The northeast has been getting hit with a deluge of snow this winter, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take a road trip. We’re showcasing three off-season trips that you can take this winter that are as cheery as walking through a storybook village or as exhilarating as skiing down a mountain pass.
With the pandemic still looming over our heads be sure to check all state and local travel restrictions, always wear a mask, social distance, and diligently wash your hands.
Vermont to Maine
Vermont’s myriad of quaint villages like Weston for leisurely shopping (check out the famous Vermont Country Store) and Wilmington for hiking and skiing, offer opportunities to enjoy the scenic countryside. Stowe, famous for cross country skiing, snowmobiling, and dog sledding is the place to enjoy expertly groomed and backcountry trails for all interests and abilities.
Since winter brings ice, did you know that Vermont is home to 8 magnificent frozen waterfalls? After ogling a waterfall or two, visit Ben & Jerry’s Factory in Waterbury and treat yourself to some scrumptious ice cream.
As you head further up the rugged Atlantic coastline, free of summer crowds, view the many lighthouses and make a stop in Portland Maine for lobster. Continue your trip with a leisurely drive along the plowed portion of scenic Ocean Drive in Acadia.
Shenandoah National Park, Virginia to Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee
The mountains in Virginia and Tennessee offer year-round accessibility because of their lower elevation than those near us in the northeast. This area is a hiker’s paradise.
A car ride along Shenandoah’s Skyline Drive offers spectacular panoramic views. But it’s the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, open year-round, that is an attractive hiking spot, especially in the winter, when it’s less crowded.
From there, a journey on the Blue Ridge Parkway offering more spectacular views of Southern Appalachia’s diverse beauty. Blue-misted mountains and cascading waterfalls greet hikers of all skill levels along more than 100 varied trails at the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee.
Zion National Park to Moab National Park, Utah
Utah offers visitors sparkling blue skies, dry weather, and a myriad of red rocks, towering hoodoos, and slot canyons. Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, and Arches national parks all call Utah their home.
Start with an early rise in Zion National Park to experience the sunrise within the canyon walls. Visit Bryce Canyon’s red rocks, pink cliffs, and endless vistas dotted with hoodoos (irregular columns of rock).
Located in south-central Utah in the heart of red rock country, Capitol Reef National Park is a hidden treasure filled with cliffs, canyons, domes, and bridges in the Waterpocket Fold, a geologic monocline (a wrinkle on the earth) extending almost 100 miles. If you’re brave enough to camp in the cold, the Fruita Campground in Capitol Reef offers availability in the winter.
Off-season trips offer the benefit of fewer crowds and the opportunity to try out exhilarating winter sports. We're hoping these three road trips to take in the winter will inspire you to safely start exploring.