When it comes to winter road trips, Angelenos are #blessed. Unlike other parts of the country that get blanketed in road-closing snow from December through March (or later, because #climatechange), Los Angeles is the perfect starting point for a road trip in the winter months.
So bust out your duffel bag, pack a toothbrush and an extra pair of undies, and hit the road! Whether you need a vacay or just a reason to get the hell out of dodge, here are six winter road trips from Los Angeles that will satisfy your wanderlust this season.
If the balmy 70 degree winter weather or the plethora of midcentury-inspired hotels isn’t enough of a draw to make the two-hour trip to Palm Springs, then perhaps Robolights will. Through January 8th, artist Kenny Irwin’s residential installation is like no other Christmas light display you will ever see. Robolights features classic holiday characters mixed with robots constructed out of recycled materials Irwin started collecting from the age of 12.
Valle de Guadalupe
Lauded by Vogue for its “glamorous villas, pools overlooking vineyards, and private wine tastings in caves,” the Valle de Guadalupe is Mexico’s answer to Napa Valley. The wine area is only 3.5 hours away from LA, but you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to another realm, especially if you stay at this bubble hotel.
What’s a winter break without a chance to ski or snowboard? While there are plenty of snow resorts all over California, Big Bear is only a 2-hour drive away, compared to Lake Tahoe’s 8-hour trek and Mammoth Mountain’s 5-hour drive.
Desert Hot Springs
When the weather is cool out, a heated pool might be the best way to spend a winter vacation day. In Desert Hot Springs, a 2-hour drive east of LA, you can relax in a naturally heated mineral pool at one of the town’s many spa-themed hotels, like the luxurious Two Bunch Palms.
Love snow but not into skiing or crowds? Then a visit to the sleepy town of Idyllwild might just be in order this winter. Located in the San Jacinto Mountains about two hours away from LA, Idyllwild is the perfect place to hole up in a cozy cabin for a long weekend.
Wineries and hot air balloons abound in Temecula, less than a 2-hour drive southeast of Los Angeles. You won’t want to miss visiting Old Town, Temecula’s Western-themed downtown area full of restaurants and shops. And be sure to stop by Wilson Creek Winery to taste their famous almond-flavored sparkling wine.