Winter Beach Getaway from Los Angeles
If you live in Los Angeles do you really need to “get away” in the winter months? Yes. First of all, no matter where you live sometimes you just need to take a vacation and where better to go than a beautiful, relaxing beach. Secondly, LA’s average high in January is 68° and its average low is 48°. While that doesn’t sound cold to us hardy East Coasters and Midwesterners, it’s too cold to fully enjoy a beach.
So, what makes a destination a good winter beach getaway from LA and other west coast locations? In my opinion, it’s price, proximity to your departure city, and typical weather at the destination during that time of year. Actually, these are my criteria for all winter getaways, not just beach vacations.
Top 5 Winter Getaways from LA and other West Coast Locations
Los Cabos, Mexico
American and Alaska Airlines fly nonstop to San Jose del Cabo from LAX in 2 1/2 hours. Los Cabos is often referred to as a dual destination because it includes the two distinct towns of San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas. San Jose del Cabo is the more tranquil destination of the two with a traditional Mexican town ambiance. Cabo San Lucas is more developed with bars, shopping and hotels. Both benefit from the same dramatic coastline where desert meets mountains, bordered by the beautiful sapphire waters of the Sea of Cortez.
Alaska Airlines flies nonstop to Mazatlan from LAX in 2 1/2 hours. Mazatlan is a resort town along Mexico’s Pacific coast known for its big-game fishing, boardwalk and sandy beaches.
Delta and Alaska fly nonstop to San Jose, Costa Rica from LA. Flights are approximately 6 hours. Costa Rica, an independent Central American country, is blessed with a rugged jungle interior and Caribbean and Pacific coastlines. In fact, the country is best known for its beaches, volcanoes, protected jungle, and biodiversity. The most popular beaches in Costa Rica are:
- Playa Potrero, Playa Conchal, Playa Guiones, Tamarindo Beach, Playa Grande, and Playa Avellana in Guanacaste.
- Playa Santa Teresa, Montezuma, Playa Uvita, and Mal Pais in Puntarenas.
- Samara on the Nicola Peninsula.
- Playa Cocles in Puerto Viejo.
- Playa Virador in Papagayo.
- Playa Manuel Antonio in Manuel Antonio National Park.
- Playa Gandoca-Manzanillo in the Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge.
United, American, Delta, and Hawaiian fly nonstop to Honolulu. Flights are approximately 6 hours. Honolulu is located on the island of Oahu and is home to Hawaii’s most famous beach, Waikiki Beach. However, just because Honolulu is Hawaii’s largest city, and Waikiki is it’s most famous beach, don’t let that stop you from exploring the rest of Oahu. It’s ringed by magnificent beaches including:
- Ko Olina, a newer resort area only 40 minutes from Waikiki
- Kahala, also not far from Waikiki in one of Oahu’s most beautiful residential neighborhoods.
- Kuilima Cove and Turtle Bay on the North Shore.
Hawaii (Big Island), Hawaii
United, American and Delta fly nonstop from LA to Kailua-Kona on the Big Island. Flights take around 6 hours. Hawaii is the name of the island as well as the state, which led to the more commonly used nickname “Big Island” because it’s the largest island in the state at slightly over 4,000 square miles. The Big Island is the most geologically diverse of the Hawaiian Islands and it’s also the youngest. Kilauea, one of the most active volcanoes on earth; Punaluu Beach, a rare black sand beach; Papakolea Beach, an even rarer green sand beach, King Kamehameha I’s birthplace; and Hawaii’s first missionary church are all located on the Big Island.
To many joyful beach experiences!
— Lisa Dworkin