Baby, it’s cold outside. Correction: It’s cold somewhere. For those of you that adore everything that comes with a chilly winter, from skiing on fresh powder to snuggling by the fire to sipping on a hot toddy or two, here are five winter travel destinations just for you. See you there?
1. Iceland Iceland keeps popping up as THE place to go to now. Fly into Reykjavik and explore nearby areas like the Blue Lagoon. Travel from September through mid-April for the best chance at spotting the Northern Lights. There are crazy great rates on Iceland Air right now, and (pro tip!) several options for using Iceland as an extended layover spot when enroute to another locale.
2. Sante Fe, New Mexico New Mexico is a wonderful, wonderful place, if you haven’t been, and Sante Fe, in particular, is a popular destination for art and wellness year-round. The winter is the perfect time to take advantage of cozy B&Bs and proximity to natural hot springs. Ten Thousand Waves is a favorite spot for spa lovers, as well as anyone looking to get away from the busy square. Stock up on snacks from the local Co-Op and head out for a day trip to Ojo Caliente.
3. Banff & Lake Louise, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada Surrounded by soaring mountain peaks, the majestic Victoria Glacier, and a glistening emerald lake, the iconic Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is located in Alberta’s Banff National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is recognized globally for progressive environmental stewardship and responsible tourism.
4. Ouray, Colorado Travel + Leisure just ranked Ouray, a tiny mountain mining town about an hour from Telluride, number seven on a list of “America’s Prettiest Winter Towns”. Where else can you stroll streets with Victorian buildings while ogling ice climbers dangling from their pickaxes, before then melting into the therapeutic warmth of a vapor cave? While scaling enormous ice formations (or merely observing the impressive ice climbers in action) may be Ouray’s winter pastime of choice, there’s snowshoeing and skiing, too. Check out the luxe The Beaumont Hotel & Spa.
5. Tallinn, Estonia Estonia is one of the greenest countries in the world, thanks to the forest that covers over 50% of the Northern European country. Bordering the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Finland, Estonia boasts winter sports and wellness spas galore, and is known for their famous winter festivals (namely, the Christmas Festival in December and the Tartu Music Festival in January). Stay at a local B&B or indulge at the historic Hotel Telegraaf in Tallinn, the capital and cultural hub of Estonia.
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