Top 10 Winter Getaways
There are plenty of "sun and sand" destinations where you can be whisked away for a mid-winter tan, but if you are looking to save some money and don't mind being bundled up in a sweater or jacket, there are plenty of spots around the world that make spectacular winter getaways.
Snowshoeing New England - Snowshoeing has been prevalent in Vermont's Green Mountains for over two centuries, and was once relied upon heavily as a means of travel throughout northern New England. Now, snowshoeing is an excellent recreation and an outstanding way for non-skiers and skiers alike to enjoy Vermont's beautiful, peaceful winters.
European Adventure - Experience the majesty of any European city during the winter months when crowds are fewer, there are more locals rather than tourists and airfare and hotel prices plummet. Some European cities experience mild winters where a heavy sweater is sufficient while others are blanketed in snow and provide peaceful backdrops for unhurried walks on quiet streets. Enjoy hot roasted chestnuts, mulled cider, holiday festivities and even some jazz and gospel concerts. In addition, in Italy for example, you can take advantage of deep discounts on clothing during the annual January sales.
Cozy Bed and Breakfasts and Sleigh Rides - Snuggle up with your loved one at a cozy bed and breakfast in a suite equipped with your own fireplace and Jacuzzi as the snow gently falls outside! Add a bottle of bubbly, some chocolate covered strawberries and a sleigh ride and you have a weekend getaway to cherish forever.
Family Christmas Fun - Take your little ones to any one of the Santa land villages and amusement parks! Remember what Christmas meant to you when you were a child - the warmth, enchantment, and excitement? Once again, you can recapture some of those great moments with your family. Try Santa's Workshop in North Pole, New York; Santa's Village in Jefferson, New Hampshire; Santa's Village in Dundee, Illinois; North Pole in North Pole, Colorado; Santa's Land USA in Putney, Vermont among others!
Beijing, China - Winter may not be the most ideal season to visit China, but for those who are familiar with Beijing's non-stop traffic and hordes of tourist crowds, a vacation here during winter may make the most sense. Airfare and hotels are wonderfully priced and vacationers can take advantage of off-peak perks such as visiting Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and the Summer Palace without hundreds of other sightseers. After the Chinese New Year in February, travelers can enjoy the Lantern Festival, in which thousands of lanterns are lit all over the country, and celebrations include dancing and theater performances.
Toronto's Winter City Festival - A 14-day winter extravaganza featuring "Winterlicious" culinary experiences, unique complimentary entertainment and a showcase of art galleries and exhibits. Enjoy cooking demonstrations featuring hearty winter specialties, as well as lessons from a guest chef from a Michelin restaurant in Spain; discounts on wine and entrees at select restaurants; jazz performances; dance and theatre among others fun activities.
Ice Hotels Worldwide - There are many ice hotels popping up around the world. It is believed that the original ice hotel was first created in Sweden, located in the small riverside village of Jukkasjarvi. The hotel is created each winter out of 10,000 tons of ice from the nearby river and 30,000 tons of snow. The hotel features the famous Absolut Ice Bar, a winter favorite for the 21+ crowd. Guests sleep in special sleeping bags on beds made of snow and ice and covered with reindeer skins; a hot drink is brought to the bedside at morning-time. In addition, Quebec offers the Ice Hotel Quebec-Canada (Hotel de Glace) at Duchesnay, 30 minutes west of the Quebec city area. 11,000 tons of snow and 350 tons of ice are heaved and shaped over a five-week period to build the ice hotel wi th ceilings as high as 18 feet. This hotel has many rooms and theme suites, a cinema, chapel, fireplaces, Jacuzzis and its own Absolut Ice Bar. Alaska, new to the game is now proud to offer the recently opened Aurora Ice Hotel, 60 miles northeast of Fairbanks. In addition, the Chenay Hot Springs Resort built a 6-room Ice Hotel with gothic style.
Maple Sugaring - Discover how to make true maple syrup at any of our country's maple sugar farms. Overnight at the farm or a local inn and make a maple sugar weekend getaway! See how the trees are tapped, how the sugar is boiled down into syrup and sample homemade French toast, pancakes, maple sugar candy and maple sugar snow cones among other pleasures. Some farms also offer sleigh rides, cross-country skiing or downhill skiing nearby, snowshoeing, dog sledding and tubing to make your winter getaway as fun as possible.
Winter in Alaska - Enjoy the many wintertime activities Alaska has to offer from the annual 2,000-mile snowmobile race from Fairbanks to Wasilla; dog sledding; ice climbing; ice fishing; ice carving contests and more!
Saranac Lake, New York Winter Carnival - This small community celebration began in 1897 and has continued annually ever since. Great for families and adults who are kids at heart, this fairytale celebration is kicked off by Sara the Snowy Owl who is the mascot of the festival; each year she awaits the building of a special ice castle on the shore of Lake Flower. Created to enhance the fairy-tale-looking Adirondack winter, it is the perfect backdrop to 10 days of merry-making marked with parades and fireworks, cross-country skiing and ice-skating, exhibitions, dances and concerts.
These ideas are just the beginning! Contact us for more fabulous winter getaway options!
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