You may be the kind of traveler who loves venturing off the beaten path. You continue to catch flights and seek out sweet spots throughout the country (and world) that haven't been posted about over and over again on your social media feeds. Some of the destinations on your bucket list may even include these underrated towns and cities to visit in the winter.
Just knowing that there's a snowflake-filled wonderland that may not be the easiest to get to — but definitely worth the trip — may give you an adrenaline rush. The idea of sitting in coffee shops on main streets and enjoying the best cappuccinos you've ever had may be enough to make you start pulling out your suitcases and putting together packing lists as well.
Simply put, you don't want to miss out on that unique, romantic, movie-worthy experience and the stories that could come from it. You want to be able to say, "There was this one time when I was staying in a boutique hotel in the mountains," and tell a captivating tale of your travels that no one else you know may have. These seven underrated towns and cities to visit in the winter are solid places to start.
1. Pinetop-Lakeside, Arizona
First up is the lovely town of Pinetop-Lakeside, Arizona. It's a great destination for snowy Instagram pictures, tubing, skiing, and more wintry activities. If you travel here in the winter, you'll likely have a snow-ball and check out a few of the icy lakes and rivers that are all over this "mountain playground," as PinetopLakeside.com calls it.
2. Nederland, Colorado
Have you ever dreamed of escaping to a wintry town that has cute eateries with live music that make you feel like you're in a rom-com? If so, then Nederland, Colorado might be the dreamy place for you. According to Colorado.com, it's only about 17 miles away from Boulder and is home to the Carousel of Happiness. You'll want to bring your camera along with you to document the unreal moments you'll spend riding the carousel, hanging out at Eldora Mountain Resort, and watching endless sunsets.
3. Mammoth Lakes, California
If you haven't been to Mammoth Lakes, California, then you're in for a real treat this winter. This spot is loaded with natural beauty that'll leave you in total and complete awe. You'll wake up to lots of fresh air, make a plan to do all the outdoor activities, or head to a cool bowling alley. Then, you may roam around The Village at Mammoth and do some souvenir shopping to commemorate your perfect trip.
4. Cape Elizabeth, Maine
Does any part of the country do winter like New England? It seems like the states in this corner of the U.S. are pros at fun winter activities and making the most of the chilly temperatures. For example, in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, you can check into a beautiful cabin, boutique hotel, or inn — potentially one that's right on the border with the city of Portland — and spend a relaxing week exploring the area and eating fresh seafood by the shore. It'll be magical from beginning to end.
5. Fargo, North Dakota
Heading to a place like Fargo, North Dakota might not be on your bucket list yet. That may be because you don't know about the trendy coffee shops, like Twenty Below Coffee Co., or the Fargo Theatre that'll give you all the heart eyes. It's OK. You know about this wintry destination now and won't want to miss out on the museums, diners, and street corners that would look so good on the 'Gram.
6. Marblehead, Massachusetts
The town of Marblehead, Massachusetts is an underrated destination — especially for wintry trips. Just around 40 minutes away from Boston, this destination is loaded with historical sites, snowy beaches, cozy harbors, and spots to take sips and pics. Go here and spend a week cross-country skiing on the Rail Road Right of Way or exploring one of the many beaches in this town.
7. South Lake Tahoe, California
South Lake Tahoe is made for charming winter getaways with the people you love. Located near the water and surrounded by the massive Sierra Nevada Mountains, it's a one stop shop for stunning #views, craft breweries, and making memories you'll never forget. Hit the slopes for an afternoon, or explore along the South Lake Tahoe Beer Trail during your stay. Cozy up near a fireplace, too, as much as you possibly can.