Top Winter Wonderlands You Have To Visit!


Winter Wonderlands | Expedia

When winter comes, some people simply hunker down by the fire, counting down the days to their tropical vacation or better yet, a spring thaw. But not you! There are a special bunch of people out there that live for the winter season – from powdery, fluffy snowfalls to zipping down ski slopes to viewing breathtaking ice sculptures and taking in natural wonders like the Northern Lights. Even for winter haters, there’s plenty to love about the chilliest season, especially if you build a trip around it!

Instead of going the typical tropical route when vacation planning for the upcoming year, why not embrace winter and all it has to offer? Here are some incredible wintery destinations to make memories happen – plus right now you can save up to 35% on your hotel stay when you book through Expedia!

Expedia’s Escape Sale, now through December 29. Save up to 35% off select hotels.

Whistler, British Columbia, Canada

Expedia | Aava Whistler Hotel
Aava Whistler Hotel
Winter and Canada go together like hot chocolate and marshmallows. While there are dozens of amazing wintery experiences to be had (like dining at a pop-up outdoor restaurant on a frozen river in Winnipeg or visiting the world’s largest outdoor spa in the nation’s capital, Ottawa), Whistler is one of Canada’s premier winter destinations. With amazing winter sports, a charming town to explore, and beautiful resorts to stay at – like the eco-friendly Aava Whistler Hotel – it’s a winter lover’s paradise.

Park City, Utah

Park City Utah

In general, cities that have hosted Winter Olympics tend to be fine destinations for those booking a true winter holiday. Utah’s Park City has great alternatives to skiing; a visit to Utah Olympic Park will give you the chance to try speeding down a bobsled course like the pros. Other outdoorsy options include snowshoeing, snowmobiling, ice skating, and more. Plus there are plenty of family-friendly resorts to choose from that’ll keep all ages occupied.

Saariselka, Finland

Finland
Northern Lights Village
If you’ve never witness the majesty of a sky bursting with the Northern Lights, it’s a total bucket list experience. Finland is one of the best destinations in the world to catch these swirling, shifting pieces of sky art – so much so, the rooms at Northern Lights Village are specifically designed with sweeping vertical windows to give you an amazing light show as you drift off to sleep.

Ouray, Colorado

Colorado

Nearby Telluride gets a lot of winter love (it hosts the Sundance Film Festival) in Colorado, but Ouray is a fantastic alternative for those who want to get outdoors and breathe in some fresh mountain air. Climb majestic ice walls at the Ouray Ice Park, sip hot cocoa at the Ouray Ice Festival, and be sure to take a dip in the nearby Ouray Hot Springs Pool before settling into your rustic lodge for the night.

Bruges, Belgium

Belgium
Not every wintery holiday has to be centered around ski hills. Bruges is charming year-round, but manages to feel extra festive in the winter well past the holidays. Explore charming gingerbread-inspired architecture and medieval buildings, gaze at gorgeous snow sculptures, and while you’re at it, book a room at a castle-like hotel for a fantastical stay.

Harbin, China

China
China might not immediately conjure up visions of ice and snow, but don’t forget – Beijing will play host to the 2022 Winter Olympics! In the meantime, book a trip to Harbin, China for the world’s largest ice sculpture festival. While in town, indulge in other unique experiences like winter swimming in the Songhua River or ice fishing. Be sure to look for a hotel that’s nice and close to the festival so you can arrive on foot for the highest impact!

Saint-Gabriel-de-Valcartier, Quebec, Canada

Canada
Hôtel de Glace
This particular destination is all about the hotel. Namely, the Hotel de Glace, a resort made entirely out of ice. With amazing restaurants and a nightclub on site, this stunning hotel is perfect for a romantic weekend away or a once in a lifetime stay with the family. It’s located just 10 minutes outside of Quebec City, one of Canada’s oldest cities that offers plenty of francophone charm and European-inspired flair.

Reykjavik, Iceland

Iceland

Although Iceland has famously been running marketing campaigns to highlight they’re more than just a land of quite literal ice, there’s no denying how amazing this place is in the winter. February is an ideal time to visit with the city’s annual Winter Lights Festival taking place. Don’t forget about glacier walks, swimming in geothermal pools, and volcano tours for other distinctive experiences. While indulging in Nordic culture, try staying at a hotel in a trendy district that embraces the region’s minimalist aesthetic.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Wyoming
Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole
Ranked as America’s top ski resort for 2018 by Forbes magazine, the mile high piles of snow throughout this wintery wonderland are any ski bunny’s dream come true. With a new gondola, plus some of the most striking scenery to breeze by as you carve down the slopes, Jackson Hole is a must-visit destination for winter sports enthusiasts. Hotel options vary, but for the most authentic luxury experience, see if you can nab a room at the Four Seasons resort located at the base of the ski hill.

Copenhagen, Denmark

Denmark

If getting warm and cozy in the winter is your style, then why not head to the birthplace of Hygge? This Danish movement emphasizes all things cuddly and inviting, and many of the city’s hotels – like the charming Avenue Hotel – are following suit. For an offbeat excursion, try out one of the region’s famed home dining experiences, where a host Danish family will serve you up dinner like one of their own.


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