Video: REAL: Aspen

Kinga Philipps exposes the different sides and issues associated to this popular ski resort destination.
schegi/ iStock/ Thinkstock
schegi/ iStock/ Thinkstock

Bundle Up and Venture Out

Whether you like to embrace the season by hitting the ski slopes or escape it by heading off to someplace tropical, winter can be a great time to travel. You may even find fewer crowds and cheaper flights. But if you choose a cold-weather destination, you’ll need a good coat, hat, gloves and scarf!

Get Inspired

Royal Gorge Cross Country Ski Resort - Lake Tahoe
Royal Gorge Cross Country Ski Resort

Royal Gorge Cross Country Ski Resort

Hit the slopes at Royal Gorge Cross Country Ski Resort. With 65 trails, and 121 miles of skiable terrain, the property is the largest cross-country ski resort in all of North America. Find it in Soda Springs, California, roughly 45 minutes from Lake Tahoe. 960 1280

Daphne Hougard  

MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa

MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa

For a little gambling fun, head to MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa. Nestled on the Nevada side of South Lake Tahoe, the resort doubles as a casino and health spa, where you can indulge in saunas, whirlpools and eucalyptus steam rooms. The resort is also a great place to catch a live show. 960 1280

MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa   

Paddle Boarding on Lake Tahoe

Paddle Boarding on Lake Tahoe

Come summer, rent a stand up paddleboard and paddle around the perimeter of Lake Tahoe. You’ll get in some good exercise: The lake is the 27th largest lake (by volume) in the world, with a perimeter that stretches 72 miles long. 960 1280

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Burger Me

Burger Me

Grab a burger and onion rings at Burger Me. This family-owned-and-operated burger joint in nearby Truckee, California, serves everything fresh and made to order. Hearty options include the “Dirty Bird” (made with 5-oz. free-range chicken) and a good ole hamburger, except this one grass-fed, with no antibiotics. Fast food just got a little healthier. 960 1280

Larry Miller, flickr  

Hiking (Tahoe Rim Trail)

Hiking (Tahoe Rim Trail)

Lace up your boots for a hike along Tahoe Rim Trail, a 165-mile-long hiking trail that forms a loop around Lake Tahoe. Other great hikes include Bayview Trail, a 4- to 5-mile-long trail for experienced hikers, southwest of Lake Tahoe; and Eagle Falls Trail, a family-friendly, 1.5-mile hike in Tahoma, California, located right by Lake Tahoe. 960 1280

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Vikingsholm

Vikingsholm

Find this 38-room mansion on the shore of Emerald Bay in South Lake Tahoe. Built in 1929, Vikingsholm is one of the best examples of Scandinavian architecture not just in America but in the entire Western Hemisphere; among its striking features are round granite boulders fixed in mortar, something commonly found in stone churches and castles built in the 11th century in southern Sweden. 960 1280

Dawn Ellner, flickr  

Resort at Squaw Creek

Resort at Squaw Creek

The kids will love the Resort at Squaw Creek. This luxury ski resort in Lake Tahoe offers a host of family activities, from snowshoeing and sledding to ice skating in the resort’s outdoor exhibition rink, where you’ll find the Sierra Nevada mountain range just beyond. Ask about Mountain Buddies, a supervised outdoors program for kids ages 4 to 12. 960 1280

Resort at Squaw Creek   

Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe

Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe

Bed down for the night at Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort. With a spa, casino and 500 feet of private lakefront beach, this AAA Four Diamond-property is on the pricier side, but if it’s alpine lodge luxury you seek, you’ll find it here. The 421 guestrooms, including 24 lakeside cottages, come decorated with natural pine, distressed wood and leather furnishings. 960 1280

Hyatt Hotels  

Franciscan Lakeside Lodge

Franciscan Lakeside Lodge

For something a bit more on the budget-friendly side, try the Franciscan Lakeside Lodge. Located on Lake Tahoe’s north shore, the property is home to lakefront and lakeside cottages, in a relaxed setting. Stroll along the nearby beach and take in the Tahoe sunset, or kick back in an Adirondack chair on your very own deck or porch. 960 1280

Karen Peacock, flickr  

Homewood Mountain Ski Resort

Homewood Mountain Ski Resort

Enjoy ski runs with epic views of Lake Tahoe at Homewood Mountain Ski Resort. This ski area, on the west shore of Lake Tahoe, comprises 1,260 acres of skiable terrain and eight lifts. Among Homewood’s 64 runs, experienced skiers will want to try “Rainbow Ridge” -- at 2 miles long, it’s the resort’s longest run. 960 1280

Robyn Scarton, Courtesy of Homewood Mountain Resort  

Emerald Bay

Emerald Bay

Located on the southwest corner of Lake Tahoe, Emerald Bay State Park features the Scandinavian-style Vikingsholm mansion; California’s first underwater shipwreck park (scuba-dive to see this final resting place of many boats, launches and barges, used in the lake before the turn of the century); and Fannette Island, the only island in all of Lake Tahoe. Get here by boat; spots six and 21 are the best places to dock. 960 1280

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Gar Woods Grill and Pier

Gar Woods Grill and Pier

Dig into the daily seafood special at Gar Woods Grill and Pier. The waterfront restaurant, nestled in Carnelian Bay in North Lake Tahoe, features a menu of hand-cut steaks, fresh Pacific seafood and the famous “Wet Woody” (ask the waiter). The restaurant’s large deck and balconies, meanwhile, offer great views of Lake Tahoe and the Sierras. 960 1280

Jasper Yue, flickr  

M.S. Dixie Sunset Cruise

M.S. Dixie Sunset Cruise

On the Nevada side of the river, hop aboard the 520-passenger, M.S. Dixie II -- the largest cruising vessel in South Lake Tahoe that’s been voted the “Best Cruise in Nevada” by local Nevada Magazine. In North Lake Tahoe, hop aboard Tahoe Gal for a leisurely ride to Emerald Bay. 960 1280

ARAMARK Parks and Destinations  

M.S. Dixie Sunset Cruise

M.S. Dixie Sunset Cruise

On the Nevada side of the river, hop aboard the 520-passenger, M.S. Dixie II -- the largest cruising vessel in South Lake Tahoe that’s been voted the “Best Cruise in Nevada” by local Nevada Magazine. In North Lake Tahoe, hop aboard Tahoe Gal for a leisurely ride to Emerald Bay. 960 1280

ARAMARK Parks and Destinations  

Skiing in Snowbird, Utah
Snowbird (Utah)

Snowbird (Utah)

Just 29 miles from Salt Lake City, Snowbird tempts riders with the legendary Little Cottonwood Powder — 500 inches of dry, powdery snowfall each year. 960 1280

Patrick Orton/Getty Images  

Snowbird (Utah)

Snowbird (Utah)

Snowbird also plays hosts to Utah’s longest ski season, from mid-November through May. 960 1280

Scott Markewitz/Getty Images  

Crested Butte (Colorado)

Crested Butte (Colorado)

In the Colorado Rockies, Crested Butte is a small ski village with a flair for adventure. Polish your snowboarding skills on the DC Superpipe, the slope’s crowning 400-foot-long obstacle with 17-foot-high walls perfect for stunts. 960 1280

By Jeffrey Beall (Own work) [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Crested Butte (Colorado)

Crested Butte (Colorado)

There are also 3 terrain parks challenging snowboarders at all skill levels. 960 1280

By Peter from Wellesley [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Mammoth (California)

Mammoth (California)

Serious snowboarders head to the High Sierras for 300 days of sunshine and 400 inches of fresh snow a year. 960 1280

By The Chief from Hollywood (IMG_4408Uploaded by Hike395) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Mammoth (California)

Mammoth (California)

This wintry playground includes 7 terrain parks and 3 half-pipes, with beginner-friendly small bumps and jibs at Disco Park and difficult rails, boxes and jump lines at Main Park. 960 1280

By Nandaro (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Jackson Hole (Wyoming)

Jackson Hole (Wyoming)

Jackson Hole teamed up with the Burton snowboard company to create Stash Park, an all-natural freestyle terrain park crafted out of natural elements using local trees and found objects. 960 1280

By Enricokamasa (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons  

Jackson Hole (Wyoming)

Jackson Hole (Wyoming)

In addition, there’s a super-pipe, 2 terrain parks and snowboarding access on 100% of the mountain. 960 1280

Zach Dischner/Getty Images  

Big Sky Resort (Montana)

Big Sky Resort (Montana)

Enjoy big mountain views from the Lone Peak Tram before making your way down the 4,350-foot vertical drop through fresh powder. 960 1280

By Jim from Lexington, KY, USA (Big Sky resort) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Big Sky Resort (Montana)

Big Sky Resort (Montana)

In addition to the beautiful, wide-open spaces contained within Big Sky, there are plenty of boxes, jumps, rails and pole jams where you can master new tricks. 960 1280
Yosemite
Yosemite National Park, California

Yosemite National Park, California

The setting sun illuminates El Capitan monolith in frozen Yosemite National Park. A favorite for advanced rock climbers, "The Chief" is the world's largest solid granite block, rising an awe-inspiring 3,500 feet above the ground. 960 1280

Getty  

Multnomah Falls, Oregon

Multnomah Falls, Oregon

After an ice storm, freezing cold water continues to plummet an impressive 620 feet into the Columbia River. Visitors can take in the spectacular view from the Benson Bridge, built in 1914 for scenes like this one. 960 1280

Getty  

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Snow coats the ground around the Belgian Pool, a hot spring in the Upper Geyser Basin of Yellowstone National Park. You can look, but don't get too close! Originally named Oyster Spring, the natural wonder was renamed after a Belgian visitor who fell into it in 1929 and suffered fatal thermal burns. 960 1280

Getty  

Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

A snowy shot of Bryce Canyon's hoodoos, tall rock structures that form from water, wind and ice erosion. 960 1280

Getty  

St. Joseph Lighthouses, Michigan

St. Joseph Lighthouses, Michigan

The St. Joseph Lighthouses attempt to withstand the elements on frozen Lake Michigan. The 2 lighthouses were built in the early 1900s, and the outer light is one of the oldest on the lake.  960 1280

Getty  

Coyote Buttes, Arizona

Coyote Buttes, Arizona

Jack Frost puts an icy touch on "The Wave," an incredible sandstone rock formation in Coyote Buttes North, a section of the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness. In order to preserve the spectacular sight, only 20 hikers (with permits) per day are allowed to visit. 960 1280

Getty  

Joshua Tree National Park, California

Joshua Tree National Park, California

The sun rises over snow-clad Joshua trees in California's Mojave Desert. 960 1280

  

Igloo rooms in the snow with aurora overhead
Kakslauttanen, Finland

Kakslauttanen, Finland

Kaklsauttenen is one of a handful of resorts catering to Northern Lights tourists. Their igloo rooms offer in-bed viewing of the spectacular lights overhead.  960 1280

Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort   

Jukkasjärvi, Sweden

Jukkasjärvi, Sweden

For even more ephemeral lodgings, Jukkasjärvi Sweden’s Ice Hotel, is rebuilt from snow and ice each winter for Northern Lights tourists. 960 1280

: MARTIN SMEDSÉN and ASAF KLIGER, courtesy of Ice Hotel  

Frederick Sound, Southeast Alaska

Frederick Sound, Southeast Alaska

The Northern Lights are visible from almost anywhere in Alaska north of Fairbanks. The University of Alaska even offers a Northern Lights forecast so you can plan your trip.  960 1280

Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images  

Abisko, Swedish Lapland

Abisko, Swedish Lapland

Some consider Sweden’s Abisko National Park the premier locale for viewing the Northern Lights. The area’s unique microclimate, which generates little precipitation, practically ensures clear skies. 960 1280

FRANCOIS CAMPREDON/AFP/Getty Images  

Tromsoe, Norway

Tromsoe, Norway

For Northern Lights with a little nightlife, show up in Tromsoe for the Northern Lights Festival, a celebration that features music, dance and more, for eleven days in late January and early February. 960 1280

Rune Stoltz Bertinussen/AFP/Getty Images  

Aberdeen, Scotland

Aberdeen, Scotland

Though the Northern Lights (or Merry Dancers as locals call them), can be spotted in much of the U.K., Aberdeen is probably the best British viewing locale.  960 1280

Jim Henderson / Barcroft Media / Getty Images  

Iceland

Iceland

Iceland’s become a popular tourist destination in recent years, with plenty of activities, including aurora viewing. But if your sole purpose for heading to Iceland is the natural light show, be sure to leave a few buffer days; Iceland is notorious for overcast skies. 960 1280

Jonina G. Oskarsdottir/Barcroft Media/Getty Images  

Lapland, Finland

Lapland, Finland

Safely within the Arctic Circle, Lapland, Finland enjoys Northern Lights nearly 200 days of the year. 960 1280

Marko Korosec / Barcroft USA via Getty Images  

Northern Hudson Bay, Canada

Northern Hudson Bay, Canada

You can get your Northern Lights and ogle polar bears on a single trip to Churchill, Manitoba, where the lights are visible 300 nights a year, and the polar bears are plentiful.  960 1280

Hoberman Collection/UIG via Getty Images  

Greenland

Greenland

A lengthy Northern Lights season (from September to April) and limited light pollution make Greenland an ideal viewing spot for aurora seekers.  960 1280

Patrick ROBERT/Corbis via Getty Images  

Best Destinations for Winter

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