Los Angeles residents are scrambling to prepare for this winter's huge El Niño, prepping for potential flooding, mudslides, and lots of rain. But the forecasted precipitation isn't all doom and gloom; skiers and snowboarders are excited for ol' man winter to provide Southern California with the best snow conditions in years. Instead of freaking out about the potential rain-apocolypse that could be headed to your LA 'hood, why not plan a ski vacation to take advantage of El Niño's bounty? We've rounded up five potential vacation rentals to help you survive this winter, all within a two-hour drive of downtown Los Angeles.
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↑ Bear Mountain Cabin, 2 hours from LA: From the knotty pine to the moose decorations, this Big Bear Lake retreat may suffer from a few mountain decorating clichés, but its convenient location 1/2 mile from Bear Mountain Resort makes up for the animal overload. The rental averages only $290 per night and sleeps 8-10 people with 3 bedrooms and 2.5 baths. It's even pet friendly, so pack up Fido and the kids to enjoy the snow.
↑ Chickadee One Bedroom Mountain Casita, 75 minutes from LA: Perfect for a snow-loving couple, this funky one bedroom getaway about 3 miles from Mountain High Ski area boasts a large bathroom, and a living area that includes a sleeping loft if you want to squeeze in a few friends. Pets are allowed and rates start at a reasonable $133 per night.
↑ The Lodge, 75 minutes from LA: This well-reviewed 3-bedroom, 2-bath cabin near Mountain High sleeps 10 and will transport you back to the ski vacations of yesterday. Only a three-block walk to Wrightwood, the cabin is furnished with American-built furniture, an awesome ski fence, an original chair lift from Holiday Hill, and a downstairs bedroom that fits 3 twins, 1 queen, and a full futon. Bring your friends for $172 per night.
↑ Four Seasons Chalet, 2 hours from LA: Skiers looking for the kind of luxury normally found in posh ski towns like Aspen or Park City take note, this Big Bear Lake retreat adds a bit of style to the SoCal rental scene. At 3,800 square feet, there's plenty of room for everyone in 4 bedrooms and 3.5 baths. Family-friendly amenities include a game room, large laundry room, and a dining table ready to seat 12, all for around $487 per night.
↑ Lakefront in Big Bear, 2 hours from LA: This 4-bedroom, 3.5-bath doesn't come cheap at $600 per night, but we're digging the double master suites, gorgeous furnishings, and central location near both Bear Mountain and Snow Summit. And even though it's winter, the house's lakefront location is still a bonus.