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WINTER VACATION IDEAS: 5 U.S. CITIES THAT STUN IN WINTER

Winter Vacation IdeasLooking for winter vacation ideas? We all need a getaway and during winter the urge to get out can be compelling. No matter what your idea of the perfect winter getaway is, if you are looking for sun or snow, this list will have something for you. Read on and start packing.

#1 Winter Vacation Spot: Stowe, Vermont

Winter Vacation Ideas, Stowe Vermont
Stowe, Vermont, photo credit stowe.com.

Stowe, Vermont

Nestled towards the peak of Mount Mansfield, Stowe blanketed in snow is nothing short of magical. It’s no wonder that the Von Trapp Family, of The Sound of Music fame, settled in Stowe, Vermont when they came to the United States. They said the mountains reminded them of their beloved Austria. You can visit their home and stay at the Trapp Family Lodge. The lodge boasts a generous year-round activities calendar that includes activities such as snowshoeing through the picturesque grounds, group ski lessons, sugar maple tours. There’s plenty of relaxing to be had with wine tastings, carriage rides, or a massage. 

There are endless things to do in Vermont on a winter vacation, and Stowe is the perfect place to enjoy it all. From energizing adventures such as hitting the slopes at Stowe Mountain Resort to indulging in a cozy apres-ski drink by the fireplace. 

Things to Do in Stowe, Vermont:

  • Downhill Ski & Snowboard
  • Cross-Country Ski & Horseshoe
  • Horsedrawn Sleigh Ride
  • Snowmobile
  • Fine Dining
  • Wine Tasting
  • Ice Skate
  • Dogsled
  • Walk the Charming Village

How to get there:

Fly into Burlington International or into Plattsburgh International. 

#2 Vail, Colorado

Winter Vacation Ideas, Vail, Vermont
Vail, Colorado, photo credit.

Vail, Colorado

Looking for the idyllic winter vacation idea? Please excuse the hyperbole, but the mountains in Colorado are nothing short of awe-inspiring. No matter how you choose to take in the views, be it racing down the slopes, or walking peacefully through the woods in the beautiful aching silence of winter, the sights will take your breath away. Or you can trade majestic views of the mountains for the enchanting sight of the villages. Vail offers a free town shuttle and is connected with pedestrian streets. Take a load off in a cafe or load up in the shops. There’s plenty to do for the whole family.

Things to Do in Vail:

  • Catch the Magic of Lights Vail, a ticketed event that runs from mid-November to early December
  • Downhill Ski & Snowboard
  • Nordic Sports (cross-country skiing & snowshoeing)
  • Fat Tire Biking
  • Dining and Nightlife
  • Explore the Villages
  • Indulge in a Spa Day (or Two)

How to get there:

Fly into the Eagle County Regional Airport or Denver International.

#3 Winter Vacation Destination Scottsdale, Arizona

Winter Vacation Ideas, Scottsdale, Arizona
Scottsdale, Arizona, photo credit: Colleen Lanin.

Scottsdale, Arizona

Next up we have Scottsdale. Desperate to ditch your parka this winter? Haven’t you heard? Arizona is the new Florida. MLB took the hint and many teams have moved their Spring Training facilities to Scottsdale. Why should you consider Scottsdale the perfect winter vacation idea? The weather during the winter is not exactly sweltering, but it’s much more temperate than other locales. Depending on when you visit, you can expect temps to range from highs in the 70s to lows in the 30s-40s. Not too shabby! 

If you choose to visit Scottsdale in the winter, you get all of the benefits of the beautiful outdoors, not to mention shops and restaurants, without the drawbacks of bigger crowds and the higher prices of peak season. 

Things to do in Scottsdale:

  • Holiday Lights Segway Tours
  • Mountain bike through the McDowell Sonoran Preserve
  • Hike or Walk
  • Golf
  • Holiday Lights at Salt River Fields
  • Hot Air Balloon Ride
  • Las Noches de las Luminarias at the Desert Botanical Garden
  • Scottsdazzle in Old Town Scottsdale

How to get there:

Fly into Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport or Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport

#4 Key West, Florida

Winter Vacation Ideas, Key West, Fl
Key West, photo credit.

Key West, Florida

Let’s move on to another warm-weather winter vacation idea, shall we? Winter is the best time to visit Key West, the weather is more temperate, and there are no shortage of things to do. Weather is no object. So if you’re into white, powdery sand, crystal clear water that you can swim in year-round, then read on. 

Things to Do in Key West:

  • Holly Jolly Holiday Lights Tour
  • Key West Ghost Tour
  • Lighted Boat Parade
  • Sunset Cruise
  • Swim in the Ocean. Yes, really.
  • Kayak the Crystal Clear Waters
  • Snorkle
  • Dine & Shop

How to get there:

Fly into Key West International or Miami International and take the scenic 3-hour drive south or a 6-hour ferry ride.

#5 Mount Hood, Oregon

winter vacation ideas, Mt. Hood, OR
Mt. Hood, photo credit: Marc Adamus/Getty Images

Mt. Hood, Oregon

Lastly, we have Mt. Hood. It turns out that Mount Hood might be exactly what Kathy Lee Bates had in mind when she wrote “America the Beautiful.” Purple mountains majesty, indeed. Mount Hood can be seen from 100 miles out in any direction. This imposing display of nature’s crushing beauty is quite the sight any time of year, but I invite you to see Mount Hood in the winter. 

Things to do in Mount Hood:

  • Ski, Board, & Shoe
  • Dine & Shop
  • Sled
  • Visit Frozen Waterfalls
  • Tubing at Skibowl
  • Full Moon Snowshoe Tours
  • Hike the groomed Trillium Lake Snow Trails
  • Stay at Historic Silcox Hut

There it is, a little of the sun or snow, a little east a little west. Book your trip, pack your bags, and head out for your next winter vacation adventure.

Do you have a favorite winter vacation destination? Please let me know in the comments! 

Leigh Smith CopyLeigh Smith is the founder of Leigh Smith Copy. She is a lover of all things beautiful, including our mother earth and the perfect coffee mug.

Leigh writes beauty & lifestyle with an affinity for conscious brands.

She currently lives in Ohio by way of Florida, Vermont, Califonia (twice!), and Kentucky.

You can find her on the trails of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Or you check out her work at leighsmithcopy.com. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

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2 Comments
  1. Of course I’m partial, but my favorite winter destination is Oahu, Hawaii where I am right now for the month of December ♥️🎄

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