Travel Guide to California

2015 Travel Guide to California

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Page 49 of 195

Southern California has long been known as a year-round winter play- ground, with sports and outdoor activities centered in San Diego and Los Angeles. But the mountains of Lake Tahoe, Mam- moth Lakes and Yosemite beckon winter visitors who want to embrace snow-based sports and recreation. Sports In winter, Southern California is still an oasis for outdoor sports and adventure, from golf to tennis, hiking and horseback riding, whether in the still-baking desert around Palm Springs or the perpetually pleasant vacationland of San Diego or Los Angeles. But for those seeking winter sports, there may be no better place on earth than the mountains surrounding Lake Tahoe. The area hosted the 1960 Winter Olympics at Squaw Valley and con- tinues to be home base for many U.S. Winter Olympians who bang moguls, rip the half-pipes and bomb down downhill runs at more than a dozen area ski resorts. For the non-extreme, plenty of beginner runs, group lessons and smaller hills offer a safe introduction to the sport. Tahoe resorts including Squaw Valley, Northstar and Heavenly feature ice skating rinks and innertube runs for those looking for something less extreme, with toasted marshmallows by a fire for dessert. Cross- country skiing and snowshoeing courses dot the Tahoe area, offering a brisk aerobic workout amidst pine forests and sweeping 48 2 0 1 5 T R A V E L G U I D E T O C A L I F O R N I A CA.WINTER SPORTS Not a Time to Hibernate! While California's bears may be hibernating in winter, the state's many winter activities provide plenty of reasons to get outdoors BY BILL FINK PLAYING IN SNOW Snow play isn't usually foremost in people's minds when they think of California, but the state has some of the best skiing in the West, with the area around Lake Tahoe offering more options than anywhere in North America. DONLAND/SHUTTERSTOCK . OPPOSITE: MATTGIBSON.COM; RADOSLAW LECYK/SHUTTERSTOCK

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