Vacationing in the winter can be loads of fun and much less expensive than traveling during the warmer months. For empty nesters, this is the perfect time to travel. There is no need to worry about kids missing school or having to deal with crowds on the roads or at airports.
Typically, winter travelers are divided into two camps: those who embrace the cold and those who escape it. Please take advantage of this moment and check out our list of winter travel ideas for empty nesters below.
Embrace the Cold
This national park is an incredible gem at any time of year, but the winter makes for an especially unique experience. The whole park is covered in beautiful white powder snow. The lakes are frozen over, and the geysers are billowing steam. Since the snow hides all the roads, this is what the park probably looked like before humans entered the picture. This snow coverage also means that most of the traveling done in the park needs to happen by “oversnow” methods of transportation such as skis or snowmobile. See the frosted wildlife while on a snowshoeing trek or sit in a warm log cabin and enjoy hot cocoa.
There are numerous places to visit in Alaska that will fill you with awe. The major cities like Fairbanks and Anchorage offer unique snowsport opportunities such as dog sledding, glacier hikes, and guided snowmobile tours. Visitors come from all around to view the Northern Lights, a brilliant natural light show that illuminates the night sky with bright blues and greens. Stay in a comfortable hotel or rent a cozy cabin on a room sharing website.
This gorgeous national park makes you feel like you just stepped into a winter wonderland. For those that love cold weather but want the experience of a quaint, cozy town, Lakeshore is the perfect option. Check out nearby lighthouses and waterfalls or catch a glimpse of a massive bear at Oswald’s Bear Ranch. Lakeshore has many spectacles to behold for the sightseeing tourist.
Asheville, North Carolina
For those seeking a mountain vacation without having to trek through the snow, Asheville is the ideal option. Located just off the Appalachian Trail near the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville is an arts and culture mecca. Discover breathtaking views of the mountains and head back into town to peruse art galleries and local coffee shops. You may want to bring a jacket, but you can leave the snow boots at home.
Escape the Cold
New Orleans, Louisiana
Of course, the city that is famous for Mardi Gras and Bourbon Street would make for a fantastic vacation destination during the winter. The town stays warm all year round, making Mardi Gras in March a pleasant time to stay out on the street all evening. If dancing in the street isn’t your cup of tea, head over to the French Quarter for delicious Cajun food and beignets or some soothing jazz music. Don’t let the crowds overwhelm you; New Orleans has much to offer all around the city, so you don’t have to fight for elbow room.
The U.S. Virgin Islands
Since the U.S. Virgin Islands are a U.S. territory in the Caribbean, you can feel like you’re worlds away without having to go through the hassle of international travel. St. Thomas is the most-visited of the territories and attracts many tourists and has miles of beautiful beaches to relax on. St. Croix is considered by many to be the cultural epicenter of the islands. It is also the largest of the islands. St. John is a smaller island with a national park covering two-thirds of its land. Catch glimpses of early colonial life on any of the islands or enjoy snorkeling and sailing across the pristine blue seawater. These quaint little islands are like a slice of paradise that makes excellent choices for winter travel for empty nesters.
Yes, Hawaii. The Pacific island region is remarkable at any time of year but makes an especially great option for escaping the cold. Hawaii has so much variety that you can find something to satisfy your itch, whether that is adventurous hiking or beach-side drinks. There are waterfalls and rainforests and the incredible Waimea Canyon for those bringing their hiking boots. If you’re seeking more relaxing times, book a whale-watching tour or kick your feet up on the soft white sands.
Key West and Crystal River are only a couple of ideal winter vacation spots to escape the chilly temps and find relaxation time that are available in Florida. No need to go to one of the major metros in the state. The smaller cities still have a lot of beachfront and hotel space. Save headaches and money by avoiding the spring break season and book your travel during the earlier months of the year.
In conclusion, wherever you go and whatever your perfect spot, winter is a fantastic opportunity to travel for empty nesters. Avoid traveling during the holidays, and enjoy off-season prices and possibilities. While you’re out traveling if you feel like you’re ready to downsize your home, contact us at Baker Realty to help get you started on the process.