It’s true that the temptation to hibernate until winter’s end is difficult to resist. And when we’re actually motivated to pack our bags and head out of town, the siren song of warmer weather often wins. Yet we’d argue there’s a sensible approach to winter travel: What if we set out to visit destinations that are actually improved by the chill? Places with snow-covered paths, piping hot chocolate, wood-burning fireplaces and old-timey sleigh rides. The kinds of places Santa Claus might visit on frequent-flier miles.
With this in mind, we found a surprising number of honest-to-goodness winter wonderlands. The best international spa in Prague is tucked inside a Renaissance chapel. Switzerland’s premier chef is just steps away from an ice-skating rink. Ski destinations in Park City, Breckenridge and Deer Valley are heating up their services; those cities also have you covered if you only après-ski. If you are a snowboarder, Japan is where it’s at. If you are a shopper, venture to New York. And adventures can often be had via seasonal transportation. Ride a snowcat in Oregon to reach a memorable meal, or board a train in London.
Herewith, ten destinations worth escaping to when the temperature drops. Whatever you do, don’t let summer have all the fun.