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Sun-Soaked Destinations - 3 Winter Getaways For Chasing The Sunshine

Sun-Soaked Destinations
3 Winter Getaways For Chasing The Sunshine

The winter season has fully enveloped much of the United States. For some vacationers, this means ski lodges, ice skating, and other winter activities. For others, however, it's time to leave the colder climates for a seasonal retreat towards warmer latitudes.

The ideal location for travelers seeking milder temperatures will include plenty of fun in the sun. Vacation Rental Collective wants to tell you about three of our favorite winter escapes!

1: Moab

The city of Moab lies in the middle of some of the world’s most incredible deserts and offers a lifetime of adventure. It is home to the astonishing Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, among other notable locations such as Dead Horse Point State Park.

Winter is a wonderful time to experience Moab; visitors will find the crowds from busier months absent. This adds to the town's charm and is especially pleasant while enjoying the natural serenity of the surrounding areas.

It is important to note that the city has a 4,000-foot elevation, and occasional storms can bring snow. However, with an average of only five days of snowfall per year, the winter in Moab is temperate and offers experiences unlike anywhere. Make sure to pack layers of clothing, including windproof clothes, so you’re prepared regardless of the weather.

Arches National Park, while stunning at any time of year, is uniquely breathtaking with a fresh blanket of snow. The red rocks, blue sky, and white snow are a must-see, and photographers will revel in the otherworldly beauty. Many of the area Parks and vistas offer the same grandeur and driving out of Moab presents more opportunities for breathtaking photography.

Stargazing is another fantastic thing to do in Moab. Although this means bundling up for a winter night excursion, it will be well worth it. There are three International Dark Sky Parks in the area, located at Arches and Canyonlands National Parks and Dead Horse State Park. Dress warm, bring hot beverages, and enjoy some of the most pristine night skies around.

Moab is known for its hiking and biking trails. Exploration during the winter months offers adventurers relief from the high temperatures that the area sees during the rest of the year. It’s still essential to be prepared with water, food, and sunscreen, so pack appropriately when venturing out on one of the area’s trails. Many trails are perfect for winter hiking and mountain biking, like the world-famous Slick Rock Bike Trail. Microspikes for hiking boots and tire studs can provide additional traction if needed.

2: Santa Fe

The city of Santa Fe is a one-of-a-kind hub for art and culture, affectionately known as The City Different. Initially founded in 1610 as the capital of the Spanish province that once controlled the region, Santa Fe is the oldest continuous capital city in the United States.

In the late 1800s, Santa Fe was bypassed by a significant railway, and the city felt the impact on its population and economy. Despite this, the city began transforming in 1912, becoming the cultural nucleus we know today. City leaders prioritized the area's historic and cultural elements, attracting artists, writers, and retirees who helped create many of the Santa Fe standards we now know, like the School of American Research and the Santa Fe Indian Market.

Today, visitors to The City Different will find a treasure trove of exciting and enriching experiences. There are a plethora of events, museums, galleries, restaurants, architecture, hiking, and more.
To appreciate some of the city’s deep artistic heritage, visit one of the city’s many museums. At the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, you can view works from one of the most important American visual artists of the 20th century. O’Keeffe spent many summers in New Mexico before making it her permanent home in 1949, drawing inspiration from its rich culture.

If you wish to go even further back in Santa Fe’s artistic history, visit the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture, a premier repository of Native art and material culture, telling the story of the Southwest from prehistory to the modern era.

A great way to experience the modern Santa Fe art scene is at the Downtown First Friday Art Walk, held on the first Friday of each month.

To enjoy a seasonal celebration, check out the city’s event calendar. Here you can find information about the fantastic winter events and activities that the city hosts, such as the holiday Farolito Walk, the city’s NYE on the Plaza celebration, January’s WinterBrew beer festival, and the Santa Fe Film Festival in February.

Santa Fe also boasts a lively culinary scene, with restaurants of nearly every variety. Although Southwestern and New Mexican food is a regional staple, there are also Asian, French, Indian, Middle Eastern, and Italian restaurants, in addition to contemporary American cuisine. Pursue the Santa Fe Dining Guide to find the perfect match for your palette.

When it’s time to get out and enjoy the fresh air and some of the area’s natural beauty, you can explore miles of hiking trails around the city. There’s a wide range of options, from the trails that take you to ancient ruins to the more challenging Nambe Lake trail, which rises high into the alpine beauty of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

This is only a sample of all there is to do in The City Different, and rest assured, you can find something for everyone. The city has several spas and hot springs resorts to rejuvenate the weary traveler, and there are numerous activities that the whole family can enjoy as well.

3: Fredericksburg

Located in the middle of Texas hill country lies the town of Fredericksburg. An area rich in culture and nature, Fredericksburg is an excellent winter destination due to its pleasant weather and endless options for adventure and entertainment. The average lows stay above freezing, and during the day, it is common to see temperatures rise into the 60s.

Founded in 1846, the town was originally home to numerous German-American citizens. This heritage can still be seen today in the names of city landmarks and in the outstanding German cuisine available at restaurants like the Auslander Restaurant and Biergarten, which combines excellent Bavarian food with another Fredericksburg passion, beer gardens.

The city has a wide variety of options for eating and drinking, from the Texas staple of BBQ to handmade tortillas accompanying authentic Mexican fare. There are several breweries and wineries to explore, with multiple tours available.

The surrounding countryside is as diverse in options as the city itself. In addition to the many wineries and orchards, you can explore the area of Enchanted Rock. A Texas State Natural Area, Enchanted Rock is 18 miles from the city and offers hiking, bird watching, and rock climbing.

The area is home to the country's largest family-owned wildflower seed farm, Wildseed Farms. You can walk amongst the flowers and gardens, see the expansive nursery, and peruse the gourmet food items and beers in the Brewbonnet Biergarten.

There are many unique celebrations that winter visitors can partake in, such as the Marktplatz New Years' Ball Drop. This family-friendly event takes place in the Marktplatz, a beautiful green space in the city’s historic center. The event features kid’s games, music, dancing, arts, crafts, and concludes with a ball drop.

Another unique Fredericksburg New Years' event is the Cross Mountain New Year’s Eve Hike. Held in the old German tradition of Volkssporting, this non-competitive walk is a great way to experience the community of Fredericksburg and get some exercise before the festivities commence.

Whether traveling into the majesty of the desert Southwest or the charm of the Texas hill country, Vacation Rental Collective is here to help you make the most of your winter vacation! We provide the best-in-class vacation rental services for every destination listed on our website.

We look forward to speaking with you about all our exceptional available accommodations.
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