Winter can be a difficult time for outdoor enthusiasts, with the cold weather and snow seeming to keep us trapped indoors. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Don’t miss out on the beauty of the winter season – get outdoors and explore some of the best outdoor destinations in the USA. Whether you’re looking for a winter hike, a spot to ski or snowboard, or just a scenic view, there’s something for everyone. So, let’s escape the indoors and explore 6 great outdoor destinations for winter.
1) Skiing in Colorado
If you’re looking for some serious winter adventure, Colorado is the place to be. Known for its world-class skiing, the state boasts some of the most popular ski resorts in the USA. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out, you’re sure to find the perfect slopes to suit your skill level.
Some of the most popular ski resorts in Colorado include Vail, Breckenridge, Aspen, and Telluride. Each of these destinations offers a unique ski experience, with plenty of amenities and attractions to keep you entertained off the slopes as well.
In addition to skiing and snowboarding, many of these resorts also offer other winter activities, such as snowshoeing, ice skating, and sledding. So, if you’re looking for an all-around winter vacation, Colorado should be at the top of your list.
Just remember, the weather can be unpredictable in Colorado during the winter, so be sure to pack appropriately and stay up to date on weather alerts before hitting the slopes. And, as always, remember to ski or snowboard safely and wear the appropriate gear to stay warm and protected from the elements.
2) Ice Skating in New York City
There’s something truly magical about ice skating in New York City during the winter months. The city is already beautiful, but the added sparkle of the holiday lights and the buzz of the holiday season make the experience even more special.
One of the most iconic places to ice skate in New York City is at the Rockefeller Center. The famous ice rink is set against the backdrop of the towering Christmas tree, making for an unforgettable experience. Be prepared for crowds, as this is a popular tourist destination, but it’s worth it for the quintessential NYC winter experience.
If you’re looking for a more local and less crowded spot to skate, try the Wollman Rink in Central Park. The rink is surrounded by stunning views of the park, making for a picturesque scene. Plus, the rink offers skating lessons and a snack bar for when you need a break.
Another great option is the Bryant Park Winter Village, which features not only a skating rink but also vendors selling holiday treats and gifts. The rink itself is free to use, with only skate rentals requiring a fee.
No matter which ice skating spot you choose in New York City, be sure to bundle up and enjoy the magic of the holiday season in one of the world’s greatest cities.
3) Winter Hiking in Arizona’s Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon is one of the most famous natural wonders in the world, attracting millions of visitors every year. While it is a popular summer destination, it can be just as beautiful and enjoyable during the winter months. Winter hiking in the Grand Canyon is an experience that should not be missed, and here are some reasons why:
– Fewer crowds: One of the best things about visiting the Grand Canyon in the winter is the lack of crowds. During peak summer months, the trails can be crowded and noisy. But in the winter, you can hike for hours without encountering anyone else. This means you can enjoy the natural beauty and tranquility of the canyon without any distractions.
– Stunning views: The Grand Canyon is known for its breathtaking views, and these views are even more spectacular during the winter months. The snow-covered cliffs and trees make for a stunning contrast against the blue sky and red rocks. And since the air is crisp and clear, you can see for miles.
– Cooler temperatures: The summer heat in the Grand Canyon can be oppressive, but in the winter, temperatures are much more manageable. This makes hiking much more comfortable and enjoyable. Just be sure to bring warm layers and good boots, as it can still get chilly in the canyon.
– Unique experiences: Winter hiking in the Grand Canyon offers a unique experience that you can’t get in the summer. For example, you may be able to see ice formations in the rocks, and the sunsets can be even more dramatic. You may also see wildlife that you wouldn’t see in the summer, such as elk or bighorn sheep.
Before you head out on a winter hike in the Grand Canyon, be sure to check the weather and trail conditions. Some trails may be closed or difficult to navigate in the winter. It’s also important to bring plenty of water, snacks, and warm clothing. But with a little preparation, winter hiking in the Grand Canyon can be a truly unforgettable experience.
4) Snowmobiling in Wyoming’s Yellowstone National Park
For those looking for an adrenaline-filled winter adventure, snowmobiling in Wyoming’s Yellowstone National Park is a must-try experience. The park covers more than 2.2 million acres, and snowmobiling allows visitors to cover vast distances and see a variety of unique and awe-inspiring sights.
Yellowstone offers more than 400 miles of groomed snowmobiling trails and nearly 150 miles of off-trail terrain for experienced riders. While on the trails, you’ll have the opportunity to see herds of bison and elk, beautiful hot springs, and snow-covered trees.
One of the most popular snowmobiling destinations is the Old Faithful Geyser Basin. Riding a snowmobile through this area in the winter is a completely different experience than visiting in the summer. The steaming geysers, hot springs, and bubbling mud pots create an otherworldly atmosphere that can only be appreciated in the colder months.
To ensure a safe and enjoyable experience, it’s important to hire a licensed snowmobile tour guide. These guides are experienced in navigating the trails and can provide insight into the park’s natural features. They’ll also ensure that you stay safe and follow all the park’s rules and regulations.
If you’re interested in visiting Yellowstone National Park during the winter, snowmobiling is just one of the many outdoor activities available. With its snow-covered landscapes and stunning vistas, it’s an adventure that you won’t soon forget.
5) Winter Beaches in Florida
Florida may be known for its hot and sunny weather, but don’t overlook it during the winter months. In fact, Florida’s beaches during the winter are a great destination for anyone looking to escape the colder temperatures up north.
While the water may not be as warm as during the summer months, the beaches are still beautiful and inviting. Plus, there are often fewer crowds and cheaper accommodations during the off-season.
Some of the best winter beaches in Florida include:
- Clearwater Beach – Known for its crystal-clear water and soft sand, Clearwater Beach is a must-visit destination any time of year.
- Siesta Key – Voted the number one beach in America by TripAdvisor, Siesta Key is a stunning white sand beach that’s perfect for a winter day.
- Sanibel Island – This island paradise boasts over 15 miles of beaches and is famous for its unique seashells.
- Key West – The southernmost point in the continental U.S., Key West is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Florida, with crystal-clear water and tropical breezes.
Whether you’re looking to relax in the sun or enjoy some water sports, Florida’s winter beaches are a perfect destination. So, pack your bags, grab your sunscreen, and head to one of these amazing beaches for a winter escape that’s sure to be unforgettable.
6) Northern Lights in Alaska
For those seeking a truly breathtaking outdoor winter experience, Alaska is the ultimate destination. The state’s Northern Lights are a natural wonder that has captivated visitors for years. The best time to see them is during the winter months when the dark, clear skies make the lights more visible.
Fairbanks is the best city to visit if you want to see the Northern Lights. It’s located in the heart of the Aurora Oval, which is an area of high magnetic activity that creates the lights. Visitors can take guided tours that include transportation, knowledgeable guides, and cozy viewing locations complete with hot drinks to keep you warm. There are even opportunities to witness the Northern Lights from the comfort of your own private hot tub!
Aside from Fairbanks, other cities in Alaska offer incredible views of the Northern Lights, such as Anchorage and Juneau. Make sure to plan your trip during the months of September to April for the best chance of catching a glimpse of this amazing natural phenomenon.
If you’re looking for an outdoor adventure that is truly magical, witnessing the Northern Lights in Alaska is a must-see experience. Don’t miss your chance to be surrounded by the beauty of the Aurora Borealis this winter.
A Quick Wrap
So there you have it, folks! Winter doesn’t have to mean hibernating indoors until spring arrives. There are plenty of outdoor destinations across the United States where you can enjoy the winter wonderland. Whether you’re a fan of skiing or snowmobiling, ice skating or hiking, winter beaches or the northern lights, there’s something for everyone. So pack your warm clothes, grab your sense of adventure, and head out into the great outdoors this winter season!