If you purchased one of the houses for sale in Toronto and aren’t looking forward to spending all winter bundled up simply enduring the cold, it’s time to start thinking about a getaway. Whether you want to go somewhere that allows you to take advantage of the snow and enjoy some thrills or have fun in the sun, these are some of the top spots to consider.
While you may get a dusting of snow during a winter trip to Sedona, this stunning desert oasis tends to get lots of sunshine, with the skies bright blue and temperatures pleasant for hiking. And, even better? You can often enjoy the trails that lead through spectacular fiery red rock formations practically all to yourself. After dark, stargazing is incredible here with the often cloud- and haze-free skies.
Cannon Beach, Oregon
Snow is rare on the Oregon coast too, and in Cannon Beach on the northern coast, winter brings the opportunity to watch the powerful waves crash against the rocky shores, along with as many as 20,000 gray whales that pass by from mid-December through mid-January on their migration route between Alaska and Baja California, Mexico. When the weather calms, enjoy beach strolls, combing for everything from sand dollars to the occasional vintage blow-glass fishing net float.
Yellowstone National Park
The vast majority of Yellowstone National Park’s visitors arrive during the summer months. If you want to enjoy the park with more wildlife sightings than people, winter is definitely the time to go. While you will have to bundle up when enjoying the outdoors, it’s worth it for the peace and seclusion. Go cross-country skiing or snowshoeing, passing frozen waterfalls, turquoise-hued hot springs, and erupting geysers. You’ll see many bison and elk, and you might even spot the elusive wolf.
If it’s sunshine, sand, and tropical weather you’re after, consider making an escape to Hawaii where the average winter temperature is 80 degrees. By heading to Maui, you’ll be able to watch the humpback whales that often breach right offshore, and when snorkeling, sometimes you can even listen to their songs, a haunting melody that travels underwater from up to 12 miles away. Winter is also the best time for surfing, with larger, more powerful waves.
San Diego, California
Another option for fun in the sun, San Diego offers beautiful beaches, year-round mild weather, and a long list of attractions. You’ll find plenty to do indoors and out, from swimming, surfing, and sunbathing to golfing, biking, and museum visits. Wander through San Diego Zoo, one of the world’s most famous, or head to Belmont Park, a seaside mini-amusement park to ride the 2,600-foot-long Giant Dipper roller coaster that offers ocean views. Just 30 minutes from downtown is Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, which boasts sweeping vistas of the Pacific, miles and miles of scenic trails that wind through sandstone canyons and forest, and the 4.5-mile-long Torrey Pines State Beach.
Amelia Island, Florida
Located off Florida’s northern coast, Amelia Island offers 12 miles of beach that are mostly deserted during the winter months, making it easy to find your perfect spot to toss down a blanket on the sand. The small town of Fernandina Beach has a picturesque historic downtown and lots of great restaurants serving fresh seafood. At Fort Clinch State Park, you can explore one of the country’s most well-preserved 19th-century forts and enjoy the island’s largest natural shoreline area. The dunes are wonderful for strolls, and you can even go horseback riding on the sand.