Winter is a time when, in places where it snows, the natural world takes on a magical appearance, hence the expression Winter Wonderland. Some towns and resorts dress it up even further to attract visitors. Here are the 10 best winter wonderland destinations in no particular order in the U.S.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Jackson Hole is near two of the most famous national parks in the country, Yellowstone and Grand Teton. It is a center for a variety of outdoor activities, but in winter, the rugged mountains offer one of the most spectacular sights in the world. Wildlife is also abundant in the area and visitors can see it in its natural habitat on all-terrain tours.
Yosemite Valley was carved out of solid granite and the glacier knife marks are still there. In winter, the snow enhances the grandeur and some of the many waterfalls freeze in mid-air.
One of the world’s favorite ski resorts, Aspen is a small town with a lot of history. Often frequented by celebrities, this is a wonderland for people who like the après ski as much as the outdoor activities.
The Grand Canyon, Arizona
The canyon offers spectacular views at any time of the year, but the sprinkling of snow it gets in the winter adds a touch like icing on a layer cake that few people see. A special Polar Express operates during the winter where visitors can experience a different perspective of this wonderland.
Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
Pigeon Forge and other small towns in East Tennessee offer another style of winter wonderland with dazzling light displays, gorgeous Smokey Mountain scenery and lots of family activities.
New York, New York
New York offers the big city winter experience like no other. With skating in Central Park, the giant Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center and other seasonal activities throughout the city, it’s worth seeing.
The White Mountains in northern New Hampshire offer picturesque views and excellent skiing. The whole area is a winter wonderland with outdoor activities, amusement parks, covered bridges, sleigh rides, antiques and much more.
A small town known as the Switzerland of America, it is located on the Million Dollar Highway, which is famous for its forest scenery and views of the San Juan Mountains. Visitors enjoy the natural hot springs and the Ice Festival that is suitable for ice climbers and observers alike.
Traverse City, Michigan
Most of Michigan is beautiful in the winter, but Traverse City combines the winter scenery with excellent restaurants, microbreweries and other culinary pleasures. It also has one of the best coastal drives in the country along Lake Michigan.
For people who live with snow and ice half the year, the sun and sand of the beaches in Miami offer a fantastic winter wonderland. The weather is pleasantly cool and far from the sweltering heat of the summer. The traffic is much less in the winter, but if you stay near South Beach you can walk everywhere without worrying about heat stroke.
The definition of a winter wonderland varies for most people, which is why this list covers a broad spectrum of sights. Sparkling lights, fairy tale trees and fantastic skiing or snowboarding are just a few of the things to look forward to on a winter vacation.