Whether you want to head to Mammoth, Big Bear, Idyllwild, or Ojai, we’ve got the perfect cabin for your family
The weather in LA may not be earmuff-worthy, but if you want a bonafide winter vacation that might even include snow, all you need to do is get in your car and drive a few hours thanks to our towering mountains. Dig up those winter coats (or borrow some from a friend), pack up the car (don’t forget those tire chains), and head to one of these cozy cabin winter getaways just a short drive from LA.
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Best Winter Vacation Rentals in Big Bear, CA
Vintage Cabin with Private Sledding Hill—Big Bear
This charming little log cabin is everything you'd want from a spot in Big Bear: Warm and cozy, with the sort of simple charm that makes you want to snuggle up by the fire after a day of snow play. Built by hand from 1949 through 1951, the cabin has original kitchen appliances and light fixtures, a large custom wood burning fireplace and vintage decor. Outside, kids can swing on the tree swing, sled in the private back yard, or climb into the treehouse. It's also just a short drive to the ski slopes and local tubing destinations.
Bonus: Got pets? There's no need to leave your pup at home as the cabin is pet-friendly (and stay for free!).
RELATED: All the Reasons Why Big Bear is a Family-Favorite Destination
Games & Rustic Luxury—Big Bear
This upscale modern cabin has everything a family needs for a quick winter getaway: It's loaded with games for the kids and has upscale touches parents will appreciate (think leather sofa, granite dining table, stainless steel appliances). Snow bunnies will love that it's just a few minutes from Big Bear Mountain and Snow Summit—as well as just around the corner from the Big Bear Snowplay tubing park. Staying inside? There's a shuffleboard table, a foosball table, two full-size arcade games, a ton of family board games, plus a private back yard with a hill that's perfect for sledding (there are event two big sleds in the garage to borrow).
Bonus: The owners like to leave fresh baked cookies as a welcome, and a stuffed toy bear for kids to take home as a memento.
Ski-In, Ski-Out Condo—Big Bear
Is this the year you'll teach your kids to ski? This pristine split-level Big Bear condo is the perfect place to do it! Located 50 yards from the bunny slopes at Snow Summit, you'll be able to ski in and out from the back of the condo without worrying about where you parked. Besides its perfect proximity to the slopes, the condo has everything a family might need to get cozy inside on chilly evenings, including an 80s arcade game table, three bedrooms (including one with a triple-level bunk bed!), and a wood-burning fireplace.
Bonus: The rental includes one free beginner ski or snowboard rental for the day.
Best Winter Vacation Rentals in Mammoth, CA
Luxurious Ski Condo—Mammoth
When you've got a whole brood of kids to bundle up and get out the door, anything that makes things simpler is worth it. Enter: This 2,000-square-foot condo located a few feet from the Canyon Lodge Ski Lifts and Gondolas is well worth the price tag. Aside from easy access to the slopes, this place has luxurious furnishings, stainless steel appliances, and an "expansive bunkroom" for the kids with two plush bunk beds (both bottom bunks have queen-size mattresses!). There's also a private patio with a hot tub, fire pit, barbecue and pizza oven.
RELATED: The Ultimate Family Guide to Skiing in Mammoth with Kids
Cozy Condo in the Heart of The Village—Mammoth
Park your car—then don't use it for the rest of your trip! This plush corner condo is located in the heart of Mammoth Village and just upstairs from the gondola that will take you to the mountain. Walk to local shops and restaurants, or hop on the trolley or shuttle to get to the slopes. The condo sleeps six and includes access to the Village Lodge's heated pool and jacuzzis (which are open all year long), as well as the gym, fire pits, and heated underground garage.
Best Winter Vacation Rental in Idyllwild, CA
Kids will get a kick out of the fact there are actual boulders INSIDE this gorgeous Idyllwild home. Just a 2-minute drive to the center of the town of Idyllwild, the "Boulder Lodge" features 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a loft with a daybed—plus two decks with amazing mountain views and plenty of space for outdoor dining and star gazing. Stroll the grounds outside to find a full teepee, a hammock, and a six-person hot tub.
Bonus: The home is located just across from the Idyllwild Nature Center, which offers guided tours and educational opportunities for visitors of all ages.
Best Winter Vacation Rental in Lake Arrowhead, CA
Family Hideaway with Private Theater—Lake Arrowhead
Not all mountain gems have to cost a fortune. This reasonably-priced tri-level Lake Arrowhead cabin is made for families (aside from the steep stairs to get into the home, which can be a challenge for new walkers)—with bunk beds for the kids and a cozy movie room that's a perfect for chilly evenings. To make nighttime even more fun, the owners provide a s’mores kit for families to enjoy by the fireplace plus movie theater candy and popcorn.
Bonus: Located about 2 miles from Lake Arrowhead Village and 2 miles from Skypark at Santa's Village, an outdoor adventure park with zip lines, mountain biking trails, rock climbing walls, and more.
RELATED: All the Must-Dos for a Weekend of Fun in Lake Arrowhead with Kids
Best Winter Vacation Rental in Three Rivers, CA
Glass House in a Forest—Three Rivers
If you like the idea of sleeping in the middle of the forest with nothing but a pane of glass separating you from the wildlife all around, the "Glass House" in Three Rivers (near the entrance to the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks), is a must-stay for you. Located on two acres of land and just next to a river, the home's glass walls give the illusion that you're sleeping in the outdoors—all without the chill of cool winter nights. Kids will love exploring the forest property around the house, which features a trampoline and a ping pong table, as well as a fire pit for cozy nights and s'mores.
Good to Know: While there's not usually snow at this elevation, bring your sleds (and your snow tires)—it snows in the Sequoias just a few minutes away.
Sleeps: 4; If you have a larger group, there are two tent-style accommodations that are available to guests renting the main house.
Best Winter Vacation Rental in Ojai, CA
Camp in the Mountains—Ojai
Not up for a snowy sojourn? This 200-acre property has so much to offer, you and your fam can be here for days and won't need to leave the property. Located about 20 minutes from downtown Ojai—but with no neighbors for miles—the 150-year-old ranch is spread across hills and forests, with a creek and two spring-fed ponds to explore (there are canoes and paddle boats to use in the pond, and fishing is encouraged). Like animals? There are plenty to see (and pet!), including goats, horses, cows, chickens, and llamas.
The property offers three different types of accommodations: A two-bedroom cabin in the center of the ranch and two safari tents, each with enough land between them to offer privacy if you don't want to be bothered (one sits by a pond; the other, a creek). There is a common room with a piano, pool table, and 80-inch TV, plus a commercial grade kitchen that can be used by all guests. You can rent one or all of the properties at a time—which means, this is a great spot to go in with one or two other families.
Sporting activities include a basketball court and a major league size baseball field (!!) that sits in a clearing at the base of the hills. For an extra fee, guests can arrange horseback rides, massage and facial services, and yoga classes.
Bonus: Guests are provided with a Jeep to use during their stay to explore the 200-acres of property.
Sleeps: Two 1-bedroom safari tents and one 2-bedroom cabin.
Cost: $500 for the safari tents; $750 for the cabin
Online: Log Cabin; Safari Camp 1; Safari Tent 2
Best Winter Vacation Rental in Indio, CA
Sunny Retreat with an Arcade & Casino—Indio
We don't all want frigid fingers and snow boots this winter. This well-stocked desert home will keep both parents and kids entertained with its a huge gaming room that offers four full-size arcade games as well as two casino tables. There's also a lagoon-style pool with a waterslide, an outdoor sauna, a ping-pong table, a play structure with swings, and a full barbecue area with plenty of seating and outdoor speakers.
Still want to check snow off your winter bucket list? The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway is just a half hour away and can take you to the top of the nearby mountains, where (in the winter) there's usually enough snow for snow play.
Related: Your Ultimate Family Guide to Visiting Palm Springs
Please note, prices listed were valid at the time of publication but rates can fluctuate at different times of the year. If you buy something from the links in this article, we may earn affiliate commission or compensation.