Snow, desert and the Sea: The ultimate travel myth debunked
Big Bear Skiing, photo by simonov on Flickr.com
Joshua Tree National Park, photo by Jade Broadus
Neptune's Net in Malibu, photo by Jade Broadus
There are many travel myths that leave much speculation and excitement for travelers. One such travel myth, or challenge, really, that I continually heard whenever I visited Los Angeles, was a Snow, Desert, Surf tour of the desert plains in Joshua Tree National Park, the ski slopes of Big Bear Mountain and the endless palm trees and waves in Malibu. While this isn’t impossible, it’s definitely a challenge to cover all the distance in one day while experiences all three areas fully.
This was just the type of challenge however that my fiancé and I decided to tackle one weekend. There are several ways you can do the trip, but I think the best way is to spend the night in Big Bear, wake up and hit the slopes, drive to Joshua Tree around lunch and by mid afternoon make your way to Malibu to surf before sunset.
Here are my must- see stops along the way and tips to make the journey unbelievable:
Big Bear Mountain: You’ll be here for the slopes, so pack your winter clothes and rent gear and a pass only for half the day. On your way out of town, grab lunch, as there isn’t any place of note that serves food in or around Joshua Tree. You’ll also want to pack in layers- slowly peeling off layers as your journey takes you to the next stop.
Joshua Tree National Park: You can’t miss Skull Rock while in the park, a strange cluster of rock formations where one undoubtedly looks like a skeleton. For this trip, you’ll want to stick to the Northern route as it will take you an extra hour and a half to drive all the way to the southern end. Since there aren’t many food options, make sure to pack snacks incase your groups gets hungry and always wear sunscreen as the sun can be brutal even in winter.
Malibu: Park on the highway near the pier for free parking and easy access on and off the main road to Surfriders Beach. After you’ve surfed (you can rent boards on the beach if you don’t have your own), drive a little further north to Neptune’s Net, for a fried seafood dinner and crab legs dinner overlooking the sunset. Across the street is famous for windsurfers and kite surfers, so if you have time (or aren’t too tired) skip over there after you eat. Insider Tip: Malibu, and surfriders beach in particular, are known for having aggressive and territorial surfers in the water. The best advice, especially for beginners, is stay on the outside of the pack, keeping to the smaller waves until you’ve proved yourself.
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