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Three Wintry Resort Destinations near the Inland Empire
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Three Wintry Resort Destinations near the Inland Empire

Nov 30th, 2015

Southern California is known for its blissfully comfortable winters. While people across the country look to escape from the snow during the winter months, many Southern Californians seek it out. The grass is always greener, right? Thankfully, there are several convenient getaways in the mountains perched above the sprawling valleys of the Inland Empire.

If you want to rent a cabin in the woods for a weekend of fun, consider these three destinations.

Big Bear Lake

Arguably the most well-known winter retreat in Southern California, Big Bear Lake is a mountain paradise with four distinct seasons. The water sports that characterize this retreat give way to snow sports in the winter, with skiing and snowboarding being two of the first activities that come to mind. Quaint, alpine-style villages surround the lake working with the natural setting to make Big Bear feel as much like Switzerland as SoCal. Big Bear Lake promises action-packed, adventure-filled weekends for winter sports fanatics.


Set in a valley halfway up Mount San Jacinto, Idylwild has an erstwhile history as a serene getaway destination for Southern Californians. Less commercial than Big Bear, Idylwild has a thriving arts scene and is better-suited for hiking, mountain biking, and rock climbing than it is for skiing. While you’re there, check out the glass art and wall sculptures, browse handcrafted artisanal goods, and sneak into Cafe Aroma for some energizing coffee or Mediterranean-Asian fusion food. Nearby Pine Cove also offers several good dining and lodging options.


Situated on stunning Lake Gregory, Crestline is a resort destination you might be able to get to more quickly than you can get to work most days. Crestline is a world away from the valley below. While staying in Crestline, you can ice skate, fish year-round, shop in Lake Arrowhead Village, or hit the slopes at Snow Valley Ski Resort.

Head up for a weekend of wintry fun, or just go up for the day after a good storm to play in fresh snow. The slightly higher, much smaller Twin Peaks, just ten minutes further along the road, offers a more secluded alternative.

Living in the Los Angeles area, you can’t expect a white holiday season. You do, however, have the luxury of being able to escape to a winter wonderland for the weekend. If you decide to head into the Southern California mountains for a high-altitude getaway weekend this winter, have a memorable time!

Do you have a favorite SoCal mountain retreat? Write about it in the comments.

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