Travel shouldn’t be relegated to the summer months, nor should you just explore the world where it’s warm and sunny. By expanding your horizons a little bit, you’d be surprised at how beautiful the world is when it’s coated in a layer of snow. Skip your summer vacation this year and go check out the globe during the winter months.
Winter Wolf Viewing, Lamar Valley, Yellowstone National Park
Lamar Valley is one of the treeless areas of Yellowstone National Park and it’s this lack of trees that makes for easier viewing of the park’s wolf population, as well as their bison and elk counterparts. While the area is remote, it’s a prime spot to catch glimpses of wolves. In the winter months, the North Entrance of the park is the only way to get in along with a vehicle. You can travel by car but you might need tire chains or snow tires. There are a small number of commercial snow coach and snowmobile tours that could be able to take you to the viewing area. The Winter Wolf Discovery and Yellowstone Wolf Quest tours include transportation within the park. Stay at the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel from December to March and enjoy local fare in Bozeman, Montana.
Virginia happens to be the country’s fifth largest wine producing state according to Travel and Leisure. The winter months are the prime time to visit the vineyards and indulge your inner wine lover. Experience some of the country’s oldest history along with Monticello and see it like most people don’t get to because it’s now covered in snow. Snowshoe along the Blue Ridge Parkway to see the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains from a brand-new perspective. Warm up at the King Family Vineyards tasting room where you can cozy up to next their roaring fireplace as you sip a glass of delicious wine.
Skip the expensive ski resort towns and instead visit one of Colorado’s most scenic mining towns. Shop locally owned stores as you meander among the town’s historic Victorian buildings or visit the vapor cave for a cleansing and warming experience. Head to the bridges to watch mountaineers climb icy rock faces and then go on an adventure of your own by snowshoeing through the beautiful mountains. Warm up chilled toes by going to the Wiesbaden Hot Springs Spa and dipping into steaming hot water that’s heated naturally by the earth.
New York City, NY
New York is magical regardless of the time of year, but when it’s covered in a blanket of snow, it has actually a special appeal. There’s nothing quite like viewing the iconic Statue of Liberty from the water as she’s dusted along with a light layer of snow. Join the thousands of people who hit the ice at the ice skating rink in Rockefeller Square. If you need to escape into the wilderness and there’s a nice cushion of snow on the ground, put on your snowshoes and explore the winter wonderland that is Central Park in the winter.
Sunny beaches and warm air are wonderful, but there isn’t anything quite like exploring the country during the off season. Not only will you find lower travel rates, you’re sure to fall in love along with winter all over again.