While we’re totally on board with the concept of hygge and embracing bundling up and staying in during the cold winter months, there’s something so invigorating about stepping out in the cold and doing something active. With the right coat, scarf and boots, the snow-covered outdoors is your oyster, with plenty to do even when there’s a chill in the air. For those of us who aren’t fans of hot, humid weather and are prone to sweating a lot, winter is the ideal time to experience outdoor exercising.
The problem is many of us don’t live in areas where this is possible. That’s why we’ve put together this list of winter-weather destinations in the United States that offer a range of outdoor experiences — from snowshoeing to curling to relaxing in a mineral-infused hot tub — that will actually make you look forward to playing in the snow again.
Mohonk Mountain House
Founded in 1869 by the Smiley family, the Mohonk Mountain House is a Victorian castle in the Hudson Valley of upstate New York and is just as dreamy as it sounds. The castle is surrounded by 40,000 acres of forest and is situated next to a pristine glacial lake. While there are plenty of outdoor activities year-round, winter at Mohonk is particularly special, with activities like snowshoeing and cross-country skiing offered as well as ice-skating in an outdoor pavilion and forest bathing. Once you're inside, there are plenty of inviting fireplaces, a daily 4 p.m. tea time and an award-winning spa.
If the name "Kohler" sounds familiar, it may be because you have one of their bathtubs. But the American Club Resort at Destination Kohler in Kohler, Wisconsin, is much more than bathing. They have the usual array of winter activities like cross-country skiing and ice-skating, but also have more unusual offerings like ice bowling, ice fishing and Bavarian curling. And yes, after a long day of being active outdoors, you can take to the waters at the property's five-star spa.
Located near the gates of Yosemite National Park in Fish Camp, California, Tenaya Lodge is a good year-round option for those exploring the park when you're looking for more luxurious accommodations. In addition to the natural wonders of winter in Yosemite, Tenaya offers horse-drawn sleigh rides, snow tubing, snowshoe flashlight walks, sledding, skiing and ice-skating. There is also a spa and indoor pool to help you thaw out after a day in the brisk mountain air.
Located in Barnard, Vermont, Twin Farms is all about seclusion and relaxation. You can stay as active (or as stationary) as you'd like, with options like cross-country and downhill skiing, ice-skating and hikes through the wintery landscape. Warm up indoors in their Japanese furo bath, heated to 104 degrees F.
The Lodge at Woodloch
The Lodge of Woodloch, in Hawley, Pennsylvania, is located around 95 miles from the New York City and Philadelphia metro areas. In addition to winter hiking, bird-watching and forest bathing, guests can also enjoy an outdoor horizon whirlpool. Inside, they can warm up and unwind with FLOAT sensory deprivation therapy.
Nemacolin Woodlands Resort
Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Pennsylvania offers winter activities like dogsledding, snow tubing and snowshoeing throughout the colder months. The property also holds regular wellness events, including a February Fitness Adventure to really get you motivated and has a full-service spa (including a section catering to kids) to help you unwind.
Cliff House Maine
This is the first winter season that the Cliff House Maine has been open, and it's not one to miss. Beyond the usual offerings, the Cliff House has snowshoeing under the stars, winter hikes and a moose safari. Those looking to relax and indulge can head to the spa for an array of treatments, including the Salt of the Sea massage — ideal to treat skin during the colder months, or the ever-popular matcha green tea facial.
The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs is celebrating a century of wellness this year, and winter is a great time to experience everything the property has to offer. Nearby, guests can try zip lining, horseback riding, hiking and countless other outdoor adventures. The Broadmoor also hosts an annual program called Women's Weekend of Wellness, which will take place March 8 through 10, 2018. Now in its seventh year, the weekend includes wellness seminars, outdoor activities and inspiring speakers like figure skating champion Peggy Fleming.
Garden of the Gods Collection
The Garden of the Gods Collection, Colorado Springs’ legendary private club and luxury resort, recently announced the grand opening of The International Health & Wellness Center and spa. In addition to the indoor wellness activities, the property also organizes ice climbing excursions in nearby Colorado Springs for more adventurous guests.
Bucks County, PA
Bucks County in Pennsylvania is full of winter wellness activities, including those that let visitors train like an Olympic athlete. With a range of winter sports including curling, ice skating, cross-country skiing and sledding, there’s plenty to keep you busy. The county also offers more specialized athletic events, like the Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup 4-mile run coming up in March 4th and a wide variety of cozy accommodation options, including the Fox & Hound bed and breakfast in New Hope (pictured).
Given that both the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics were held in Lake Placid, New York, it's no secret that the Adirondacks are the perfect spot for any outdoor winter activities you can imagine. Hotel Saranac — located in the quaint yet vibrant town of Saranac Lake, less than 10 miles away from many of the Olympic sites — is the perfect basecamp for all your winter adventures.After a long day of snowshoeing, curling, cross-country skiing or bobsledding (yes, you can ride in a bobsled down the Olympic course), you'll look forward to going back to the hotel, which was recently renovated to take the property back to its glory days of the glittering 1920s. The hotel restaurant — Campfire Adirondack Grill & Bar — bucks the trend of below-average hotel food offerings and serves up high-quality versions of classic comfort food sourcing local ingredients whenever possible.There are other ways to unwind, too, including a full range of wellness and beauty treatments offered at the Ampersand Salon & Spa, shopping for unique crafts and gifts at Academy & Main and having a relaxing drink at the Great Hall Bar (which feels like a medieval castle because it was modeled after one).
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