15 Incredible Winter Getaways That Won’t Break the Bank
By: Sunny Montefiore
Not all vacations Opens a New Window. can be over-the-top, intimate group safaris Opens a New Window. or private yacht excursions to five-star resorts. Nor do you want them to be. The amazing, affordable winter getaways below keep more green in your wallet without compromising on fun, craft beverages, and access to incredible outdoor experiences Opens a New Window. . Treat yourself to a little splurge and book one of these great trips.
Don’t call Milwaukee Chicago’s friendlier, smaller, cheaper cousin (though it does in fact boast those three traits)—Brew City has its own distinct character and really lives up to its beer-centric nickname. Break a sweat at Adventure Rock Opens a New Window. , where a day pass only sets you back $16, or bike along the Hank Aaron Trail Opens a New Window. before enjoying a beer history tour at Best Place at the Historic Pabst Brewery Opens a New Window. for only $10. When hunger sets in, venture to Milwaukee Public Market, where 20 local vendors peddle everything from lobster rolls to vegan bites. Book a stay at the new Hyatt Place Milwaukee Downtown Opens a New Window. , which won’t break the bank and is located across the street from Milwaukee Brewing Company’s 9th Street Opens a New Window. outpost. It’s also just a block from the city’s new NBA arena, Fiserv Forum Opens a New Window. .
Grenada, in the Caribbean
Welcome yourself to island time at the True Blue Bay Boutique Resort Opens a New Window. , which has rates from $138 a night. During your getaway, be sure to embark on a tour with Sun Hunters Opens a New Window. , an adventure travel outfitter that will get you to must-sees like River Sallee Sulfur Spring and Annandale Falls. If you can squeeze it in, make sure to hike the Seven Sisters Waterfalls in Grand Etang National Park and snorkel your way through the underwater sculpture park at Molinere Beauséjour Marine Protected Area. Then stuff yourself at BB’s Crabback Opens a New Window. , situated on St. George’s Harbour. You’ll remember chef Brian Benjamin’s delicious “Crabback,” which comes baked and stuffed with exotic herbs, wine, cheese, and sauce, for years to come.
Sonoma County, California
Napa isn’t the only getaway for wine lovers in California—Sonoma has plenty going for it, too. Catch thrills on the track at Simraceway Performance Driving Center Opens a New Window. with options like Audi Autocross Challenge, Formula 3 Racing, and Karting Relay Races. Or head up into the trees with Sonoma Canopy Tours Opens a New Window. , a guided eco-tour company offering seven zip lines, two sky bridges, rappelling, and more through California Coastal Redwoods (packages start at $99). For stellar hiking, proceed to Guerneville Opens a New Window. for a hike through Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve Opens a New Window. . Ready to get some shuteye? You can’t go wrong with luxury Airstream camping at Russian River Autocamp Opens a New Window. , especially when rates start at just $160 a night.
Canmore, Alberta, Canada
Head across our northern border for backcountry skiing, Nordic skiing, and wildlife viewing in the Canadian Rockies—all for a fraction of what many American ski spots cost. If the timing works for you, consider a trip for the 2019 Canmore Winter Carnival Opens a New Window. with everything from log sawing competitions to ice carving. Catch some shuteye at Basecamp Canmore Opens a New Window. , an affordably priced mountain resort geared towards Millenials. While in town, sip brews at Grizzly Paw Opens a New Window. and Canmore Brewing Opens a New Window. and eat at Where the Buffalo Roam Saloon Opens a New Window. and The Summit Cafe Opens a New Window. , where you can chase breakfast with one hell of a view.
Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut
Think this sleek New England mecca isn’t affordable? Think again. Rates for mid-week accomodations can often be found starting in the $150 to $200 range, and garage parking is included with your stay. Kick off your trip with a sipping session at New Belgium Brewing Taproom Opens a New Window. and then soak up live entertainment at the Mohegan Sun Arena Opens a New Window. . Seasonally, you can also tee up at the Mohegan Sun Golf Club Opens a New Window. , which boasts a state-of-the-art practice facility that uses FlightScope training technology to give players real-time feedback on their game. For a special meal, make a reservation at Michael Jordan’s Steak House Opens a New Window. , where the generous portions will likely give you enough to take leftovers back to your room for a midnight snack.
Resorts World Catskills in Monticello, New York
It’s hard to believe you’re only two hours from NYC in this vast wonderland of mountains, live entertainment, and 100,000 square feet of gaming. At Resorts World Catskills Opens a New Window. , penny slots, Tuesday trivia nights, Friday Karaoke, and free live music at several venues throughout the property will have you entertained all week. For a (relative) splurge, spoil yourself at Crystal Life Spa Opens a New Window. or at celeb chef Scott Conant’s Cellaio Opens a New Window. , where the handmade pasta dishes teach you that “chewy” and “ethereal” can belong in the same sentence. Stay in the main hotel (from $199) and enjoy views of the lush scenery from your room’s floor-to-ceiling windows, or opt for the property’s second hotel, The Alder Opens a New Window. (from $169). Named after an indigenous tree in the region, the new property opened opened in December 2018 with two TopGolf Swing Suites, the first such simulator experience in New York state.
Survey the Sonoran Desert via horseback with Tanque Verde Ranch Opens a New Window. as your home base. The dude ranch offers a “Rise and Dine” package with rates from $159 a night, and it has activities galore Opens a New Window. , like mountain biking, tennis, yoga, team penning with six riders and eight cattle, a diverse range of horseback riding options, and more. For some otherworldly vistas, try half-day hikes at Redington Pass/Tanque Verde Falls or Mount Lemmon.
They got our attention with snowshoeing in Lassen Volcanic National Park for a $1 donation, they hooked us with the stellar hiking and biking trails Opens a New Window. , and they sealed the deal with the Crystal Ice Cave tours Opens a New Window. , which only set us back a mere $2.50. In the winter, hotel rates tend to hover below $150 a night (our picks are the Redding Sheraton Opens a New Window. or Holiday Inn Redding Opens a New Window. ), and our favorite wallet-friendly spots to get a bite are Woody’s Brewing Co. Opens a New Window. and Vintage Public House Opens a New Window. , where you should definitely double up on potato tacos.
Grand Junction, Colorado
Don’t overlook this hub on the west side of the state, close to the Utah border. Home to the world’s largest flat-top mountain, the Grand Mesa, adrenaline junkies can enjoy downhill skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and more throughout the idyllic region’s many outdoor recreation areas. If you’re looking for some ideas on where to start, try a Ski Patrol Ski-Along at Powderhorn Mountain Resort Opens a New Window. (from $75), where you can get an insider’s perspective on the mountain, or head to the canyons at the Colorado National Monument Opens a New Window. for hiking. Snag an affordable rental on VRBO Opens a New Window. or a room at Springhill Suites Opens a New Window. downtown. Wherever you stay, don’t wrap your vacation without trying the pineapple upside down pancakes at the Dream Cafe Opens a New Window. and hitting the tasting room at Peach Street Distillers Opens a New Window. .
Yes, you can do the Sunshine State on the cheap. Consider Tallahassee, which boasts 600 miles of trails and the world’s largest and deepest freshwater spring, Wakulla Springs Opens a New Window. . Check into Hampton Inn & Suites Tallahassee Capitol-University Opens a New Window. , where you can walk to bars, restaurants, and the Railroad Square Art District Opens a New Window. . The Crum Box Gastgarden Opens a New Window. is a superb choice for a meal, but make sure you earn those calories at the Tallahassee Rock Gym Opens a New Window. across the street first. Or opt for seafood and seasonal fare at farm-to-table spot Backwoods Crossing Opens a New Window. . For more activity inspiration in Florida’s capital, check out 31 things to do in town for under $10 Opens a New Window. .
Sun Valley, Idaho
If you’re a skier and haven’t made a pilgrimage to this Gem State locale, you’re missing out. This year, Hotel Ketchum Opens a New Window. is offering a winter special: 20% off rooms Opens a New Window. through April 14th, 2019. Guests will also get complimentary snowshoes and bus passes, and free dog beds, leashes, and bowls if you bring Fido along. Fans of Nordic skiing should be sure to check out the Wood River Trail Opens a New Window. , a 20+ mile paved, multi-use path that really shines in the winter.
Kick off your jaunt to Austin with a hike at Barton Creek Greenbelt Opens a New Window. and street art at Hope Outdoor Gallery Opens a New Window. (both free), blow off steam with axe throwing at Urban Axes Opens a New Window. ($38), or shred some waves at NLAND surf park Opens a New Window. ($60). Feast at Kemuri Tatsu-ya Opens a New Window. and don’t skip the Chinmi section Opens a New Window. of the menu, which is ideal for eaters seeking adventure. Adequately stuffed, stumble back to Native Hostels Opens a New Window. , a railroader hotel from the 1890s reimagined as a chic, art-filled hostel and restaurant/bar with beds from $49 a night.
Punta Abreojos, Baja California Sur, Mexico
Surf’s up, budget travelers. This remote haven is best known for windsurfing, deep sea fishing, and surfing—expect epic waves and beaches that are practically empty. Stay at the Black Bass Lodge Opens a New Window. (the website password is TimeInABottle), which is not only the sole hotel here but also one hell of a steal at $75 per night for groups of 6-12 with food, beer, soda, wine, and cocktails included. If that feels too indulgent, take a tip from the pro surfers and camp on the beach.
Vibrant street art in Reno mingles with wide open country (we like lacing up for a hike on the Flume Trail up to Monkey Rock) on the shores of majestic Lake Tahoe. Reward yourself after climbing the World’s Tallest Outdoor Climbing Wall at the Whitney Peak Hotel Opens a New Window. with a tasty tour from Reno Food Walks Opens a New Window. . For unique family-friendly digs, try Circus Circus Opens a New Window. , a casino resort with a giant area for arcade and carnival games for little ones.
South Lake Tahoe, California and Stateline, Nevada
Or, consider heading over to Tahoe South for a dose of fresh air (hiking, snowshoeing, and skiing at Sierra-at-Tahoe Opens a New Window. , where lift tickets start at $139) mixed with the great indoors (Hard Rock Casino Opens a New Window. , Lake Tahoe AleWorxs Opens a New Window. , and Outpost Brewing Co. Opens a New Window. ). During the holiday season, check out one of many holiday events for the Heavenly Holidays Family Festival Opens a New Window. . Restore your skied-out muscles at The Ridge Resorts Opens a New Window. spa, where you can book treatments for groups of 10 or more people.