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The 15 Best Cities for People Who Love Winter

Portland, ME

Maine’s original capital is situated on a peninsula that extends into Casco Bay. Fresh lobster, boat tours, and more are waiting for you in this historical waterfront city. 

Fargo, ND

Music lovers delight in Fargo’s annual blues, jazz, and country festivals. When this winter wonderland cools down, outdoor activities heat up. Check out the myriad of skating rinks, including those with on-site warming houses.

(image via Instagram)

Denver, CO

The Mile High City is home to the Great American Beer Festival, the annual Zombie Crawl in October, 85 miles of bike paths, and a 60,000-square-foot skate park. There’s plenty of fun in this capital city!

Flagstaff, AZ

Take a road trip to Lowell Observatory to see where Pluto was discovered. Then, trek up to Humphreys Peak for skiing, snowboarding, and sledding. At 12,637 feet, it’s the highest point in the state. It’s also home to the Arizona Snowbowl, where they can make their own snow!

Salt Lake City, UT

Thanks to its huge Family History library, this city has been called the genealogy capital of the world. Take the kids to see penguins at the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium or head to one of the area’s 126 beautiful parks. 

Bozeman, MT

If outdoor adventure is calling your name, Bozeman has you covered. The Gallatin, Madison, and Yellowstone rivers are the perfect setting! It’s easy to unwind at a local brewery or distillery after a long day fly fishing, white water rafting, kayaking, and ziplining.

(image via Instagram)

Grand Rapids, MI

Wintry weather is perfect for making laps in the ice skating rink at Rosa Parks Circle or exploring the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. Find skiing and snow tubing at Pando Winter Sports Park and take a walk along the Lake Michigan shore. 

Milwaukee, WI

Brew City has seven breweries to tour, including well-known labels Pabst, Miller, and Coors.

Boston, MA

Love cold weather and history? Boston is rich with both! Take a self-guided tour on The Freedom Trail to learn about the American Revolution or cheer on the Red Sox at Fenway Park. Plus, there’s always ice fishing, dog sledding, skiing, and tubing. 

Des Moines, IA

A playground for foodies, Des Moines has more than 850 restaurants to satisfy every craving. The cultural scene is worth checking out, as well. It has a myriad of museums, a symphony, an opera, and a million-dollar sculpture park.

Burlington, VT

This vibrant little city gave us Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. There’s much to do on Lake Champlain. In winter, the lake transforms into a popular ice skating and fishing spot. The rest of the year, you can hunt for Champ, the region’s very own Loch Ness Monster. 

South Bend, IN

Notre Dame and the Fighting Irish are central to this college town. Besides the beautiful campus and exciting sports scene, there are a ton of things to do here! To start your trip off, check out the Compton Family Ice Arena and South Bend River Lights.

Fairbanks, AK

The Golden Heart City offers breathtaking views of the Northern Lights. Plus, you can’t miss the incredibly cold creations that await at the Fairbanks Ice Museum. 

(image via Flickr)

Manchester, NH

In this affordable city you can tour the Zimmerman House—the only Frank Lloyd Wright design in New England open to visitors. Also, check out Livingston Park’s scenic hiking trails and ice skating on adjacent Dorr’s Pond.

(image via Flickr)

Jackson, WY

Surrounded by mountains, Jackson enjoys long winters with plenty of snow (71.4 feet per year on average). There’s also plenty of wildlife between the mountains, rivers, and lakes. In the months of December to April, you can take a sleigh ride to see thousands of elk at the National Elk Refuge.