Living in Southern California affords endless pleasures — an embarrassment of comfort and riches. But one thing it doesn't have much of come holiday time is snow. White Christmas in Los Angeles, for instance? Not a thing. Fortunately, there are many luxurious and wanderlust-worthy places within easy striking distance by car or plane to get a glimpse of the white stuff, experience holiday magic, snap some solid Instagram selfies, and then head home quick so you can thaw out. Here are our diverse picks for snowy getaways that can be accessed in under three hours' travel time from L.A.
1. Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
Just a couple hours' drive from Los Angeles — barring traffic — you'll find access to the historic and breathtaking Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. The world’s largest rotating tram cars travel over two-and-a-half miles along the cliffs of Chino Canyon, transporting riders to the wilderness of the Mt. San Jacinto State Park in about 10 minutes — and temps can be 30 degrees cooler at the station at the top. Try 50 miles of snowy hiking trails in the winter, or pop back down quick to the luxury of the uber-chic Parker Palm Springs and its exceedingly festive $1,000 omelette.
2. Park City, Utah
Access Park City easily from Los Angeles, in just about an hour and 45 minutes nonstop flight time; tons of airlines including Southwest offer the trip. The city east of Salt Lake City is bordered by the Deer Valley Resort and the massive Park City Mountain Resort, both renowned for their slopes. Quaint Main Street is lined with buildings built during a 19th-century boom time, when silver mining was the draw. The Sundance Film Festival association makes it ever buzzier.
3. Big Bear
In under two hours by car from Los Angeles, get to Big Bear Lake for serious natural beauty. The small town located at 7,000 feet in the San Bernardino Mountains offers tons for skiers and snowboarders. Big Bear Mountain Resort offers two mountains, with a combined 436 developed acres, 26 lifts, four high-speed chairs, and 1,800 vertical feet.
Fly to Aspen in well under two hours from Los Angeles, and find a skier and snowboarder paradise with world-class slopes. It's well suited for apres ski too, with 100 restaurants around. Non skiers? Try dog sledding, snow mobiling, fly fishing, hot air ballooning — there's plenty to choose from.
Flight times between LAX and Vancouver come in at just about two hours and 55 minutes. From there, explore the lively metropolitan city... or spend a bit longer traipsing to Whistler, a world-class and uber-chic destination for some serious snow sports. Or at least some serious lodge lounging in style at the Four Seasons Whistler.
Jet Set is Bravo's launch pad for the most extravagant, luxurious, and unforgettable travel experiences. Ready for takeoff? Then Like us on Facebook to stay connected to our daily updates.