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Where To Go For Outdoor Adventure This Winter

published on October 18, 2022 by

Colder temperatures might send some of us fleeing to the cozy indoors. But for a certain breed of outdoor adventurer, winter is the very best season of all. The natural world offers a wide variety of fresh-air fun during the chillier months — with the added bonus of fewer crowds. For inspiration, discover some extraordinary winter outdoor adventure options below. 

Skiing & Snowboarding In Park City

You’ve got plenty of options when it comes to winter snow sports destinations. But you’ll find what many agree is “the greatest snow on earth” in Park City, Utah. Located just a short drive from Salt Lake City International Airport, this spot is known the world over for its fresh powder, averaging 300 to 400 inches of snowfall annually. Park City Mountain Resort features 7,300 acres, 330 trails, 43 lifts and six terrain parks, all just steps away from the destination’s historic Main Street, which buzzes all winter long with dining, shopping and entertainment. 

Check out RedWeek’s Park City Travel Guide.  

Where To Stay: Marriott’s MountainSide at Park City 

Whale Watching In San Diego

A different kind of parade than you’re used to takes place every winter in San Diego. From mid-December through April, 20,000 majestic grey whales make their epic annual migration south from Alaska, passing close offshore to the southern California city. With more than 70 miles of coastline, San Diego makes it easy to spot whales from the shore — Cabrillo National Monument and Torrey Pines State Reserve are both great places to look for their telltale spouts. But there are also plenty of opportunities to get out on the water for a more up-close-and-personal experience, with several tour operators offering whale watching excursions suitable for all ages. 

Discover San Diego’s Best Museums

Where To Stay: Four Seasons Residence Club Aviara

Winter Waterfall Hikes In The Great Smoky Mountains

Chasing waterfalls is a year-round pursuit in the Great Smoky Mountains, with dozens of beautifully cascading falls to discover. But for an extraordinary outdoor adventure, pay a visit to Tennessee’s Great Smoky National Park (located just minutes from Gatlinburg) during the winter to see this natural attraction’s waterfalls in all their icy glory. When temperatures drop, spots like the 90-foot Hen Wallow Falls are covered in evocative ice formations. That’s just a short two-mile hike, but if you’re up for something a little longer, try the five-mile round-trip trek to Abrams Falls, the highest volume waterfall in the Smokies.  

Check out RedWeek’s Gatlinburg Travel Guide

Where To Stay: Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort & Water Park

Snowmobiling In West Yellowstone

There’s nothing quite like the rush of riding a snowmobile through a wintry landscape. And there’s nowhere to do just that quite like West Yellowstone, Montana — AKA the “Snowmobile Capital of the World.” As the most popular gateway to the extraordinary Yellowstone National Park, West Yellowstone is a wintry playground, with an average of 150 inches of snowfall each year. Here, you’ll find more than 400 miles of snowmobiling terrain, with groomed trails suitable for all experience levels, from “open-play” zones to off-the-beaten-path backcountry excursions. No need to come with your own equipment; the town is filled with outfitters who can get you out on the trails in no time. 

Where To Stay: WorldMark West Yellowstone

Stargazing In Hawaii

Hawaii is heavenly 365 days a year. But if you want to get a glimpse of the actual heavens in Hawaii, winter is your best bet, with dazzlingly clear skies and mild temperatures. The stargazing opportunities in the destination are legendary, highlighted by Mauna Kea on the “Big Island.” At nearly 14,000 feet above sea level, Mauna Kea is Hawaii’s tallest volcano — and it’s also home to the Mauna Kea Observatory. The visitors center here offers several telescopes that you can use to get a look at the Milky Way (and beyond). But millions of stars are visible to the naked eye. It’s an out of this world adventure, to say the least.  

Where To Stay: Kona Coast Resort


Start planning your winter vacation with RedWeek now.

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