Winter is thought of in so many ways. An exciting adventure to find the tallest, most alluring slopes to ski down. An opportunity to curl up on the couch in front of a roaring fire whilst watching old school holiday movies all day. Or some people see it as an annoyingly cold, unappealing season that they just want to escape from to find the sun!
Whether you love the frosty air and snow on the ground or the blazing sunshine and a beautiful beach, out there is your ideal winter vacay. Going on vacation in winter has many perks, one of which being, depending where you go, prices drop during the winter months due to lower demand. Winter also brings with it a unique opportunity to visit some magical winter wonderlands or winter festivals which take place all across the US.
Here are 5 interesting vacation ideas for you to consider this winter!
Chase the Aurora Borealis
Perhaps better known as the Northern Lights, the aurora borealis is an amazing phenomenon where particles from the Sun collide with those in the Earth’s atmosphere to create a uniquely beautiful display of lights. Now most people travel to somewhere like Iceland or Finland to see this natural beauty, however, you might be please to know you don’t need to travel quite so far; the aurora borealis can also be seen from various places in Canada. Although the lights are usually a green/yellow color, if you’re lucky you might catch an even more unique sight and see some red, blue or purple lights too.
If you want to see this natural wonder, you can head to Yellowknife in Northwest Territories, Iqaluit in Nunavut, Northern Labrador in Newfoundland and Labrador or the Canadian Rockies in Alverta and British Columbia. These are just four places that are said to be amazing view points for the lights. If you’re a big nature fan, I would recommend viewing the lights in Northern Labrador. The scenery is said to be stunning and, thanks to it being largely untouched, even pristine. While you’re there why not give snowmobiling a go across the 1,500 km of trails or have a go at some winter fishing or hunting!
Ultimately, as long as the sky is dark and clear, anywhere you go to view the Northern Lights will be breathtaking so lie back in your (preferably thermal) sleeping bag and soak up this gorgeous, environmental phenomenon.
Hike the Beautiful Sequoia National Park Trail
Okay, continuing the theme of beautiful scenery, another vacation option for you this winter is taking a trip to California, the Sequoia National Park to be specific. This national park is nestled in the southern mountains, Sierra Nevada and is home to the grand Sequoia tree. These trees really are a sight to see and that’s just what you can do by taking any one off the walking trails. The trails are ideal in the later winter months as wildflowers start to overtake the foothills of the park.
If you want to reach Marble Falls, a breathtaking waterfall, then you’ll have to weave up the mountain canyon up to 2,400 feet in elevation. The trail is about 8 miles long but is only moderately difficult, so most reasonably fit people should be able to handle it and the view once you get to the top will be undeniably worth it. Well, what are you waiting for? Get those hiking boots on and go breathe in the freshest air you can imagine.
Meet Father Christmas in Lapland!
Winter is synonymous with Christmas for most people. The second Halloween is over, the Christmas countdown begins, stores put up their decorations and cities turn the Christmas lights switch on. Some people love this and others, not so much, to put it politely. Well, if you love winter, Christmas and all the magic that it entails then this might be the vacation trip for you this winter. You can actually visit the “real” Father Christmas in Lapland!
If you have children, you’ll know how exciting this time of year is and not just for them, but for you too! There’s just nothing like a child’s belief in magic and miracles over the Christmas period. Well there’s no better way to celebrate the holidays this year then heading over to Lapland for some reindeer sleigh rides, fairytale adventures and of course, a lot of Christmas singing! You can book several tours to Lapland for you and your family which vary in price and activities. Although this will undoubtedly be a magical trip, it will set you back a fair few bucks. Expect to pay around $1,500 per adult for an all-inclusive break that includes accommodation, food, tours and meeting the big guy himself.
Of course, if you’re working on a smaller budget you can book your flights, accommodation and day trips separately which will work out cheaper!
Check Out Colorado’s Winter Music Festival
Usually, music festivals are reserved for the hot summer months but not this one. MusicFest at Steamboat Springs, Colorado, is an awesome music festival that takes place between January 4 and January 9, 2018. This festival combines two loves; music and skiing, so grab your skis or snowboard and get ready to enjoy over 50 bands and live performances across 6 glorious days. Some of the acts include Cody Canada & The Departed, Lee Ann Womack, Jack Ingram and Dirty River Boys, just to name a few.
If you want to enjoy the music festival here, but are not much of a snowboarder or skier, then don’t panic! Why not go for a snowmobile ride, take a dip in the hot springs, go for a dog sled ride or even enjoy the spectacular views from a hot air balloon! There’s tons of other activities to enjoy at Steamboat Springs other than skiing.
Soak up the Sun in Costa Rica
Cold weather is not for everyone! It’s just a fact. If you had to be too hot or too cold which would you choose? I would choose too hot any day of the year. I just love the feeling of the warm sun on my face and not having to worry about layering up with 3 jumpers, a scarf and 2 pairs of gloves whilst also clutching a thermal flask full of hot coffee. If you love the heat just as much as I do, then you’ll be dying to vacation somewhere hot this winter and I have the answer for you; Costa Rica!
Costa Rica is quite a popular place in the winter for vacationers, thanks to its almost constant temperature of between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. December to April are the best months to visit as this is during dry season, which is perfect for those wishing to escape the harsh winter months at home. There are plenty of resorts in Costa Rica if your idea of an ideal vacation is relaxation and rejuvenation.
If your idea of fun is exploring new places and seeing the nature of each country, then you’ll be pleased to know Costa Rica is rich in interesting exploration spots. Most notably, the country is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, which actually sounds quite terrifying. What it means though, is that Costa Rica is rich in volcanoes, rivers, hot springs and waterfalls; a hiker’s dream!
So, whether you want a relaxing week away or a week to explore and take in nature, you’re almost guaranteed incredible weather in Costa Rica from December to April so go ahead and get booking!
And there you have it. Five awesome winter break ideas to consider in the upcoming months. Escape the cold or run towards it, it’s up to you!
With winter bearing in fast, you might feel like it eradicates all hope of a vacation until spring next year but you’re wrong! Grab a big jacket, some warm boots and your hand warmers and you’re good to go on any winter adventure!
Alternatively, dig out the sunscreen, sunglasses and beach towel and hit the warmer climate of South America or even Europe if you fancy a more distant international trip!
Whatever you decide to do with those last few days of annual leave, don’t forget you can check out reviews on TopProducts.com for almost anything you could need! Happy vacation!
Daisy Hubbuck, TopProducts Staff Writer