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posted on January 23rd, 2016

Though temperatures may range from chilly to soul-numbingly cold in much of the country during this gloomiest month of winter, in LA it never seems to drop below mildly brisk and sunny. If you’re craving an escape from gray skies, we have some recommendations for how to fill your days to make the most of LA’s signature weather.

Hit the trails

With temperatures frequently flirting with the mid-70s, crowds are still at an all-time low this time of year. In the Hollywood area, we’re big fans of Griffith Park and Runyon Canyon — you can snag the iconic Hollywood Sign Instagram without jostling the summer crowds for the best angle. Or, if you’re feeling a beachy vibe, head to the seaside and take in the ocean views while hiking Mishe Mokwa Trail to Sandstone Peak in Malibu.

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Food truck feast

Fuel up after your hike with some LA street food. With weekly events like the NoHo Food Truck Festival every Thursday, you’re bound to find something tempting. Or, just track your truck of choice online to see where it’s serving its gourmet goodies during your stay. (We can’t resist The Grilled Cheese Truck or The Urban Oven.)

Brewery browsing

Craving more of LA’s food and drink scene after your food truck foray? Options abound to sip on California originals, from Golden Road to Eagle Rock breweries. Bonus: sit outside to soak in the sunshine at the same time.

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Garden gander

If an outright hike isn’t really your speed, you can still enjoy the year-round greenery with a stroll through one of LA’s impeccably manicured gardens. We suggest the Central Garden at the Getty for a double dose of culture and nature.

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Disneyland

How to make the happiest place on earth even happier? Take out the time in lines. Winter weekdays are the least crowded time to hit the rides, and with just a short drive to Anaheim, there’s no better time to take advantage of all that extra one-on-one time with Mickey. Plus, the park is making the most of the new Star Wars release with exhibits and rides, so coupled with Disney’s 60th anniversary celebration, there’s something for everyone.

Open-air shopping

From Rodeo Drive to The Grove, there’s no lack of options for the fashion-minded. Whether your budget allows for window shopping or snagging some couture, a day strolling between shops is an archetypal LA venture. The Americana at Brand is the perfect venue to stroll around fountains, browse everything from books to baubles, and enjoy a long patio lunch.

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Farmers market foray

Up for a different type of shopping? From Santa Monica to Silver Lake, you can’t go wrong with any of the weekly displays of wares. Winter won’t dampen the smiles or salesmanship at these collections of local goods, so come prepared to soak in the day and maybe even head home with some edible mementos.

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The beauty of LA lies in large part in the myriad neighborhoods to explore so you can feel like you’re getting five vacations in one. Half the fun is getting there, so get behind the wheel, get out, and see where the wind blows you.

Virginia is equally enamored with words and globetrotting. Whenever possible, she likes to combine the two through travel writing to help other wanderers discover and fall in love with the world.