Imagine this… you and your sweetheart sitting on a luxurious, comfy couch staring into a crackling fire. In one hand a glass of wine while the other is draped around your partner. At this moment, all the stresses from daily life disappear. Taking a deep breath of fresh pine air, you realize why you decided to take this romantic getaway. It’s for that ultimate sense of calm, a feeling of peace, and the pure simplicity of togetherness. There’s just something about a cozy cabin in the middle of winter that helps bring romance back into your life. Here are 7 romantic winter getaways in California High Sierra that will rekindle the passion in your life.
Sonora gives you the opportunity to play in the snow AND get a bit of culture. Stroll down historic Washington Street for a glimpse of the past. Shops, restaurants, and inns are tucked inside well-kept 19th and 20th century buildings, filled with hours of exploring and entertainment. Be sure to stop by Legends to grab a Sarsaparilla float in a grand 1850’s saloon.
Snow Play: Located only thirty miles from the slopes at Dodge Ridge Ski Resort. Or, if you want to go snowtubing, head over to the Leland Snowplay snow park. Want to snowshoe instead? Get a guided snowshoe tour with Yosemite Family Adventures.
When you imagine a romantic winter getaway in California High Sierra, one of the first places that comes to mind is the town of Truckee. As the snow falls, the quaint Historic Downtown becomes magical. You’ll find plenty of shops to stroll through, cozy eateries for a warming cup of soup, beautiful bars to sip on a hot toddy, and coffee shops for a seasonal latte.
Snow Play: The list of wintry fun in Truckee is like a snow-fueled buffet of fun. Go on a snowshoeing adventure up to Chickadee Ridge or hop on a sled or tube at Tahoe Donner Snowplay. Take a twirl with your better half on the ice-skating rink at Northstar Village. Ski or ride down the legendary slopes of Palisades Tahoe. There may not be enough time in the day to do everything you want.
Trying to get away from the crowds? Highway 395 hugging the Eastern Sierra mountain range is home to some of the most beautiful and least visited areas in the country. Backed by the jagged spires of the Sawtooth range, spend the day soaking in one of the many open-air hot springs like the Travertine Hot Springs.
Snow Play: Bridgeport marks the northern end of the mega-sized peaks with 14,000-foot summits that drop down 8,000 vertical feet. If you have backcountry experience or would like a guided trip, High Sierra Snowcat & Yurt offers snowcat transportation to an 8-person yurt deep into the heart of these peaks.
It is true life is better at the lake. While Bass Lake may be known for its summer fun, winter provides the perfect relaxed atmosphere for a romantic winter getaway. You’ll be surrounded by its beauty of tall pine trees alongside the glassy waters. From cozy cabins at Millers Landing to the luxurious rooms at the Pines, you’ll find the perfect spot for you both to enjoy your time in nature. At this time of year, the crowds visiting Yosemite have lessened providing you the opportunity to see one-of-a kind winter attractions like frazil ice.
Snow Play: The Sierra provides the perfect mix of snow fun but without the hassle. Up high (above 6,000’) you’ll find plenty of the white stuff to play on at Badger Pass. Here you can go tubing, cross-country skiing, sledding, or even downhill skiing. For those that have an adventurous spirit, tackle the 21-mile round-trip cross country skiing journey to Glacier Point Ski Hut.
Does the idea of leaving your furry family members for a romantic getaway seem terrible? Luckily, you don’t have to when visiting North Tahoe. There are an abundance of establishments and activities that cater to dog lovers in North Lake Tahoe including the cozy hamlet of Tahoe City. Perched on the north shore at the head of the Truckee River, its walkable downtown is a perfect basecamp for pet-friendly outdoor adventures.
Snow Play: Tahoe City’s Winter Sports Park features all your winter fun rolled up into one location. You’ll find four kilometers of groomed cross-country and snowshoe terrain with views of Lake Tahoe along the way, a sledding hill for gravity style fun, and an outdoor skating rink for family fun. And your pup won’t feel left out, the Winter Sports Park offers dog-friendly trails!
For those couples looking for adventure on their romantic foray, Bishop is your place. A true gateway for outdoor escapades, you’re only a few miles from a multitude of amazing recreational activities. This includes rock climbing, backcountry skiing, or even snowmobiling all in the same vacation. Named as one of “America’s Coolest Mountain Towns” by Men’s Journal, expect to find a cottonwood lined town surrounded by scenic alpine vistas that rise two vertical miles above you.
Snow Play: Head east into the White Mountains, strap on your snowshoes or cross-country skis, and venture into the Ancient Bristlecone forest. Containing the oldest recorded living things on earth, these gnarled, twisted trees will make you appreciate the sweet moments in life. If you feel like heading west into the Sierra, you’ll find both world-class backcountry and downhill skiing at Mammoth Mountain less than an hour away.
If you’re a wine connoisseur AND enjoy mountain sports, Arnold is THE romantic getaway, located above the snow line. Stay in a cozy log cabin surrounded by beautiful pine trees where you can either head up to Bear Valley for more snow fun or head down to Murphys to experience their amazing wines. With over two dozen wine tasting rooms lining Murphys’ Main Street, you’ll get a great overview of the many award-winning wines produced here. If that isn’t enough, explore the surrounding towns of Copperopolis, Angels Camp, Mokelumne Hill, and the Vallecito area to visit the vineyards themselves.
Snow Play: Snowshoe through giant sequoias at Calaveras Big Trees State Park for unrivaled views of these majestic trees. Bear Valley Snowmobile offers you the opportunity to access the ONLY trail system in California where you can explore the wilderness without a tour guide. It gives you a chance to experience some of the best snowmobiling California offers on Ebbetts Pass Scenic Byway. Enjoy miles of groomed trails for nordic ski buffs at Bear Valley Cross Country & Adventure Company, where dogs are welcome to join you on your snowy treks. This area is also home to three snow-parks: Spicer, Round Valley, and Lake Alpine. Thinking more about the slopes? Look no further than Bear Valley Ski Resort!
With so many romantic winter getaways in California High Sierra, these should be on your bucket list for a romantic escape you won’t forget.
Author: Alex Silgalis
Alex founded Local Freshies® in 2014 to be the #1 website providing the “local scoop” on where to eat, drink & play in mountain towns throughout North America. When he’s not writing and executing marketing strategies for small businesses & agencies, he’s in search of the deepest snow in the winter and tackiest dirt in the summer.