Just because it’s wintertime doesn’t mean you have to stay cooped up inside the whole season. And now that spring is just around the corner, what better time is there to start making your travel plans? Whether you want to escape the cold harsh temperatures and relax on a tropical beach or you want to have some fun in the snow and hit the slopes at the best resorts, there are almost endless options to slake your thirst for travel.
From the tropical paradises of Bali and the Maldives to the winter wonderland getaways of Crested Butte and Jackson Hole, there is something for families, couples and singles to enjoy. Hit up the Winter Carnival in Quebec City or go snorkeling in Kauai, Hawaii–no matter what you choose it will be an experience you will never forget.
Check out our list at the top of this article of the best trips to take during this winter.
The Swiss Alps
Hit the slopes at the Swiss Alps and discover a winter wonderland with glaciers, alpine lakes, and scenic mountains, including the famous Matterhorn. While you can drive through much of the country, taking the train among the fairy-tale villages let’s you relax and concentrate on the gorgeous landscape. For some of the most scenic skiing in the world you will never forget your trip to the Swiss Alps.
The small island of Bali is a big hit with travelers. While you may be able to drive around the whole coastline in one day, there are so many attractions and activities that your visit will be full of non-stop action. Visit the numerous ancient shrines that pepper the island, get in some world-class surfing, or just relax on the long beautiful beaches. The Hindu culture that accentuates the locals lives will also give you an experience you’ll never forget.
Crested Butte is a true ski town. You won’t find hour long waits at the lift lines, obnoxious park rats or pretentious ski bunnies here, just steep slopes, friendly people and some of the best snow in Colorado. With over 542 acres of in-bounds, double-black-diamond terrain, this resort is a favorite for extreme skiers and boarders. Not to worry though, the resort offers plenty of options for novices as well.
Want to escape the bitter cold months with sand beaches and a hot club scene? Snowbirds all over flock to Miami each winter for the city’s lively entertainment, cuisine and fashion, all infused with a Latin vibe. Miami also boasts many cultural festivals, such as Coconut Grove Arts Festival, the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival and for all the movie buffs there is the Miami International Film Festival.
Take a journey back in time with a trip to the ancient city of Petra, Jordan. This amazing destination was built over two millennia ago and was lost to civilization until it was rediscovered by a Swiss traveler in 1812. Petra is situated between the Dead and Red Seas and features caves, museums, a monastery and a 13-story tomb that was featured in the final scenes of ‘Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade’.
Just south of Petra you will find Wadi Rum where Bedouin guides provide rock-climbing excursions, hikes through the desert, as well as camel and horseback rides.
The Maldives has become synonymous with paradise for sunbathers and divers. While the many reefs and beaches were devastated by el Nino and the catastrophic tsunami of 2004, the area has rebounded and is currently seeing a boom in development with new resorts opening nearly every month, giving you such diverse options as posh resorts and eco-friendly back-to-nature retreats.
But such luxury and pampering comes with a pretty hefty price, so be prepared to go all out and spare no expense on this once in a lifetime getaway.
While Antarctica may be the coldest place on the planet, the northern Antarctic Peninsula can actually reach a balmy 20°F during the austral summer. From the months of November to March, there are group travel packages that depart from Argentina and spend weeks in the Antarctic Peninsula.
Some of the sites to see are the Falkland Islands and the island of South Georgia. Among the scientists who inhabit the continent you’ll also encounter seal pups and penguins, killer whales and icebergs. Take a tour hosted by a naturalist or go on an amazing ice field hike.
The small island of Kauai in Hawaii will enchant your senses with its lush beauty. Since most the commercial development is along the coast you can find amazing and pristine spots within the island and away from other tourists. This tropical paradise has waterfalls, rainforests, rivers and canyons, snorkeling, kayaking and even ziplining.
Want to go island hopping? From small atolls to the large island of Crete, there are more than 2,000 Greek Islands to choose from. Not only do the isles boast beautiful scenery and weather, there is a plethora of activities to take part in.
Laze on the wonderful beaches, step back in time with the many historical sites and tours or go snorkeling and cycling–the options are limitless. And be sure to check out all the amazing seafood and drinks that made the area famous.
Quebec City, Canada
Experience Old World Europe in North America with a visit to Quebec City, Canada. Walk back in time on narrow cobbled streets lined with 17th and 18th century houses and visit the numerous historic sites on every corner of the city.
Tourists flock to Quebec City year round, with the majority of travelers visiting during the summer season. Due to the smaller number of travelers during the fall months you can find terrific deals and the winter season offers one of the most popular festivals with the Winter Carnival that is host amazing ice sculptures and fountains.
The Island of St. Martin
The Caribbean Island of St. Martin was split by the French and Dutch for nearly 350 years. As a result each side of the island retains their individual cultural heritages while offering an unforgettable Caribbean experience. The island has sunny and warm weather year long with 82 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer and only two degrees cooler during the winter season.
Known for its superb beaches, you can sunbathe, go snorkeling, deep-sea fishing and diving. So if you’re looking for a great spring break getaway or holiday retreat, The Caribbean Island of St. Martin is the place to go.
Palm Springs, California
Escape the dreary winter weather with a trip to Palm Springs. This desert oasis is located 110 miles from Los Angeles and boasts more than 350 days of sunshine. Put on your dancing shoes and visit Frank Sinatra’s 1947 retreat during Modernism Week or stay at the Movie Colony Hotel which was a favorite haunt of movie stars from the 1930s to the 1960s. The city also has some of the most amazing mid-century architecture in the area and has many artistic, cultural and outdoor activities that are great for couples and families.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Unlike most ski resorts this year, Jackson Hole is not hurting for snow, they have 24 feet of snow and counting. Known for their dense powder and the biggest vertical drop in North America, this place is an adventure seekers dream come true. Since it’s an up-and-coming vacation spot, you won’t have to worry about swarms of people at the base of the mountain, just yet anyway.
Lake Placid, New York
Lake Placid, in the Adirondack Mountains of New York offers the chance to zip down a bobsled with a professional as well as great skiing, snowboarding and snow sports events. The small village was host to the 1932 and the 1980 Winter Olympics and still gives families a chance to see what being an Olympic winner is like with their Gold Medal Games Family Edition. You’ll start with a torch run and compete in ski/snowboard races, curling and hockey slap shot contests and work your way to the glory of a medal ceremony. Don’t just hit the slopes, own them with the the determination of a pro athlete.
Puerto Rico has a landscape for nearly every traveler. Want lush jungles, amazing caves and gorgeous islands that seem like a trip back in to pre-history? Puerto Rico has it and more.
Immerse yourself in the local culture with traditional music and food and have an adventure you’ll never forget with zip-lining, rappelling, surfing big waves and kayaking. And since Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory you can pay for all of your souvenirs with American currency.