DEAR SNOW, WE MISS YOU: While many Golden Staters are experiencing frosty temperatures and flakes aplenty, there are hundreds of thousands of people who are rocking the tank top and shorts look, despite the calendar saying February. Mercury has crept skyward inside thermometers around Southern California, and beyond Southern California, too, but there are some truths. One? A heat wave during the second month of the year doesn't mean you should stow that parka, or parka-like jacket just yet, and two? Getting out to see some cold, white stuff in a gorgeous setting is a fine way to use a long weekend or some vacation days you've been meaning to use. Presidents Day Weekend is a free one around our national parks, which translates to you not paying the standard fee at the gate (at those parks that carry a fee). If you can go further afield, in Utah and Colorado, you can find national parks that are stand-outs come the coldest stretch of the year. The National Park Foundation is helping we snow-seeking park lovers out with a new guide to Winter Wonderlands. It's the sixth edition of the Owner's Guide series, and well, well, well, look at this: It's free.
WHAT'S INSIDE: The guides consider what to do in "15 suggested destinations" during the bundle-up months, from "ice fishing and sledding, to stargazing and contra dancing." Get those ideas and destinations at the foundation's download center via this page. As for the National Park Foundation? You guessed right: It is indeed "the official charity of America's national parks." As for national parks with a little wintry goodness right here in the CA? Yosemite Falls has seen some frazil ice in recent days (an interesting event all winter buffs should bone up on). As for the aforementioned parka-like jackets? Unless a Californian resides in Truckee or Mammoth or Big Bear, our jackets are probably far more jacket-y than parka-esque. But that doesn't stop us from calling them "parkas" to feel a bit more into the swing of this winter thing. To really find snow + scenic vistas, though, best check out the Winter Wonderlands guide.