Skip the Crowded Slopes: Alternatives to Ski Vacations
NEW YORK (MainStreet) Plenty of people head to the slopes this time of year, and savvy travelers may be able to find good deals on ski vacations. But if snow isn't your thing, we've got suggestions for other worthy destinations that are off-season (and therefore cheaper) this time of year.
New York City
Winter is always a great time to visit cities. The attractions are the same year-round, but colder weather mean lower prices and smaller crowds. New York City is an outstanding destination in February, particularly if you are hoping to take in a couple Broadway shows or peacefully tour the museums. You might want to pack a fashionable pair of snow boots though, just in case.
It's possible to have the best of both worlds this time of year. Vancouver, Canada combines the amenities of a city with proximity to skiing, so if the mood strikes you can head out to one of the local mountains. Or if you're just not feeling it, you can stay downtown and enjoy world class dining, theatre and spas at off-season rates.
Block Island, Rhode Island
New York isn't the only worthwhile destination in the Northeast. Many coastal towns offer steep discounts during the winter lull. One of our favorites is Block Island, Rhode Island. It's the perfect place to get away from it allturn off your smart phone and work your way through a stack of books. Or, if you're so inclined, bring a surfboard and a thick wet suit. The water may be cold, but the waves are clean and empty.
Cape Town, South Africa
If you're suffering from the winter blues, the best cure may be a trip to the Southern Hemisphere, where February is the peak of summer. Cape Town, South Africa is a bit of a trek, but worth every dollar and minute you spend to get there. Locals flood tourist destinations in January, but by February the weather is still perfect and the crowds have thinned out.
To experience summer temperatures without battling jet lag, you can't go wrong with a trip to Colombia. Cartagena is rich in history, but also has modern appeal with luxury hotels and sophisticated restaurants at reasonable prices. The weather is always warm and sunny, which is perfect for exploring the colonial old town or relaxing on one of the beaches. The charming city is also a popular destination for celebrities, so keep your eyes peeled for star-sightings while you're there.
--Written by Lauren Lyons Cole for MainStreet