For some, a winter vacation means snow and skiing. For others, it means escaping to warmer climates for sun and sand. Fortunately, there are vacation destinations with any type of weather for any budget. Whether you are looking for an affordable family escape or a luxurious couple getaway, our list offers multiple options.
With the coronavirus pandemic still raging, it’s important to check travel restrictions for international and interstate travel. State and local mandates vary widely, and even the rules between venues can differ. Some concert halls and sports arenas require proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test prior to entry, while others have no restrictions. Some places require masks while others don’t.
In addition to reviewing mask mandates, you’ll want to consider the region’s current practices. Are residents still mostly wearing masks, even where they aren’t mandated? If traveling to a region where people have stopped the practice makes you nervous or uncomfortable, consider a destination with stricter regulations.
In 2022 it’s more important than ever to plan in advance so that you can make sure all members of your party meet the requirements for COVID testing or vaccines. Check back often – even up to the day before your trip – to be sure restrictions haven’t changed.
As of winter 2022, there are no COVID-related travel restrictions for passengers within the U.S. – vaccinated or unvaccinated – although the CDC strongly recommends being fully vaccinated before embarking on a plane trip. Masks are required, except while eating or drinking, on airplanes and within U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and train stations.
These details don’t have to detract from the enjoyment of a well-planned getaway to one of these top winter destinations. It’s just a matter of being prepared for your adventure and being flexible with your plans.
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Camelback Resort, Poconos
If you’re looking for the perfect combination of a tropical climate (84 degrees year-round) and exciting winter sports amidst a mountainous backdrop, Camelback Lodge and Aquatopia Indoor waterpark in Tannersville, PA, in the Poconos has it all for families, couples, and friends.
The resort includes easy access to skiing and snowtubing and, weather permitting, zipline courses and a steel-track mountain coaster. Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark includes 13 water slides for thrillseekers, large water play areas for children, a wave pool, and one of the most fun, themed out (if not the fastest) lazy rivers in the region.
Plenty of additional entertainment opportunities, including virtual reality gaming, an arcade, and multiple dining options from pizza to fine Italian dining, round out the offerings.
You can find more places to stay in Pennsylvania and book your travel at Expedia.
If a winter getaway for you means skiing, there’s no better place than the resort Forbes dubbed “the King of American Ski Resorts,” in Vail, Colorado. For skiers, the resort offers seven back bowls ranging from beginner level to double black bowl terrain. The resort is also friendly to snowboarders.
What makes Vail stand out amongst other excellent northwest ski resorts across Colorado and in Utah is the village spanning the length of the mountain and encompassing four neighborhoods, each with multiple choices in world-class hotels, dining, and spas. If you’re looking to blend the best skiing with a luxury experience, consider Vail this winter.
Travel & Leisure recently ranked Nashville as one of the most affordable winter vacations. Although temps can drop down to below freezing, they tend to hover in the 40s or 50s, making Nashville perfect if you want to escape freezing temperatures in the northern or midwestern states. You can plan an entire week at Gaylord Opryland Resort, & Convention Center, appreciating the indoor gardens – they span nine acres! – watching the dancing fountains, and even take a riverboat tour within the hotel. Most of the best attractions in Nashville are indoors, including the adjacent Opryland Mills Mall, the Country Music Hall of Fame, and the Grand Ole Opry House.
Check out more package options at Travelocity and Booking.com.
As ski towns go, Stowe, Vermont, rivals Vail, Colorado, offering a ton of winter sports. Of course, there is skiing and snowboarding but you can also enjoy snowmobiling, fat biking, ice fishing, ice skating, and even dog sledding!
The Lodge at Spruce Peak is a luxurious, yet convenient place to stay thanks to its ski-in / ski-out location and proximity to amenities in the ski village of Stowe. Apres ski, dine in one of the private igloos on the property, enjoy cocktails at the WhistlePig Pavillion, or indulge in sushi at the Mansfield Terrace Sushi Bar.
Big Sky, Montana
It wouldn’t be a winter getaway round-up without a mention of mountainously gorgeous Montana. Big Sky features some of the best skiing in the region, along with dogsledding snowmobiling, and other outdoor adventures.
For something different après ski, OprahDaily.com recommends the Sleigh Ride Dinner at Lone Mountain Ranch, where you can enjoy a prime rib dinner in a remote cabin.
Monticello, New York boasts an array of indoor and outdoor activities year-round. Book your getaway at the The Kartrite Indoor Waterpark for daytime fun with the family. Then venture next door to Resorts World Catskills for dining, gambling, and entertainment. Even though there’s a chill in the air in upstate New York, so it’s the perfect time to go ice skating at Kutsher’s Ice Skating Rink. Monticello is highly accessible from five major airports, with the closest being Stewart International in Newburgh.
If you’re looking to get out of the cold, consider a jaunt to Naples, Florida, where the relaxed atmosphere and sun-kissed beaches will help you quickly forget the stress of the holidays and winter storms. Watch the sunset from Naples Pier, dip your toes in the Gulf of Mexico, and shop on Fifth Avenue South. It’s all in a day of play on what locals call the “Paradise Coast.”
Whether you’re seeking sun, sand and surf, or skiing and sightseeing, you’ll find it across the U.S. With the hassles of international travel right now, it may be best to plan a winter getaway domestically and save your money to travel to foreign shores at another time.