Anthony Lakes yurt
Anthony Lakes yurt
(Photo: Davin Hanson)

The 25 Best Winter Trips in the World


Surfing in Baja. Summit-to-sea skiing in Alaska. Hiking in Death Valley. There’s no shortage of epic adventures to be had in winter. We’ve rounded up our favorite trips to make sure you get your fill of thrills.


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Whether you’re craving snow or sun, we’ve got you covered. We scoured North America, the Caribbean, and Mexico to come up with close-to-home destinations brimming with fun for any type of traveler—from slopeside lodging to vintage Airstreams to timeless backcountry huts. Enjoy.

Explore the Caribbean Island That Time Forgot

Palm tree on Bequia Island.
(Photo: NAPA74/iStock)

Bequia is the destination for people who are tired of the same old beach vacation. First off, it’s an island few have heard of and most people mispronounce (bek-way, if you really want to know). There are just 5,000 people that live on the seven-square-mile spit of land, and the locals treat visitors as if they’re hosting a family friend. They’ll drive you around in the back of their pickup, take you to the island’s ramshackle turtle nursery, or chat with you about life on the only island in the Caribbean that still has an aboriginal whale hunt each year. The volcanic island has just a handful of hotels, the newest of which is the Liming Bequia (from $550), an upscale resort that feels more like staying at a family compound than a five-star retreat, thanks to its size—just nine villas, currently—and the island’s overall small-town vibe. During the day, hike Bequia’s highest peak for a bird’s eye view of the stunning Princess Margaret Beach (named after the royal when she visited in the 1950s), or charter a boat for the 30-minute ride to the private island of Mustique, where you can swim with turtles and snag lunch at Basil’s Bar, a Caribbean cult favorite lunch spot. But the allure of Bequia is just being there, relishing in the warm blue waters and that end-of-the-world feel that comes from a place that’s closer to Venezuela than Puerto Rico and gets hit with the occasional dust cloud drifting over from the Sahara. It feels adventurous, even if you do just veg out on the beach. —Ryan Krogh

Hike to a Lodge on California’s Coast

West Point Inn in California
(Photo: Courtesy West Point Inn)

If you like the idea of backpacking to a beautiful, remote place to spend the night, but you don’t love the notion of sleeping on the ground, let us introduce you to West Point Inn (from $100), a rustic backcountry hotel with seven rooms and six cabins on a ridge atop California’s Mount Tamalpais, less than an hour north of San Francisco. To get to the inn, you’ll hike or bike two miles from Mount Tamalpais State Park, near the town of Mill Valley, on a path once used by a historic scenic railway. It’s just far enough to feel like you’ve earned a good night’s sleep, but not so far that you can’t bring the kids. The hotel, which was built in 1904 as a restaurant and pitstop for the railroad, has the charm of a backcountry hut but a few more amenitiesthink plush quilts and running water. You’ll still need to bring your own sheets and food and share a bathroom down the hall. But from the main porch you can enjoy unparalleled views of the Marin Headlands and the East Bay, as well as occasional sightings of the Golden Gate Bridge through the fog. In the winter, temperatures are still comfortable for daytime hiking and inn availability is much easier to snag. —Megan Michelson

Ski Summit to Sea in Alaska

Sea to ski alaska
(Photo: Nick D’Alessio)

When your ski lodge floats, it’s easy to escape the crowds and access untouched terrain. From February through May, Remarkable Adventures uses a 58-foot boat from Babkin Charters as its base for five- and seven-day trips exploring the deep fjords and towering peaks of Alaska’s Prince William Sound. Leg-burning descents are punctuated with incredible wildlife experiences, like spotting breaching orcas as you carve from summit to sea. Zodiacs ferry guides, guests, and gear ashore, and a stable maritime snowpack means it’s possible to drop into 40-degree slopes and bag runs ranging from 1,200 to 1,500 vertical feet. Last season, Warren Miller joined to film a segment for Winter Starts Now, premiering October 20. (Warren Miller Entertainment is part of Outside Inc., the same company that owns Outside.) “It’s true exploration,” says Remarkable Adventures founder and AMGA-certified ski guide Nick D’Alessio. “Most of this stuff has never been skied before.” It’s not just about the gnar, though. There’s plenty of lower-angle terrain for relaxed days, and on down days guests can ski the shoreline in search of otters, fish, or kayak. And unlike a hut trip, you won’t be roughing it. Après sessions might involve bacon-wrapped dates and beers around a beach bonfire. Plus, a chef keeps guests fueled with huevos rancheros in the morning and halibut tacos and just-baked cookies in the evenings. Starting at $4,000 per person for up to five people, including guide and meals. —Jen Murphy

Camp at a Colorado Backcountry Ski Area

Van parked at Bluebird in Colorado
(Photo: Justin Wilhelm)

Bluebird Backcountry is a no-frills ski area that opened in 2020 on private land outside of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. This isn’t your typical ski resort—you’ve got to earn your turns here. In lieu of crowded lift lines and fancy lodges, you’ll get guided backcountry outings, avalanche courses, pre-set skin tracks, warming huts, and a limited number of guests on the mountain each day. Twelve new trails are opening this winter, offering more than 1,200 acres of avalanche-managed terrain. Last winter, Bluebird began allowing camping two miles down the road from the base area in a designated zone known as Camp Bluebird. It’s a fun, communal spot to park your van alongside other backcountry skiers and riders. A season pass (from $249) includes five nights of free camping. Otherwise, day tickets start at $50 (reservations required) and an overnight campsite is $25 per vehicle. This is what skiing was like in the 70s. —M.M.

Go by Boat to a Barrier Island in Florida

Cayo Coast State Park
(Photo: Leon Kung)

Cayo Costa State Park is one of Florida’s largest and most stunning undeveloped barrier islands. The only way to get there is by boat or kayak. Captiva Cruises runs a ferry service (from $45) from Captiva Island to and from Cayo Costa. Or, for the experienced sea kayaker, it’s about a seven-mile paddle from island to island along the Great Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail. Pitch a tent or book a cabin from the state park’s campground (from $22)—winter temperatures here are ideal for camping, plus the mosquitoes are less prevalent. Collect shells from the nine miles of unspoiled beaches, spot sea turtles nesting, or fish for redfish, snook, and trout. Bikes and kayaks are available to rent from the camp store, and the island has six miles of hiking trails. Don’t miss Manatee Hole, a lagoon that’s full of the lovable marine mammals year-round, and paddling 20-minutes to dinner at Cabbage Key, on a namesake island, where the bar’s walls are lined with 60 years’ worth of dollar bills from previous customers. —M.M. 

Explore Yellowstone National Park

A Bison In a Field of Fog Near a Hot Spring in Yellowstone National Park
(Photo: LifeJourneys/iStock)

America’s oldest (established in 1872) and arguably most spectacular national park celebrates its 150th anniversary this winter. Yellowstone is pure magic in the snow, with all the steam from its bizarre geothermal features and far fewer people. In early November, most of the park’s roads close, leaving the pristine landscape to the elk and bison—and to cross-country skiers and snowshoers. Select roads re-open in mid-December to snowmobiles and snow coaches, providing unique access to Old Faithful, the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, and other iconic park sites, as well as enabling outfitters to run winter wildlife tours and photo safaris to capture sightings of bison, elk, and wolves. One historic in-park lodge remains open in winter: Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel (from $264), which is celebrating its 85th anniversary this year. The hotel completed a major renovation of its guest rooms and public spaces in late 2019, but staying here in the winter still feels like going back in time. —Jayme Moye 

Drink Craft Whiskey in Vermont

Vermont Mountain Inn
(Photo: Courtesy Mountain Inn Killington)

At the newly renovated Mountain Inn Killington (from $169; Ikon passholders get a discount on rooms), at the base of Killington Resort, the Killington Distillery is located just off the lobby. What does this mean? Well, for one, maple cask bourbon whiskey after a day on the slopes. In addition to tasty cocktails—try the maple old-fashioned or the spiked elderflower lemonade—the distillery also has pub fare perfect for the end of a big ski day, like truffle fries and flatbreads loaded with Cabot cheddar and fried onions. It’s the first so-called distillery hotel in New England, but you’ll find similar properties elsewhere, like Cantilever, near Minnesota’s Voyageurs National Park, the Distillery Inn in Marble, Colorado, and the Lodge at Blue Sky, near Park City, Utah, where High West Distillery shares the grounds. Wherever they may be located, this is a trend we can definitely get behind. —M.M.

Ride Your Gravel Bike in the Desert

Gravel riding in Arizona
(Photo: Courtesy Gravel House)

Need a break from the cold? Head just north of the Mexican border to the small town of Patagonia, Arizona, a place Velo News calls the “new gravel mecca.” Mid-winter, temperatures can be in the 60s, which is perfect for riding. Your home base for the weekend is the Gravel House (from $320), a vacation rental property run by a crew of endurance cyclists. The compound has a straw bale home that fits six comfortably, in addition to a quaint wooden studio that sleeps two. A fire pit and a fruit orchard with apples and peach trees are just outside the front door, and downtown Patagonia is a short walk away. Come for the Spirit World 100-mile gravel race, which takes place in early November, or sign up for the Gravel House’s guided gravel rides or wine tours by bike all winter long. Not into gravel riding? You can hike, trail run, or mountain bike a section of the 800-mile Arizona Trail, which passes through town. Patagonia is also only an hour from Tucson, which makes for an easy detour. —M.M.

Heli-ski in British Columbia

Canada heli-skiing
(Photo: CMH Heli-Skiing & Summer Adventures/Grant Gunderson)

British Columbia’s namesake mountain range is home to the world’s largest heli-skiing outfitter, Canadian Mountain Holidays (CMH), whose founder Hans Gmoser is widely credited with inventing the sport in the 1960s. This winter, CMH adds a 12th destination to its powder portfolio: 495,000 acres in the subrange known as the Purcells. Certified local guides will lead small groups of six skiers down high-alpine bowls and glaciers, and, at lower elevations, through some of the best tree-skiing in the region. CMH Purcell is the only CMH heli-skiing operation to offer short trips of one, two, or three days, and is the first without a backcountry lodge. Instead, guests stay in the nearby adventure hub of Golden, a three-hour drive from Calgary. The town just so happens to have its own world-class skiing, at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. Don’t miss dinner at 7,700 feet on top of a mountain at Eagles Eye Restaurant, or lunch at Bacchus Books & Café, serving healthy, homemade fare made by Katie Mitzel, a local backcountry cookbook celebrity. —Jayme Moye

Hike in Big Bend National Park, Texas

Woman hiking in Big Bend National Park, Texas, USA
(Photo: pchoui/iStock)

Winter temperatures in Big Bend National Park, in the far West corner of Texas, are mild, topping out at around 70 degrees in January and February. Which means you can check off the park’s longer trails—like the ten-mile round trip hike to 7,825-foot Emory Peak, the highest summit in the Chisos Mountains—in a far more comfortable climate than midsummer’s scorching 90-degree temps. Nighttime temperatures can get below freezing, so pack accordingly. Plus, there’s excellent stargazing at this International Dark Sky Park come winter. For a place to stay, there’s camping in the park (from $16), as well as the Chisos Mountain Lodge (from $166), which is in the heart of Big Bend. Or stay closer to the gateway town of Terlingua at Willow House (from $335), a low-key modernist retreat that manages to combine ascetic indulgence with dramatic views of the Chisos Mountains in the distance. —M.M.

Sleep in a Yurt in Oregon

Anthony Lakes powder skiing
(Photo: Courtesy Anthony Lakes)

Anthony Lakes is the coolest ski area you’ve never heard of. This eastern Oregon gem—five hours from Portland or three from Boise, Idaho—is low key and family friendly. Tickets cost just $45 a day and kids six and under and those over 70 ski free. The best part? It’s only open Thursdays through Sundays, so if you show up on a Thursday morning after a midweek storm, you’ll get three days’ worth of powder piled up. The place isn’t huge—just one triple chair, a rope tow, and 1,100 skiable acres—but the base area is at 7,100 feet in elevation, the highest in Oregon, making cold, dry snow all but guaranteed. The ski area rents out two fully stocked wintertime yurts (from $200) a quarter mile from the main lodge that you can post up in overnight. Book a yurt and you’ll get half-priced lift tickets, making this possibly the most affordable slopeside ski trip in America. —M.M.

Relive the Olympic Spirit in Lake Placid, New York

Dog sled in the distance on the frozen lake with mountains in the background. Lake Placid, NY
(Photo: bitterfly/iStock)

In 1980, Lake Placid was transformed into the center of the winter sports world, when the tiny village of 2,500 got upgrades to host the Olympics, including new hotels and a brand-new sports arena. The town has been mostly stuck in an Adirondack-style time-capsule ever since, but the last few years have ushered in a series of well-deserved changes. This winter sees the re-opening of Main Street’s Grand Adirondack Lodge (rates have yet to be announced) after a dramatic renovation of the 92-room hotel. The wood-and-stone lodge first opened in 1927. Today it resides in the heart of the village, across the street from Mirror Lake, which in winter transforms into an ice-skating loop and rinks for pick-up hockey games. From the lodge’s rooftop bar, you can see the runs at Whiteface Mountain, a burly resort with New England’s highest vertical, at 3,430 feet. Lake Placid is the gateway to Adirondack Park—which is home to some 3,000 freshwater lakes, rivers, streams—but the village truly comes alive in the snow. There’s an abundance of cross-country ski and snowshoe trails, with the nine miles of professional-groomed tracks at the Nordic Center at Whiteface Club and Resort being the most popular. There’s also dog sledding nearby and even a 30-foot-high toboggan chute that spits you out onto Mirror Lake. Before your adventure, fuel up at the recently opened Cocoa and Dough, Co., a delightful mashup of donut shop, hot dog stand, and cocoa shop, with graffiti-covered walls. Get the Campfire, a donut covered in Marshmallow Fluff, crushed golden grahams, chocolate kiss, chocolate drizzle. The shop is perhaps the most delicious example of how the town is transforming into a hipper resort destination while still managing to keep all of its winter charm. —R.K.

Hike Death Valley National Park in California

A rare "super bloom" event covering large expanse of the desert valley floor with wild flowers, dominated by the golden yellow of desert gold flowers (also known as desert sunflowers or Geraea canescens) in Death Valley National Park in California. The Amargosa mountains rise over the valley in the background.
(Photo: GaryKavanagh/iStock)

Death Valley’s punishing 120-degree summer daytime temperatures mellow out to a pleasant 70 degrees in winter, making it an ideal hiking and camping destination. As the largest national park in the lower 48, at 3.4 million acres, there’s plenty of room to roam. Choose from nearly 100 hiking routes leading through an astounding diversity of landscapes, including multi-colored badlands, rock cathedrals, sand dunes, canyons, gulches, and even waterfalls. One day, you’re trekking across the otherworldly salt flats of Badwater Basin, the lowest point of elevation in the U.S. (282 feet below sea level), and the next, climbing the Telescope Peak Trail to the area’s highest point at 11,049-feet. You can camp anywhere within the park, but for toilets and basic amenities choose from nine designated sites. Bring cold weather gear and apparel for hiking at elevation and the evenings, when temperatures dip into the 30s. —Jayme Moye

Fat-bike and XC ski in Wisconsin

Wisconsin fat biking
(Photo: Nat McKinley)

There’s a good reason that North America’s largest cross-country ski marathon is held in the Northwoods of Wisconsin every year. Besides the 100-plus miles of the American Birkebeiner Trail System (available for public use all winter), you’ll find another 100 miles of cross-country ski and snowshoe trails maintained by local groups like the North End Ski Club. There’s also 50 miles of dedicated, groomed fat bike trails courtesy of the Chequamegon Area Mountain Bike Association. And don’t forget about the other 600 miles of snowmobile trails that traverse the region’s rolling hills and hardwood forests maintained by the Sawyer County Snowmobile and ATV Alliance—the self-proclaimed world’s largest single owner of trail grooming equipment. Stay at the north end of the Birkie Trail, in Cable, at Telemark Vacation Condos (from$119). Or at the south end, in Hayward, at Flat Creek Lodge (from$110). Rent skis, snowshoes, and fat bikes at New Moon Ski and Bike or Riverbrook Bike and Ski.  Leave it to Wisconsinites to find so much to do in the snow and cold. —Jayme Moye

Splurge on a Cool New Hotel in Sedona, Arizona

Arizona Ambiente exterior
(Photo: Jeff Zaruba)

The Ambiente (from $1,500), due to open mid-December in Sedona, Arizona, is being billed as one of North America’s first landscape hotels. What does that mean exactly? It’s basically a property that blends seamlessly into its natural surroundings. See Norway’s Juvet Landscape Hotel or Spain’s Vivood Landscape Hotel for reference. Ambiente continues on admirably in the tradition of those properties. Perched on the edge of Coconino National Forest, it’s made up of 40 stilted guest atriums, which are constructed of sustainable materials meant to match or reflect the red rock desert around it. Nearby Sedona has year-round hiking, winter temperatures in the 60s, and mountain biking on world-class trails. You can practice yoga outdoors or search for the hidden energy centers known as vortexes that Sedona is famous for. Whether or not you find them, you’re sure to come home re-energized. —M.M.

Backcountry Ski to a Hut Near Lake Tahoe

Tahoe hut Froglakes skiers
(Photo: Courtesy Frog Lake Huts)

Slated to open in late December, Frog Lake Huts (from $225) consist of three architect-designed backcountry huts located on Castle Peak, a popular backcountry ski zone on Donner Summit, near Truckee, California. Built in a European style, the cabins have cozy bunks, gas stoves, flush toilets, and hot water. A communal cabin nearby has a kitchen, fireplace, and map room. The ski terrain in the area includes everything from steep, north-facing chutes to low-angle tree skiing through old-growth red fir. The land around Frog Lake used to be privately owned and was closed to the public for years, but in June 2020, the Truckee Donner Land Trust and its partners purchased it in a historic $15 million deal and opened the area for public recreation. To get here, you’ll ski tour, snowshoe, or splitboard some three miles and 1,500 vertical feet from the Castle Peak trailhead parking area on Interstate 80. Your effort will be more than rewarded. —M.M.

Search for Hidden Shrines on Aspen Mountain

Jerry Garcia shrine in Aspen
(Photo: Courtesy David Wood)

For decades, skiers have been discretely and anonymously creating hidden shrines, made from mementos like photos and personal possessions, amongst the snow-covered glades of Aspen’s four ski areas. David Wood, who wrote a guidebook called Sanctuaries in the Snow that’s dedicated to finding the shrines, estimates that these eclectic memorials started appearing on the mountain in the 1970s, with over 150 of them scattered across Aspen Mountain, Snowmass, Buttermilk, and Aspen Highlands today. Tucked away in the trees are tributes to the Beatles, 9/11 victims, David Bowie, and Jerry Garcia. There are memorials to local skiers, like John Nicoletta, who died in a freeskiing competition in 2008. There’s a shrine to the Smurfs and to Snoopy. The shrines differ in size and style, but most contain photos, notes, and artifacts. You won’t find them all, but if you’re skiing or riding Aspen Snowmass, it sure is fun to look for them in between powder turns. —M.M. 

Relax at a New Eco Lodge in Todos Santos

Paradero Resort in Todos Santos
(Photo: Courtesy Paradero)

An hour north of Cabo San Lucas on the west coast of Baja, Mexico, the small village of Todos Santos feels like a little slice of paradise. The town has a throwback bohemian vibe, full of artists’ galleries, farm-to-table restaurants, and nearby surf breaks. Plus, there’s a new hotel worth the trip itself: Paradero (from $550), which opened in February 2021, has 35 suites situated across five bucolic acres of former farmland. The adults-only hotel offers tours of local farms, morning yoga, guided sunset bike rides and hikes, and taco tours of Todos Santos. Afterward, relax with a massage at the hotel spa or enjoy a shaman-guided temazcal, a traditional Mayan ceremony held inside a mud hut that acts as a sweat lodge. —M.M.

Chill at an Ice Festival in Michigan

Ice Curtains on Grand Island
(Photo: csterken/iStock)

Come winter, the sandstone cliffs in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore along Lake Superior in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula transform into sizable ice sculptures, tempting people from all over the U.S. to come for cave openings dripping with giant icicles, massive frozen waterfalls, and towering ice pillars. Not surprisingly, Pictured Rocks is the site of Michigan Ice Fest, held for climbers every February. Visitors can watch from the sidelines or get in on the action with free classes and demos (no experience required). New for 2022, Black Diamond is offering a class called ‘Introduction to Ice for People of Color,’ and pro athlete and guide Will Gadd is coming down from Canada to teach ‘Avalanche Safety for Ice Climbers.’ Base yourself out of Munising, an outdoorsy lakeside village in Hiawatha National Forest, which has the most lodging options. Then make it a point to stop in at Muldoons or Miners (ideally both) for pasties, a traditional Cornish pastry that’s stuffed with expedition-quantities of meat and potatoes. It’s a Michigan thing. —Jayme Moye

Unwind in Colorado’s Most Relaxed Ski Town

Scenic view of Breckenridge ski resort , Colorado
(Photo: Glenn Pettersen/iStock)

It’s hard to beat Breckenridge for Rocky Mountain ski town culture and vibe. The quintessential Colorado resort celebrates its 60th anniversary this season, with festivities starting opening day, November 12th, and a new chairlift on Peak 7. Resort staff have dubbed the new high-speed quad the Freedom SuperChair, and expect it to better balance the flow of skiers moving from Peak 6 to 7. For off-piste enthusiasts, Breck (as locals call it) is home to the backcountry experts and educators of Colorado Adventure Guides, and the Summit Huts Association recently added a new mountain hut, Sisters Cabin, just outside of town on the slopes of Bald Mountain. Tin Plate, an upscale pizza joint located in a 138-year-old mining cabin in Breck’s historic District, is the hottest new restaurant. Stay at Gravity Haus (from $249), a boutique hotel in the heart of downtown. If you fly to Colorado on United (Breck is a two-hour drive from the Denver airport), you can now skip the rental car—the airline is partnering with Landline to shuttle visitors on a luxury bus between Denver International Airport and the resort. —Jayme Moye

Treat Yourself at Big Sky’s Newest Luxury Lodge

Lone Peak and the surrounding Big Sky Resort covered in snow during November.
(Photo: bmswanson/iStock)

Montana’s Big Sky Resort is known for its massive terrain. With runs like the Big, a 1,400-vertical foot couloir that requires checking in with ski patrol and wearing an avalanche beacon to descend, the resort is the birthplace of the triple black diamond difficulty rating. Starting this winter, it’s also the home of big luxury. Montage Big Sky (from $1,395) is set to open in mid-December, with the most luxe (and most expensive) guest rooms, suites, and residences in town. The lodge has six restaurants, a spa, a fitness center, indoor and outdoor swimming pools and hot tubs, and a recreation room with a four-lane bowling alley, not to mention ski-in, ski-out access to the resort. Meanwhile, on the mountain, Big Sky debuts North America’s fastest six-person chairlift this winter. Swift Current 6—complete with heated seats, individual headrests and footrests, and a protective weatherproof bubble—will replace the existing Swift Current Quad, cutting the 12-minute ride time in half. The new upgrades are quickly transforming one of America’s largest resorts into one of its best. —Jayme Moye 

Check Out Puerto Rico’s Farmhouse Retreat

Sunset illuminates the golden sands of the west coast of the island of Vieques, a small isle to the east of Puerto Rico's main island.
(Photo: Stephani-Elizabeth/iStock)

Vieques, a sleepy island off the east coast of Puerto Rico, is home to a farmhouse-style bed and breakfast tucked into the forested hillsides. The theme at La Finca Victoria (from $169) is rejuvenation, with an Ayurvedic Wellness Center and 12 luxe guest suites, each uniquely decorated by Puerto Rican owner-designer Sylvia de Marco. Stays include a vegetarian poolside breakfast, yoga classes, and all-you-can-eat fruit from the garden. The tiny island remains mostly undeveloped, and the attraction here is the wilderness: its 18,000-acre National Wildlife Refuge is the largest in the Caribbean, with some of its most pristine beaches—some with bright white sand, others with sparkling black. Elegant, gentle Paso Fino horses brought by the Spanish roam free throughout the island. But its biggest draw is Puerto Mosquito, or Mosquito Bay, the brightest bioluminescent bay in the world. Several local outfitters offer nighttime tours of the glowing water by kayak. Ideally, time your trip with the new moon, when the night sky is darkest. —Jayme Moye

Crash at Utah’s Most Memorable New Lodging

Excalante Cabin Exterior
(Photo: Courtesy Yonder Escalante)

Utah’s latest backcountry lodging option is located on 20 acres within Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, making for an ideal—and memorable—basecamp for exploring must-sees like Lower Calf Creek Falls and the slot canyon hike at Spooky Gulch. Yonder Escalante (from $195) is meant to be an experience as much as a place to stay. It consists of 22 tiny-home style A-frame cabins, 10 vintage Airstreams tricked out as guest suites, and 67 RV sites. The 1960s nostalgia continues with an outdoor movie screen (the site is a former drive-in theater) and a small fleet of classic cars for rent to attend screenings. A 24-hour general store that sells beer, spa-like bath houses with indoor and outdoor showers, and a swimming pool and hot tub complete the desert retreat. Winter temps generally hit a high of 50 degrees, so the hot tub is still inviting in the depths of January. Yonder Escalante’s surrounding mesas and million-star night skies make it feel as if you’re in the middle of nowhere, but it’s just two miles from the galleries, cafes, and boutiques of of Escalante. (The property is closed from around Thanksgiving until January 17th. All accommodations are heated and have their own fire pit.) —Jayme Moye

Surf and Chill Out in SoCal

Oceanside, California coastline
(Photo: YoungkKwon/iStock)

Come winter, California’s mild weather and palm-dotted ocean scenery is hard to beat. This year, a pair of high-end hotels opened on San Diego’s northern coastline at Oceanside Beach. O’side, as it’s known locally, has it all—the laid-back SoCal vibe, the oceanside breweries, the historic wooden pier, and, in the winter, whale watching. It’s also a hotbed of surf culture with a four-mile long coastline and the California Surf Museum. Choose the Seabird Resort (from $349) for its grand coastal architecture and farm-to-table restaurant, or stay at Mission Pacific Hotel (from $349) for spectacular sunsets from its rooftop bar (the food’s great, too). Both hotels feature original artwork curated by the Oceanside Museum of Art and complimentary beach butler service while relaxing in the sun. For surfing lessons, go to North County Surf Academy to work with Duran Barr, a second-generation pro surfer from Oceanside. —Jayme Moye

Celebrate Snow in Quebec

Mount Albert seen from point of view with foreground on a cold winter day, Gaspesie national park, Quebec, Canada
(Photo: David Boutin Photography/iStock)

Twenty years ago this winter, some hard-bitten skiers got the idea to traverse Quebec’s Gaspé Peninsula, a tongue of soaring mountains and quiet forests south of the St. Lawrence River—and with that one of Canada’s most lively and colorful cross-country ski events was born. Today La Traversée de la Gaspésie, as the adventure is called in French, isn’t an actual crossing of the 12,000-square-mile peninsula so much as a week of day-tripping forays that take you deep into Quebec’s vibrant winter culture. (There’s also a summer version on bikes.) This year’s edition, which runs February 19–26 (entrance fees start at $1,300, which includes lodging), kicks off with line dancing in your muck boots at the Gîte du Mont Albert, a cozy four-star hotel located in the heart of 309-square-mile Gaspésie National Park. You’ll spend the next four days in the park skiing or snowshoeing 15 to 22 miles a day on trails that slip through the 4,000-foot Chic Choc Mountains. After that it’s off by bus to the coastal town of Gaspé on the Gulf of St. Lawrence for three more days of exploring trails in the remote 94-square-mile Forillon National Park. The  COVID-19 pandemic has thrown some traditions like village home-stays into disarray, but the entire field of roughly 275 skiers often eat dinners together in churches or halls large enough to house them all. Either way, expect to find musicians singing on the trails, impromptu dance parties in warming huts, and treats like the caribou—a classic Quebecois cocktail with whiskey, wine, and maple syrup—waiting for you at the end of the day. Bring your warmest clothes and learn the Quebecois word “frette.” That’s dialect for weather that’s colder than cold. —Tim Neville