Has the cold weather got you thinking that it’s time to hold off on that vacay? Don’t let it stop you! While I tend to prefer the more tropical, there are tons of opportunities to enjoy what winter has to offer without needing to travel so far. Not to mention your chance to score some of the best deals around. Check out these destinations across the US and Canada which will help you re-think what it means to have a winter vacay.
Ranked as the top place to visit in Colorado as well as the top ski destination in the US by US News & World Report, Breckenridge is your go-to spot for all things winter. And don’t be deterred if you aren’t much of a winter outdoorsy type. For liquor lovers, you can head to the Breckenridge Distillery, while beer enthusiasts can check out one of the many breweries. If you prefer shopping, the town’s Main Street is the top rated site in Breckenridge on TripAdvisor. Just south of Vail and Denver, this destination isn’t too far if you’re visiting from out of state.
What can be an unbearably hot destination for the summer, winter’s cooler temps make Palm Springs much more enjoyable. By spring, tourism season reaches its peak, but if you make it during January or February you can expect much fewer crowds. During winter it’s got something for everyone—whether you’re interested in art, film, hiking, or biking. And if you’re looking for a more tranquil stay, the city has some of the best spa experiences you can find. At a less than two hour drive from L.A., it’s an easier trip than you might think.
Even though summer in San Antonio has plenty of one hundred degree plus days, summer is still the most popular time to visit this city in Texas. Winter feels more like spring, and the weather is much more bearable—warm enough that you can enjoy being outside and won’t need an AC-filled reprieve from the heat. Full of history, nature, and restaurants for both fast food lovers and foodies, you’ll find plenty to keep you busy. If San Antonio is home for you, or you’ve already been, perhaps check out one of these surprisingly easy side trips from the city.
At just about two hours north of Chicago, this winter destination in Wisconsin will make you feel much farther away from the windy city than you actually are. The Blind Horse Vineyard is open year-round and aims to make you feel like you could be in Napa. You’ll also find plenty of shopping and historical architecture to keep you occupied even if it’s snowing outside. And one of the main attractions is the Kohler Waters Spa, which will give you a world class memorable spa experience.
It’s too hard to pick just one place to visit here, as the winter trip options abound. Still much warmer than the Northeast or Midwest, you can generally find pretty cheap flights to San Francisco at this time of year—I just snagged a direct round trip from New York for only $250. Whether you’re interested in lighthouses, water life watching, or boat rides on the Bay, there are plenty of trips within reach once you’ve reached the West Coast. And if you make it before Christmas, San Francisco and the surrounding cities have tons of Latin holiday events happening.
If you can’t wrap your head around a winter wonderland getaway, Miami is one of the few places in the US where you can still enjoy beach-ready summer temperatures. Whether you prefer a typical day beach bound or a day trip to experience nature just outside the city, you won’t have to worry about any snow hampering your plans.
Quebec and Mont Tremblant
I headed here earlier in the fall and as a non-skier, I was still fully able to appreciate the ski resort life. Full of restaurants right on site, lakes for ice skating, hiking trails, and many spas, whether you prefer a cocktail and spa day or snowy ski adventure, Mont Tremblant will have whatever you’re looking for. And at just about an hour north of Montreal, it’s not too far to get to from New York or Boston. In a few more hours, you can drive over to Quebec City. Even though the temperatures are close to freezing, this is a city that looks stunning in the winter, and its inhabitants aren’t afraid to brave the cold during events like the Winter Carnaval. With such a strong French presence—from language to food to architecture, you’ll really be wondering whether you’re in France rather than Canada.