People don’t have to love skiing, snowboarding or any other sport that requires snow to enjoy the winter. Vacationing at a ski lodge, relaxing at a day spa, taking long walks surrounded by snow, or enjoying some fresh air can be an exhilarating experience by itself.
The outdoor vibe of mountain towns – popular or lesser-known – gives you energy like nothing else. They offer plenty of (safe but unbelievable) adventures. Winter often has a way of making towns look gloomy and depressing but certain places seem to be immune to that effect.
If you plan a relaxing vacation but don’t want to miss out on all the fun the winter has to offer, here is a list of cities in the U.S. you should check out.
1. Aspen, Colorado
This city has it all – secluded resorts, bustling nightlife, and the Aspen Mountain all around it. Many experienced skiers prefer it for the quality of its slopes, but non-skiers can enjoy outdoor heated pools, hot tubs, horseback riding, or hiking. A lot of the region surrounding Aspen is public land and part of the White River National Forest. For those of you who are more art-oriented, the city has a lot of cultural activities scheduled. One of them is Aspen Santa Fe Ballet’s “The Nutcracker.”
If it happened to be too cold outside, even though Aspen has 300 sunny days a year, don’t hibernate in the hotel. The Aspen Recreation Center offers swimming, skating, rock-climbing and many other games. The Center for Environmental Studies is another famous attraction. People can sign up for wildlife workshops, go a winter snowshoe walk, or meet “America’s bird” – the bald eagle.
2. Stowe, Vermont
If you are looking for scenic attractions you can visit by walking and not skiing, go to the Frozen Bingham Falls. It’s a fairly easy hike. Stowe fits everyone’s notion of a relaxing winter getaway. This is the place to go on a sled pulled by Alaska huskies. If you want to experience the mountain after dark, go on one of the many night tours through the beautiful landscape. The locals’ favorite bar is the Rusty Nail Bar & Grille because of its sunken dance floor and live music. Visit the Vermont Ski Museum if you’re curious about the history of ski fashion, or go on a carriage ride through the woods.
3. Lewisberg, West Virginia
This is an up and coming winter destination. Unlike many other cities in West Virginia, Lewisberg has a lot of young residents. The cultural life in the city is getting richer. Galleries are opening, music events are being scheduled quite often – all of that on the edge of the Monongahela National Forest. Locals’ favorite activities are mountain biking – but go to the Greenbrier State Forest which has an easier terrain than the Monongahela – and fly fishing on the Greenbrier River. It’s common knowledge that tourists should start their visit on the first Friday of each month when shops and galleries open with wine tastings.