We’ve rounded up our top 10 winter destinations that’ll ensure an epic vacay, no matter if you’re pumped for a mountain getaway or itching for some warmth.
The weather outside may sometimes be frightful, but we’re pumped for everything that the winter season brings. Fresh powder, thrilling adventures, the brand new gear you can’t wait to show off. And of course, winter getaways.
If you’re someone’s searching for challenging runs, or if you’re ready to escape the cold, it’s crucial to know of the best spots to achieve all of your vacation goals. So get ready to pack the car, book the flights, and layer up (or down)— we’re laying out our top 10 winter destinations you have to visit this season.
Lake Tahoe, CA
Lia Garcia/ Practical Wanderlust
Lake Tahoe is home to some of the world’s best ski resorts. Straddling the state line between California and Nevada, Lake Tahoe sits high up in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, so it’s no wonder why the snow-blanketed mountainsides and pines are such epic sights to see come the wintertime.
Between Squaw Valley, Heavenly Mountain Resort, Kirkwood, and Northstar (among an abundance of others), you’ll have no issue finding the best skiable terrain with ample snowfall for every level of skier and snowboarder.
Fun fact: According to our very own Brad Handel, Organic Marketing Manager, “there’s a bar in Truckee called the tourist club that is anything but. The sign out front says “free beer tomorrow…” So, we’ll see you there tomorrow!”
Whitefish, MT has plenty to offer besides being one of the best ski towns in America. The Whitefish Mountain Resort is one of the most popular in town, a true winter paradise located near Glacier National Park. As if the 3000+ acres of skiing, 300+ inches of snow, and insane views of Glacier aren’t enough reasons to make the trip, wait until you hear about the Whitefish Winter Carnival.
On the first weekend of every February, the town kicks off its weekend-long themed event filled with wild, creative festivities. From a kickoff Polar Plunge and a grand parade to snow sculpture contests and beer barter, there’s so much to do in Whitefish that it would be a sin to not book a guys’ weekend here.
Spoiler alert: the 2022 theme is a Totally Rad 80’s Rewind. Prep accordingly.
Copyright: © 2010 Dave Schmidt
Go Stowe this winter. Named one of Forbe’s top 10 best ski towns in America, Stowe is nestled beside Vermont’s highest peak with an extensive trail system that makes for not-your-average winter activities. We’re talkin’ dog sledding, ice fishing, Nordic skiing, snowmobiling, and sleigh rides to name a few.
You can even take a scenic gondola ride to the Village at Spruce Peak, where you’ll be immersed in the festive small town complete with ice skating, a festival of lights, and plenty of craft beer. Maybe even sip on some Aged Bourbon by a toasty fire, because you’re classy like that. You know those little ceramic Christmas villages your grandma probably used to collect? That’s kind of the vibe, and we’re not complaining.
New York, NY
New York City is the backdrop to some of the most iconic holiday movies, like, ever, which gives us enough reason alone to put it on this list. The city is unlike any others during the wintertime, especially if you’re looking for something different to do this season or traveling with others who don’t care for winter sports.
Ice skating at the Rockafeller Center while ooh-ing and ahh-ing over the iconic Christmas tree, shopping on Fifth Avenue, catching a Knicks or Rangers game at the Madison Square Garden— there are so many iconic things to see and do, let alone eat. If not for the sights, then definitely go for the food.
Fairbanks is an awesome destination for people who won’t let the cold stop them from numerous winter activities like snowmobiling, tubing, skiing, and ice fishing. Not to mention the incredible snow-blanketed scenery.
If you need more convincing, let the captivating lights of the aurora borealis help finalize your decision. Fairbanks is one of the best places to view the Northern Lights, thanks to its prime location and hours of darkness in the wintertime. The best times to view the incredible lights are from September to April, so fire up the search engines and start booking those flights.
Park City, UT
About 45 minutes from Salt Lake City, Park City is one of Utah’s biggest and best mountain towns. Home to two world-class ski resorts, Deer Valley and Park City Mountain, there’s a glorious 9,000+ acres of skiable terrain combined between the two resorts to live out all your X-Games dreams. Deer Valley is a great place for skiers of every age and ability with numerous class offerings, while Park City Mountain features big, steep jumps, manmade rails, and numerous runs and features with particular ratings. There’s something for everybody in Park City.
Fun fact: Although the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2002 Winter Olympics were held in Salt Lake City, most of the events actually took place in Park City.
Copyright: Mike Crane
Consider spending your winter in Whistler this year.
Whistler, BC offers plenty to do both on and off the slopes. If you’re down for adrenaline adventures like bobsleigh rides or heli-skiing or snowboarding, or winter bungee jumping, Whistler is your wonderland. Not to mention it’s insanely scenic with spectacular views of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains.
And because we know you’ll have withdrawals the second that you leave, we’ve got you covered with our Crimson Oak body wash that’ll bring the mountainside scenery back to civilization with you.
How do glaciers, immense mountain scenery, and the snowiest place in the U.S. sound to you? If that’s music to your ears, Valdez, AK should be the next must-hit winter destination on your travel list.
Located near the head of a deep fjord in Prince William Sound, Valdez is the premier location for incredible salmon and halibut fishing— talk about an awesome idea for a guys’ trip. It’s also the ideal place to get away from the masses with unique sea kayak tours that take you up close and personal to local glaciers. Or if you’re in need of a recovery day, just hop on a helicopter tour to take in the post-card perfect sights from up high.
Honorable Mention: Chicago, IL
Chicago is another cool alternative for switching things up this winter, packed with a ton of iconic landmarks and city skyline views. There’s just as much to do and see in the Chi as there is in NYC, like paying The Bean a visit— a silver, lima-bean-shaped landmark. You can pack your trip with a visit to the annual Chriskindlmarket, take in the festive Macy’s window displays, ice skate in Maggie Daley Park, then end your days chowing down on some of the world’s best pizza. Because no one does pizza better than Chicago, and nope, that’s not up for discussion.
Pro tip: If it’s your first time in the city, pay the historic brownstone of Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder Company a visit, where they serve up their famous pizza pot pies. Yep, it really is as good as it sounds.
Digging your suitcase out of the closet isn’t the only obstacle you’ll have to tackle here. With a list packed full of the best winter destinations, it’ll be hard to settle on where to go. Rest assured, no matter where you plan to visit this winter, you’ll have zero trouble enjoying yourself. You’ll also have zero trouble keeping yourself fresh, clean, and feelin’ good all trip long by stocking up on some TSA-approved trail & travel sets, complete with your favorite grooming products that are travel-sized and ready for action.