Places to Visit This Winter


Collins Dictionary

The picture above is a photo of Zermatt, Switzerland, taken just after sunrise. Although Zermatt attracts most of its tourists in the winter, people take advantage of the late Swiss spring, hoping to get the last of the snow before Zermatt becomes a spring tourist attraction again.

Anvi Bhagavatula, Photojournalist

Whether the weather in someone’s hometown is blazing hot or too snowy to even drive, winter break allows for them to visit somewhere else, such as the first ski resort they’ve ever been to or a jungle hike in a climate where “cold” doesn’t even exist. No matter what people’s preferences are, there are tons of amazing places to visit this winter. 


For those looking for a ski resort, there are a lot to choose from. One of the most well-known ski resorts is located in Zermatt, Switzerland. Matterhorn, a Swiss mountain attached to Zermatt, has a pointed appearance and high altitude. Its name is often associated with the ride at Disneyland, and it is loved by many skiers. Zermatt has quite a few ski routes, some calm and slow, which are perfect for intermediate skiers, and others, specifically the ones situated off-track, are for more advanced skiers. Right next door is the Austrian ski resort Saint Anton Am Arlberg. It has even longer ski routes than Zermatt and is known for its difficult off-track routes. Many snowboarders also find themselves at St. Anton, enjoying it as much as the skiers. Lastly, all the way on the other end of the globe, is Aspen, Colorado. Although many visitors in Aspen stay in houses, either theirs or ones that are up for rent, the ski resorts are still filled to the brim during the winter. Aspen is known for its culture and love for skiing, especially in its creation of beginner routes. On the other hand, Aspen is home to many extremely advanced skiers, allowing it to be the location of the X-games every year for the past half a decade. 


Although some ski resorts are small, cute towns, people may travel during the winter solely to find towns with a hint of a historic touch or just pretty architecture and views. France, for example, has the Colmar Christmas market. The market is split into 6 sub-markets, but at night, they all merge into one. It’s known for its hearty holiday smells and decorations, as well as food, especially desserts. The city’s historical notes are present in little allusions to the deep history France has, like the 14th century stained glass windows placed in the Place de Dominicains market. Everything from churros to crepes to turkey legs waits amongst the dozens of market stores. A little east, in Switzerland, Luzern displays the architecture aspect to cities that some tourists look for. The city has upheld its 18th-century architecture almost perfectly, allowing tourists to get a perfect look at what cities looked like centuries ago. The city also has glacier gardens, which hold ice age glaciers open to the public to view. A little bit up north in Finland, a small city that has gorgeous views, specifically during the winter, is called Rovaniemi. The city has a “Santa Claus Village ” that attracts many due to its snowy, “North Pole” like appearance. Its most famous attraction is its views of the Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis. Lastly, Breckenridge, Colorado is a nearby winter travel destination that also allows travellers to see a unique side of the United States. Breckenridge serves as a ski resort city as well as a cute, homey town. Although Aspen has taken the name as the most popular winter city in Colorado, Breckenridge has almost double the number of visitors every year. Other than skiing and eating, people can see the mountain-view sunsets, watch the horses on Main Street, and hike/drive on routes like the Boreas Pass Road.


If someone is looking for a warm winter, some parts of the world are hot all year round. For example, travelling to Hawaii allows for tourists to stay in an almost summer kind of warmth. Swimming, whale watching, star gazing, volcano hiking, and eating are all things people may find themselves doing while in Hawaii. Back over in France, Cannes also has a warm climate. Home to the world-renowned Cannes film festival, it has a huge party, food, art, and historic life. Tourists tend to sight-see the historic locations that make Cannes the 400-year-old city that it is today. Though the Cannes film festival is a must-see event for tourists, some prefer the city’s public beaches instead. Either way, it’s an escape from the cold that the other parts of the world might have. Lastly, a winter travel destination that’s also in the United States is Palm Springs, California. Although the mountains have some snow on them, Palm Springs is known to be laid-back, nature-filled, and a great place to relax. People find themselves hiking, swimming, skiing, and, just like everywhere else, eating, when in Palm Springs. 


The most important thing to do during vacation is to relax, whether that be by the beach, or on a snowy deck. Sometimes, people visit the same place multiple times, like with Samantha Leigh (10), who recalled, “When I was younger I went to Big Bear every year with my family to my house up there. It was so beautiful with all the snow and greenery. This year we went back for the first time in 4 years and it was so pretty and beautiful. Winter vacations are all about the memories I make. Especially the ones I make with the people I go with.” This essentially describes the traditions that may come from simple, local vacations that can be just as fun as ones dozens of countries away or even one state over. So, no matter where a person finds themselves during winter vacation, there are so many fun places to see.