70 Fantastic Tips and Stories for Your Ultimate Winter Wonderland Travel Joy

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.

 

 

THE ESSENTIALS

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.

 

 

WINTER ARTS

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.

 

 

WINTER SPORTS

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 DestinationsThe 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.

Massive Adventures in the Massif du Mont Blanc, Chamonix, France - Runway Jane

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 TornadoesHole 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.

Searching for Moose in Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland, Canada - Global Goose

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, USABucket 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.

Ice, Sledding and Rum Hot Chocolate in Amsterdam, The Netherlands - Rambling Tart

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?

 

 

28 Comments

  1. What a fantastic collection of stories, Ayelet. :-) I especially liked the ones set in Canada. They were a trip down memory lane to my childhood. :-) Thanks you for including a couple of my stories too. I am honored. :-) XO

    • You’re fortunate to get to experience winters with that beautiful Canadian view as backdrop :) Xo

    • Hope you’ll have as much fun as I had compiling this list :)

  2. Thanks so much Ayelet for including my posts. We still have a lot of winter left – and I see snow shoveling in my immediate future. There are some fabulous links in this rundown to check out. I’d really enjoy a trip to Iceland in the winter.
    Leigh recently posted..This is My Canada – and It’s a Wild OneMy Profile

    • I’d enjoy it too. I love ice sculptures, so I’m sure it would be an interesting experience. Over here, it’s already starting to warm up. Hope you enjoy the rest of your winter!

  3. Hi Ayelet, thank you very much for including my post. Great article and wow 70 tips … I have lots of blogs to read over the weekend :-)
    Freya recently posted..Discovering MacedoniaMy Profile

    • You’re very welcome, and I hope you enjoy these posts as much as I did :)

    • LOL, winter is one of my favorite subjects :) Hope you enjoy the photography post!

    • Awe, I hope so – this season has so much to offer!

    • Thanks, Jill! And I agree – winter is such a beautiful season. Can’t wait to experience a full-blown winter again.

  4. what a great compilation! thanks for taking the time to do this- you must read a lot of blogs! :) this will sure give me lots of new reading material!
    Jessica recently posted..Into the Negev: My Donkey Hates MeMy Profile

    • It was a fun list to compile – hope you enjoy these great posts as much as I did :)

  5. Wonderful collection – though I must admit I am ready for winter to be over already! =)
    Andrea recently posted..Rambling Through BathMy Profile

    • Thanks! Yours is not over yet? Send it over to me, I never have too much winter (especially in Israel).

    • My pleasure, Adam, and so glad to read you got to enjoy the other posts listed here too. Winter is a wonderful post topic :)

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