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Chasing the California Sun: A Guide to Scenic Winter Road Trips 

What if the best Christmas present to yourself was waiting for you in the driveway? 

You might not be able to treat yourself to a new car this holiday season, but you can always treat yourself to a killer road trip. Once you have the right car insurance in place, a winter road trip through California can create some unforgettable memories. 

Which iconic destinations are worth including in your California road trip itinerary? Keep reading to discover our guide to the best West Coast road trips this holiday season! 

The Ultimate Winter Road Trip Destinations 

Before getting behind the wheel, remember that a little planning goes a long way. For example, you’ll want to make sure you know what the California weather will be like so you can pack accordingly. With the right winter gear, you can properly enjoy these “cool” California winter destinations. 

Joshua Tree National Park: A December Star 

If you’re looking to get back to nature, there is nothing quite like a trip to Joshua Tree National Park. Once you’re there, you can go hiking, bouldering, and sightseeing. Although you might be tempted to stay right where you are once you notice how breathtaking each sunset and sunrise are in the expanse of the California desert. Keep in mind you won’t find food or drink in the park, so bring plenty of supplies before you scope out the desert delights! 

Discover Death Valley in the Chilly Months 

Of course, if you like the desert, then Death Valley is one of the best road trips from Los Angeles or other major cities you can take in the winter. The austere beauty here is like almost nothing else you’ll find on the planet, but the infamously sweltering heat makes the area downright oppressive in the warmer months. During winter, you can enjoy the sights without the searing heat, and that’s a big win in our book. 

Yosemite National Park: A Winter Wonderland 

Everyone has different goals for their own California road trips, and if your goals include camping out and enjoying rugged outdoor charm, nothing beats Yosemite National Park. There are plenty of hiking opportunities, and you’ll be rewarded with amazing views of mountains, lakes, and forests. If the idea of experiencing everything on your own is intimidating, you can always sign up for a guided tour! 

Off the Beaten Path: Hidden Gems to Explore 

Some of the California trip destinations we mentioned above are famed for their beauty all around the world. But what if you want a bit more local flavor and a lot fewer tourists? In that case, you should check out these areas that are a bit further off the beaten path. 

Find Peace in Sequoia National Park 

Sequoia National Park is famous for making visitors feel humble and peaceful for a simple reason: Being surrounded by the largest Sequoia forest in the country has a way of reminding you of the vast wonders of the world. The sight of the snow-peaked mountains will make you feel like you walked into the past and trust us: you may never want to leave once you experience it for the first time! 

Couple enjoys the sunset at Mojave Desert - cheap car insurance in California

Experience Mojave National Preserve in Winter 

The Mojave National Preserve offers much of the same sun-blasted beauty as Death Valley, but it generally receives fewer tourists. That makes this a great destination for those who don’t mind getting off the beaten path to soak up all this majesty without running into a fellow road-tripper every few steps. 

Napa Valley: Treating Your Taste Buds on a Frosty Road Trip 

As we noted, every road tripper has a different motivation for getting behind the wheel. We’ve covered great examples of places to visit for California residents who want to hike, camp, and generally enjoy the great outdoors. If you’re more interested in a destination filled with temptations of the flesh, though, this may be the perfect season to visit Napa Valley. 

Most people visit wine country during the warmer months, but here’s the thing: all of the beauty and all of the sophisticated wine are still waiting for you around the holidays. Why not raise a warming glass to the health of your family while you enjoy this iconic California destination? 

Be Prepared: Tips for Safe Winter Driving in California 

The single best way to prepare for your epic California road trip is to make sure you have solid road trip car insurance in place. However, nobody wants to file a claim if it can be avoided. With that in mind, here are some of our top tips for safe winter driving throughout the state. 

  1. Make sure your car has enough antifreeze for the colder areas 
  1. Inspect your brakes and tires, making sure the tread is in good condition and each tire is properly inflated  
  1. Make sure your heater and defrost systems are in good repair, and don’t forget to bring along simple tools like ice scrapers.  

Pack up an emergency car kit that includes blankets and warm clothes, just in case. Don’t forget to add roadside assistance if you don’t already have it as part of your auto insurance policy. 

Get Affordable Car Insurance For Your Next California Road Trip! 

Now you know some of the most scenic winter road trips for California drivers just like yourself. But do you know how to give your car the protection it needs for every mile of the ride? 

Here at Cost-U-Less, we’re all about giving you the protection you deserve while you’re out making precious memories on the highways and interstates. Ready to give yourself some peace of mind so you can sit back and enjoy the ride? Time to give us a call at (800) 390-4071 or come get a fast and free car insurance quote online. You can also find a nearby office and visit us in person. 

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