Winter is definitely here and our cabin fever has fully set in. To give us inspiration, we decided to put a positive spin on it and think about all of places we could take an adventure in these cold months that we couldn’t otherwise enjoy. Sure, there are tons of ski towns you’ve heard of, but we really wanted to get to the heart of where you should be booking your winter adventures that perhaps you haven’t thought of. So we’ve done some of our own investigating to figure out just where you should head to this time of year. We considered factors such as crowd control, budget, and activities available. The following are our top picks. Enjoy and let us know in the comments where you like to take your winter adventures!
Where You Should Be Booking Your Winter Adventures:
PHOTO: Fathom Away
PHOTO: Bon Traveler
Sun Valley, Idaho
Wanting to hit the slopes, but aren’t a big fan of huge lines for the lift? Look past the high price tags and crowds of Colorado and venture to Sun Valley, Idaho.
It has a laid-back vibe and the streets are lined with unique locally-owned boutiques filled with a character all its own for when you’re not on the slopes.
It boasts some amazing eateries too, with views that rival the food.
A must do while you’re in the area is to visit Sun Valley Lodge’s year-round outdoor skating rink, it even attracts Olympic medalists, like Johnny Weir, but don’t be intimated there are plenty of beginners too. You can even sign up for a class yourself.
Sun Valley Lodge also offers a 20,000 square foot spa if you’re in need of some self-care.
There are many different options for lodging of all budgets. We particularly love the quaint, boutique chalet, Knob Hill Inn. Getting a room with a fireplace is well worth it. They also have a very convenient shuttle service, which is great.
If you’re up for a super exclusive and wild winter adventure you can even stay at Heliski.
Be sure to stop in for drinks at Pioneer Saloon, it’s like taking a step back in time. It is located in the town of Ketchum along with the Knob Hill Inn.
PHOTO: Reserve Gatlinburg
PHOTO: My Gatlinburg
You may not think Tennesse when you think winter adventure, but Gatlinburg nestled in the heart of the Smoky Mountains will totally change your mind.
There are endless opportunities for different activities to do here. You can even snowboard, ski, or our favorite — snow tubing — at Ober Gatlinburg.
You can also take a snowy hike through The Great Smoky Mountain National Park.
If you find it too cold for a hike, there are also fabulous auto tours of the Smokies you can go on. Prepare yourself for jaw-dropping sights. You can cruise Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail and Newfound Gap Road.
There is also a Trolley Tour of Lights that runs through January 31st.
Be sure to check out Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community. This is an 8-mile stretch of more than 100 locally-owned shops that celebrate the traditional arts. It is a must for unique finds.
There are tons of great private cabin getaways you can rent for your stay. Gatlinburg is a great affordable winter adventure spot for the whole family.
Some of us prefer to escape the cold altogether for our winter adventures, and there is no better place to do that than Hawaii.
Southwest has recently ventured into the market there, so there are plenty of affordable flights and it is much less crowded than the summer months.
January and February are also Whale Watching Season, this is a once in a lifetime kind of experience you won’t want to miss.
The winter months are the rainy season for Hawaii but don’t worry the showers are often short. Plus it makes the long waterfall hikes even more worth it.
Hawaii’s temperatures average the 80s in the day for most beach resorts and dip down to the 60s in the evening. AHHH, yes, please.
Hawaii’s tropical climate allows for beautiful vegetation and scenery year-round, so prepare for beauty.