Any time is a good time for a vacation – the same can definitely be said during the wintertime. When most establishments prepare to close for the incoming snowstorm or taking a break before the year ends, a lot of people are looking to enjoy this time and get away to enjoy and try something new.
While the United States is geared to offer the best vacation experiences all year round – some of its destinations bloom exclusively in the winter, if not offering a season-specific treat aside from what is available for the rest of the year. With that in mind, get ready to check out these top-rated tourist destinations for your next winter vacation in the U.S.
The Beehive State is a favorite among snowboarders and skiers due to the perfect winter snow conditions. While these winter sports are must-try vacation activities themselves, Utah has another sport for you to try, unlike any other – bobsledding. What makes bobsledding rare in Utah is that it houses the 2002 Olympic Winter Games Sliding Track. Get ready for a once in a lifetime experience as you feel the greatness of the Olympics at the Winter Bobsled Experience in the Utah Olympic Park in Park City – a sports park built on purpose for the 2002 Winter Olympics and currently serves as a training center for athletes.
With a professional driver on the lead, race down the track once used by Olympic athletes in the bobsledding, skeleton, and luge events. Get ready to experience the cold wind through your face and the G-force all over your body. Note that bobsledding in Park City requires passengers to be at least 16 years old and at least a hundred pounds to ride.
Big Sky in Montana is a small town in the Rocky Mountains, down at the Southern part of the state. It is located to the Northwest of the famous Yellowstone National Park, famous for its wildlife and geysers.
Big Sky Resort is among the must-see destinations in this small Montana town, known for skiing and downhill trails ideal for biking. The resort also offers a couple of zipline courses which gives a zooming experience above the canopy of the Gallatin National Forest, as well as an overhead view of the tourist-friendly Mountain Village. Usually, the outfitters offering these activities do so as a part of a package – go skiing or zip-lining together with other challenging activities in and around the area. In the winter, however, the town experiences more than 30 feet of snowfall, filling the mountainsides and making it perfect for these winter sports activities. Choose your slope from the nearby mountain peak and have fun in more than 6,000 acres of snow-filled area and about 4,300 vertical feet to ski down. In Big Sky alone, there are 4 mountain peaks and more than 300 available ski runs for you to choose from. Take your next winter vacation and spend a week skiing without running down the same trails twice. Finally, cap the day off with a charming and heart-warming dinner at any of the restaurants down in the Mountain Village.
Riding around in a snowmobile is a winter activity available in several places in the US such as Wisconsin, Maine, and Minnesota. For an epic experience, however, head back to Montana and visit Yellowstone National Park. Snowmobiles are the preferred mode of transportation in the park during winter. Also, while Yellowstone National Park is a top-rated tourist attraction all year round, it is during winter that tourists experience a white backdrop and get close to roaming bison and other wildlife still active during this cold season.
After a snowmobiling trip around the park, relax at the warming huts located around the park. Also, take a bite and have a warm drink at the restaurants nearby. For first time visitors at the winter Yellowstone National Park, it is highly recommended that you take the guided snowmobile tour.
Snowshoeing is basically the winter equivalent of the standard hiking activity, and there is no better place for a snowy trek than the Crater Lake National Park located in Southern Oregon. While it presents a picturesque view of the lake and surrounding forests all year round, its winters see the lakeside filled with thick snow averaging 44 feet every year, which makes for an amazing snowshoeing experience. The snowshoes distribute the wearer’s weight and prevent them from sinking completely in the snow, a fact easy to observe and appreciate at the Crater Lake National Park.
Every weekend through the month of April, the park offers one to two-mile guided walks. The designated park ranger guides your travel while explaining the plant and wildlife thriving in the park and how these creatures adapt during the winter. For those opting to go snowshoeing without the guide, be sure to stop by the visitor center and take a park map as well as get updated on weather news and bulletins.
The Northwoods is a fairly popular vacation destination all-year-round for people looking for that Northern atmosphere – the scent of fresh lake water and pine trees is a very alluring invitation for a relaxing weekend. In winter, the area is a must-see for outdoor sports fans. Its beaten paths and lakeside trails are available for almost every outdoor activity available – from hiking, biking, snowmobiling, or even snowshoeing.
The nearby Sawyer County is home to the town of Hayward – known for its fast-growing industry of snow grooming equipment in the US. The town also has a large number of trails carefully maintained for the tourists and all their outdoor activities. Hayward has more than 600 miles of snowmobiling trails which lead to other trails in Wisconsin. Aside from snowmobiling trails, get ready to test out more than 200 miles of cross-country skiing trail as well as almost a hundred more miles for snowshoeing and hiking.