It is no secret that many people choose to take their vacations or adventures somewhere near the equator of the Earth. This is because when you are near the equator, the weather is perfect for a relaxing vacation. The sun is constantly shining during the day, and when it is not, warm rains fall upon white sand beaches. There are a lot of islands dotted throughout the equatorial line that host vacationers from all over the world who are seeking some extra tanlines and ocean spray. But, not everybody likes to spend their time soaking up sun rays. Others love to feel the bright, fresh cold air on their face as they wander through a beautiful snowy town with a hot drink in their hands. These special people would prefer to spend their time in a winter wonderland. If this is you, or perhaps if you are considering breaking your past track record of warm vacations, then here are some of the best cities that you can visit far north of the equatorial line.
Most people do not think of Alaska when they consider a vacation. Perhaps other images of slippery glaciers, harrowing mountain peaks, gigantic wildlife, and vast wilderness. While those amazing natural things do exist in this state, there is also so much fun to be had. A popular tourist destination is the large city of Juneau. Juneau is the capital city of Alaska and is located on the Gastineau Channel which allows cruise ships and supply ships to easily navigate in and out of the city. Some things to do in Juneau include, but are certainly not limited to, hiking Mt. Roberts, going on a helicopter tour, trying dog sledding, hiking surrounding glaciers, and eating at one of the many great restaurants. You cannot throw a rock five feet without it landing on a grand adventure in this great city.
Amsterdam is not always cold, but it becomes a fantastic winter city when the temperatures drop. The city is well known for its interlocking network of canals. Some of these canals freeze over during the cold months and you can go ice skating on them. You can also enjoy plenty of delicious Dutch meals and hot drinks as you waltz through the beautiful city. Amsterdam is also famous for its Christmas markets which offer amazing decorations and hot wine.
Iceland has some of the most unique natural features in the world. In the capital city of Reykjavik, you can go ice skating, skiing, and snowboarding nearby. There are plenty of outdoor activities for you to enjoy in the freezing weather and beautiful snow. You can also explore vast ice caves, but be careful not to get lost. You also might get lucky and see the Northern Lights while you are here.
Yes, Japan is an island, but the northern part of it is so far to the North that it becomes a perfect winter destination. Nagano is one of the best Northern cities to visit. It is about an hour’s bullet train ride from the large city of Tokyo. There are large snowy mountains which means that you can go backcountry skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and much more. You can also visit the important cultural Shinto shrines that have been in this city for over a thousand years. Shintoism is Japan’s ancient animistic religion and has produced some of the world’s most beautiful religious sites. You can also witness snow monkeys bathing in local hot springs to keep warm in the snow and cold. One of the best parts of this city is the amazing Japanese cuisine which you can enjoy inside one of the many beautifully designed restaurants.
As you can see, there are really no wrong choices when it comes to winter destinations. Even if you only choose to visit one of these cities in your lifetime, you will be much happier for it. Enjoy your travels and don’t forget to bring a coat!