It’s the magical season when clouds burst into laughter. They laugh so hard, their tears reach the ground, dancing on highways. Above them, in the sky, the clouds join in dance. Majestic, they dance as though no one is watching. They celebrate the fall of snow, and the giggles of those who waited year long to sculpt their hearts’ desires in the snow, to slide down mountain tops and sip a hot cup of chocolate as they watch, enchanted, their surrounding playing with ice.
In celebration of the most unique season life has given us, I have hereby collected 60 fantastic resources and stories from around the Web – for your ultimate winter wonderland travel joy. Along the links, you’ll see wintry photos from my spectacular time in Argentina – and a few videos, too. Got any more winter wonderland links? Share them in the comments.
And meanwhile, brink the blankets…. and enjoy.
14 Reasons Why I Love Winter (and Not One Word about Ski) – yTravel Blog
My guest post on yTravel Blog counts 14 of the reasons I adore winter and look forward to it every year. Among these you’ll find that lightheartedness matters more than fashion, the appearance of rainbows…. and an opportunity to cuddle.
Winter Driving Tips – The Vacation Gals
Coming from Minnesota, Beth knows a thing or two about winter driving. Check out her tips for handling the car and the road on winter wonderland days, and don’t miss the story of her dog’s takeover on her car!
Tips for Driving Iceland’s Ring Road in Winter – Jdomb’s Travels
While Jennifer and Tim recommend NOT to drive Iceland’s Ring Road in winter, yet give you tips to make it through safely if you’re as intent as they are to experience this adventure.
Ski Vacation Packing List: Key Items You Don’t Want to Forget – The Vacation Gals
Kara adds unexpected items to the regular sky vacation packing list. Swimsuits in the snow, anyone?
Travel Tips: How to Pack for Family Ski Vacations – The Q Family Adventures
Amy writes for families heading for their first-ever ski vacation, and provides tips on saving money as you prepare. Her tips are great for non-families as well.
Ask Kate: How Do I Plan an Affordable Ski Vacation? – Adventurous Kate
Kate might be a winterphobe, but she has plenty of great tips to save money on various aspects, so us winter fans can enjoy a longer ski vacation, or be able to take one in the first place.
How to Set Up a Bombproof Snow Camp – Matador Network
Drew may be used to skiing 12 months a year, yet the environment in Alaska’s Glacier Bay National Park was his most extreme thus far. In this post, he shares all you need to do to set up the perfect snow camp.
How to Make a Snow Sculpture – Sapporo Snow Festival
The website of a snow and ice sculpture festival from Japan gives you a behind the scenes look at this special form of art.
5 Uncommon Snow Photography Tips That Can Transform Your Winter Scenes – Digital Photography School
Street photographer James Maher provides some tips to improve your winter photographs.
Dazzled by the Lake Louise Ice Sculptures, Canada – Hike Bike Travel
Leigh escapes the crowds to bring you day and night photos of ice sculptures from Banff National Park in southwest Canada.
Everest Base Camp the Lazy Way – Day 13: Crossing the Cho-La Pass – Escape Artists
Theodora and her 12-year-old son, Zac, climb up the mighty Everest through winds and ice…. at -15 degrees Celsius (5F). For a moment, it appears as if a glacier might take them down as it breaks. Also, click here to read about their journey from day 1.
Ice Skating on Lake Louise, Banff National Park, Canada – Hike Bike Travel
Ever imagined skating on real ice in the outdoors, beside a castle built of ice, at the backdrop of a glacier and mountains? Leigh’s post recommends you do just that if you’re in southwest Canada for its long winter wonderland.
Powder Day: Early Season Snowboarding in Utah, USA – Expert Vagabond
Two travel bloggers take advantage of early snowfall and hit the slopes of Utah. Check out the video at the end of the post if you’re looking for some inspiration to try out this sport.
Best Winter, Ski and Snow Vacation Destinations – The Vacation Gals
Several travelers pick their favorite winter wonderland in North America. While most options include snow, there’s plenty of variety in what each destination has to offer.
Exploring the Swiss Ski Fields: The Overview – My Friend from Zurich
Nina and Manu from Zurich share information about four ski fields in Switzerland. They tell you what you can’t miss in each one, and what to do in the area beside skiing.
Skiing off the Beaten Path in St. Jean D’Aulps, France – On the Luce
Lucy finds a ski home for six weeks, where not many people go, so skiing is less expensive. She shares everything from practical tips to the time her boyfriend and her created an avalanche of people on the slopes.
Two Forms of Paradise in British Columbia – Runway Jane
This post is not only about winter sports, yet at its core, it’s a tribute to the great snowboarding experience that British Columbia offers.
Guest poster Anna Ridley crosses a bucket list item from her list and goes snowboarding before she’s 30 – on the biggest mountain on the Alps. She walks away from the experience with a new wintry dream on her list.
Skiing in the Austrian Alps – Crazy Sexy Fun Traveler
Alex tells you why Austria the place to go for your ski joys, then offers different ski areas for different tastes and skiing levels.
New Year’s Skiing at Vermont’s Sugarbush Resort: Fun for All Ages and Abilities – Travel with Teens and Tweens
Mary and her family take up their cousins’ invitation – and welcome the new year skiing.
Learning How to Snowboard at Mount Buller, Australia – Don’t Ever Look Back
Australia might be famous for its beaches, yet Amy and Kieron prove snow’s existence when they learn how to snowboard 3 hours from Melbourne.
Motivating Kids: Do Sweety Bribes Work for a Winter Ride? – The Family Adventure Project
Kirstie and Stuart’s kids might agree to go biking in winter for the sake of sweets, but they end up loving the journey regardless of the prize. Be sure to check out the included video.
In Search of Snow in Songpan, China – on Horseback – Escape Artistes
Theodora and her then-10 year old son, Zac, go searching for snow on horseback. They agree to no shower, no coffee and hardly any people in the most populous country in the world. They’re a bit – well – shocked by their lodging, though. Scroll down this page to the Other Winter Wonderlands sub-title to find out how they spent the night.
WINTER HIKES (which are also considered sports)
Hiking to Johnston Canyon’s Frozen Waterfalls in Alberta, Canada – Banff and Beyond
Johnston Canyon might be popular most year round, yet winter provides you the opportunity to go there and call it off the beaten path. Audrey and Jack provide suggestions for the hike, and end with recommendations such as how to get there and what to bring.
Partnachklamm: The Winter Jewel of Garmisch Partenkirchen, Bavaria, Germany – Monkeys & Mountains
Laurel hikes in snow and sees icicles in a place that turns almost secluded in winter. Can you pronounce its name?
Full Moon Mission Up Wedgemount, Canada – Nomadbiba
Bianca and her boyfriend put on crampons, take their ice axes – and head out to see beautiful wintry landscape, while facing fears along the way.
What? No Car? A Lake District Family Walking Tour – The Family Adventure Project
Kirstie and Stuart take their kids to enjoy the elements of England – not by car, but by bus and boot. Mud, grass hats and reindeer are only parts of the experience.
OTHER WINTER WONDERLANDS
Valley of the Ice Bears – Fritz Mueller Photography
Learn how grizzly bears prepare for winter at the secluded Bear Cave Mountain, located at the brink of the Arctic Circle in Yukon, Canada. First published in UpHere Magazine, this article is now accompanied by photographs by Fritz Mueller, one of the first photographers to reach the area.
Five Things No One Ever Tells You about the Northern Lights – Jdomb’s Travels
Jennifer has been searching for Aurora Borealis, AKA Northern Lights, for over a year. She provides 5 great tips that will help you succeed, as she did, at witnessing this spectacular natural spectacle of colors.
Spending (Most of) the Night at Quebec’s Ice Hotel, Canada – Travels with Two
Melanie give you all the details you need for visiting the only ice hotel in North America. She tells you about the attractions, the view – and spending a whole night in the ice. She also shares a tip she received – how to avoid the creation of ice crystals in your hair as you sleep.
Camping in a Winter Wonderland, Songpan, China – Escape Artistes
After horseback riding in northern China to discover snow, Theodora and her then-10 year old son find themselves spending the night with a local family…. in a tent. In the freezing cold.
The Day El Chalten, Argentina Became Narnia – Bridges and Balloons
El Chalten is known as the Argentine hiking heaven in summertime, yet, as Victoria and Steve witness the first snowfall of last year, they show their readers this little town can be even more enchanting than dreamed.
Great Drives: Alaska’s Dalton Highway – Fairbanks to Deadhorse – The Constant Rambler
Lauren and Kenin give you the information you need to make the drive, and take you with them as they journey through the Dalton Highway in early winter. They cross into the Arctic Circle and spend the night in a place cold Coldfoot, where they see Aurora – AKA the Northern Lights – for the first time. Then, they continue driving through mountains and frozen tundra, spotting wildlife around on this secluded road.
Lapland Winter Wonderland – Holiday Nomad
Freya takes a plane from Helsinki, Finland, and lands on ice to explore a part of the Finnish Lapland. She sleeps in a snow village filled with ice sculptures, wearing a special thermal suit – and that’s just the beginning of her adventures there.
Iceland’s Golden Circle in the Winter – A Dangerous Business
Amanda sets out to discover Iceland’s most popular route in a spectacular, off-the-beaten-time setting of winter. She sees falls, geysers, Icelandic horses, a crater and a frozen lake…. all surrounded by snow. Don’t skip the included video of one of the glaciers erupting.
Today’s Crazy Illinois, USA Winter Weather Brings Ice Jams, Flooding and Tornadoes – Hole in the Donut Cultural Travel
Barbara goes to Illinois to visit her family, watches the ice change its form… and then goes inside, only to learn a tornado warning is threatening the area.
Winter Travel, Holiday Peace – Perceptive Travel
Winter inspires reflections of holiday paradoxes for Kerry, who relishes in the silence that comes with winter – if you let it.
Whistler, Canada Winter Wonderland – Wanderlust and the Girl
Coming from sunny southern California, Alex describes the excitement of experiencing a weekend filled with snow.
Flying in a Hot Air Balloon Over Bluff, Utah – My Itchy Travel Feet
Baby Boomers Donna and Alan take their first hot air balloon flight in snowy Utah. Their text and video share not only the experience itself, but mostly the preparations for the flight and what happened once it ended.
Surviving Snowstorm Nemo in New York and Boston – Adventurous Kate
Kate finds herself taking a walk in New York during the recent snowstorm in northeast US, which is considered the worst snow storm to hit the area in a long time, trapping many people in their homes from days. Kate also shares snow photos from her dad’s house in Massachusetts.
Kelly and Lee see valleys formed by glaciers, mountains, a frozen lake and signs of moving tectonic plates in this remote UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Chicago 2011 Blizzard Photos – Quirky Travel Guy
Scott faces the elements to bring you a chronological documentation of the blizzard that hit Illinois, USA in 2011. To top it off, he provides a video as well.
Jerusalem, Israel Blanketed in Snow – Trip & Travel Blog
Snow in the Holy City is pretty rare. It falls there for one day a year – if the city’s lucky. This post gives you a glance into some of the sights a snow Jerusalem can provide.
A Very White Christmas in Yosemite Valley, California, USA – Bucket List Journey
Annette decides it’s time for a white Christmas and goes to Yosemite National Park in California, a popular travel destination – mostly in non-wintry seasons.
Dog Sledding in the Canadian Rockies – Hike Bike Travel
Leigh shares everything you need to know about going dog sledding around Calgary, Alberta in Canada.
Beauty and the Snowy Beast – Traveling with Sweeney
Cathy visits snowy Central Park, New York on Valentine’s Day.
Off the Grid Ski Adventure in Washington State, USA – No Vacation Required
Caanan and Kent find an isolated cabin off the beaten path, surrounded by mountains and top skiing conditions.
5 Reasons You Should Visit Italy in the Winter – Intrepid Wanderer
Galwin thinks you need to exchange the regular ole dream of an Italian summer vacation, and let Italy wrap you in winter wonderland magic instead.
Living in Breuil-Cervinia, Italy, Part 1: Village, Home – Travel Reportage
Giulia shares the sights of the village she calls home. Surrounded by massive snow-filled mountains, it’s located in the Italian Alps.
Living in Breuil-Cervinia, Italy, Part 2: Work, Scenery – Travel Reportage
Giulia shares the snowy Italian Alps village’s sights to a larger extent, as she writes about her daily life and discovers a snow cloud.
Things to Do in Winter (Besides Skiing) – As We Travel
Nathan and Sofia offer several great suggestions for winter fun. Some of them might surprise you.
Winter Adventure at Hidden Meadow Ranch, Arizona, USA – My Itchy Travel Feet
The State of Arizona might be identified with summer and Grand Canyon adventures, yet Donna and Alan found a beautiful place in eastern Arizona to enjoy horseback riding in the snow and other winter fun.
A nature-made ice sculpture, snowy grounds and kids making sliding runs in this flat country are some of the sights Krista sees as she takes a walk in snowy Amsterdam.
Winter Fun in Montebello, Quebec, Canada – Gone with the Family
Winter-phobe Lisa manages to have a great time both indoors and outdoors at her winter wonderland getaway. Thankfully, she also remembers to bring carrots for the elk.
A White Christmas Indeed: Truckee, California, USA – Wild Tales of…
Kate marvels at the beauty of winter the the Lake Tahoe area in California, USA, and her baby son gets to experience snow sledding.
Morton Arboretum – 1,700 Acres of Winter Wonderland, Illinois, USA – Hole in the Donut Cultural Travel
The colors and diversity of trees and flowers give way to a winter wonderland in Chicago’s Morton Arboretum.
St, Louis, Missouri, USA: Loop Ice Carnival – Visit Flyover Country
Adam recommends traveling off the beaten path to a little known ice carnival. You’ll find ice sculptures, scavenger hunts, performers – and much more.
Ski Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA – All Over the Map
Vero happens to be off the beaten path, where you wouldn’t necessarily expect to find snow – Santa Fe, New Mexico. She sends her kids to their first-ever ski lessons and takes time to hike and relax.
7 Fun Things to Do During the Harsh Michigan Winters – Wandering Educators
Jessie details the many adventures you can have in Michigan during winter, both inside and out – and only some of them involve skiing and snowboarding!
The Few Things I Like about Winter in Ohio, USA – The Travel Chica
Stephanie spent the past two summers in warm climates around South America. Now that she’s back home in Ohio, she might miss summer, yet she still finds reasons to enjoy winter as well.
How to Deal with Winter in Australia – Like the Locals Do – The Travel Tester
Nienke breaks the myth of the nonexistent Australian winter, and shares what it’s like to experience winter in a country whose locals prefer to keep believing the myth.
Why Am I the Only One Here? Wintertime at the Beach – Solo Female Traveler
Always one to think beyond stereotypes, Sabina enjoys the unique pleasures of visiting the beach during winter.
DROOL AWAY AND GET INSPIRED: WINTER PHOTO ESSAYS
Winter in Iceland – Arctic Photo
Photographer Örvar Þorgeirsson presents photographs of ice caves, sunsets, frozen falls and the Northern Lights in wintry Iceland.
Frozen Coast, Michigan – randomSPACE
Photo after photo after photo of spectacular ice, colorful lighthouses, branches emerging from sand…. and much, much more ice. The artful creation of nature.
Photo Essay: Snowy Sunset in Boblingen, Germany – Rambling Tart
Join Krista on a walk in the snow, and see the sun casts its spell as it sets.
Winter Hiking in Pennsylvania Photo Essay – Travel for Love
Icicles everywhere and water that almost freezes in motion is what awaits you in Western Pennsylvania winters, which you can enjoy almost on your own, as the rest of the folks seem to stay bundled at their homes.
Walking in a Winter Wonderland (Photo Essay), Stavanger, Norway – Inspiring Travellers
Andrea goes out to run errands after a snowstorm and photographs her surrounding while she’s out. Don’t let the first photo fool you – it’s morning time, not night.
Views from an Alaskan Cruise – The Constant Rambler
Participating in #FriFotos, Lauren and Kenin share photos of ice and snow from Alaska, USA.
Niagara Falls in Winter – randomSPACE
Icicles, frozen streams and ice sheets create a pretty unique visit in this popular tourist spot.
Photos: Fireworks, Ice, Snow and Polar Nights from Northern Sweden – GeoTraveler’s Niche
Lola photographed the Northern Lights, only to have her photos destroyed by an airport’s x-ray machine. Her second attempt to catch the colorful wonder is unsuccessful, yet she brings back gorgeous wintry photos nonetheless.
What do you love most about winter?