There are more options for winter getaways than Aspen and Fort Lauderdale. Check out a few of these more underrated destinations for winter vacations.
When it comes to winter getaways in America, most people go in one of two directions: either up to the mountains or down to the beach. Snow-loving folks make the most of winter weather by trekking up to the Rockies for some quality skiing, while the sun-seekers among us find refuge from the cold in Florida, California, or Arizona.
Of course, there are plenty of other points on the map to stick your pushpin—places that may not have crossed your mind just yet. We’ve selected a few of our favorite underrated winter vacation destinations in North America for you to consider.
As Canada eases its border restrictions, one of the most fascinating major cities in North America is finally open for visitors once again. Founded over 400 years ago, it’s the last remaining walled city in Canada or the United States. As you pass through the old ramparts, you’ll enter the Old City, a section of the city that could practically be a snapshot of the 18th century. Towering over the Old City is the Château Frontenac, among the last of the old “railway hotels” that served cross-continental travelers in style and luxury.
Make no mistake: Québec City is cold in the winter, and while the locals can speak a little English under protest, all signage and paperwork is primarily in French. If you have no tolerance for winter weather or foreign languages, this city shouldn’t be on your list. However, February’s annual Winter Carnival, with its elaborate ice palace, is a celebration unlike any other.
Blue Ridge Mountains
In the Northeast and Midwest, winter has a way of making the great outdoors not so great. After the Christmas lights come down, we’re left with bare trees, gray snowplow slush, and overcast skies—a bleak scene indeed. But spending some quality time with nature can perk up your spirits again.
Straddling Tennessee and Georgia, this picturesque section of the Appalachian range is a comfortable, scenic place to get away from it all. After the commercial craze of the holiday season, some quality time in a cabin in the mountains can really help you recenter yourself.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Whether you want to visit relatives, catch spring training, or simply log hours in the hotel pool, Phoenix is the premier vacation destination of the Southwest. That doesn’t mean it’s the only one, though. To its east, New Mexico’s capital combines Pueblo architecture, art-colony culture, and occasional big snowfalls, making Santa Fe one of the more underrated winter vacation destinations in North America. Skiing, sledding, and snowboarding are all on the menu, while back in town, delicious food is on the menu, too. Whether you go with red or green chiles, you’ll warm back up in a hurry.