While some may choose a tropical island to get away from the wintry weather, these destinations are the perfect places to embrace the beauty of the snowy season.
Reykjavik, Iceland: During your six hours of daylight, take a dip in the Blue Lagoon, a 100-degree geothermal spa. Once it gets dark, curl up under a blanket and take in the sights of the shimmering Northern Lights. Visiting during the winter will also save you money since it is the location’s offseason.
Ice Hotel – Jukkasjärvi, Sweden: You can’t celebrate the frigid season more than staying in a block of ice. While that may not sound like a vacation, the Ice Hotel in Sweden creates a romantic, elegant, and beautiful surrounding, “designed and handcrafted by artists from around the world,” according to the hotel. Activities include dog sledding, northern light safaris, and ice sculpting classes.
Mohonk Mountain House – New Paltz, NY: For an old-fashioned, family-friendly winter vacation, travel to the Hudson Valley’s Mohonk Mountain House, a National Historic Landmark, founded in 1869. Traverse groomed trails by snowshoe or cross-country ski or glide over ice and take in the gorgeous architecture of the award-winning skating rink, which also features a 39-foot-tall stone fireplace.
Vilnius, Lithuania: Named one of the Best Winter Trips of 2016 by National Geographic, Lithuania’s capital city provides a picturesque scenery in general, but the beauty of the city’s castles and old churches is amplified with pristine white snow and frozen rivers and lakes. Get even more of an eyeful on a snowmobile winter safari.
Salzburg, Austria: Music fans will enjoy visiting the birthplace of Mozart or touring the locations from the famous movie musical “Sound of Music.” Those who are fans of Christmas will love shopping at the traditional Christmas market, open from mid-November through Christmas.
Blantyre Hotel – Berkshires, MA: If you’re looking for a true New England winter experience with a bit of nostalgia thrown in, book a room at the Blantyre Hotel. The hotel features a number of fireplaces and cozy four-poster beds. Winter activities include sleigh rides and drinking your fair share of homemade hot chocolate. Visit during the Christmas season and you’ll stand in awe of a 110-Norway Spruce Christmas tree.
Gurney’s Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa – Montauk, NY: It may be too cold for a dip in the Atlantic Ocean, but at this Hampton’s resort spa, you can fake it by wading in the ocean-fed seawater pool. According to the resort, it is the only pool of its kind in North America. While you’re enjoying the spa’s pool, take advantage of some of the body treatments and other spa services, which may include such seasonal winter treatments with cranberry and pomegranate.
Aurora Winter Train to Fairbanks, AK: Get a glimpse of a true winter landscape by taking the Aurora Winter Train to Fairbanks, a prime viewing spot for the Northern Lights and home to the World Championship Ice carving competition and a part of the Iditarod dog sled race.
Park City, Utah: One of the best ski towns in the United States, Park City is located about 30 miles outside of Salt Lake City. Adventurers can hit the slopes or fly down the 2002 Olympic Sliding Track on the Comet Bobsled. Those who prefer a more relaxed vacation can stroll along snow-covered streets, visit art galleries, and dine at a number of elegant restaurants.
Jay Peak – Jay, VT: If you aren’t into hitting the slopes at this East Coast ski resort, you can enjoy winter indoors by listening to live music in the Foeger Ballroom or unwinding with a massage. Featuring an indoor waterpark, climbing gym, movie theater, and arcade, Jay Peak may be a good spot for a family trip with the grandkids or a great place to let your inner child run amok.