How to Enjoy Winter, Even in Mild SoCal Weather

In sunny SoCal, we sometimes seem to lack the four real, traditional seasons, but does that mean we should miss out on the fun that winter brings? Here are ways that you, too, can enjoy a photo-worthy wintery time before the weather heats up without leaving Los Angeles.

woman looking at the Hollywood signage during day time

Because we have such a mild winter season, we can take advantage of sightseeing in ways that those in colder climates can not during the colder months. We can take bike tours around the greater Los Angeles area, look at celebrity homes in Hollywood, bike through the beaches and visit Route 66. Even as the days get shorter, we can also still enjoy hiking up to the Hollywood sign or climbing over the hills around Los Angeles to get those perfect sunset views. The winter season means smaller crowds and less sweating to deal with, so we get to see the clear skies and sparkling views of the ocean before us in peace.

It might seem abnormal to people from colder climates, but lying on the beach is a perfect way to spend this winter season. The water might freeze your toes, but it’s usually cold anyway, and let’s face it, no one’s swimming this time of year. Beach temperatures around these colder months hover around 65 degrees, which, in a cozy sweater, is perfectly comfortable beach weather, and it makes it easier to find a spot for your towel on the sand.

Sport Fishing Boating arch sign under blue sky

While it might not necessarily be cold enough here for frozen lakes to ice skate on, there are plenty of outdoor ice-skating rinks that stay frozen through January and February, and when those melt, we always have indoor rinks.

For those days where it really feels too cold to go outside, you can also enjoy a nice hot bowl of ramen inside or warm up your hands by a fire. In LA, we are close enough to Sawtelle and blocks of noodle shops to pick up our chopsticks and eat through the cold, one meal at a time. We are also home to plenty of trendy coffee shops where you can grab a cup of joe to warm yourself up and take those instagram-worthy shots.  

Because Los Angeles is a mecca for the arts, when we have the occasional rainy day, we can spend them indoors at one of the many free museums available. The beauty of Los Angeles is also the availability of so much within driving distance. Winter weekdays are the best time to visit your favorite amusement parks without having to deal with mobs of people and hours-long lines for the best rides.  

person sitting on bench ion front of painting

If you decide you really do need that white winter wonderland, it is always a short drive from LA to the mountains. You don’t need to go all the way to Mammoth to go skiing; Big Bear is less than 2 hours away, and you can trade the sunny 70 degree weather here for thick parkas and cups of hot cocoa there. If you really just want to see the snow, there are mountains even closer where you can play in the snow and make it back to the dorms in time for dinner.