In a land of year-round sunshine where nearly every day is 70 degrees, ut can be hard for tourists to know when it’s actually winter in Southern California.
There are no snowstorms, no bitter cold temperatures and no ice or slush on the roads. Yeah, it’s endless summer here.
But locals know the tell-tell signs when it’s winter and as a resident of San Diego who lived for several years in L.A., I’m sharing them with you.
1.) They Move The Lifeguard Stands Back At The Beach
Lifeguards are not on duty in the winter in large part because the only people in the 58-degree ocean are surfers. So the lifeguards move the lifeguard stands away from the shore to the back of the beach. The main reason is there are some winter storms and in some places they also use a bulldozer to build mounds of sand to protect the beach paths. Where this is done, it blocks the ocean view for people who live on first level of houses on The Strand.
2.) People Wear Jeans At Night Instead Of Shorts
It gets cool along the California coast even in the summer and in the winter it’s even cooler and when the wind blows it can even be downright chilly. By Southern California standards anyway. This causes locals dig in our closet to find the jeans we pretty much haven’t worn since last winter. But we still wear shorts in the daytime.
3.) It Gets Dark At 5 O’Clock (Danged End Of Daylights Savings Time)
This is the worst part about winter in Southern California. From the moment Daylight Savings Time ends in late October until mid-to late January it gets dark at 5 p.m. In December it’s 4:30. One advantage here is you can see sunsets over the ocean during Happy Hours at restaurants and bars.
4.) People Start Checking The Winter Snow Forecast For Mammoth Mountain
When Southern Californians are not spending their weekends on the beach or surfing in the Pacific Ocean, they are off at the mountain ski areas. The most popular of these is the aptly-named Mammoth Mountain, about a 5-hour drive from L.A. A lot of people also like the local mountain, Big Bear, which is about a two-hour drive.
5.) There Are 12 Bars Pub Crawls Instead Of Summer Pub Crawls
In the winter, the pub crawls themes go from Hawaiian shirts or yacht ones to 12 Bars Of Christmas of Santa ones. There are big pub crawls in Santa Monica, Newport Beach, San Diego and San Francisco. I always went to the 12 Bars Of Christmas in Hermosa Beach.