Roaring fires. Hot toddies. Cheeks flushed with the cold. If you live in a temperate city, or one where the pure driven snow quickly turns to pure driven slush, you are apt to romanticize these winter hallmarks. Thankfully, myriad destinations—both domestic and farther afield—deliver on the season.
In the Northeast, Stowe, Vermont, remains as sweet and approachable as it did when good-life photographer Slim Aarons snapped shots of skiers in the 1960s. Out West, swaggering Jackson Hole, Wyoming, beckons backcountry exploration, while idyllic Telluride, Colorado, suggests it may be prudent to purchase a mountain home there. In Italy, Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, takes the cake. Do as the Italians do and pop off your skis for a Michelin-starred lunch break. Elsewhere in Europe, the Christmas spirit abounds in Germany. Nuremberg houses a market that is best explored at night, with a mug of hot-spiced glühwein in hand.
And there is no shortage of options for adventurers who prefer to explore on foot. Take advantage of the off-season in Lhasa, Tibet, with (relatively) few tourists. Or book a trip to Antarctica—the ultimate bucket-list destination. White Desert, an outfitter founded by Arctic explorers, replicates scientists’ routes for travelers—and gives an entirely different take on winter. Bundle up.