Winter is upon us! Time to wrap up some last-minute holiday shopping, see friends and family, and to embrace (or maybe fly away from) the cold weather! I want to make sure you know of some great places to celebrate the season from around the world.
Whether traveling solo or with company, these places are sure to represent all the time of year has to offer, from outdoor activities to unique holiday celebrations! Pack your bags, and enjoy a trip across the globe – here are this year’s Top 5 Winter Vacation Spots.
This is a place for those that enjoy the cold, as the average temperature in the city runs about 44 degrees (or 7 degrees Celsius) this time of year. And though travel rates to this city rise around December, there are few better places to go if you want to spend the best of the holiday season in a city known for its unique cultural offerings, incredible history, and stunning architecture.
You’ll find the roofs of shops decorated with Christmas lights, people enjoying skating at one of the many outdoor ice rinks, and seasonal celebrations at world-famous places like the Kew Botanical Gardens and The Royal Albert Hall.
Why not enjoy a performance of A Christmas Carol at the historic Old Vic, or The Nutcracker at the London Coliseum? Events like Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland and Hogwarts in the Snow (see Harry Potter film sets decorated for winter!) last until January.
America’s national parks, from Denali to Yellowstone, offer a range of incredible outdoor winter experiences. If you’re looking to visit one of the country’s breathtaking natural wonders without the traditional crowds, look no further than the Grand Canyon.
The combination of Arizona sunlight with the yearly snowfall gives the canyon a unique majesty not seen during the other seasons. Although the North Rim is closed during winter, the canyon’s hallmark Mule Trips are offered year-round at the South Rim.
Hermit Road and Desert View Drive are open to private vehicles during this time of year for scenic trips, along with many hiking paths and cross-country ski-trails. There are plenty of lodging options at the South Rim, which also offer free shuttle buses to visitors during the winter.
There’s probably not a more singular winter experience than staying at a Swiss chalet. Zermatt, a world-renown ski destination, offers a variety of lodging, dining, and recreational options for winter travelers. Nestled at the foot of the Matterhorn (the mountain that inspired the Disney ride), Zermatt offers visitors a unique trans-national opportunity to ski the mountains of Switzerland and Italy.
And there’s plenty for non-skiers to do. Visits to the Matterhorn’s Glacier Palace and Gornergat’s Fondue Under the Stars are highlights. Tourists can also enjoy shopping at boutique stores, visits to wellness spas, and bowling, in addition to the many terrific cafes, restaurants, and tea rooms in the village.
Palm Springs has marketed itself as an oasis for travelers, with a perennially mild climate and a variety of signature activities, including art crawls, architecture tours, and horseback riding. Those looking to experience a winter wonderland in this atmosphere should look no further than Wildlights at the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, where holiday lights are beautifully arranged throughout the park.
Frosty Fest at the Palm Desert Civic Center and Merry Movie Nights in the Gardens at El Paseo offer cultural offerings that are unique to the season. Beyond the New Year, visitors can enjoy the world-class Palm Springs International Film Festival, which brings the previous year’s best in cinema and notable artists from around the world to the region.
Christmas fans rejoice! If you’re looking to immerse yourself in the spirit of the holidays, this is the place to do it! Rovaniemi, the capital of this Finnish province, attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors in December, all thanks to its famous Santa Claus Village.
Initially constructed in haste after Eleanor Roosevelt allegedly remarked she wanted to see Santa Claus during her visit, this incredible place has claimed itself to be the official hometown of St. Nick. Although open year-round, there’s nothing quite like traveling to this special destination during the winter for a seasonal celebration.
Reindeer rides, ice skating, snowmobile tours, and sledding are only a few of the activities offered, which visitors can do in between trips to an on-site husky park and petting zoo! Tourists hoping to visit Mr. and Mrs. Claus will not be disappointed and can even participate in arts and crafts with the local elves!
Adding to the magical experience, Santa Claus Village also offers lodging and activities to better view the phenomena of the Arctic Circle that falls across the region, which includes the famous Northern Lights.
These Top 5 Winter Vacation Spots should hit all the right notes when it comes to celebrating the best of the season. At these destinations, you can find plenty of activities to do, often in a festive atmosphere that evokes the traditional end-of-year spirit. Happy Holidays and be sure to visit us for more Top 5 Winter Vacation Spots in 2022!
Where are you spending the winter season this year? Why did you choose that destination? If you had the opportunity, which of the 5 places mentioned above would you go to for the holidays?