During summer months, we crave sundrenched staycations at San Diego beach resorts. But as soon as we fall into winter, our travel bug begins to idealize a new type of vacation. Surf boards and poolside cocktails are replaced with snow boards and fire-side hot cocoa. Our dream winter getaways take us to scenic valleys and snow-topped mountains, abundant with holiday attractions, snow activities and luxury resorts with warm and welcoming amenities. Though we’ll never tire of an ocean view at sunset, there is something magical about sitting around the fireplace and watching the season’s first snow fall.
For a taste of countryside charm without the travel time, visit Orchard Hill Country Inn in Julian. More winter getaway destination picks include 968 Hotel in South Lake Tahoe, Auberge du Soleil in Napa Valley, Tenaya Lodge in Yosemite, The Sebastian Hotel in Colorado, and L’Auberge de Sedona in Arizona.
Discover the best winter getaways in California and beyond.
Julian is the ideal destination for a winter staycation. This quaint country community is located just outside San Diego, but will make you feel worlds away from city culture. Julian offers an array of festive activities, from winery tasting rooms to art galleries, specialty shops, apple orchards, and plenty of apple pie and spicy cider. Complete your Julian experience with an overnight stay at Orchard Hill Country Inn, considered one of the best boutique hotel lodges on the West Coast. Country charm meets contemporary décor within Orchard Hill’s 22 cottage and lodge rooms. Choose your pick of 12 deluxe cottage rooms, each with a porch or deck, refrigerator, gas fireplace and whirlpool bathtub. Or enjoy one of the ten lodge rooms which are located close to Manzanita Creek and boast waterfront picnic areas, cozy hammocks, spacious patios, and stone fireplaces. Bonus, all guests are treated to daily breakfast service and afternoon hors d’oeuvres with wine and beer.
Auberge du Soleil in Napa Valley
French-born restaurateur Claude Rouas was drawn to California Wine Country’s incredible valley views, and opened Napa Valley’s first fine dining restaurant in 1981. Over the years, Auberge du Soleil has evolved into a world class destination, always inspired by the natural setting, and now offering first class cuisine paired with luxury hospitality and a wellness-focused spa refuge. Napa Valley is magical in the wintertime, known for wine tasting adventures, fine art galleries, stunning scenery, and an undeniable romantic vibe. Enhance your Napa Valley experience by staying at Auberge du Soleil, which offers a wide variety of guest rooms, grandiose suites and private villas. If you’re traveling with that special someone, reserve the Upper Valley View Suite, 1,254 square feet of winter wonderland, complete with vaulted ceilings, sweeping views of Napa Valley, a butler’s pantry, dining table, fireplace, and large soaking tub accented by bath oils and candles. More resort perks include the namesake restaurant, a signature spa, fitness center and shopping boutique. Bonus, Auberge du Soleil features seasonal packages that cater to your getaway desires, such as the Culinary Escape and Relaxation & Rejuvenation.
968 Hotel in Lake Tahoe
South Lake Tahoe is one of the most popular travel destinations in northern California. Just a short flight away from San Diego, winter wonderland waits in Tahoe, offering a festive spread of ski activities, specialty shops, luxury resort amenities and nearby casino entertainment. This season, mix things up and stay at 968 Hotel, a new 100% Green Seal Certified hotel in South Lake Tahoe, located within walking distance to Heavenly Ski Resort. Eco-conscious travelers will appreciate such thoughtful perks as “My Earth” organic toiletries, tank-less water heating system, and plasma HD televisions with Energy Star Saver auto shut off, among many others. Showing a sexy side of green hospitality, 968 Hotel’s stylish guest rooms were made with varied recycled materials, resulting in a vintage-chic vibe. More on-site perks include the welcoming lobby bar, 968 Spa, and weekend entertainment.
Tenaya Lodge in Yosemite
Yosemite is one of California’s most majestic destinations, known for year-round attractions and activities, such as waterfalls, giant sequoias, grand meadows, camping, hiking, rock climbing, zip lining, sledding, skiing and sleigh rides. If you’re looking for a touch of luxurious hospitality near this 1,000 square mile National Park, consider the popular Tenaya Lodge. Set on 35 acres bordering the Sierra National Forest, two miles from the south entrance to Yosemite National Park, Tenaya Lodge offers 294 guest rooms and suites that celebrate the scenery while protecting you from the cold winter chill. Amenities include plush down bedding, individual climate controls, cable TV with on-demand movies, and high-speed internet access. The lodge offers multiple on-site restaurants to please everyone in the family, including Embers, Timberloft Pizzeria, and Jackalope’s Bar and Grill, among others. And if you need to warm up after a long day in the park, discover Tenaya’s signature Ascent Spa. Customize your experience this winter with the Photography Workshop Package, Yosemite Park Pass Package, or Ascent Couples Spa Package.
The Sebastian Hotel & Residence Club – Vail, Colorado
If you need a complete change of scenery, jet set off to Colorado and discover a new side of Vail within The Sebastian, one of the area’s newest boutique hotels. Adventurous athletes with refined taste should consider The Sebastian for a stylish ski getaway this winter. Boasting a variety of hospitality options, from deluxe plaza rooms to four bedroom suites, The Sebastian’s design is a modern take on classic alpine décor, and in-room perks include gas fireplaces, an entertainment center with flat panel HD television, a DVD player and iPod docking station, plush bedding, stone countertops, comfortable living rooms, and private balconies with views of the mountains or surrounding valley. But don’t spend your whole time inside; The Sebastian also offers its signature Block 16 Restaurant, Bloom Spa, Frost Bar, a library, pool, fitness center and much more. Bonus, new winter travel packages hook you up with free lift tickets and complimentary spa treatments.
L’Auberge de Sedona in Sedona, Arizona
Arizona’s Red Rock Country is surrounded by snow-topped mountains and color changing trees, painting the perfect backdrop for a serene winter getaway. Explore the rich area with vortex hikes, jeep tours, hiking, hot air balloon rides, and skiing at Flagstaff Snowbowl; or simply relax and soak in the scenery with vibrant star watching at night. L’Auberge de Sedona is located on 11 sprawling acres on the banks of Oak Creek, and offers 87 guest rooms and cottages, each with a private fireplace and deck overlooking the towering red rocks of Sedona. For the most romantic experience, reserve the Creekside Cottage, which is situated on the edge of Oak Creek and offers an expansive terrace, wood-burning fireplace, vaulted ceilings, LCD television, and an outdoor shower under the starry sky. L’Auberge de Sedona is celebrated for its award-winning restaurant, which was recently named “One of the Top Ten Restaurants in the Southwest” by Condé Nast Traveler. More resort perks include a climate-controlled swimming pool, full-service spa, and indoor/outdoor wine bar. L’Auberge de Sedona is the ideal getaway for travelers seeking a taste of the seasons, without the burden of harsh winter weather. Bonus, the Sedona Snowmance package hooks you up with free lift tickets and a $75 spa credit with a two night stay in a luxury cottage, through March 15, 2012.