California in February

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    California in February: 8 Wonderful Things You Can Do

    San Diego in February, Time for Romance
    ••• Unconditional Surrender in San Diego. Justin Brown/Flickr/ CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

    In February, California's winter is winding down. It's time to start thinking about how you celebrate Chinese New Year and what you're going to do for Valentine's Day.

    February's Big Holiday: Valentine's Day

    If you and your honey want to run away together for the weekend, try some of these Ideas for a Romantic California Weekend Getaway.

    Top Picks for February in California

    If we haven't done it, it isn't on this list; it's down below instead. This section is for things we have done and enjoyed. For some of them, we even go back every year.

    Blossom Trail, Fresno: Much of the country's stone fruit (peaches, apricots, nectarines and their relatives) are grown in California central valley near Fresno. Take a drive on the blossom trail through miles of orchards filled with pink and white blooms and you won't soon forget it.

    Chinese New Year Parade, San Francisco: Chinese New Year is a lunar holiday that occurs in late January or early February. San...MORE Francisco holds the most extravagant celebration of it in the state, maybe in the entire U.S. - and the big parade is always on a weekend (and occasionally doesn't happen until early March).

    In Los Angeles, the Edwardian Ball is the perfect thing if you and your honey like to get dressed up and go to a fun party.

    Cinequest Film Festival, San Jose: Cinequest is the first big film festival after the Academy Awards and one of the best film fests in the state. They host an impressive number of movies and get some truly fine guests, too. It starts in February and usually extends into early March.

    Elephant Seals, Ano Nuevo State Reserve: Males fight for dominance while newborns grow at an astounding rate, making the elephant seal birthing and breeding season an unforgettable spectacle. You can also see the elephant seals at Piedras Blancas near Hearst Castle

    Monarch Butterflies, Pacific Grove: The orange-and-black butterflies spend their winters in the trees around town, sleeping in big clumps to keep warm. When they wake up and start flying, it's a sight you might think happens only in the movies.

    Things That Look Like Fun To Do in February

    These events look like fun, but we haven't had time to try them yet

    Date Festival, Indio: You wouldn't believe all the kinds of dates they grow and display during this county fair.

    Mavericks Invitational: The world's top surfers head for Half Moon Bay anytime between November and March, as soon as the waves are big enough. This guide has all the details and information about how to find out when it's happening.

    Whale Watching in February: This is the month to see gray whales and fin whales.

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    Things to Do in California in February That You Must Plan Ahead For

    Fruit Trees on the Fresno Blossom Trail
    ••• Fruit Trees on the Fresno Blossom Trail. © Catherine Lacey Photography / Getty Images

    On August 1 at 8:00 a.m. Pacific Time, California State Parks releases campground reservations for the entire month of February at once. Everything you need to know is here.

    Instead of planning ahead for the Fresno Blossom Trail, you need to be prepared to go when the conditions are right. Start checking in early February for peak bloom time.

    You can't plan ahead for the  Mavericks Invitational surfing contest either. Not even the participants know the exact date until a few days ahead of time. Sign up for their alerts and be ready to act quickly.

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    More About California in February

    Los Angeles through rainy window
    ••• Rain in Los Angeles. Jan Stromme / Getty Images

    It Might Rain... It might put a damper on your travel plans, but we can't control what Mother Nature does. Just in case your vacation plans are sinking faster than the Titanic, here are some ideas for things to do on a rainy day in California:

    Or It Might Snow... Tioga Pass between Yosemite and the Eastern Sierras has been closed for a while now and it won't re-open until well after the spring thaw.

    If you plan to travel anywhere above sea level, you should know the requirements for snow chains. They apply to personal and rented vehicles - and we have some ideas if you need them for your rental.

    More California by Month

    If you're just starting to plan your California trip and want to know what it's like year round and not just in January, you can get a look at every month of the year using these guides: California in the Winter is great for skiing and snow...MORE play and all the events you'll find in the guide to California in December and January. It's also a great time for a winter weekend getaway.

    Spring gets going in March and April, and clear skies will continue at the coast into May. Get an overview of Things to Do in California in the Spring and try some of these California Spring Getaway Ideas.

    Summer holiday season starts in June and continues through July and August. It's the busiest tourist season and some parts of the state get almost unbearably hot, but it's a great time for mountain hiking. Start exploring Things to Do in the Summer and get busy planning your Summer California Getaway.

    Fall is my favorite time of year in California. You'll see why in this Guide to California in the Fall. Weather is beautiful in September and October. By November, winter rains may have set in – or not. Start thinking about your California Fall Getaway now.