5 Reasons to Plan a Winter Vacation (and Where to Go)
It's tempting to hibernate at home, but winter might actually be the best time of year to travel. Here's why.
Most everyone plans a vacation during the summer. We spend January and February fantasizing about the places we'll visit during the warmer months, but what if we looked at winter differently? Perhaps winter is a timely opportunity to have fun, see friends and do something out of the ordinary. What if winter is actually the perfect time to travel?
Here are five reasons to plan a getaway this season — and some winter destinations too good to pass up.
1. There Are Great Deals to Be Had
Why not cash in on the reduced rates offered during the winter? A stay at a quaint inn in Asheville, for example, can be 40 percent lower than their peak season rates. Snag a comfy room at a bed and breakfast for the perfect romantic getaway. While there, tour a few of the city's famous breweries or find a corner cafe to enjoy a glass of wine or champagne at the Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar.
2. Winter Activities Can Help Beat the Blues
Seasonal Affective Disorder or S.A.D. can take its toll on anyone’s wellbeing. Physical activity like skiing, tubing or snowboarding can help lift the emotional fog that tends to set in during winter. New England’s Wilmington, VT, offers a picturesque town with shops, restaurants and lodging just minutes away from the Mount Snow Resort. Or, hit the slopes at Beech Mountain Resort in Beech Mountain, NC.
3 Winter Road Trips Worth Braving the Cold
Want to escape the cold completely? Travel to a warmer climate for golf, biking, hiking and rock climbing. Traditional, links and desert style courses are available at one of Scottsdale's 200 golf courses. Plan your excursion around the Waste Management Phoenix Open, also known as the “Greatest Show on Grass” at the beginning of February.
3. Your Friends Need a Vacation Too
Winter is the best time to plan a fun getaway with friends because summer is typically reserved for family vacations. Book a picturesque cabin in the mountains for a couple nights of wine and board games, or head to Las Vegas for an off-season weekend of pampering and fun. The Mandarin Oriental features luxurious spa treatments and yoga classes. Skip gambling and use the money you save to book a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon or horseback ride through Red Rock Canyon.
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4. It's a Great Time of Year to Be a Super Fan
Find a music or art festival to attend in a city you’ve always wanted to visit and book a winter trip for the occasion! Steamboat Springs in Colorado has a winter carnival each year with a parade, contests and fireworks. Need music to fill those dark winter days? Feel the warmth of Florida at the 30A Songwriters Festival in South Walton Beach.
5. You Can Cure Cabin Fever With a Staycation
For a fraction of the price of an out-of-town vacation, consider staying at a luxury hotel close to home. Cities like Charlotte have amenity-rich accommodations such as The Dunhill Hotel, The Ritz-Carlton Charlotte or The Ballantyne Hotel — many of which will be priced considerably lower than they would be in the summer months. Pamper yourself with a massage, take a wine blending class or enjoy an extravagant meal at a local restaurant you haven't made time to try before.
Winter never looked so good.