Cities that Celebrate Winter Right

There are two kinds of peo­ple in this world: Those who embrace win­ter for the won­der­ful sea­son that it is, and those who would choose to hiber­nate through it if they could.

If you include all the extra lay­ers you wear, and the extra steps you have to take over the snow, win­ter can be one of the most active times of the year. If you’re the type that can’t get enough of win­ter activ­i­ties, whether that be down­hill ski­ing, ice carv­ing or attend­ing to a bon­fire, you aren’t alone. And in fact, there hap­pens to be a hand­ful of cities in the U.S. that would agree with you.

st paul minnesotaSaint Paul, Minnesota 
Serv­ing as one of the cold­est cap­i­tal cities in the con­ti­nen­tal Unit­ed States, you bet­ter believe the cit­i­zens of Saint Paul don’t take win­ter sit­ting down. Through­out the months of Novem­ber and March, Saint Paul serves up all sorts of activ­i­ties to stay warm. The Red Bull Crashed Ice Cham­pi­onships have been held in Saint Paul for the last six years, and the out­door Wells Far­go Win­ter­Skate is always free and open to the pub­lic for open skate. A sig­na­ture event of the area that real­ly tes­ti­fies towards Saint Paul’s atti­tude for win­ter is the 17-day Win­ter Car­ni­val, which fea­tures parades, win­ter fun runs and a beau­ti­ful dec­o­rat­ed pub­lic park act­ing as cen­ter stage for all the festivities.

Ouray, ColoradoOuray, Col­orado
A lot of cities and towns in Col­orado can vie for cel­e­brat­ing win­ter right, but it’s the munic­i­pal­i­ty of Ouray that takes the cake with most things to do. Between Rocky Moun­tain snow tour­ing and mul­ti­ple sets of cross-coun­try ski trails wind­ing through­out the area, at the cen­ter of all of Ouray’s win­ter atten­tion has to be the Ouray Ice Park with­in walk­ing dis­tance of the town. Man-made with a com­mu­ni­ty effort, Ouray Ice Park fea­tures over 200 named ice and mixed climbs, and hosts the world-renown Ouray Ice Fes­ti­val each Jan­u­ary, bring­ing in win­ter enthu­si­asts from all walks of life to scale the ice walls.

Anchorage, AlaskaAnchor­age, Alaska
Thanks to its prox­im­i­ty to the ocean, Anchor­age doesn’t get as chilly as some of its far-neigh­bor­ing cities, mak­ing it the per­fect home base to explore the abun­dant arc­tic envi­ron­ments of Alas­ka. Cross-coun­try ski­ing, dog sled­ding, and north­ern lights view­ing, if it can be done on the snow, it can be done in Anchor­age. A pre­mier event for Anchor­age and the rest of the state each year is the Fur Ren­dezvous, or Fur Rondy, which con­sists of a 10-day cel­e­bra­tion full of win­ter sports, live music and a com­mu­ni­ty that loves to play in the snow.

Steamboat springs, coloradoSteam­boat Springs, Colorado 
Fea­tur­ing world-class ski­ing, his­toric hot springs, and frozen water­falls, Steam­boat Springs is anoth­er Col­orado city primed for the win­ter­time. With any vis­it to Steam­boat in the win­ter, a hand­ful of days rid­ing down the sev­en moun­tains of Steam­boat Springs Ski Resort are high­ly rec­om­mend­ed, as well as tying on a few vis­its to the Old Town Hot Spring to prop­er­ly soak any sore mus­cles. Come Feb­ru­ary, the entire city’s atti­tude towards win­ter is exem­pli­fied through the four-day Steam­boat Springs Win­ter Car­ni­val com­plete with ski­jor­ing, roman can­dle ski races and plen­ty of cold-weath­er cheer.

lake tahoeLake Tahoe, Nevada 
Sur­round­ed by spec­tac­u­lar Sier­ra Neva­da Moun­tain lines, ski­ing and snow­board­ing are a go-to sport in Lake Tahoe. Beyond the ver­ti­cal down­hill at the neigh­bor­ing Heav­en­ly and Home­wood Moun­tain Resorts, Tahoe tops off the win­ter with any­thing your snow fan­cies desire. Cross-coun­try ski routes branch off from all direc­tions from the nev­er-frozen shores of Lake Tahoe, and sleigh rides and snow­mo­biles aren’t uncom­mon to come across in the abun­dant snow­fields. With annu­al events to go along­side the cold­er weath­er like the often-apt­ly-named SnowFest each March and the groovy Snow­Globe Music Fes­ti­val in Decem­ber, win­ter is a con­tender for the most active time of year in Tahoe.