Last-minute getaways to celebrate Valentine’s Day

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Valentine’s Day falls on Thursday this year, right before a holiday weekend, making it perfect for a last-minute getaway, whether it is a day trip or a weekend trip.

Here are a few nearby places where you and your sweetheart can spend celebrating this year.

Mountain Getaway

Big Bear (About a 2 hours, 30 minutes drive from Santa Clarita, off of Highway 18)

If you’re looking for snow, or maybe looking to learn to ski, this resort is a great romantic getaway for two.

Bear Mountain and Snow Summit, renowned for their mountain biking, hiking and golf in the summer, turns into a winter wonderland for skiing and snowboarding when the weather cools.

“We’re known as SoCal’s snow capital,” said Justin Kanton, marketing manager for Big Bear Mountain Resort.

With two slopes, the resort caters to all skill levels. “We’re calling it the season to learn,” he said.

Snow Summit is more family-centric, and Bear Mountain has more terrain for more advanced skiers and snowboarders, Kanton said.

The resort offers lessons for skiers and snowboarders age 4 and up, Kanton said. “We pride ourselves on our teaching staff.”

There are events offered through presidents day weekend, including night sessions and Movies in the Meadow.

Multiple lodging options are available on and off the mountain.

For more information on events, ticket pricing and lodging options, go to www.bigbearmountainresort.com. Snow Summit is located at 880 Summit Blvd., Big Bear Lake.

Beach Getaways

From the snow to the sand, whether you head north or south, there are many places to get your toes in the water.

Long Beach  (About 1 hour, 30 minute drive from Santa Clarita, off of 405 South)

Start your weekend early and head down to Long Beach for a four-course meal and room package offered by Hotel Maya.

“Be Maya Valentine” Room is based on availability from Feb. 13-17. The package starts at $289 plus tax, per night, and is valid for two guests in a room, according to the hotel.

“Valentine’s Day guests can enjoy the live romantic sounds of Fuego’s solo guitarist, affectionately drink champagne on Fuego’s seaside patio or relax at the many cozy waterside fire-pits located throughout the property,” said Greg Guthrie, general manager at Hotel Maya. “And Hotel Maya’s ‘Be Maya Valentine’ offers guests the chance to stay the night or the weekend while celebrating this special day of love.”

The four-course meal will be served at Fuego’s, prepared by Executive Chef Victor Juarez.

Hotel Maya is located at 700 Queensway Drive, Long Beach.

For additional information or to make room reservations, please call 562-435-7676; for dinner reservations, call (562) 481-3910.

San Diego (About a 3-hour drive from Santa Clarita, off of 5 South)

You can find another beach getaway by heading south to San Diego.

Check out Balboa Park, a multi-attraction, 1,200-acre lot with 17 museums, a garden and the San Diego Zoo.

You can also head into SeaWorld, where you can see marine life shows and get up-close with some of the animals.

As the night falls, stroll through the Gaslamp Quarter before heading back to your hotel.

For more information about things to do and places to stay, visit sandiego.org.

Catalina Island  

Drive to one of the four ports: San Pedro, Long Beach, Newport Beach or Dana Point. Then jump on a boat for an hour to get to the island, or take a 15-minute helicopter ride. Helicopter services are available from Long Beach, San Pedro, Burbank Airport and John Wayne Airport.

Zip line on the island as you take in ocean views or go on an underwater expedition.

Take a fun adventure and watch for dolphins on the High Seas or enjoy the Descanso Beach Club.

For more information about Catalina Island, go to visitcatalinaisland.com.

Santa Barbara (About a 1 hour, 30 minute drive from Santa Clarita, off the 101 North)

Take you special someone to Santa Barbara.

Enjoy art and culture,outdoor recreation, hundreds of restaurant options and a wine scene.

Explore tasting rooms or working wineries and sip alongside your sweetheart.

Take a day trip or stay in a beautiful hotel near the coast.

For more information about exploring Santa Barbara go to santabarbaraca.com.

Wine tasting getaways

Temecula  (About a 2 hour, 10 minute drive from Santa Clarita, off the 15 South)

Something for him and for her? Take an off road journey to multiple wineries with Temecula Valley Jeep and Wine Tours.

“Our Signature Tour includes a gourmet lunch and evening tours include complimentary appetizers,” according to the companies webpage. “All tours include tastings at 3 award-winning wineries, crush pad and barrel room tours and safe off-road run.”

Group tours are offered on weekdays and weekends, as well as private tours for just you and your sweetheart.

For more information or to book your tour, visit www.temeculajeeptours.com.

Solvang (About a 2 hour drive from Santa Clarita, off of State Route 154)

Stroll through Solvang, catching all the must see and do spots.

Try some tasty Danish pastries from one of the five authentic bakeries, shop through 150 boutiques and sample some wine and beer in one of the 20 downtown tasting rooms.

Visit historic churches, get outside and take a tour, ride a horse or play a round of golf at a nearby golf course.

Dine at international and wine-country cuisine restaurants and spend a night or two at a local hotel.

For more information about visiting Solvang go to www.solvangusa.com.

Desert Getaways

Joshua Tree  (About a 2 hour, 30 minutes drive from Santa Clarita, off the 10 East)

Are you a couple that likes the outdoors?

Take a hike in Joshua Tree National Park.

Explore Jumbo Rocks Campground, the Barker Dam or Coachella Valley Preserve.

“During the shutdown of the federal government due to a lapse of appropriations, some areas of Joshua Tree National Park will remain accessible, but all park events are cancelled,” according to the park’s website.

For more information on things to do in Joshua Tree go to www.nps.gov/jotr.

Palm Springs (About a 2 hour, 15 minute drive from Santa Clarita, off the 10 East)

Relax at a desert resort or hike and horseback ride in the indian canyons.

You can Airbnb or book a hotel room while you enjoy the desert weather.

Shop boutiques or eat a locally owned restaurants.

For more information about visiting palm springs go to www.visitpalmsprings.com.

Las Vegas  (About a 4 hour, 30 minute drive from Santa Clarita, off of 15 North)

They say what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

Enjoy an overnight or two stay on the vegas strip, gamble and shop.

Go out dancing or see a show.

Also go off the strip for some adventure. Go up in the air in a hot air balloon or play some Top Golf.

For more information about visiting Las Vegas, go to www.visitlasvegas.com.

Weekend Staycation

What matters most is you are bonding and sharing your love with your sweetheart, regardless of whether it’s in a fancy lodge in Big Bear or a nice hotel on the boardwalk.

You can always have a staycation. Stay home together. Cook together, watch some movies or catch up on some TV shows.

Time together with someone you care about is time well spent.

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