There are two types of people in this world: those who look forward to winter weather, and those who dread it. Luckily, no matter which side you fall on, there is a winter travel destination waiting to welcome you. Whether soaking up the sun on a white-sand beach is your dream getaway, or building snowmen and sledding in a winter wonderland is more your thing, check out our list of the best winter getaways and start planning your trip today!
For the snow bunnies:
British Columbia, Canada
With gorgeous scenery and world-class skiing, British Columbia is a top winter travel destination visited by more than 15 million tourists each year. For snow sports such as skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing and sledding, head to Whistler, just north of Vancouver. Make sure to allow some time to explore the breathtaking glacial lakes and mountain peaks of Yoho and Glacier National Parks, but don’t forget to pack your mittens and snow boots!
Paris blanketed in snow is said to be an unforgettably beautiful experience for those who get a chance to experience it, but France has other winter activities to experience if you’re interested in exploring beyond the capital. If you are visiting in December, be sure to do some shopping and sip mulled wine at a charming Christmas market. The French Alps boast beautiful views and world-famous ski resorts, so don’t forget your snow sport equipment!
The northernmost island of Japan, Hokkaido is also the coldest island year-round, and known for its ski resorts, hot spring onsen retreats and unforgettable cuisine. Visit the capital city of Sapporo for the annual Snow Festival in January and February.
Known worldwide for its plethora of winter activities in breathtaking mountain towns such as Aspen, Telluride and Vail, grab a pair of skis or ice skates and have a blast during the day, before winding down with some cocoa and a hot meal in the evenings.
For the sun-seekers:
With more than 7,000 islands in this tropical paradise, you’re bound to find the destination that’s perfect for your winter getaway. Aruba, Barbados, Cuba and Turks & Caicos are all popular islands with lively local culture and stunning beaches. Be aware, however, that winter is the busy season for these islands, therefore prices will be higher and crowds will be larger.
Known as the sunshine state, Florida is one of the most popular tourist destinations, especially for snowbirds and travelers wanting a warm winter getaway. Miami, St. Petersburg and Key West are some of the most popular cities to visit.
Get away from winter weather by going to the southern hemisphere where it’s summer! Weather in Sydney during this time is in the 70s and 80s in Fahrenheit with warm rain showers. Explore the city’s many museums, see a concert or hit one of the many beaches.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The colorful celebration of Carnival, signaling the beginning of Lent in the Catholic religion, is a perfect excuse to head south to Brazil’s summer weather to thaw out. While you’re there, don’t miss the Christ the Redeemer statue and be sure to go to as many beaches as possible!
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