Posted on Feb 22, 2012 | Comments 0
You don’t have to be stuck inside when winter comes. There are plenty of places to warm up or enjoy the cold, snowy weather. These are 4 of the best winter getaways.
1. Namibia, Africa:
(photo credit: jries)
The coast of Namibia features mysterious shipwrecks, shifting sand dunes, and a wide variety of seabirds and migratory species. The coast kisses the South Atlantic Ocean and stretches for close to 1,000 miles.
The summer time in Namibia runs between November and April and it’s a popular time to visit the Namib Desert. The days are often damp, foggy, and a little cool, but at least they’re usually dry. The most popular seaside spot is Swakopmund and you can take a short flight to view the shipwrecks that are stuck in the sand as well as skeletons of whales at the isolated Skeleton Coast National Park.
The Sandwich Harbour Lagoon is a remote marine sanctuary that’s surrounded by huge sand dunes and is also a popular site. Another good spot is Walvis Bay Lagoon which is the home to thousands of flamingos. You can also kayak out into the water here to get close up look at seal colonies and dolphins over at Pelican Point. If you’d like to explore the wilderness there’s nowhere better than Sperrgebiet National Park, which is close to 5.5 million acres in size.
2. Fernie, British Columbia, Canada:
(photo credit: ateabutnoe)
Canada’s a winter wonderland once the snow hits and the Fernie Alpine Resort is one of the most popular locations in British Columbia’s Kootenay Rockies area. This region is known locally as Powder Highway because of the dozens of snowboard and ski resorts. It’s basically a 500-mile loop where you can enjoy the snow hills.
At 3,550 feet, Fernie is home to the largest vertical hill in the Rockies. Fernie also has 140 marked ski runs and 2,500 acres of alpine bowl skiing in 5 separate bowls. The ski resort and nearby mountain have been used in many Hollywood films due to their sheer beauty.
There are several types of accommodation here and the resort will be celebrating its 50th birthday in 2012. Most weekends throughout the winter feature special events and festivals. The closest airport is in Cranbrook, which is about 60 minutes from Fernie by car.
3. Lake Placid, New York, USA:
(photo credit: foqus)
The Winter Olympics may not be taking place again until 2014 in Sochi, Russia, but they’re always on in Lake Placid, New York, home of the 1980 and 1932 Games. Visitors to this wonderful winter site can experience what it’s like to be a top-class athlete by zipping down the town’s slick bobsled runs with a professional brakeman and driver in tow.
You can also try out cross-country skiing, speed skating, and rifle shooting on some of the Olympic sports sites. This makes it an ideal location for people and families of all ages. There are family games to be enjoyed which recreate the Olympic atmosphere. This starts with the torch run and winds up with a realistic medal ceremony. Some of the events included in this tournament are snowboarding, skiing, hockey contests, curling, and target shooting.
4. The Antarctic Peninsula:
(photo credit: liamq)
The midnight sun is present in the Antarctic Peninsula during the austral summer. The temperature rises to about 20 degrees Fahrenheit and the wildlife is very active at this time of the year. It might be the highest, windiest, driest, and coldest continent on earth, but it’s a super place to visit between November and March.
Cruises head here from Ushuaia in Argentina, which is the southernmost city on the globe. While onboard you should be able to witness penguin chicks and seal pups that make the Falkland Islands their home. When you pass South Georgia, which is a sub-Antarctic island, you’ll be sailing by the wandering albatross as well as millions of breeding birds.
Antarctica doesn’t consist of any countries, but there are some research scientists busy at work down there. It is home to several types of penguins though along with orca whales and leopard seals. There are some tours which enable you to kayak between icebergs and hike across the ice-covered land to visit the penguins.
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