Over the 2021 winter season, around 122 million Americans planned to travel. Whether they managed to is a different story, but the point is that tons of people don’t like waiting until summer to enjoy a vacation.
And why would you, when there are so many awesome places around the globe that come alive in the cold, snowy weather?
By visiting the best winter vacation spots, you can drink hot cocoa, do snow sports, and see some epic snowy vistas. There’s nothing better than snuggling by a wood-burning fire in a log cabin watching the snowfall.
So, where are these gorgeous hotspots (or rather, cold spots) then?! This list has the top ones, including some of the best winter vacations with snow in the USA!
Look, the US does a fine job of replicating the traditional Bavarian Christmas markets. But it’s never going to beat the real deal. This festive season, strap on your lederhosen (or maybe not, it’s too cold for that!) and head to Austria’s capital city, Vienna.
Vienna’s Christmas market covers most of the city center with tiny wooden huts. They sell classic Christmas treats, decorations, toys, and other nicknacks. It goes on for weeks leading up to December 24th and you can even go ice skating and explore this beautiful city while drinking gluhwein.
But, is Vienna one of the best winter vacations with snow? Good news! It’s snowed in Vienna every winter since 1953.
New York City, USA
There is no better place to spend Christmas than in New York according to Kevin McAllister from the movie Home Alone: Lost in New York.
So, if you’re looking for the best winter vacation spots to get into the festive spirit, head to New York City!
Like Kevin, you can see the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree and go ice skating. You can check out the cool toy shops and kill two birds with one stone by doing some Christmas shopping. The Rockettes Christmas Spectacular show at Radio City Music Hall is an institution, too.
Is visiting the Arctic Circle a little too cold to be one of the best places to visit in winter in the world? Okay great, because Iceland isn’t quite inside the Arctic Circle anyway.
This Nordic country might only get five to six hours of sunlight in the winter months, but you’re not visiting for the daytime sights. At night, the Northern Lights come alive and winter is the best time to spot them.
They are a natural light phenomenon where the sky looks like it is dancing. It is one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World and a true bucket list experience. And if you want to explore during the day, you can warm up at the Blue Lagoon thermal spa or head out on a tour of the Golden Circle sights.
And there’s around a 1000% chance that Iceland will snow in winter.
Want safe winter vacation destinations like a road trip a little closer to home? One that is unlikely to get canceled by airlines? There’s so much snowy fun to be had right on your doorstep for a fraction of the price you’d pay elsewhere.
Strap on your snow tires and head to Wisconsin. Find a gorgeous winter cabin for rent and pack all the ingredients for s’mores so you can toast them on your wood-burning fire. Go on snowy hikes and make all your friends back home jealous with your incredible Instagram pictures.
There’s much more to spending winter in Wisconsin than you might think.
Scottish Highlands, UK
The UK has a reputation for having wet, grey, depressing weather in the winter, which is often the case. But did you know that it snows in the mountains of the Scottish Highlands for over 100 days of the year?
If you visit the Cairngorm National Park, you’ll even be able to go snowboarding and skiing on these majestic mountains. Or, you could take a road trip through the snowy valley of Glen Coe and stay in the mountain town of Fort William.
Layers of tartan blankets and a few wee drams of scotch whisky (no ‘e’ when you’re talking about scotch) will keep you warm. These are the best winter vacation spots for fans of Outlander and Harry Potter.
Speaking of movies, if you love those cheesy Hallmark Christmas movies then you have to book a winter break in a Northeast mountain resort town.
And if you need inspiration, Stowe in Vermont is a great choice. It sits at the base of Mount Mansfield which has tons of snowy ski trails and slopes. It’s as cute and charming as you expect a quaint mountain town to be.
A dense, thick forest surrounds the town so there are plenty of beautiful hiking trails and paths to get lost in, too. Don’t worry if you do get lost, because some handsome, naive local in a lumberjack shirt will come and save you.
Last but not least for all you snow sports fans, is there a better place to hit the slopes than Whistler in Canada? Sure, Colorado gives it a run for its money, but Whistler Blackcomb is one of the largest ski resorts on the continent.
You can stay in one of the ultra-modern chalets and go snowshoeing, tobogganing, sledding, and ski jumping. If you’re not too busy skiing or snowboarding, of course. There are also mountain bike trails and tons of cool bars and restaurants for après ski.
Don’t spend too much time on the slopes or you might miss the opportunity to explore the 2010 Winter Olympic town or the many incredible viewpoints.
These Are the Best Winter Vacation Spots for Your Snowy Break
Who says a vacation should have sun, sea, and sand? Why not snow, skating, and sweaters?
Whether you’re a snow sport fanatic or drinking mulled wine is your idea of cardio, you will find your ideal break in these best winter vacation spots.
Now you know where you are going on your winter vacation, you will need to plan it! Browse our website for all the vacation planning tips and travel hack advice you could ever need.