Winter is the most wonderful time of the year! Of course, that is just until you’re scraping ice off of your car at 6 in the morning. It’ll have you dreaming of that dreaded summer heat, craving it. If you’re one of the people suffering from that, or you’re one of the people who live for wintertime, you’ll love these ten real-life winter wonderlands to remind just how amazing the cold can be. They were all so gorgeous, they’re just in alphabetical order because picking a favorite is simply impossible!
Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
This national park is located in southern Utah and spans almost 56 square miles. It was designated as a national park back in 1928. The unique rock formations in the park are called hoodoos. Hoodoos are spires of rock that have a column that was easily eroded, but the cap was more resistant. They’re called hoodoos, sometimes fairy chimneys, or even goblins. There are many formations of them scattered around the world, but the largest concentration of them around the world are in the northern parts of the park. When the snow falls all over those red formations, it is breathtaking, and a must see!
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Cape Cod is a small town on a hook-shaped peninsula off of Massachusetts. It’s most associated with summer because of the little villages, awesome seafood, and all of the beaches. The frigid weather that far north is enough to stave off any visitors that near to the water but those cookie cutter houses and elegant lighthouses covered in a blanket of silencing snow is an incredible sight that is more than worth the trip. Looking out from the Pilgrim Monument is the number one thing to add to the itinerary.
Central Park, New York City
Central Park is full of fun winter activities if you aren’t just in it to see the sights. Whether you’re on your own, with a partner, or with your family, you can take advantage of the ice skating rinks that dot the park in the winter. You can also take skating or hockey lessons on the rinks, and there are horse-drawn carriage rides, photography tours, and more. You can also check out the Winter Jam Festival! It’s a free winter sports festival that’s held every year, with equipment provided completely for free. The Winter Jam Festival also has fun for your dog as well.
Lake Michigan, Chicago
Chicago isn’t a huge tourist destination, which means that the cost of this will be lower than somewhere like the big apple. It’s very icy and grey, but it is a very serene sight for those of you who like the eeriness of winter. Snow softens the sounds of the city, and the ice stills the lake, causing a surrounding quiet to swallow up the area. It’s a perfect place to bundle up and just take in quietly over a cup of hot cocoa, or even some coffee. Just make sure to take a jacket! Wind chill can get down to 20 below at the worst.
Lapland is very sparsely populated, and in the northern part of Finland that borders on Sweden, Norway, Russia, and the Baltic Sea. There are plenty of ski resorts to visit, and even a subarctic wilderness that you shouldn’t hike but will have plenty of safe places for you to just take in the vast beauty of it all. Lapland also features natural phenomena like the midnight sun and the Northern Lights. You can even stop by the Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi. The animal of the region is the reindeer; it couldn’t be more fitting!
Loch Achilty, Scotland
Loch is Scottish Gaelic for the word lake; Achilty is associated with a Gaelic work that shares the same root as the Welsh word for high. This is a gorgeous place surrounded by oakwood and birch trees and has a pebble beach on one end. Around the beach, there are picnic areas set aside amongst the trees. It isn’t very far from Strathpeffer. There are less than 2,000 people that populate the village and spa town, which is full of cute shops and places to eat. When blanketed in snow, it looks like something out of a Thomas Kinkade painting.
Multnomah Falls, Oregon
A waterfall in Oregon in the middle of winter might not be the image your mind conjures when you think of the word wonderland, but this magical and breathtaking view will change your mind. It’s the tallest waterfall in the state, and second tallest year-round waterfall in the country and towers at 620 feet. It falls in two steps, and with everything cased in ice, the serenity of it all is nothing short of incredible. Tourists thin out, and Benton Bridge can usually be found with just a few people there, making for an even better photo op. Afterwards, you can warm up over at Multnomah Falls Lodge which was built in 1925.
The Old Town is the very definition of festive when the world-famous Christkindlesmarkt opens up every year. The origin of the market is still unknown today, but it draws around 2 million visitors every year. You’ll find special Christmas treats, rides, crafts, and more at the market the sprawls across the square in Nuremberg and the surrounding streets. All the lights and music are captivating, and it’s just a short drive to Munich where you can experience the Tollwood Winter Festival for more music, festive treats, and handcrafted gifts. Time to update your passport!
Prague, Czech Republic
Prague is picturesque any time of the year, but in winter, it’s it surely a wonderland. You can check out the holiday exhibition in the Bethlehem chapel starting in November and through to January. Prague has its own Christmas market, parades, ice skating rinks (indoor and outdoor), evening concerts, and more. Winter is very festive, and the handcrafted gifts you can pick up will be the perfect way to remember the trip. If it’s too cold outside for you, you can head to one of the various historical cafes that are situated all over the city.
South Bank, London
Who doesn’t want to travel to London and just stay there forever? It’s a gorgeous city and the home of many well-loved celebrities. It’s a short trip to Paris and many other beautiful places that are definitely on your bucket list. In the wintertime, there is a winter festival that puts the north pole to shame, and plenty of spectacular views to keep you occupied during your stay. The market features concerts, festival fun, plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy, and it’s all along the Thames river. It’s been named one of the best markets of its kind in London.