When you think of going somewhere for the holidays or taking a winter vacation, there are some places that just come to mind. First off, anywhere that isn’t cold: Florida, the Caribbean, California. Of course, if you are a snow bunny and go the other route, you’ll likely plan your trip skiing in Colorado. However, you may be missing out on some wonderful winter vacation destinations that never cross your mind. Well, it’s time for a new adventure. Here are three non-traditional and unique destinations to travel to this winter.
1. Chicago, IL
Sure, it won’t be warm and sun-shiney, but there are plenty of great pizza parlors to stop by for a warm, delicious slice. Or how about stopping by a café for a latté or some hot chocolate? This city has a lot to offer and plenty of indoor destinations to shield you from the cold. From the Art Institute of Chicago, to the Chicago Sports Museum, Chicago is a museum mecca. The Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony takes place on Nov. 23 at 4:30 p.m. this year, but stop by Daley Plaza anytime during the holiday season to see those twinkling lights. Another great winter attraction that is free (you heard me, free) is ice skating in Millennium Park. Skate rental is $10. The rink, located in Millennium Park off Michigan Avenue, is open from November18 through March 11. It’s an outdoor venue so bundle up and skate under the winter sky. Other events include Navy Pier’s Winter Wonderfest, in which Navy Pier is full of games, rides, and all around winter merriment, as well as the winter walk at the Lurie garden.
2. Hôtel de Glace
This “hotel of ice” located in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada is as cool as it sounds. It has ice furniture, an ice bar, and 34 cold rooms. What is more winter-like than that? The ice sculptures and snow vaults are sure to dazzle you, but the fun doesn’t stop there. The Hôtel de Glace is located 10 minutes from downtown Quebec City. Just five minutes away is Ski de fond Charlesbourg ,where you can enjoy skiing circuits and snowshoe and hiking trails. Thirty minutes away is Aventures Nord-Bec Stoneham where you can experience riding on a dog sled, discover the area on snowshoes, and end the day with a great Quebec-style meal. This trip would be unforgettable and full of culture as Quebec is a largely French-speaking area of Canada. Don’t worry though, English is spoken as well, especially at the attractions.ham
3. Hershey, PA
Nothing about spending a winter vacation in a place named after chocolate sounds like a bad idea to me. Hershey is a great destination over the holiday season. Hershey Park becomes “Christmas Candylane” and is adorned with two million sparkling lights. From mid-November to Jan. 1, Christmas Candylane is full of hot chocolate stands, traveling carolers, and several gift shops, in which you can do holiday shopping! There are even over 30 rides to enjoy. You can spend a day at Hershey’s Chocolate World, learning about, and eating, delicious treats. For Christmas light lovers, Hershey Sweet Lights is a two-mile drive past 600 illuminating displays. Other attractions include the Chocolate Spa and ice-skating at Hersheypark arena, former home of the Hershey Bears.
Whatever you do this holiday season, be sure to enjoy yourself and relax with great family or friends, and most of all, stay cozy.
Author Bio: Stephanie is a student, writer, editor, and educator with a passion for traveling, both abroad and in the States. She spends most of her days blog writing, newspaper editing, or working in an elementary school, all while dreaming of her next big adventure. She’s an advocate of pre-planning and checklists and definitely recommends these wonderful holiday travel tips.