Last updated: 10:00 PM ET, Fri September 23 2016

Where to Take the Family This Winter

Destination & Tourism | Janeen Christoff | September 23, 2016

Where to Take the Family This Winter

PHOTO: Berlin Christmas market. (Photo courtesy of Thinkstock) 

Summer may be slipping away, but give yourself something to look forward to with one of these winter getaways. US News & World Report’s Sarah Pike has compiled a comprehensive guide to some of the best heart-stopping, adventurous and relaxing winter vacations that will keep your wanderlust alive through the holidays. 

If your family loves to hike, the Grand Canyon is cool and crowd-free during the winter months and, when covered in snow, the scenery is even more dramatic (if that’s possible.)

“Go for a winter hike at Bright Angel Trail, and look out for mule deer, elk, ravens and rock squirrels, among other local residents. Just remember to arm yourself with plenty of layers to prepare for icy temperatures in the teens to high 40s,” writes Pike. 

Charleston, S.C., can give kids a sense of culture and a relaxing day at the beach in one visit. While the water is cool, you can still stroll along the shore. 

“Aside from beach time, another must-do winter activity is a carriage ride tour, where you can learn the city's rich history. And if you're traveling with young kiddos, you won't want to miss the South Carolina Aquarium, a family favorite perched on the historic Charleston Harbor,” recommends Pike. 

Families can also head west where the weather is warm year-round. San Diego is well known for its miles of beaches, a fantastic zoo and several amusement parks, including the San Diego Zoo, which is celebrating 100 years this year. 

“If you're visiting in December, plan on a stop at Petco Park's Holiday Wonderland, which features a dazzling lights display, Santa and even rides along the Polar Express,” says Pike. 

For those who would like to travel farther afield, there’s nothing like Germany in the winter time when Christmas markets pop up in cities around Europe, bringing a festive atmosphere to cities during the colder months. Pike suggests Berlin as an option for families.

READ MORE: Best Places to Travel Before the End of the Year  

“As if Berlin's Christmas markets weren't reason enough to visit, Berlin's botanical garden also features winter-themed events. And the kiddos will love Berlin's zoo and aquarium,” she says. 

Jonesing for more recommendations? There’s more to read here


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