Who says summer is the best time for a getaway? If you adore winter at its finest—sun gleaming, sky blue, a layer of powdery snow draped across the landscape—a stay in popular cold-weather destinations spells the vacation of your dreams. Join us on a quick tour of our favorite winter wonderlands.
Welcome to Whistler
First stop: the town of Whistler, British Columbia. Renowned for its Blackcomb Mountains landscape and alpine sports, Whistler offers an unusually long snow season, from November to April, and an average yearly snowfall of 35.5 feet. You’re virtually guaranteed stellar conditions for all your favorite winter activities.
If you can think of a classic winter sport, you’re sure to find it in Whistler. Choose from multiple great ski and snowboard runs, or explore by snowmobile or even dogsled. Ice climbing provides an exciting new challenge, and an attempt at ice fishing makes for great stories when you return home. For a unique experience, schedule a visit to Whistler Sliding Centre, the fastest ice track in the world and previous host to Olympic bobsleigh and luge competitions.
Need a break from outdoor exertions? Spend a day or two exploring Whistler’s chalet-styled downtown. You can shop boutiques, browse art galleries and savor fine meals at local restaurants. To transform your understanding of the region, visit the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre and take a fascinating guided tour of local First Nations’ history.
Make your stay instantly iconic when you book the spectacular Fairmont Chateau Whistler, a landmark hotel that elevates each moment of your stay. This ski-in/ski-out resort combines old-world elegance with guest-centric service. Enjoy elegant accommodations and outstanding amenities, including four restaurants, three bars and an exclusive mountainside spa.
Make Memories in Mont-Tremblant
Next up, we head east to Quebec’s Laurentian Mountains, where one of the range’s highest peaks, Mont Tremblant, provides all the winter fun you could desire. A little over an hour and a half from Montreal, this ski destination is a favorite for families, couples and even corporate travelers combining business with pleasure.
To ensure conditions remain perfect on its 102 ski trails, Tremblant’s facilities include 1,200 snow guns. Venture down one of North America’s longest ski slopes. Need to brush up on your skills? You can schedule a lesson whatever your skill level.
At the foot of the mountain sits Mont Tremblant Village, a welcoming European-style town that’s pedestrian only. Catch a gondola up to the ski slopes, or stroll through the village to explore upscale stores, restaurants and entertainment venues. The town is especially lovely when decorated for the winter holidays.
A cornerstone of the village, Fairmont Tremblant makes an excellent base for your snowscape adventures. This award-winning ski-in/ski-out resort features airy rooms and suites with modern rustic décor. After a day on the slopes, you can warm tired muscles with a dip in the heated indoor pool and whirlpool or take the family to a tasty Italian dinner at Le Comptoir Tremblant.
Find a One-of-a-Kind Stay in Montebello
Just an hour south of Tremblant another winter wonderland awaits along Quebec’s Ontario border in the small town of Montebello. In addition to the beauty of the countryside, you’ll find the world’s largest log cabin, Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello.
Surrounded by old-growth forests, this 5-star luxury resort overlooks the Ottawa River and carries a rich past populated by some of Canada’s wealthiest families, A-list stars and even international leaders. Rooms and suites exude a chalet-style hospitality. While away chilly mornings at the indoor pool and hot tubs, or enjoy a treatment at the on-site spa. Visit the resort’s curling arena for a lesson in this traditional Canadian sport.
To enjoy the winter landscape up close, set out on snowshoes or skis across the countryside, or rent electric fat bikes and stick to the trails. For a great day trip, you can drive an hour west to sample the many attractions in the provincial capital, Ottawa. Top off your day with a gourmet meal at Aux Chantignoles Restaurant followed by a s’mores-making session at the hotel firepits.
Go for Rustic Splendor in Telluride
Next, we jet southwest to Telluride, one of Colorado’s most praised destinations. Telluride began as a mining town and still retains its historic charms today. Its setting amid 14,000-foot mountains in the San Juan range of the Rockies offers not just a stunning backdrop but also entertainment galore.
Chief among them, Telluride’s ski resort spans 2,000 acres and includes some of the world’s top ski and snowboard runs as well as trails for cross-country skiing, fat biking and hiking. With options and lessons for everyone, from beginners to professionals, you’ll find the adventure you crave. For a unique winter experience, book a helicopter ski outing to enjoy pristine snow and unparalleled scenery in the backcountry.
Described in Condé Nast Traveler as “one of the best ski lodges in one of the best ski towns in North America,” Fairmont Heritage Place, Franz Klammer Lodge combines Telluride’s rustic style with upscale accommodations. It sits within walking distance of the ski gondola and offers a luxury spa in addition to residences with stunning views. Just a 15-minute drive away, you can explore Telluride’s historic district, boutiques, gourmet restaurants, and thriving arts and theater scene.
Find a Winter You Can Love in Maui
Are the glories of zingy cold, blanketing snow and cozy fireside evenings just not for you? For those who prefer their winters sunny and warm, a trip to Maui’s Wailea coast is in order. With gorgeous sand beaches, great surfing and snorkeling, and plenty of nearby entertainment, this resort town is a winter wonderland of another sort.
For a special treat, book a whale-watching cruise to get an up-close glimpse of the famous humpbacked cetaceans that make Hawai’i their winter home. For an indoor break, head to The Shops at Wailea, where you can browse luxury and boutique stores or savor award-winning restaurant fare.
Whether you’re on a family trip or romantic retreat, Fairmont Kea Lani creates the perfect setting for your stay. This 5-star beachfront resort provides easy access to Polo Beach along with top-notch amenities like three swimming pools and a spa on site. You can learn to hula, spend an afternoon under a poolside cabana and then top off your day with a family meal at AMA Bar & Grill.
Found the winter wonderland that speaks to you? Start planning your getaway now.