While most of us have broken out our seasonal depression lamps, heavily scented candles, and weighted blankets, some people (ssup, Kelis) are enjoying a glamorous glamping trip in Masai Mara, an adrenaline-filled jet-skis kind of life in Dubai and a Murder Mystery adventure at the White Lotus Hotel.
Feeling jealous yet? Don’t worry. We, too, have had to mute basically everyone we know on our Insta Stories as an act of self-preservation. But you know what can make you feel better? What can quench that wanderlust thirst you’ve had since Christmas? A quick winter vacation getaway to the Alps or the White Sands of New Mexico.
And the best part about winter travel (a fact that most people gatekeep) is that costs are typically low, meaning you can indulge a bit more than you’d normally do during peak seasons. And you don’t even have to leave the US to enjoy a much-earned break. Places like Vail and Park City have the best winter vacation offers.
So, whether you want to book a solo retreat, a romantic couple’s resort on a budget, a restorative girls’ weekend, or something for your whole family, these 12 Black-friendly winter vacation spots will help you channel main character energy and, in the process, help you forget about the cold…or even inspire you to embrace it.
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Vail is most famous for being a ski town (after Aspen) and a Real Housewives favorite. It has slopes for black diamond skiers and babes who prefer to stick to blue trails.
But if you’re just in it for the cozy fireplace, Instagram-worthy sceneries, and winter wonderland vibes, Vail Village features some of the most picturesque architecture; you might think you’re in Europe for a moment.
It’s also got the cutest boutiques (a haven for fashion enthusiasts), luxurious spa retreats (for moms looking for a stress-wrangling massage), and gourmet dining options (foodies might never want to leave). You’ll feel like you just walked into a Hallmark movie or a snow globe.
White Sands National Park, New Mexico
Always wanted to visit the Arabian desert but can’t find the time or the resources to do so? We have the next best thing. The White Sands National Park in New Mexico.
The purely white, perfectly lined landscape is so surreal you’ll think you just teleported to Dubai or another world. Honestly, your friends will think you’re somewhere galivanting in the Middle East when actually you never left the US.
Isn’t it just the most unique winter vacation spot?
Kawaguchiko is a profoundly romantic winter vacation spot for couples looking to embrace the natural world alongside a healthy dose of wellness and relaxation. Not to mention cost-friendly.
It’s practically impossible not to fall in love with this winter wonderland donned with world-class skiing resorts, breathtaking alpine sceneries, therapeutic hot springs, and snug izakayas perfect for date night.
We can just picture having a candle dinner overlooking the mesmerizing Mount Fiji views, sharing a bottle of white wine at some atmospheric spot, or stargazing alongside our sweetie. Oh, what a dream!
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Are beach vibes an absolute non-negotiable for your restorative girls’ weekend trip? St. Martin would like! a! word! The chiller antidote to glitzy St. Barts is luxe and offers some of the best beach scenes and newly redesigned villas – think wrap-around terraces, private gardens, and infinity pools.
We don’t know what else can make you feel like a Hollywood star and the main character in a movie like this winter vacation spot.
Things to do: driving around gawking at celebrity mansions, strolling the scenic boardwalks of Philipsburg, dancing to live music at 978 Sanctorum, and having a main-character -energy-channeling Galentines dinner at L’Atelier Bar à Viande et Poisson.
One of the most iconic winter vacation spots in Sweden is the Ice Hotel, an artistic exhibition and hotel designed with fresh ice and snow from a river north of the Arctic Circle.
The almost always booked-out hotel is only open in winter and has to be rebuilt every year after it melts in spring. Interesting, right? Added to travel bucket list.
Lake Placid, New York
If nightly s’mores around a campfire, cozy ensuite fireplaces, and warm homemade butter cookies at turndown are your jam, Lake Placid, New York is the place to be.
The nature-capped vacation spot has over 80+ trails filled with picturesque sceneries that will warm every adventure seeker’s heart, and for those who just want to enjoy a cozy time in a cuddle under a wool blanket while stargazing and enjoying whiskey flights plus some hoes d’oeuvres by the fire sounds like a dream come true!
Seoul, South Korea
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South Korea has recently become a tourist hotspot thanks to Netflix -Squid Game, anyone? But even if you haven’t watched the show or been tempted to binge-watch a K-drama show, there’s no way you can resist exploring this beautiful city.
From the fusion of contemporary skyscrapers to the out-of-this-world subway systems and dee-lish cuisines (you can’t do winter in Seoul without cozying up to a spicy bowl of budae jjigae), Seoul is the one place you can spend hours roaming its streets without exhausting a list of activities to do.
PSA: Ensure to drop in on one of Seoul’s many museums to live out your Joseon-era fantasy.
The Blue Lagoon, Iceland
It’s almost impossible to capture a bad photo in Iceland. In fact, the island nation is so photogenic your biggest challenge will be deciding the spots that’ll make it onto your IG feeds.
From the prettiest blue waters, you’ll ever see to incredibly gorgeous moss-covered lava fields and thoroughly exquisite modern architecture, you’ll have plenty of options to keep you occupied and relaxed for a long girls’ winter weekend getaway or a romantic multi-week trip.
We feel reallyyy confident that you won’t regret a winter vacation trip to Dublin…especially if your group chat vibe consensus is cultural immersion.
From the Gothic cathedrals to the contemporary art galleries to the backdrops (they don’t call it ‘The Emerald Isle for nothing), Dublin is like that girl from campus you couldn’t help but want to be around; you know, super-friendly, jaw-droppingly beautiful, and also super-fun to have a pint with.
Schedule a day trip to the blustery Atlantic coast, then make your way for a guided tour at the Guinness Storehouse, and finally end the day the Irish way (with a pint or three) at the city’s most famous pubs and restaurants.
Sure, all of Europe is a winter vacation bucket list, but Italy, Venice to be exact, is one place you can’t afford not to visit. The city is not only quiet and tourist-free during winter, but it’s also hauntingly gorgeous (foggy mist settles over everything, leaving you with Instagrammable sites and sceneries).
Take a water taxi to enjoy the full winter wonderland experience, or dial up the romance with a private gondola ride. And don’t forget to visit St. Mark’s Basilica and sip an espresso at the Piazza San Marco (the only way to soak up the essence of Venezia).
Okay, this might not be the first place you’d ever think of when someone says ‘winter vacation,’ but believe us when we say it’s hot (not literally, but well, it is). Located roughly between Istanbul and Ankara, Bolu boasts of some of the most scenic sporting opportunities and chilly-weather weekend getaways.
To fully immerse yourself in the enchanting experience, take a stroll along the shores of Lake Abant, explore the region’s historic museums, mosques, and national parks, and immerse yourself in nature surrounded by pine trees and picturesque mountainous views.
If the trending reels are anything to go by, Canada is a must-visit winter vacation. From snow-capped mountains, gorgeous icy lakes, and an abundance of snow activities like dog sledding, horse-drawn sleigh rides, and ice skating on frozen lakes, Banff is bound to literally take your breath away.
The postcard-perfect town is also home to Lake Louise, an alpine lake famous for the hue of the water (based on the light, it can lean sapphire, turquoise, or lapis) and Banff National Park (one of Canada’s most breathtaking parks and home to the glacier-fed Moraine Lake).
Go for the exciting rides on the Banff Gondola, incredible views of the Rockies, opulent hot springs, and the cleanest, crispest mountain air.