Top 10 Best Winter Vacation Destinations: America's Hottest Cold Cities

#6 WaukeshaWisconsin
Sleigh Rides Are Popular in Waukesha, WI
Sleigh Rides Are Popular in Waukesha, WI

Quick Facts About Waukesha

Population: 71,363
Med. Age: 34
Med. Household Income: $59,363
Med. Home Price: $170,000
Average Work Commute: 18 MINUTES

A winter visit to Waukesha, WI, brings opportunities to ice fish, cross-country ski, try the sport of curling and race down a wooden run on an old-fashion toboggan.

For a unique experience when weather conditions are right, visitors can rent toboggans and race down a pair of wooden, 350-foot runs in Waukesha's Lowell Park, while snowboarders and sledders often zip down the park's hillside. Several other parks in and around Waukesha feature hills for sledding, cross-country skiing trails and ice skating rinks. Two nearby ski areas – Alpine Valley and Highlands of Olympia Ski Hill – have a mix of runs, night skiing and challenging terrain parks.

Besides its many outdoor activities, the city's collection of cultural attractions, restaurants, bars and indoor recreation facilities make it a top destination for cold weather fun.

Restaurants, shops and cultural attractions fill historic buildings downtown and draw visitors to the district, which includes a river walk. People can warm up with a drink inside one of the many downtown bars and pubs, peruse paintings and other artwork at more than a dozen galleries, or get a history lesson at The Waukesha County Museum.

Indoor water slides, tube rides and whirlpools at The Springs Water Park make for a tropical break from all the cold and snow. Other spots for indoor recreation include Adventure Rock Indoor Climbing Gym; Brew City Paintball, which has a 44,000-square-foot arena with all turf playing fields; Laser Tag Adventure, where players stalk each other in jungle ruins; and the Center Court Sports Complex, which has basketball and volleyball courts.

Activities: Cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, ice fishing, skating, curling, sledding

Average Annual Snowfall: 38 inches

Winter Temps: 11 to 32

Must Try: Toboggan run at Lowell Park


Looking for warmer destinations? Check out our picks for the best Top 10 Spring Break Vacations for families.


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