10 Best Winter Vacations for Non-Skiing Families | Family Vacation Critic (2023)

Sure, skiing is a fun activity this time of year. But there are alternative (and often better and even cheaper) ways to play in the snow.

Meet 10 resorts offering families a range of cold-weather fun, with activities including dog sledding, snowshoeing and fat tire snow biking (which should tempt even die-hard skiers off the mountain).

1. Auberge Du Lac Taureau – Saint-Michel-des-Saints, Quebec

Auberge Du Lac Taureau is deep in the snow-covered heartland of French-speaking Quebec. This wilderness resort embraces families with a full plate of cold-weather offerings. The frozen lake is the place for trout fishing, ice skating and Canada’s national pastime, ice hockey. Additional ways to have frozen fun include snowshoeing, tubing, wildlife observation tours, fat tire biking, guided forest hikes with a trapper and more. An indoor pool, spa and Gallic-inspired cuisine are welcome touches.

2. Cragun’s Resort on Gull Lake – Brainerd, MN

A vacation at Cragun’s is all about Midwestern fun in the snow. The frozen Minnesota landscape looks stolen from the pages of a Nordic fairy tale. Old-fashioned activities such as broomball and bowling on the pond, ice fishing on Gull Lake, bonfires with S’mores and horse-drawn trolley rides should delight young guests. This is snowmobile country and Cragun’s has a designated track and miniature snowmobiles just for children.

3. Camp Richardson Resort – South Lake Tahoe, CA

Situated on the shores of Lake Tahoe, Camp Richardson’s yesteryear spirit and low-tech ethos is a breath of fresh air. Many guests started coming here as children and now bring their own kids, making it just right for a multi-generational vacation. Each winter, the resort’s miles of pine-scented bike trails are dusted with a thick coating of snow, turning the property into a winter wonderland. Cross-country skis, snowshoes and sleds are available to rent. Build a snowman, relax by the outdoor fire pit or just enjoy the tranquility of communing with nature. Simple lakeside cabins and uncluttered lodge rooms have everything you need and nothing you don’t.

4. C Lazy U Ranch – Granby, CO

C Lazy U Ranch has been introducing families to the traditions of the American West for 100 years. Guests stay in upscale private cabins at this traditional dude ranch. Situated on 8,500 pristine acres, the recreational programming is anchored by extensive year-round horsemanship and horseback riding opportunities. Additional cold-weather activities include snow tubing, ice hockey and skating on the pond, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Each winter morning, guests may join the wranglers on the morning feed wagon and get up close as the herd of horses eats their breakfast.

5. Woodloch Pines – Hawley, PA

Located in the Pocono Mountains, homespun Woodloch has been owned and operated by the same family since 1958. Many of the employees have been with the resort for decades, so you can expect genuine hospitality. Scores of kid-perfect activities keep the excitement level high when the temperatures drop. Frosty favorites include ice skating on both the lake and on the new synthetic ice rink, snow tubing, snowshoeing and winter archery. The resort’s Winter Olympics encourage healthy outdoor competition. When it’s time to warm up, kids can get creative in the arts and crafts room, splash in the indoor pool and slide down the double-corkscrew waterslide. Nightly entertainment at a bedtime-friendly hour includes live music, magic shows and balloon artists.

6. The Omni Homestead Resort – Hot Springs, VA

This sprawling Virginia resort has been in operation for over 250 years. The Omni Homestead Resort presents many ways to have fun in the snow. Mini-snowmobiles are proportioned for children ages 6 to 12 and ice skating on the outdoor rink draws a crowd. The Penguin Slide Tubing Park has a conveyor belt to conveniently whisk kids up the hill and enjoy the fun of sliding down. In the evening, enjoy a nightly movie screened in the resort’s theater. Traditional hotel rooms and suites are loaded with amenities.

7. Woodstock Inn – Woodstock, VT

Woodstock is a charming New England village. The cozy Woodstock Inn, with its wood-burning fireplaces, Vermont-made flannel blankets and fresh-baked cookies each afternoon, sits in the center. The hotel’s Nordic Adventure Center offers active families the chance to cross-country ski, snowshoe and fat tire bike on 30 miles of groomed trails. Fat tire bikes are designed with thick tires that allow you to pedal directly on the snow. A visit to the Billings Farm and Museum, Woodstock’s fully operating Jersey dairy farm, is a must. Watch the cows being milked and cuddle under a blanket as you ride in a horse-drawn sleigh.

8. Sunriver Resort – Bend, OR

In the Pacific Northwest, Sunriver Resort is a magnet for families. The area is known for its abundance of snow, so expect an array of options that exploit the powdery windfall. A covered ice skating rink, nature center with an observatory for stargazing, indoor tennis courts and an aquatic center with a FlowRider that simulates surfing are recreational options. Dogsledding, snow tubing and snowshoeing are very nearby. Accommodations are a mix of spacious townhouses, cabins, condos and lodge rooms.

9. Lake Placid Lodge – Lake Placid, NY

The Lake Placid Lodge complements the natural beauty of the Adirondacks. Winter’s blanket of white makes it look as festive as the inside of a snow globe. Snowshoe through the forest, skate on the lake’s glassy surface and sip hot chocolate at the nightly snow bonfire. It’s the only resort directly on Lake Placid, and accommodations enjoy water views. Whimsical cottages and lodge rooms blend into the surroundings and create a rustic fantasy. Lake Placid is a winter sports powerhouse with an illustrious Olympic history. Aspiring athletes should enjoy a ride down the Olympic bobsled track and a visit to the interactive Olympic Museum.

10. Old Faithful Snow Lodge – Yellowstone National Park, WY

If your family is seeking an immersion in nature, you’ve struck gold. Located within Yellowstone National Park, the Old Faithful Snow Lodge offers a unique vantage point to explore the beauty of the park in winter. The Madison Wildlife Excursion is a family favorite. A snow coach will escort you to view birds and mammals in their frosty habitat. Active experiences include a guided backcountry snowshoe tour of Old Faithful, gently winding past thermal hot springs. Just outside of the hotel’s door are boardwalks with excellent views of the geysers and ice skating with a nightly rink-side bonfire.

Allison Tibaldi is a travel writer based in New York City. With her husband and two kids, she has lived in Rome; Tuscany; Melbourne, Australia; Toronto; and Los Angeles. She studied early childhood development in graduate school and believes that travel is an important part of education. She writes for CNN, TravelChannel.com, HGTV, USA TODAY, Time Out New York, am New York, Family Traveller, Family Travel Forum, Travel Weekly, off Metro and numerous other publications. Follow her @gourmetrav.

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Where is the best snow in 2022? ›

Overall, for the most consistent winter snowfall look to Whistler/Blackcomb, Banff, Kicking Horse, Fernie Alpine, Revelstoke, Big Sky, Bridger Bowl, Whitefish, Discovery, Schweitzer, Brundage, Jackson Hole, Grand Targhee, Sun Valley, Mount Baker, Stevens Pass, Crystal, and British Columbia ski resorts.

Can you go to ski resorts and not ski? ›

Modern ski resorts are home to world class dining, hotels, and a plethora of incredible outdoor and indoor activities that even hardcore skiers will love. A ski trip doesn't have to be about just skiing, it can be a winter adventure for everyone.

Where is it best to snow in November? ›

Nobody can guarantee early-season powder, but these classics will likely be running lifts by the time you read this.
  • Killington, Vermont. ...
  • Arapahoe Basin, Colorado. ...
  • Keystone, Colorado. ...
  • Snowbird, Utah. ...
  • Mammoth Mountain, California. ...
  • Revelstoke, British Columbia.
20 Oct 2016

What is the coolest place for kids? ›

Ans: Some of the best adventure places in India to enjoy with kids are Sikkim, Jaisalmer, Mussoorie, and Goa. Your kids will find a range of adventure sports options at these destinations.

Is 2022 going to be a good winter? ›

Starting in December 2022 through February 2023, NOAA predicts drier-than-average conditions across the South with wetter-than-average conditions for areas of the Ohio Valley, Great Lakes, northern Rockies and Pacific Northwest.

Will 2022 be a hard winter? ›

AccuWeather is predicting that a large portion of the country will experience below-normal snowfall. AccuWeather's official 2022-2023 U.S. winter forecast is rather bleak for snow lovers.

What state has the best snow on Earth? ›

Utah (ABC4) – It might not seem like it this year, but Utah is known for having the “greatest snow on earth.” Why? “It's no doubt we have the 'Greatest Snow on Earth' in the state of Utah.

Is skiing becoming less popular? ›

What is this? Key studies have shown that Skiing has been suffering from declining participation over the past decade. Not only is it an expensive sport to participate in recreationally, but many segments of the population also don't have easy access to the slopes.

What can you do if you don't like skiing? ›

There are a lot of fun winter snow activities that don't involve skiing or snowboarding such as sledding, snow tubing, ice fishing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and sleigh rides.

What is the closest thing to skiing? ›

Top 5 Summertime Alternatives to Skiing and Snowboarding
  • Harb carvers. Harb… ...
  • Inline Skating. And here comes the second closest thing to skiing – rollerblades! ...
  • Mountain Boarding. And now it's time for snowboard substitutes! ...
  • Freeboarding.
25 Apr 2016

What is the warmest state to visit in November? ›

Where is the Warmest Place in the US in November
  • Honolulu HI – highs of 84.
  • Miami FL – highs of 79.
  • Palm Springs CA – highs of 79.
  • Tampa FL – highs of 78.
  • Phoenix AZ – highs of 76.
  • Tucson AZ – highs of 74.
  • Los Angeles CA – highs of 73.
  • New Orleans LA – highs of 72.
1 Sept 2022

What is the snowiest city in the United States? ›

1. Syracuse, New York: 127.8 inches. Syracuse takes home the crown as the snowiest city in America, averaging 127.8 inches each winter. That's just shy of 11 feet of snow, most of which is courtesy of the large body of water to its northwest: Lake Ontario.

What state has the best weather in November? ›

Warm Places to Visit in November in the USA
  • Los Angeles, California.
  • Phoenix, Arizona.
  • Oahu, Hawaii.
  • Orlando, Florida.
  • New Orleans, Louisiana.
  • Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • Birmingham, Alabama.
  • Atlanta, Georgia.
16 Jan 2021

Where is the cheapest place to spend the winter? ›

Best Cheap Winter Vacations
  • Quebec City.
  • Cozumel.
  • San Miguel de Allende.
  • Banff.
  • Gatlinburg.
  • Merida.
  • Santa Fe.
  • Lake Tahoe.

Where do most people travel for the winter? ›

For the latest travel news, updates, and deals, be sure to subscribe to the daily TravelPulse newsletter here.
Top 10 Domestic Winter Destinations
  • New York City, New York.
  • Orlando, Florida.
  • Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • Key West, Florida.
  • Miami Beach, Florida.
  • Nashville, Tennessee.
  • Chicago, Illinois.
  • Anaheim, California.
5 Nov 2021

What is the best holiday destination for families? ›

10 best holiday destinations for families in 2023
  • Riviera Maya, Mexico.
  • Santorini, Greece.
  • Bali, Indonesia.
  • Sussex, England.
  • South Africa.
  • Puglia, Italy.
  • Ireland.
  • Maldives.

Is this year gonna be hot 2022? ›

The average global temperature for 2022 is forecast to be between 0.97°C and 1.21°C (with a central estimate of 1.09 °C) above the average for the pre-industrial period (1850-1900): the eighth year in succession when temperatures have exceeded 1.0°C above pre-industrial levels.

Will winters get worse in the future? ›

Across the United States, winters are already growing warmer and shorter as a result of climate change, and that trend is expected to continue in the future.

What is the fashion trend for winter 2022? ›

Prepare yourself for funky Y2k fashion, chunky shoes, and the best oversized blazers you've ever seen. Sexy corsets and cowboy boots will also be ultra trendy in the months ahead, so start browsing now. Here, find 10 of the best fashion trends for winter 2022, plus our top picks for shopping these looks.

Will there be 6 more weeks of winter 2022? ›

Punxsutawney Phil sees shadow on Groundhog Day 2022

On Feb. 2, 2022, Punxsutawney Phil emerged from his tree stump with the help of his inner circle and saw his shadow -- predicting six more weeks of winter -- during a ceremony in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa.

Is Texas going to have a cold winter 2023? ›

According to a graphic they released, predictions say Texans can expect chilly weather with normal amounts of precipitation. Farmers' Almanac is predicting a winter filled with shakes, shivers, and shoveling! The 2023 Farmers' Almanac will be available for purchase in stores starting Aug.

Is Florida going to have a cold winter 2023? ›

La Niña in Florida winter 2022-23

When it comes to West Central and Southwest Florida, there is a 40-50% chance that temperatures will slightly rise above normal — with rainfall during these months predicted to fall below normal, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said.

What state has the harshest winters? ›

The Ten Coldest U.S. States
  • North Dakota. North Dakota is the second-coldest state in the U.S. The average temperature in North Dakota is 41.1°F (5°C). ...
  • Minnesota. ...
  • Maine. ...
  • Wyoming. ...
  • Montana. ...
  • Vermont. ...
  • Wisconsin. ...
  • New Hampshire.

Which state has the worst snow? ›

Snowiest States
  1. Vermont. Vermont receives more snow per year than any other state with an average of 89.25 inches. ...
  2. Maine. Maine is the third-coldest state and the second-snowiest state in the United States. ...
  3. New Hampshire. ...
  4. Colorado. ...
  5. Alaska. ...
  6. Michigan. ...
  7. New York. ...
  8. Massachusetts.

What states do not get a lot of snow? ›

Cities and states that don't get snow
  • Cities and states that don't get snow. ...
  • Corpus Christi, Texas. ...
  • Florida (especially South Florida) ...
  • Guam. ...
  • Hawaii (except for the mountains) ...
  • Houston, Texas. ...
  • Las Vegas, Nevada. ...
  • Phoenix, Arizona.
3 Nov 2020

Is skiing for the rich? ›

Ski resorts are not known for being cheap places to eat and drink. Also, lift passes can be very expensive, especially in North America. All this may suggest that skiing is a rich person's sport. But, with some careful planning, skiing can be much more affordable.

Is skiing growing or dying? ›

Skiing is the quintessential winter pastime.

But recently, the multi-billion dollar industry is in decline. The number of skiers is falling fast and the industry is scrambling to make up the difference.

What month do people stop skiing? ›

Typically in the United States, a ski season lasts from late November to early April, however larger resorts in Colorado and California are known to spin the lifts as late as the 4th of July.

Is 40 too old to learn to ski? ›

One of the best things about skiing is that it can be taken up almost as easily at 40 or even 50 as at 10 or 20. In fact, a grown-up is likely to do better at first than a youngster. The grown-up is mature enough to make the most out of his ski lessons—provided he is in reasonably good shape.

Is it OK to not like skiing? ›

Also worth noting that there are different ways of enjoying being in the mountains in the winter, and skiing should not be compulsory if people really aren't enjoying it.

At what age is it too late to learn to ski? ›

The answer is: it's never too early or too late to start skiing. It really comes down to your goals and expectations. Children can start coming to the ski hill at any age. Most ski areas offer a great daycare service in which children as young as 3 years old have some time on the snow with a qualified ski instructor.

Where is the best place to ski as a beginner? ›

10 Best Ski Resorts for Beginners in the World
  • Tignes, France. ...
  • Saas-Fee, Switzerland. ...
  • Lech, Austria. ...
  • Cervinia, Italy. ...
  • La Rosière, France. ...
  • La Thuile, Italy. ...
  • Avoriaz, France. ...
  • Alpbach, Austria. Alpbach is one of the best places to ski for beginners because of its small nature and plenty of blue runs.
13 Mar 2022

What is skiing backwards called? ›

Switch: Skiing backwards. The skier's back is pointed toward the bottom of the slope, while the skier's front is facing toward the top. Sometimes called "fakie." Switch up: While sliding on a rail, the skier jumps, spins 180 degrees (or more) in the opposite direction, and lands back on the rail. Also called a swap.

Will global warming stop skiing? ›

Because of climate change, the ski industry might not be around for much longer. Climate change poses an existential threat to the ski industry. A warmer climate means less snow and less now menas a shorter season for snowboarders and skiiers.

Where is the cheapest warm place to vacation? ›

Mexico. Unsurprisingly, Mexico makes the list of the cheapest places to travel in 2022. The country has long ranked as an affordable and easy-to-reach destination for many Americans; reasonably priced direct flights are abundant.

Where is it 70 degrees year round in the United States? ›

Where is it 70 degrees year-round in the U.S.? While temperatures fluctuate throughout the year in most U.S. states, there are some that see averages around 70-degree weather year-round. These states include Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, and New Mexico.

What is the warmest state to visit in December? ›

Here are some of the best warm vacation spots in the U.S. for the winters:
  • 1) Savannah, Georgia.
  • 3) New Orleans, Louisiana.
  • 4) Honolulu, Hawaii.
  • 5) Laguna Beach, California.
  • 7) Tempe, Arizona.
  • 8) San Diego, California.
  • 9) Charleston, South Carolina.
  • 10) St. Petersburg, Florida.

What city has the most white Christmas? ›

Ketchum, Idaho - The ski town of Ketchum enjoys a white Christmas 97 percent of the time, with an average 30 percent chance of around two inches of fresh snowfall on the holiday.

What are the 6 snowiest cities in the US? ›

Top 10 Snowiest Cities in the US:
  • Syracuse, New York – 92 inches.
  • Sault Ste Marie, Michigan – 83.5 inches.
  • Muskegon, Michigan – 76.2 inches.
  • Erie, Pennsylvania – 75.3 inches.
  • Caribou, Maine – 70.3 inches.
  • Buffalo, New York – 70 inches.
  • Flagstaff, Arizona – 61 inches.
  • Juneau, Alaska – 60.1 inches.

What is the coldest city in the United States? ›

Research from website 24/7 Wall St. found that Fairbanks, Alaska, is the coldest city in the U.S. with the minimum average temperature in the coldest month a bone-chilling -16.9° F. The lowest temperature ever recorded there is -66° F.

What state is not too hot and not too cold? ›

1. California

You can't beat the south and central California coast for pleasant temperatures year round. Long Beach, Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Barbara and Santa Maria all have average daily highs no lower than the mid-60s for any month of the year. Nor does it get really hot.

Where is it 70 to 80 degrees year round? ›

Hawaii, USA

The average temperature in the Hawaiian islands stays right around 80 degrees all year round, but even on a chilly day it only drops to a low of about 70 degrees.

What US state has the nicest weather year round? ›

The No. 1 city with the best weather in the U.S.? Honolulu, Hawaii. Honolulu took the top spot with an average annual temperature of 77.7 degrees. While the city endures an average of 93 rainy days per year, it also averages 90 sunny days and zero days where the temperature dips below freezing.

Which state is best to go to in the winter? ›

8 Best Places to Visit in Winter in USA
  • North Pole, Alaska. If your heart pumps for snow, frozen lakes, and paradisiacal settings, the North Pole is your ultimate haven. ...
  • Whitefish, Montana. ...
  • Boulder, Colorado. ...
  • Vail, Colorado. ...
  • Death Valley, California. ...
  • New York City. ...
  • Key West, Florida. ...
  • Bend, Oregon.
27 Dec 2021

Where can I go for Christmas with kids? ›

Free entrance.
  • Festival of Lights - Ayala Triangle Gardens (Makati) ...
  • Pixar Playtown - Bonifacio High Street (Taguig) ...
  • Disney Festival of Lights - Nuvali (Santa Rosa, Laguna) ...
  • Christmas 3D Projection - Alabang Town Center (Muntinlupa) ...
  • Xentro Christmas Mall - Mambugan (Antipolo)

What state has the harshest winter? ›

Alaska. Alaska is the coldest state in the U.S. Alaska's average temperature is 28.1°F (-2.7°C) and can go as low as -30°F (-34°C) during the winter months.

Where should I go if I hate winter? ›

10 Places to Move to If You Hate Winter
  • Wilmington, North Carolina. ...
  • Charleston, South Carolina. ...
  • Corpus Christi, Texas. ...
  • Simi Valley, California. ...
  • San Diego, California. ...
  • Santa Barbara, California. ...
  • Sarasota, Florida. ...
  • New Orleans, Louisiana.
19 Jan 2017

Where is the cheapest place to be a snowbird? ›

7 Most Affordable Snowbird Destinations for the 2022-2023 Season
  1. Tybee Island, Georgia. Swoop into the Low Country after the summer crowds recede, and just as the shrimp and oyster season hits. ...
  2. Pawleys Island, South Carolina. ...
  3. McAllen, Texas. ...
  4. Anna Maria Island, Florida. ...
  5. Princeville, Hawaii. ...
  6. Prescott, AZ. ...
  7. Twentynine Palms, CA.

Where do most snowbirds go? ›

Florida is among the top states for snowbirds, with six cities ranking in the top 10. California and Arizona are also popular destinations for travelers. As far as housing costs, Texas is the most budget-friendly state for snowbirds.

Where is the most magical place to spend Christmas in the US? ›

Salt Lake City, Utah

I love the way the dark nights become lit up with colorful lights. The most magical Christmas getaways in the USA have got to be Salt Lake City. Downtown Salt Lake turns into a winter wonderland. People from all over flock here this time of year to see the millions of lights downtown.

Where is the cheapest place for Christmas? ›

Skip out on the tidings but not the joy with our list of the best cheap Christmas holiday destinations.
  1. Riviera Maya, Mexico. Akumal Beach, Riviera Maya. ...
  2. Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. Puerto Plata beach. ...
  3. Prague, Czech Republic. ...
  4. Chiang Mai, Thailand. ...
  5. Bali, Indonesia. ...
  6. Curaçao. ...
  7. Split, Croatia. ...
  8. Las Vegas, Nevada.
13 Jul 2022

Where is hot and cheap in December? ›

Dominican Republic (29.6 °C) Barbados (29.5 °C) Brisbane (28.2 °C) Cape Verde (26.4 °C)

What city has the best winter weather? ›

These are some of the best warm places to live in the United States for weather:
  • Corpus Christi, Texas.
  • Hilo, Hawaii.
  • Key West, Florida.
  • Miami, Florida.
  • Phoenix, AZ.
  • San Diego, California.
  • St. George, Utah.
17 Nov 2021

Where is a warm vacation spot in December? ›

Hawaii, also known as the Big Island, is one of the best warm places in the United States to visit in December. The weather is warm, in the high 70s, without too much humidity.


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