10 Quick Trips to Take Before Winter Is Over
The holiday season is over, the new year is underway, and the long traipse toward the summer months has officially begun. But instead of going into full hibernation mode until spring arrives and thaws you out, add one of these quick weekend trips to your schedule to make the most of the remaining winter fun.
Grab your passport and head up to the Great White North for a winter weekend in the city. Canada's capital is a great spot for those who want to get away but prefer some urban exploration instead of a ski trip. You'll need a sturdy winter jacket, as Ottawa is one of the coldest cities in the world, but if you don't mind the frigid temperatures, you'll find a city with plenty to offer. Go ice skating along the frozen Rideau Canal (the world’s largest skating rink) or hit up the Winterlude festival in February. Seek out warmer spaces in one of the city's museums or fine restaurants.
Among winter sports enthusiasts, it’s no secret that Bend is a great spot for all sorts of outdoor activities from skiing to snowshoeing. This won’t be your average ski trip, though, because Bend allows you to "winter like you summer," with plenty of trails for hiking and mountain biking as well as options for climbing or snow camping. When you're done burning calories outdoors, pay a visit to one of the area’s many breweries and treat yourself to world-class dining.
If you love both skiing and food, then a weekend in Stowe is just what you need. Voted as one of the best ski towns for foodies, Stowe has a charming European vibe. Fans of The Sound of Music can even stay at the Trapp Family Lodge for a full Austrian experience. There are also plenty of ski-in and ski-out resorts, as well as a convenient shuttle service to get you on the slopes in no time.
Katahdin Region, Maine
Hiking, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling — if it’s something you can do on a trail, it’s something you can do in the Katahdin Region of Maine. More determined adventurers might set their sights on conquering Mount Katahdin, while others may prefer to enjoy the view of the mountain from the comfort of a rented cabin. It’s the perfect place for those who want to experience the outdoors without roughing it, since there are plenty of cozy lodges and bed and breakfasts to keep you warm when you’re not out playing in the snow.
Big Bend National Park, Texas
If you’re looking to leave behind the snow or else admire it from a distance, Big Bend National Park is a great place to travel in the winter. This park is actually less enjoyable to visit in the summer since temperatures regularly reach the triple digits. Visit in the winter, however, and you’ll enjoy temperatures in the 60s while you hike, bike, and paddle your way through one of the nation’s most beautiful (and underrated) parks.
Park City, Utah
Utah is well known as a skiing mecca, but there's more to do there than just shred powder. A winter trip to Park City means world-class skiing and tons of trails for hiking and snowmobiling, as well as a top-notch brewery and distillery scene. Visit during Sundance Film Festival to rub shoulders with celebrities, or time your visit for just after the event for a quieter vacation.
Whistler, British Columbia
Located outside Vancouver, Whistler is known for much more than its slopes (though those are pretty great too). Play some outdoor hockey on a frozen lake or relax at an outdoor spa to soak in the views while staying nice and warm. From the trails to the slopes, you could visit Whistler multiple times over its six-month ski season and still never run out of things to do.
Ever wanted to experience the charm of Savannah, but been completely turned off by the stifling humidity of the South in summer? Take advantage of the cooler temperatures and plan a winter weekend getaway that’s ideal for those who don’t wish to deal with snowy weather. From bakeries and history tours to galleries and boutiques, there's a myriad of ways to enjoy the city and its rich cultural offerings.
You can’t go wrong with a visit to any of Colorado’s many mountain towns in winter, but Breckenridge is one of the best. With its close proximity to Denver and a wide range of activities suitable for all skill levels, Breckenridge is the perfect family-friendly ski town for frolicking in the snow. The food is excellent, the après-ski beer is flowing, and the free bus service makes it easy to get around without worrying about parking.
Sedona may be hot and dry, but when the snow dusts the red rock formations, this small city in Arizona transforms into a magical winter getaway. Temperatures tend to stay fairly mild in the winter, and the assortment of wellness resorts and activities like RunSedona and the Sedona Yoga Festival make the season extra special. Plus, visiting in Arizona’s off-season means you’ll have your pick of low hotel rates and tables at the best eateries in town.
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