Looking for something to do this winter that doesn’t involve getting on the ski slopes? Check out these fun non-ski winter activities around the United States.
You’ll find both outdoor and indoor ice skating rinks all around the United States, but certainly one of the most picturesque rinks is at Rockefeller Center. This is one of New York City’s most treasured traditions, with both locals and travelers heading to The Rink at Rockefeller Center. They only let 150 skaters on at a time, so the experience feels more intimate.
If you like fishing, there’s no reason a frozen lake has to stop you! Ice fishing is rather popular in parts of the US. Make sure to find a safe spot to ice fish though. You need to find a spot on the ice that can safely hold the weight of you and your gear. The best spots are located in marinas, harbors, and bays. States like Illinois and Michigan are regarded as the best ice fishing destinations, but don’t discount states like Vermont or Minnesota, the land of "over 10,000 lakes."
If your family or travel companions are set on vacationing at a ski resort this winter, but you don’t ski, try to steer them towards one that offers a variety of other activities. Some resorts offer unique winter adventure like snowshoeing! The great thing about snowshoeing is that everyone is basically on the same skill level. But, be warned – it’s quite the workout! Stowe Mountain Resort in Vermont features 100 miles of accessible trails in the Green Mountain State Forest network, while snowshoeing is also available around the village, and even on the mountain slopes.
If you ever thought dog sledding was something only available in places like Canada or Alaska, you’d be wrong. There are companies that specialize in dog sledding adventures throughout the continental United States, including Good Times Adventures in Colorado. Here, you’ll do a 6-mile run along the winding trails of the Swan River Valley. Tours can hold up to six people and are like a relay. Guests will switch out between running with the dogs, riding in the dogsled, and riding on a small passenger sleigh with your guide.
Where there is snow, you’re likely to find a snowmobile rental company! Many of the snowmobiles are brand new, state-of-the-art masterpieces offering a luxurious adventure through the snowy wilderness. Some snowmobiles even feature hand warmers. Some companies offer multi-hour tours through miles of groomed trails.
A number of destinations within the US offer snowtubing, but Camelback Snowtubing Park in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania is the country’s biggest one. Camelback Resort features 42 lanes, single tubes for racing, and double tubes for groups. Head to the peak of the tubing mountain on the Magic Carpet Lifts, hop on a tube, and speed your way down the mountain.
If a romantic sleigh ride sounds like your idea of fun, head to Wyoming for horse-drawn sleigh rides through National Elk Refuge. Here you’ll be within 30-40 feet of elk, and maybe foxes, wolves, bison, and eagles.
What’s your favorite wintertime activity?
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Erin is a travel and food writer who currently splits her time between the Netherlands and Belize. She's traveled to 60+ countries on 5 continents with a passion for culinary travel, luxury hotels, and all things Disney. Her writing has appeared in numerous online outlets including Gadling, BootsnAll, CNN, Art of Backpacking, TravBuddy, CBS, and more. She was the major author of Belize's official visitor magazine, Destination Belize 2013; wrote the official AFAR Guide to Belize; and is also AFAR Magazine's local Belize expert.. In addition to writing for other publications, Erin maintains several blogs, Our Tasty Travels, No Checked Bags, Pooh's Travels, and the brand new Caye To Belize. Follow Erin on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google Plus.
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