AUTUMN COLOR IN SOCAL: Don't let Southern California's reputation for sunny year-round weather – or the brutal spike in gas prices – keep you away from some autumn gold, crimson and fiery orange. The Big Bear Resort Association is offering a chance to see some fall colors while saving gas costs for the trip up the mountain.
THE DEAL: Guests who stay two nights at a participating lodge in Big Bear Lake through Nov. 19 will get a $50 Shell gas card. If you stay three nights, you get a $75 card; you can make it $100 for a four-night stay. Details and restrictions are posted at the association's website.
WHY GO NOW: Big Bear is lovely most any time of year, but in fall its higher elevation offers a taste of crisp mountain air and a sense of seasonality that's often lacking closer to sea level. When thoughts turn to pumpkin pie and a crackling fire – though lowland temps remain in the 90s – it's lovely to head up into the San Bernardino National Forest to feel and see fall. Autumn color-spotters for the blog California Fall Color recently said the town of Big Bear is glowing with yellow aspen and red eastern sugar maples.