The Best Winter Getaways on the West Coast

California, Washington and Oregon are all home to charming towns that truly come alive in the winter.

brown wooden house on snow covered ground near body of water during daytime
Lake Tahoe. Adrianna Geo/Unsplash

Looking to enjoy a winter escape on the West Coast? Though East Coast locales like New York City tend to be incredibly popular during the holidays, that doesn’t mean there’s not plenty on offer on the other side of the country. California, Washington and Oregon are all home to charming towns that truly come alive in the winter. Whether you’re looking to ski and snowboard or simply enjoy snowy views from a distance, these are the best winter getaways on the West Coast. 

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Image: Exterior of Edgewood Tahoe Resort.
Edgewood Tahoe Resort. Edgewood Tahoe Resort

Lake Tahoe, California 

Lake Tahoe is one of the most beautiful places to visit, no matter the season. During the winter, this massive area that spans the state line between California and Nevada becomes blanketed in soft snow, creating a true winter wonderland for visitors and locals alike. Skiing and snowboarding are two of the most popular activities, but you can also spend the day hopping from brewery to brewery or at one of the seasonal outdoor ice skating rinks. The snow-dusted pines make for the most epic photo backdrop, and the soft yet sticking snow is great for building snowmen before enjoying an après-ski cocktail with a view at Riva Grill.

Where to Stay: 

Wake up to breathtaking views each morning at the lakefront Edgewood Tahoe Resort. The sleek and modern suites and rooms look right out onto the lake and surrounding mountains, providing a luxurious home base in between outings. If you’d rather stay in Truckee, The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe is a lavish resort nestled in the mountains among the pines. 

Image: Bird's eye view of Ashland Springs Hotel.
Ashland Springs Hotel. Ashland Springs Hotel

Ashland, Oregon 

Located in southern Oregon, Ashland is a charming Pacific Northwest town that sits in a valley at the base of the Siskiyou and Cascade mountains. During the winter, the surrounding peaks become covered in snow, creating a magical background to the old-school streets and locally-owned shops and restaurants. Start your day with scones and muffins from The Breadboard before heading to the Ashland Centennial Ice Rink. In the evening, sit down for an unforgettable tasting menu at MÄS before heading back to your hotel for a nightcap in your room. 

Where to Stay: 

Though luxury hotel options are limited, the Ashland Springs Hotel is a quaint and cozy spot located in the heart of downtown Ashland. In addition to being incredibly walkable, this boutique accommodation has bright and timeless guest rooms, a delicious on-site restaurant and the relaxing Waterstone Spa. 


Leavenworth, Washington

Leavenworth is a Bavarian-inspired village that turns into a true “Christmastown” from November to December. The entire town glows up with colorful holiday lights, and you’ll find choirs, carolers and bands performing regularly under the local pavilion. During the weekends, explore a variety of food vendors before ending with hot cocoa as you walk around and admire the festive scene. If you’re looking for a more elevated place to sit down for dinner, make a reservation at Mana and indulge in a $118 pre-fixe menu that features locally foraged and sourced ingredients alongside renowned wines. 

Where to Stay: 

Between the serene spa and terrace rooms with mountain views, Posthotel Leavenworth offers the most magical stay in the area. The white and airy interior provides an elegant ambiance that encourages you to rest and restore after a long day of holiday festivities. For a more quaint and laidback bed and breakfast experience, book a room at the timeless Abendblume and make yourself right at home. 

Image: Exterior of Noble + Proper.
Noble + Proper. Noble + Proper

Big Bear, California

Big Bear, California is a remote mountain town located just a couple of hours away from Los Angeles. Of course, the most popular activities during the winter in Big Bear revolve around snowboarding and skiing, but The Village at Big Bear Lake is the perfect place for those who prefer window shopping and a hot toddy. The Pines Lakefront offers a fine dining experience along with beautiful lake views. Order a hearty glass of red wine alongside the filet mignon and a side of Alaskan King Crab legs. End the night with stargazing and roasting marshmallows around a fire. 

Where to Stay: 

Enjoy privacy and intimacy when you book one of the stylish cabins at Noble + Proper. Each cabin has its own kitchenette, allowing you to enjoy meals at home before embarking on a grueling day of hitting the slopes. The maximalist interiors are also fun and unique, featuring floral wallpaper, bold tiles and antique artwork. 

Image: Exterior of Bowline Hotel.
Bowline Hotel. Bowline Hotel

Blend a snowy escape with coastal living in Astoria, Oregon. In addition to being the oldest city in Oregon, Astoria is also one of the most popular places for a winter getaway on the West Coast. If you want to escape the cold, explore one of the many museums or head to the downtown shopping district and snag some one-of-a-kind stocking stuffers and gifts. In the evening, sit down for dinner at Fede Trattoria Astoria and fill up on hand-made pasta and other Italian favorites. Before hitting the hay, warm up with a nightcap at the sleek Blaylock’s Whiskey Bar, which boasts more than 100 different whiskies in-house. 

Where to Stay:

The Cannery Pier Hotel & Spa sits right above the Columbia River, doubling as an iconic landmark and one of the best accommodations in the area. However, for a more modern experience, opt for the Bowline Hotel, which also sits right above the river, offering unbeatable views. 

The Best Winter Getaways on the West Coast