Travel destinations

3 hygge travel destinations to visit in California

Hello and happy Thanksgiving, dear escapees. Chances are you’ve heard of “hygge” (pronounced “hoo-gah”), a Danish word for “well-being” and “friendliness” that became widely known in the mid-2010s.

At home, adopting hygge often involves lighting candles, bundling up in blankets, and enjoying a calm, content conversation with loved ones.

But what does hygge mean when you travel? For me, that translates into cold weather activities like ice skating and snowshoeing and then warming up with a cup of mulled wine or tea.

In this edition of Escapes, you’ll find a few ways to experience Californian hygge, a sunny take on the Scandinavian concept.

Where do you feel most comfortable in the West? Like always, my inbox is open for recommendations.

🚗 Spend a weekend at Solvang

Visiting Solvang, known as ‘America’s Danish Capital’, is a no-brainer for any traveler looking for a little hygge this holiday season.

Although Solvang is over 8,000 kilometers from the streets of Copenhagen, its ties to Denmark run deep. According to the Elverhøj Museum, an institution dedicated to preserving and showcasing the city’s history and culture, three Danish immigrants founded Solvang in 1911, intending to create a place to settle. for their fellow citizens.

The city’s Danish roots run strong and deep 110 years later.

With its location between Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo, Solvang is a convenient stopping point for a coastal road trip. Those hoping to stay overnight can book a stay at the Landsby, an avant-garde boutique hotel. In a city known for its kitsch charm, the Landsby stands out with its modern Scandinavian design – think lots of clean lines, blond woods, light knits, and more. Rooms start at $ 179 per night, although prices are higher during the holidays.

For a less conventional stay, it’s hard to beat the Hygge Tower Apartment. According to its Vrbo listing, the accommodation is in a replica of the famous RundetÃ¥rn in Copenhagen. The unusual stay, which can accommodate up to four people, can be booked for $ 695 per night.

Carol Collins, right, manager of Birkholm’s Bakery & Cafe, helps a customer.

(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times; photo illustration by Jade Cuevas / Los Angeles Times)

️ Soak up warm atmospheres in the hot springs

Fortunately, Southern California doesn’t get as cold as Denmark, but stopping at hot springs for a day of relaxation is still an interesting winter activity.

Glen Ivy Hot Springs Made The LA Times 2021 holiday gift guide (under his list of experiences), and it’s easy to see why. Travelers to the Temescal Valley Resort are in for a treat, with the option to apply California Red Clay to their skin in the resort’s spring water mud pool and soak in the sauna. and steam baths.

Those in need of a little relaxation can book massages and facials; although Mary Forgione, editor of The Wild newsletter, writes that “the grounds alone are reason enough to go.”

A word of advice: bring an old swimsuit for the mud pool. Red clay can stain. Basic admission, which includes the “Club Mud” experience and admission to the resort’s various pools, starts at $ 85 (Monday through Thursday). Make your reservation in advance.

At dusk, people float in a swimming pool behind a low building.  Large open umbrellas line one side of the pool.

The cabin bridge at the Temescal Valley complex.

(Glen Ivy Hot Springs)

️ Practice your triple axel at Dodger Stadium

“In 2021, an ice rink returns to Dodger Stadium,” writes LA Times sports reporter Bill Shaikin. “This time around, you don’t have to be an NHL player to skate there.

The Kings notably faced the Ducks on an ice rink installed at Dodger Stadium in 2014. Now, the stadium has turned into a a winter party, welcoming Angelenos and visitors to experience a slice of holiday magic in the same place where Mookie Betts, Cody Bellinger and other players hit homers and steal bases.

The festival includes ice skating on an ice rink set up in the outfield, the chance to visit Santa in the lift pen, light and music shows and more.

Tickets start at $ 16 and must be purchased online in advance.

A rendering of an ice rink installed inside a baseball stadium.

A render of the Holiday Festival at Dodger Stadium, an event that includes ice skating in the outfield.

(Los Angeles Dodgers)

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?? Explore the “hot chocolate trail”

A winding “hot chocolate trail” with over 20 types of the beloved winter drink? It’s such a hygge idea that there must be a catch.

Well there is.

Unfortunately for Californians who plan to stay local for the season, this delicious holiday event takes place across the Canada-U.S. border in Banff, a resort town known for its proximity to the incredibly Instagrammable waters of Lake Louise.

However, I couldn’t write a hygge edition of Escapes without mentioning the opportunity to try “Chilli Chai Hot Chocolate”, “Peppermint and Lavender Hot Chocolate” and “Espresso Banana Hot Chocolate” on the same day. (Below, I offer ways to explore hot chocolate drinks from the comfort of your home.)

Fully vaccinated US travelers are permitted to enter Canada. (However, a government official at a visitor’s point of entry has the final say, so be sure to plan ahead and bring the necessary travel documents with you.) So if you are planning a Ski trip to Alberta this year, I recommend that you allow extra time to hike the Hot Chocolate Trail, which runs until January 1st.

If you stay put in December, you can replicate the experience by trying some of our hot chocolate recipes from around the world:

An illustration of giant hot chocolate spilling through a snow capped mountain.

(Jade Cuevas / Los Angeles Times)

What i read

  • Two young men set out to hike America’s three longest trails in less than a year. What could possibly go wrong? Times staff members Faith E. Pinho and Gina Ferazzi on the cover their trip.
  • Vincent Valence lived alone on top of Mammoth Mountain for much of the past 18 years. Why? He is one of the few people with the skills to oversee the operation of the gondola lifts in the Mammoth Mountain ski area, reports LA Times reporter Louis Sahagún.
  • Every winter 100,000 whistling swans fly to northern California. In the Reno Gazette Journal, Amy Alonzo cracks where they can be spotted.
  • Many people want tattoos – a hard memory to lose – when they visit Joshua Tree National Park. Ashley Harrell reports in SFGate on the booming tattoo business in the Southern California desert.
  • Do you dream of seeing the Northern Lights one day? Stéphanie Vermillion explains where you can see them in the United States contiguous to Condé Nast Traveler.
  • Does Black Friday matter more to travelers? Elaine Glusac reports on chords – or their absence – you can expect this year in the New York Times.

Two men walk along a mountain road in the mist.

Jackson Parell, left, and Sammy Potter, atop Mount Etna in Etna, Calif., Are the youngest to walk the Pacific Ridge, Continental Divide, and Appalachian Trail in a year.

(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Photo of the week

A small brown building with a fieldstone fireplace has a sign that says "Restaurant at Mount Baldy Lodge."

At Mount Baldy Lodge, quaint and comfortable cabins start at $ 125. It’s in the village just as you enter town.

(Chris Erskine / Los Angeles Times)

Song of the road

Song: “Run Rudolph Run” by Norah Jones (I find it hard to think of a more hygge artist.)

Favorite Lyrics: “Santa, get him to hurry, tell him he can go down the freeway.”

Where to listen: any highway in LA – on your way to ice skate.

One illustration looks like a Polaroid photo of LA skyscrapers, light traffic on the 110 and the words "Run Run Rudolph."

(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times; photo illustration by Jade Cuevas / Los Angeles Times)