Typically, vacations occur during the summer. The kids are out of school, the weather is perfect for all sorts of outdoor activities, and everyone is itching to go explore and have fun. However, there are some problems with summertime travel:
- Destinations are packed with fellow tourists.
- Rates are sky-high for transportation, lodging, food, souvenirs, and more.
- Everywhere can feel the same, with bright sunshine, shopping, swimming, etc.
- It enforces a dreary routine of work through the rest of the seasons.
What’s more, planning a summer vacation means you have at least five more months of work before some well-earned R&R. This winter, you can reward yourself for surviving another year with an early cold-weather vacation to any of these top spots. You may just find that winter is your new favorite season for travel.
1. Niagara Falls
Our own natural wonder of the world tops the list not only because it is transformed into a stunning white wonderland in the winter, but because most of the city’s popular and award-winning attractions stay open year-round. Many attractions are available indoors, helping to prevent inclement weather from ruining your holiday. Plus, winter travelers get to see the areas surrounding the waterfalls freeze up while the Falls continue to be a sight to behold, unaffected by the cold weather.
2. The Berkshires
Massachusetts may not be the first place that comes to mind when you envision a dream vacation, but the Berkshires are full of romantic scenery you will be hard-pressed to find anywhere else other than Niagara Falls. Everywhere you — by snowshoe or carriage ride — there are historic brick buildings with red barns and classical forest land.
3. Wyoming Ski Towns
In the summer, Wyoming boasts unbeatable national parkland with Yellowstone, but the winter transforms the state into winter sports enthusiasts’ best kept secret. Towns like Casper and Jackson offer hundreds of miles of ski trails covering all levels of difficulty, and the fine, powdery snow begs for all types of cold-weather activity. Dog sledding, snow shoeing, Nordic skiing, and more are popular all over the state.
4. Key West
For much of North America, it can be easy to forget that winter doesn’t have to mean three feet of snow. Key West, Florida promises tropical temperatures virtually year-round, so you can escape to the feeling of summer even while a blizzard is raging back at home.
5. Salt Lake City
One of the most popular winter destinations for the past decade, Salt Lake City, Utah is beloved among skiers and snowboarders primarily for its conjunction of top-notch slopes and metropolitan amenities. In fact, downtown Salt Lake is less than 30 minutes from some of the best trails, so you can conceivably ski all day and stay out all night.
6. San Juan
Puerto Rico offers much more than sunshine and beaches — it promises warm summer atmosphere whenever you visit. In the middle of February, wearing sandals and swim trunks, you can sip on refreshing cocktails and watch the sun set over the ocean.
With natural hot springs that stay warm even during the darkest days of winter, Missoula, Montana is one of the most alluring destinations for winter weather lovers. You can easily shed your winter layers and lounge in naturally warm wells while you observe your snowy surroundings all day long.