Winter is one of the most beautiful places to travel. And you don’t have to break the bank or whip out your passport to take advantage of some of the best spots. In this post, we’ll be sharing 10 great places across North America you can visit this winter.
This lake and the surrounding town are every photographer’s delight during winter. As the lake freezes, decaying matter on the lakebed releases methane which is trapped in rapidly freezing lake, creating an effect rarely seen elsewhere — bubbles frozen in time. The effect is simply picturesque. To see them for yourself, it's best to go between December and January when the lake is sufficiently frozen, safe for skating, and clear enough to see through and take pictures. Bundle up with the Explorer Wraparound Blanket. It can get nippy out there.
Frozen Bubbles in Abraham Lake
If you're looking for bright decorations and a beautiful European backdrop, pack your bags for Leavenworth. This charming town is about 2.5 hours east of Seattle and displays plenty of holiday cheer. With holiday film showings, a Christmas-tree lighting ceremony and a Village Voices concert, this town has plenty of spirit. Plus, you can tackle the slopes at Stevens Pass Ski Resort, enjoy sleigh rides and even meet reindeer at the Leavenworth Reindeer Farm. There are endless winter activities from snowshoeing, ice climbing and skiing and more!
The Bavarian Themed Town Of Leavenworth
Known as Alaska’s Recreation Capital, no other part of Alaska offers the icy, wondrous beauty of Girdwood. It offers steep slopes, glacier tours, cross-country skiing, and dog sledding. You can also try the aerial tram at the Alyeska Resort unless you have a fear or heights. Through December to April, you can explore Alaska’s backcountry on a snowmobile with a guide. This tour will take you through ice caves, remote glaciers, and frozen rivers.
Glacial Mountain Bike Trail in Girdwood
This town packs outdoor activities that would make the Olympics envious. There are over 200 well-maintained trails for snowmobilers. The Copper Falls State Park offers cross-country skiers a scenic route that cuts through gorges and frozen waterfalls. At Mount Ashwabay, downhill skiers can have fun with a run that stretches up to 1500 feet and a drop of 317 feet. If you prefer something more competitive, the Book Across the Bay in February every year brings together thousands of competitive skiers to the frozen Lake Superior, trekking at night, with the path lit by candles and the stars. What could be more exciting?
Apostle Islands Ice Caves
If something quiet is more to your taste, Sun Valley with its snow-capped hills and lonesome pine trees delivers on this desire. It might be quiet, but not boring. Whatever you do, add skiing on Bald Mountain to your itinerary. Visiting Sun Valley without doing this is like going to the beach in a suit, it's just odd. Bald Mountain offers over 3000 feet of consistent fall line skiing, perfect for daring your nerves, pumping up on adrenaline and earning bragging points.
Sun Valley Ski Resort
Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the British Columbia Coast Mountains, this city has an icy charm that is hard to let go when the holiday is over. It evidences its rich history in picturesque towns like Gastown and Chinatown. You can build snowmen on the English Bay and take time to visit the Vancouver Harbour. To enjoy a breath-taking view of its snow-capped mountains, you can visit Stanley Park or Lion’s Gate Bridge.
Vancouver Skyline From Cypress Mountain
This town is surrounded on three sides by snow-capped mountains that offer great opportunity for different outdoor activities like downhill skiing, ice climbing, snowshoeing, sleigh rides, and sledding. There are many towns with snow-capped heights, but none offers the view from above like Telluride. The mountains aren’t the only glorious thing about this town. It boasts many art galleries and great dining spots for your evenings.
Telluride Main Street
Clo Reno and Lake Tahoe, in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Truckee is a lesser-known skier's paradise. Brimming with ski retreats, including Squaw Valley, Truckee offers ample opportunities to glide down powdery slopes, enjoy dog-sled rides at Sugar Bowl, ice skate and hike, among other cold-weather pursuits. Plus, Truckee boasts a variety of crowd-pleasing dining venues, including Cottonwood, which overlooks the Truckee River, along with Moody's Bistro Bar and Beats and Pianeta. When you're ready for a respite after a rosy-cheek tingling day outdoors, slip away to the nearby Resort at Squaw Creek for a replenishing high-altitude massage or warm up at one of the fireplace suites.
Hidden gem of Truckee
There’s no lack of activities to fill up your days in this town during winter. The underground caves of Kentucky which is the most extensive cave system in the world is just 90 minutes away from Louisville. This cave system stretches for hundreds for miles, so make sure you stay close to your tour guide. You can also take along the Adventure Gift Box when going. While outdoor weather might be icy, the cave’s temperature stays around 54 Fahrenheit. It's also less busy during winter, compared to summer.
Caverns near Louisville
It might seem odd finding DC on this list, but winter has a humanizing effect on this city. The gray skies and snow have a relaxing tone on its monuments and ancient buildings. This dull formal city brightens up like a newborn phoenix with beautiful Christmas lights, holiday activities and whatnot. Several ice-skating rinks open up all over the city, so pack your skating gear. You can also witness the lighting of the National Christmas Tree if you arrive at the beginning of December.
Sledding outside of the U.S. Capitol
These next couple of cities may not have made it onto our top 10 list but these are still great places to find some winter fun!
If you’re trying to avoid nippy weather, Key West, Florida, where average temperatures can reach up to 74 Fahrenheit. Temperature notwithstanding, winter is the busiest period in Key West. One activity you should not miss if you make the trip down South is taking a sunset cruise. During the winter, the ocean breezes are cooler and pleasant, especially in the evenings on the beach. The sunset assumes beautiful hues of orange, red, and yellow as the sun settles into the cool waters.
Chicago, Illinois doesn’t go out of style, whether it's summer or winter. It might be tucked in the cold fringes of the north, but winter doesn’t dampen the lively spirit of this city. The Maggie Daley Park Skating Ribbon or the traditional Millennium Park are great places to pull on your skating shoes. The Lincoln Park Zoo and its animals are open to visitations during winter. You can also go zipping at the Forge Adventure Park or enjoy the view of the frozen waterfalls at the Starved Rock. Contrary to popular belief, Winter has something to enjoy for everyone. Enjoy these locations during this beautiful season and create memories that will last for a lifetime.