Spending the Winter in California: A Guide for Canadian Snowbirds

If you're a Canadian snowbird seeking a warmer place to spend the winter...

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Travel Insurance for California

If you're a Canadian snowbird seeking a warmer place to spend the winter, California is definitely the place to be! Not only is it sunny and warm all winter long, but there are plenty of things to do and see in this great state—all without having to shovel snow or bundle up in layers! Here are some suggestions on how to get ready for a winter in California to help you have the most enjoyable stay possible. So don't wait any longer; start planning your trip today!

Why spend the winter in California instead of Canada?

While many people dread the onset of winter, others see it as the perfect time to pack their bags and head for sunny California. There are several reasons why California is a top destination for winter visitors.

The state has an average of 300 days of sunshine each year, so you can be sure there will be plenty of chances to enjoy the outdoors.

Additionally, California offers a wide range of activities, from enjoying the beaches in the south to exploring the coastal Redwood forests.

Lastly, California is home to some of the world’s best wine countries, making it the perfect place to relax and enjoy a glass or two of your favourite vintage.

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How to prepare for a winter in California?

If you’re planning to spend the winter in California, there are a few things you need to do in order to prepare. First, you’ll need to ensure that your travel documents are in order. While Canadians can enter the United States without a visa, they must have a valid passport.

Secondly, you’ll need to make sure that your health insurance is valid in the United States. As such, it’s a good idea to contact a soNomad agent about purchasing a travel insurance policy that will cover your healthcare needs while in California for the winter.

Types of accommodation available to snowbirds

There are many different types of accommodations available to snowbirds in California. One popular option is to rent a vacation home or apartment. In addition to providing you with more space and privacy during your stay, this can be a great way to save money.

Another popular option is to stay in a hotel or resort. While this may be more expensive, it can be a good option if you want the convenience of having all your meals and activities taken care of.

If you decide to drive your RV down for the winter, many RV parks and campgrounds offer long-term stays. Those who wish to see more of the state of California during their visit may find this a convenient choice.

Whatever accommodation you choose, be sure to do your research in advance to find the perfect place to stay for your needs.

Where to stay in California during the winter

If you're dreaming of escaping the Canadian winter this year, there's no shortage of sunny destinations to choose from. But if you're looking for the best of the best, here are five California hot spots that should be at the top of your list.

San Diego

With its average winter temperatures hovering around 21 degrees Celsius, it's no wonder San Diego is such a popular destination for snowbirds. Add in the city's endless list of activities and attractions—from world-class museums and art galleries to beautiful beaches and hiking trails—and it's easy to see why San Diego is one of California's most beloved destinations.

Laguna Beach

Located just south of Los Angeles, Laguna Beach is a small town with a big reputation. This picturesque community is home to some of California's most beautiful beaches and a thriving arts scene. Winter is the perfect time to enjoy all that Laguna Beach has to offer, as the town comes alive with holiday festivities and events.

Santa Barbara

Often called the "American Riviera," Santa Barbara is known for its Mediterranean-style architecture and stunning ocean views. The town comes alive in the winter months with several festive holiday events, including a traditional German Christmas market and an annual New Year's Eve celebration featuring live music and fireworks.

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Catalina Island

Just a short boat ride from the mainland, Catalina Island is a popular getaway for Californians and snowbirds alike. Catalina is the ideal place to get away from the cold, thanks to its mild winters and various outdoor activities. And with its small-town charm and stunning natural beauty, it's easy to see why this island is such a popular destination.

Coachella Valley

The Coachella Valley—which includes the cities of Palm Springs, Desert Hot Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, La Quinta, and Indio—is one of California's most popular winter getaways. With average temperatures ranging from 20 to 25 degrees Celsius, it's easy to see why! The region is also home to many world-class golf courses and luxury spas, making it the perfect place to relax and escape the Canadian cold.  

Whether you're looking for warm weather or festive holiday fun, California has something for everyone. So pack your bags and escape the Canadian winter this year by heading south to one of these five sunny destinations. You won't be disappointed!

Cost of spending the winter in California

While the cost of living in California is generally high, there are ways to keep your expenses down if you’re on a budget. One of the best ways to save money is to find accommodation that suits your needs and budget. For example, if you’re planning to stay in California for an extended period of time, it may be worth considering renting an apartment or house instead of staying in a hotel.

Another way to save money is to cook your own meals. While eating out is certainly convenient, it can also be quite costly. So if you’re looking to save money, cook your meals at home using local ingredients. Not only will this save you money, but it’s also a great way to experience the local cuisine. You'll find tons of farmers' markets all over California where you can stock up on fresh, local produce.

Finally, try to take advantage of the many free attractions and activities that California has to offer. From hiking in the Redwoods to visiting world-famous museums, there are plenty of things to do in California that won’t cost you a dime. So get out there and start exploring!

Things to do and see in California during the winter

There's no shortage of things to do and see for snowbirds fleeing the cold winter months for sunny California. Here's a guide to some of the best things to do and see in California during the winter.

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Museums and Attractions

One of the great things about California is that there are world-renowned museums and attractions located throughout the state. In Los Angeles, visitors can check out the Getty Center, which is home to a collection of art from around the world, or take a tour of Universal Studios Hollywood. San Francisco is home to iconic landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island, as well as museums like the Museum of Modern Art. In San Diego, visitors can spend a day at Balboa Park, home to 17 different museums.

Outdoor Activities

Since California typically has warm winters, it attracts many snowbirds looking to spend the winter somewhere warm. In fact, there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy, whether you're hiking through one of the state's many parks or taking a leisurely stroll along the beach. And if you're looking for a more adrenaline-pumping experience, you can try out surfing at one of California's many world-famous surf spots.

Wine Country

California is home to more than 400 wineries, many located in Napa Valley and Sonoma County. So if you're a fan of wine, be sure to add a visit to wine country to your list of things to do during your stay. You can tour the vineyards, sample the wines, and learn about the winemaking process. And if you're feeling adventurous, you can even go on a hot air balloon ride or take a helicopter tour of the vineyards.

Food Scene

California is renowned for its incredible food scene, and there are plenty of delicious options to choose from during the winter months. In Los Angeles, you can find everything from street food to fine dining. San Francisco is known for its fresh seafood, while San Diego is home to some of the best Mexican food north of the border. And no matter where you go in California, you'll be able to find farm-fresh produce thanks to the state's many farmers' markets.

Whether you're looking for world-class museums and attractions or outdoor activities and incredible food, California has something for everyone—even snowbirds escaping the cold winter months.

Best food to try in California

There's no shortage of delicious food to try in California, but here are five dishes you won't want to miss.

● Tacos al pastor: A traditional Mexican dish made with spit-roasted pork, tacos al pastor are a must-try in California.

● Cioppino: A hearty seafood stew originating in San Francisco, cioppino is a California classic.

● Avocado toast: A simple but delicious dish that's perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

● In-N-Out Burger: A California institution, In-N-Out Burger is a must-try for any burger lover.

● Farm-fresh produce: California is known for its fresh, delicious produce. Be sure to stop by a farmers' market during your visit and stock up on some of the state's signature fruits and vegetables.

What to pack for a winter in California?

When packing for a winter in California, there are a few essential items you’ll need to bring. First and foremost, you’ll need to pack plenty of sun protection. Even though the weather is generally warm during the day, the UV index can be quite high, so be sure to pack sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat.

You’ll also need to pack some warm clothing for the evenings and early mornings. While bringing a heavy coat is unnecessary, a sweater or light jacket will be essential for those chilly California nights.

California Dreamin', on such a winter's day!

If you're dreaming of escaping the cold Canadian winter this year, make your dreams a reality and head out to California. With its sunny beaches and world-class attractions, there's something for everyone in the Golden State. So pack your bags and head to California for some winter sun!

Don’t forget to contact a soNomad agent to talk about your travel insurance needs before heading to California for the winter.

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