Top Winter Destinations
The wind chills, nights are longer than considered reasonable by some, and 'outside' is a great place to keep your ice cream. By January, at least in the northern hemisphere, Old Man Winter has moved in and made himself at home. After New Year's caps the Christmas holiday season, it's time to get out of town for an adventure or a little R&R. The Gogobot community's taste in winter destinations ranges from big cities, with all their indoor fine dining and culture with a dash of urban ice rinks, to international sunny escapes, as far afield as Thailand and Rio or Stateside in Miami and San Diego.
"This place has it all!" Never has this descriptor been more appropriate. Culturally and scenically rich, this wildly diverse country is flush with urban and natural wonders sure to pique the interest of nearly any style traveler. Big city? Even bigger game? Rugged mountains? Postcard-perfect beach? World-class wine? All that and more. And lucky you: right about now, summer is well underway.
I defy you to not enjoy a trip to South Africa. There are safaris to go on, sharks to dive with, ... read more
mountains to climb, beautiful views to admire, world renowned wine and food. A wealth of cultures in vibrant cities.
When visions of a winter wonderland come to mind, we're pretty sure those fantasies are modeled after Canada's westerly gem, Whistler. Where world-class skiing, snowboarding, fine dining and nightlife life meet, you really can't go wrong.
What car you say about Whistler? What a place - the best skiing, snowboarding and mountain biking in ... read more
North America and a great village alive with night-life and amazing dining and lodging. Get there!
Recommended hotel: Fairmont Chateau Whistler Resort
Welcome to the land of beautiful people and beautiful beaches. Or so the story goes. You probably want to head down to confirm those reports. Known as the "Marvelous City," this spectacular harbor town hosts the famous beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema while caipirinhas and samba rule the streets when the party kicks off each night. Want to partake in the world's most well-known Carnival celebrations? Plan your visit for February.
They don't call it The Wonderful City for no reason. It is indeed naturally wonderful and you'll ... read more
hardly not fall in love with it at first sight. The people are beautiful and there is always something going on around you, there are so many places to look at.
Recommended hotel: Marina Palace Hotel
The city of the future. An oasis in the middle of the desert, the UAE spared no expense in size, architecture or amenities to ensure this global hub of trade and commerce reflects all the glory befitting such a modern urban mecca. International jetsetters will find winter is a great time to avoid the region's famed heat while enjoying everything from first-class dining and designer shopping to a picnic on the beach, a round of golf or even a bit of 4WD "dune bashing."
Dubai is a fantastic city with plenty to do. Although it is in a Muslim country, the attitude is ... read more
quite Western. Although they ask women to dress modestly, and even have signs in the malls saying this, I didn't see any of the inappropriately dressed tourists get hassled. It's easy to get around on the Metro, and most of the city is sparkly and clean. Taxis are cheap. There's very little crime. In January they have big post-holiday shopping.
Recommended hotel: Al Qasr at Madinat Jumeirah
Breathtaking scenery is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to remarkable experiences along the shores of North America's largest alpine lake. Nestled in the Sierra Nevada mountains across the border between California and Nevada, this scenic playground of forest, granite, fresh powder and lively high mountain nightlife has been tempting for families, ski bums and Winter Olympians for generations.
Tahoe is an amazing year-round destination. In the winter/spring, the skiing and snowboarding is ... read more
world class; in the spring/summer/fall, hiking is popular and the beaches are beautiful spots (the water can be pretty cold though!). And the gambling scene--well, that's good (or bad, depending on your luck) anytime.
Recommended hotel: Basecamp Hotel
In one word, this place is HOT! From the sun-baked golden sand and warm turquoise waters of its islands to Bangkok's notoriously wild nightlife and the fiery flavors of its delectable street eats, Thailand is understandably a favorite hotspot among Gogobot travelers looking for a true winter escape.
My favorite vacation spot. No wonder I have been here 8 times from 2002 to 2009. The people, the ... read more
culture, the beaches, the temples and the food amazes me each time I visit. I can never get tired of this country!
Recommended hotel: Papillon Resort
The frozen white of winter (and corresponding quiet among the crowds) is a perfect showcase for the powerful extremes of light, landscapes and life that populate this epic American wilderness. Whether you choose to get active by snowshoe, cross-country skis, or snowmobile, or instead prefer to enjoy the stupendous views from a snow coach or fireside in a comfy mountain lodge, the sight of the park's steamy thermal basins, dramatic snow-covered canyons and unique wildlife -- including bison, elk, and wolves -- is sure to take your breath away.
A wonderland of amazing scenery and animals - great for families, photographers, adventurers, ... read more
explorers of all ages! Want to know a secret? Winter in Yellowstone is fabulous - fewer people and the contrast of snow and scenery is breathtaking. Spring and fall are also times that are over looked where you don't have to compete with the summer crowds to see the wildlife or tour. Make your reservations at the Yellowstone Park Riverfront Cabins EARLY to get the dates you want.
Recommended hotel: Old Faithful Inn Hotel
A tropical paradise rich in culture, cuisine and opportunities for adventure with budget prices to boot: what more could you ask for out of a winter holiday? Sun-seekers come from around the globe to revel in the island's spectacular beaches, bountiful coral reefs and world-famous surf while yoga, trail and cultural enthusiasts take to the countryside to uncover more of the many beautiful and complex facets of this unique island destination (Kecak monkey chanting anyone?!).
Bali stole my heart the moment we climbed through an old temple, passing monkeys down to a secluded ... read more
cove to go surfing.
Recommended hotel: The Kampung
Be it dog mushing or heli-skiing deep within the legendary Alaskan backcountry or a night soaking under in the aurora borealis at Chena Hot Springs, winter in our nation's last remaining frontier is an experience like no other. Don't let the short daylight hours fool you. Beauty, solitude and some of the most unique opportunities an outdoor adventurist could desire await the brave who ventures north!
This is an Amazing place ... you have to love the outdoors to appreciate Alaska ... don't go to ... read more
Alaska to go to the movies or just to go shopping ... go prepared to be overwhelmed by open spaces and solitude ... remember those things ?
Recommended hotel: Chena Hot Springs Resort
Just a quick flight from both U.S. coasts, Cancun is a destination wholly dedicate to the pleasures of a beach vacation. Perched on the tip of the Yucatan Peninsula (not far from the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza), here you'll find sun, sand and a host of fruity cocktails all served alongside a bustling nightlife and a plethora of accommodation and dining options. Designed to cater to the full spectrum of travel tastes, from high end luxury all-inclusive resorts to simple budget-friendly hostels and traditional Mexican street food, winter escapees have good reason to return time and time again.
The best vacation I have had so far. Perfect for relaxing and soaking up some sun. Several tours are ... read more
available, my favorite was Chichen Itza and the Mayan ruins. The resort staff were very nice and helpful. They did a great job of creating a friendly and welcoming environment. The food was great too. Everything was freshly cooked right in front of you and there wasn't a single thing that didn't taste great.
Recommended hotel: Beachscape Kin Ha Villas & Suites
Peter Jackson? Lord of the Rings? Hobbiton? If these references don't instantly conjure images of quaint country towns, verdant hills, magical elvin forests and dramatic mountain peaks then it may be time to schedule a movie night. Or better yet, how about a ticket south? The long flight may be a deterrent, but push on through and you'll find summer is in full swing and New Zealand is home to some of the most diverse and stunningly beautiful natural scenery (and outdoor activities!) found on the planet.
Stunning and magical! Like a mystical fairy land, which is I suppose why New Zealand is often used ... read more
in films to depict fantasy and other worldly places. Beautiful country with tons of international travelers from all over the world. And with such variety in activities there is really something for everyone.
Recommended hotel: The Rees Hotel & Luxury Apartments
Although often regarded as one of the prettiest cities in Europe, Prague might seem a counterintuitive destination for winter. But if you are prepared to embrace the cold (and bundle up in the proper winter wear!), you'll find a vibrant city full of modern conveniences and cutting-edge cultural offerings packaged in layers of historic charm. From the medieval architecture and bustling markets to twinkling lights above snow-covered cobbled streets, Prague makes a perfect choice for anyone who wants to make their winter white.
Prague is the European capital you've been dreaming of. Loads of historic buildings (Kafka's Cafe ... read more
being one of my faves), picturesque landscapes (green, rolling hills) and a nightlife that is off the hook. Did I mention the wheat brew garnished with a lemon? You can score one of those tasty bevs at the covered city skatepark on the island in the middle of the Vltava River, if you nudge all those supermodels out of the way at the bar, of course.
Recommended hotel: 987 Prague Hotel
A favorite among paradise-seekers, Maui offers a bit of everything in the tropical variety. Water lovers will want to grab a boat or a board (surf, wind or kite!) and earn their dinners navigating the warm waters off the coast. Land lovers might opt to head up the volcano for a glorious sunrise from above the clouds atop Mt. Haleakala. And all roads should eventually lead to Hana where the famous twists and turns of the highway end in a day of unspoiled Hawaiian aloha.
Where do I start? Maui no ka oi! Rated the number one travel destination in the world, Maui has it ... read more
all and then some... The cradle of Aloha; the island in the middle of largest known ocean in the Universe, the valley isle between the tallest volcano from sea-floor to the top... Maui is amazing. The people, the places, the food, the amazing recreation. Maui has it all. Eh, I'm a fan of Maui.
Recommended hotel: Travaasa Hana
The warmth of Latin America with a decidedly European flare? Look no further. Buenos Aires awaits! Grand architecture, charming walkable neighborhoods, a rich cafe culture, delicious food, hot nightlife and a romantic epicenter of the arts in all their forms, be it fashion, cuisine, music or the tango. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to discover it all.
Buenos Aires is one of the most charming cities in Latin America, being very cosmopolitan. You would ... read more
think that you are in a city near the Mediterranean, with the strong European influences here in Architecture, food, and the people. Besides a strong influence from Spain, there are also strong communities of Italian and Germans in Argentina. THe large avenues and boulevards mixed with the colorful side streets and alleys assist the European feel, and if you saw a picture of the main city, you couldn't tell it from Europe. Despite the history of Dictatorships, financial collapses, and other national maladies, Buenos Aires has a large middle class that appreciates the Arts as passionately as their politics. This center of the Tango has great restaurants, food and wine, and convenient transportation. Being in the southern hemisphere with a mostly temperatue climate, this is a great winter destination for those from the northern half of the world.
Recommended hotel: Home Hotel Buenos Aires
It's a little cheeky to include a whole subcontinent on this list, since it's so huge you'd be hard pressed to visit even a small percentage of the country all in one trip. But given the tremendous warmth, beauty and deliciousness India has to offer, the addition is unavoidable. And the hot, dry conditions found December - February make it a prime time to visit whether you're drawn to the mellow pace of the beaches to the south, intrigued by the rushing chaos and world-famous sites of the North, or you instead prefer to hole up in a countryside ashram with one of the culture's many living saints.
Incredible country with unparalleled diversity of cast, creed and faith. India with its rich ... read more
topographical and cultural diversity is a place woth visiting. There are hills, beaches, islands and deserts. India with its extreme diversity offers myriad experience to the travelers. India is home to several wildlife sanctuaries which are home to some rare and endangered species of plant and animal. India also has many renowned beaches in Goa and kerala as well as pristine islands in Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshwadeep. For desert you could head to Rajasthan which is visited by millions of domestic and international tourists. For Rajasthan there is one popular saying when it comes to international celebrities: Marriages may be made in heaven but the bills are payed in Rajasthan. Then there is the Himalaya which offer plenty of hiking and trekking activities. Exploring the far flung mountain range of Himalayas is a task that could take a lifetime to finish. Then there are forts and palaces sprinkled across the country which are a delight to behold. Then there are temples and ancient caves and Ayurveda and Yoga. You name it and you'll get it. India is definitely a place where you should be at least once in a lifetime.
Recommended hotel: Trident, Agra
An active eco-traveler's dream, Costa Rica is an easy choice for anyone in need of a little respite from winter's gloom. And perfect waves, unforgettable sunsets and an easy flight out of the States are just the start. Hop in a whitewater raft, grab a zipline or take off on a jungle trek under the watchful gaze of sloth and monkeys, or sit back and relax in a thermal hot spring offering views of an active volcano above. No matter what your tropical vacation speed, Costa Rica has what you need.
I promise this place won't let you down. It's filled with beautiful people, flowers, animals and ... read more
scenery. The great surfing conditions is a plus too!
Recommended hotel: The Springs Resort & Spa
Where the magic of Old World meets modern Europe over picture-perfect ski conditions. A UNESCO World Heritage site located high in the mountains near the Bavarian border, Salzburg is home to some of the finest ski areas in the Alps as well as a variety of fun non-slope winter activities: sample competitive baked goods in the famous Salzburg Christmas Markets, join the celebration of the city's most famous son Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart during January's Salzburg Festival, or retire to one of the city's many hot spring fed spas and saunas.
The most romantic place in the world as far as I am concerned. This is where the Sound of Music was ... read more
filmed. The mountains that surround the city are magestic and the city of Salzburg defines quaint.Beautiful old monastaries. Baroque concert halls playing classical music every night and a elegant casino.
Recommended hotel: Hotel Goldener Hirsch
Is it any wonder this Old West mining turned ski town now attracts fans from around the world? Host of the Sundance Film Festival in January, each winter now sees a growing collection of filmmakers, celebrities and film buffs make their way to the small resort community to enjoy a perfect mix of top-ranked ski runs, superb people watching, culinary masterpieces, and some of the year's most exciting, innovative films.
Recommended hotel: Stein Eriksen Lodge
A year-round summer playground for sunseekers, Miami is a favorite among travelers of all ages and varieties. Discover miles of white sandy beach, dream golf courses, exotic international cuisine, lavish nightlife and family-friendly attractions from the wildlife of the Everglades to the reef off Key West. The secret is out: this town is not -- and really never has been -- just for grandma!
Awesome place! Sexy people and beautiful beaches! I love the energy of this place and the nightlife ... read more
Recommended hotel: Dream South Beach
Norway knows winter. Here in the land of the Vikings, skiing rules the scene (both downhill and cross-country) and scenic beauty abounds. Yet for those with a taste for adventure, things can get interesting quickly. Try your hand at dog or reindeer sledding, have a go at an Olympic bobsled course, or spend a night wrapped in fur and drinking vodka in an ice hotel. If you're in luck, you might even spot the Northern Lights from your seat at the top of the world.
There are very few countries that I think have it all. Norway's best appeal is its incredible views ... read more
of fjords, mountains and picturesque country-side. Popular with adventure travelers and outdoor enthusiasts, Norway also has a lot to offer people looking for something a little different. There's a vibrant and welcoming culture here, which makes the country even more appealing!
Recommended hotel: Myrkdalen Hotel Voss