7 Spots To Enjoy A Winter Holiday in 2015
While everyone else is heading to Cabo for fun in the sun, why not embrace the icy chill and make this winter a wonderland to remember? From Whistler to Fairbanks, from Austria to Japan, the world is packed with snowy cities just waiting to be discovered.
If you’re never skied the northern slopes of Europe, traversed the tundra via dog sled, or curled up for the night on a slab made of ice, get ready to embrace your inner snow angel!
1. Lake Tahoe, United States
The largest freshwater lake in North America is stunning any time of year, but winter is particularly magical in Lake Tahoe. Besides skiing and snowboarding, you can go ice skating, tubing, zip lining, sledding, take a lake cruise, or enjoy a dog-pulled sleigh ride. With endless accommodation choices and over 400 dining destinations, you’ll be able to create the winter vacation of your dreams.
2. Whistler, Vancouver B.C.
Forget the skiing and the snowboarding – Whistler is worth a visit just for the scenery! In addition to breathtaking views of the surrounding Coast Mountains, the city offers an award-winning pedestrian village, airborne “gondola” rides between mountain peaks, eco-friendly ziptrekking, and a family-friendly tube park with 1,000-foot tubing lanes.
3. Innsbruck, Austria
One of Europe’s top wintertime ski destinations, Innsbruck hibernates in the summer and lights up as soon as the snow starts to fall. As a two-time host town of the Winter Olympics, Innsbruck boasts beautiful architecture, snow-capped peaks, and a surprising number of museums, bars, and other non-skiing activities.
4. Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
For two weeks each season, Quebec City is the center of the wintertime world. The Carnaval de Quebec first began in 1894 and has since grown into the largest winter festival on earth. Enjoy tubing, canoeing, exploring the Bonhomme Ice Palace, or a luxurious evening snoozing inside a hotel made of ice!
5. Sapporo, Japan
For a week each year in February, some 2 million people descend upon Sapporo, Japan, to take part in the 65-year old Sapporo Snow Festival. Held on three main sites spread throughout Hokkaido’s capital, the festival is infamous for its impressive snow and ice sculpture exhibitions. Stroll around Susukino past 100+ illuminated ice sculptures, or get a bird’s eye view of Odori Park from the top of the Sapporo TV Tower.
6. Fairbanks, Alaska
The Yukon Quest is an annual 1000-mile dog sled race that stretches from the Yukon to Fairbanks, Alaska. While you’re waiting for the mushers to finish the race, you can learn to dog sled yourself, view the Northern Lights, go skiing, or take a toasty dip in the natural hot springs.
7. Paris, France
Have you ever visited Paris and practically gotten swallowed whole by the endless hordes of tourists that descend upon the city each summer?
Yeah. Me too.
Return during the winter months to find a city transformed. With breathing room on the boulevards and lower prices throughout town, you may never hum “I love Paris in the Springtime” again.
Where is your personal winter wonderland?
Rebekah Voss is an author, travel writer, and the creator of TheHappyPassport.com.