you might never want to leave. Here, you have access to the famous Torrey Pines Golf Course, well-groomed hiking trails, the La Jolla Playhouse, and the San Diego Zoo, not to mention the beautiful beaches.
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5. Death Valley
Death Valley is way too hot to visit during the summer, and during the winter, temperatures stay high enough to warm your chilly bones. Winter is also the busiest time in Death Valley so plan ahead to get the best choice of vacation rentals. This geological wonderland of exposed rock and scarce vegetation will be the ideal place to getaway from the hustle and bustle of the big city and unwind in true snowbird fashion.
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6. Newport Beach
For some of the best Christmas festivities in Southern California, visit Newport Beach. One of the main winter attractions here is the Christmas parade made solely up of yachts decked out in lights. The winter is also a great time to see grey whales. Check out Newport Landing and Davey’s Locker for guided whale watching tours.
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7. Palm Springs
This sun drenched desert oasis was once a playground for Hollywood’s elite an still packs a lot of Hollywood glitz and glamour. Stars such as Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope and Lucille Ball all built homes here that you can now rent! How’s that for a vacation rental? Visit a unique museum like the Architecture and Design Center in downtown or visit nearby Sunnylands, with an public garden and walking paths inspired by Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings.
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8. Huntington Beach
The winters are mild at Huntington Beach with temperatures averaging about 63 degrees in January. The beaches are clean and clear of tourists during the winter off-season, but you’ll still be able to see the incredible surfers that make Huntington Beach “Surf City USA.” Head to historic Main Street for an oceanfront dining, shopping, and entertainment hub with a delicate mix of mom-and-pop bistros and sophisticated palettes, surf shops and chic boutiques, art galleries and live music, and so much more.
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9. Venice Beach
Venice is famous for attracting artist and creative types with its quirky shops, good restaurants, and sand shoreline. Visit the famous Muscle Beach, the outdoor workout facility where famous body builders like Vic Tanny, Jack LaLanne, and Joe Gold used to frequent. The biggest draws of Venice are the street performers and the vendors on the Venice Beach Boardwalk where you can buy everything from cheap sunglasses to stylish t-shirts.
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10. Hermosa Beach
It may be winter, but temperatures in Hermosa Beach average a low of 65 degrees and highs in the 80’s. You can’t ask for better weather than that. Even though it might feel like summer, you can still get in the holiday spirit with the Sandsnowman Competition in early December. Even though it’s close to one of California’s biggest cities, Hermosa Beach still maintains a relaxed, mellow vibe. Spend your days fishing off the pier, strolling The Strand, or just people watching from a beachside cafe.
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11. San Clemente
San Clemente, the Spanish Village by the Sea, is a popular winter destination thanks to temperatures reaching well into the 70’s. The San Clemente Pier is a local icon, and the historic Casa Romantica is a must-see. Head to San Clemente State Beach for dramatic views of the ocean, or visit the “Pier Bowl” for its unique restaurants and shops.
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