Cold and Cozy: 10 Romantic Winter Destinations in America

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Baby, it’s cold outside. Nothing says “I love you” like getting cozy with your sweetie in frosty weather, especially during the holidays. Last year, I spent Christmas cuddled up in one of the coldest, yet oh-so-romantic cities in America: Chicago, Illinois. Yes, I know just the mere thought of the infamously named Windy City sends shivers down your spine, but for me, it’s the good kind. Call me a glutton for punishment, but here are 10 of my favorite wintry vacation spots to experience love in the freezing air.

Lake Tahoe, California

You’ve heard of sleigh rides in Christmas carols, but have you ever imagined yourself experiencing one? Venture out to Lake Tahoe and be whisked away on a romantic sleigh ride, complete with cozy blankets to wrap yourselves in. If you want to do something really different, go on a thrilling dog sled tour. As the parent of a beautiful husky, I can guarantee that you’ll love being around these adorable animals.

Lake Tahoe Dog Sledding
Dog Sledding in Lake Tahoe (photo credit: skilaketahoe.com)

Chicago, Illinois

Chicago is a chic, urban option for lovers looking for a big city adventure. Hold hands while walking the snow-covered streets of Chi-town and duck into any of the city’s famously delicious restaurants to warm up with a tasty meal and cup of hot chocolate. Spend the evening ice-skating together at Millennium Park, and then unwind with a cozy dinner at the Signature Room for an incredible view of Chicago’s skyline. You could even spend a night cuddled up in your hotel room; order a deep dish pizza, share a bottle of wine, and enjoy a romantic movie. Watch our video for fun things to do in Chicago during the winter season.

Karl and I walking the streets of Chicago in wintertime
Karl and I walking the streets of Chicago in wintertime

New York, New York

New York City has been the sexy backdrop for many winter movie and TV scenes, and lovers can travel here to experience the magic of the Big Apple in person. Go ice-skating in Central Park, take a stroll down the High Line, and venture to the Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center for a breathtaking view of NYC blanketed in snow. I recently stayed at Hotel on Rivington and loved the jaw-dropping view via the floor-to-ceiling windows of my hotel room (read about my stay here).

Wintertime in New York City from the Top of the Rock
Wintertime in New York City from the Top of the Rock (photo credit: Doug Letterman)

Big Bear Lake, California

When we think of Southern California, warm weather comes to mind—but this region actually experiences all four seasons, winter included. At Big Bear Lake, you can spend a romantic winter getaway at one of their ski resorts, where you can have a friendly competition on the slopes, enjoy a steamy outdoor hot tub while watching fluffy snowflakes fall around you, and cuddle by a burning fire with a bottle of sparkling wine.

Big Bear Lake
Big Bear Lake (photo credit: bigbear.com)

Steamboat Springs, Colorado

There is no shortage of winter activities for couples to enjoy in Steamboat Springs. Enjoy a sleigh ride through the Rocky Mountain countryside or skip the sleigh and just go horseback riding through the snowy valleys. Are you a couple who enjoys a good thrill? Take a snowmobile tour, go cross-country skiing, or channel your inner kid and go tubing. For stunning views of Colorado’s wintry landscape, book a helicopter tour or glide through the sky in a hot air balloon.

Hot Air Balloon Tour in Steamboat Springs
Hot Air Balloon Tour in Steamboat Springs (photo credit: steamboatballoontours.com)

Fairbanks, Alaska

Alaska—just saying it gives me the shivers. It’s freezing, but don’t let that scare you. Book your stay at Chena Hot Springs Resort where you can relax in its healing mineral waters, have a drink at the Aurora Ice Bar, and if you’re lucky, witness an amazing Aurora Borealis.

Lake in Fairbanks, Alaska
It may be cold out there, but inside the lake, it’s 105 degrees (photo credit: Denise Ferree)

Sedona, Arizona

Wintertime is a great time to visit Sedona. The crowds are few, the rates are low, and you just might be lucky enough to witness the red rocks of Sedona dusted with snow. For those of you who aren’t a fan of freezing weather, this is a nice option. Take pleasure in the picturesque view of snow-capped mountains in the distance while enjoying comfortably cool weather. There are a number of activities you and your lover can choose from, including hiking, wine tasting, and hot air ballooning.

Winter in Sedona
Winter in Sedona (photo credit: Ron Niebrugge)

Kennebunkport, Maine

Kennebunkport is the definition of charming during the winter season. Take an unconventional long walk on the beach and take in the gorgeous views of Maine’s frosty coastline. Go ice-skating and then snuggle up afterwards in a Jacuzzi while enjoy a steaming cup of hot cocoa at your bed and breakfast. The month of February offers special romantic treats for couples, including chocolate festivals, candlelight dinners, horse-drawn sleigh rides, and horseback riding along Maine’s snowy terrain.

Sleigh ride in Kennebunkport
Sleigh ride in Kennebunkport (photo credit: rockinhorsemaine.com)

Ranch at Rock Creek, Philipsburg, Montana

IF you have the money to ball out, why not stay in a luxury lodge at the Ranch at Rock Creek? It has 5 STARS on TripAdvisor for its unique views, rooms, awesome food, top notch service, spa experience, the list really does go on. They even have winter specials that they are running through March, so if you want to book this place, take advantage of their winter deals.

The Ranch at Rock Creek
The Ranch at Rock Creek

Berkshires, Massachusetts

For an easygoing winter escape, consider the Berkshires. When it gets cold, the crowds dissipate and rates drop dramatically, creating a private winter wonderland for you and your sweetie. During the holiday season, the main streets are twinkling with a festive glow as you head to any of the city’s festivals or special events. There’s a little something for everyone in this quaint town, including skiing, catching a wintertime theatre performance, browsing museums, and sightseeing.

Berkshires Scenery
Berkshires Scenery (photo credit: berkshirepropertyagents.com)

 

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Cold and Cozy: 10 Romantic Winter Destinations in America
Cold and Cozy: 10 Romantic Winter Destinations in America

 

**Destinations in this post updated on February 14, 2016**

 

18 Replies to “Cold and Cozy: 10 Romantic Winter Destinations in America”

  1. I love that you included Chena Hot Springs Resort, as I haven’t been there in years! But Yellowstone in winter is something I’ll be forever torn on, as it’d be so neat and fun, but also there is SO MUCH winter tourism in the park that it’s had a negative impact over the years. It’s a tricky, fine line between wanting to experience and knowing the impact. 🙁

    1. I wholeheartedly agree with you Rob. Did some research on what you mentioned and completely removed Yellowstone from this list. Ethical tourism is the way to go, and if tourism is negatively impacting Yellowstone, then it has no place on this list 🙂

  2. Lucky you to have a real winter this year. In France, the weather is so strange this winter that my trees thought it was already spring just after autumn. There’s already a lot of flowers and my best friend just come back from Martinique island as “I had no choice, there was no snow in the mountain” 😀 We even had a very sunny and hot Christmas !

    1. My friends just went to Martinique too! And that is very strange for France – wow! It’s kinda like that in the city where I live too. It’s been a very mild winter.

  3. Nice list. That picture of the guy in the hot spring in Fairbanks, Alaska is awesome. I’ve gone to Anchorage last year in May – maybe this year I’ll head to Fairbanks.

  4. Lovely and romantic locales all of them, but my personal pick from the lot would be Ranch at Rock Creek, Montana

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