For those of us that prefer a snowy paradise over a warm beach, there are plenty of great places to get away to this winter. Whether you’re into skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling or just lounging by the fire, we’ve got you covered with the best winter destinations in the United States. And, remember—with a private pilot’s certification, you can spend the day, weekend or the whole winter exploring the top winter destinations in the country. It’s as simple as tossing your luggage and winter gear into your plane’s hold, entering your coordinates and taking off towards a new adventure.
Here are 10 cool winter vacations that you can fly to once you have your private pilot’s license.
1) Minocqua, Wisconsin
Nearest Airport: Lakeland Airport
More Information About Minocqua: Official Website
For a true Midwestern experience this winter, head to Minocqua, Wisconsin. With the densest concentration of frozen lakes in the country, Minocqua, known as the Island City, is one of the hottest ice fishing spots for winter vacation goers. It’s also a great spot for wilderness snowmobiling and cross-country skiing, hunting and even shopping—you really can’t go wrong with a visit here!
2) Fairbanks, Alaska
Nearest Airport: Fairbanks International Airport
More Information About Fairbanks: Official Website
If you’re looking for the ideal version of a “winter wonderland”, Fairbanks in Alaska may be the best choice. Here, you’ll get to view nature’s most incredible light show, the aurora borealis. Winter is the best time of year to see the northern lights because the sky is darker and clearer than warmer seasons. Plus, Fairbanks is home to the world-famous Iditarod dog sled race and the World Ice Art Championship, so there’s plenty of winter fun to be had.
3) The Berkshires, Massachusetts
Nearest Airport: Great Barrington Airport
More Information About The Berkshires: Official Website
Head to The Berkshires to be among the picturesque mountains, fresh air and warm fires, as you explore this snowy winter wonderland. Take a trip to one of the nearby mountains, Butternut, Bosquet or Catamount to ski, snowboard or go tubing with friends and family. If you’re looking for something else to do other than skiing, head to the Norman Rockwell Museum, the MASS MoCA or The Clark Institute.
4) Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Nearest Airport: Yellowstone Airport
More Information About Yellowstone National Park: Official Website
It’s no secret that Yellowstone National Park is one of the premier areas in the country for dramatic, natural scenery. With its steaming geysers, deep canyons, steep peaks, dense wildlife and miles of pristine land, you can’t beat a trip to Yellowstone in the winter. And it’s not only magnificent from the ground—as a pilot, there’s nothing quite as breathtaking as flying over and looking upon the beauty of this national treasure.
5) The Twin Cities, Minnesota
Nearest Airport: Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport
More Information About the Twin Cities: Official Website
The Twin Cities, and Minnesotans in particular, are known for a “brave the cold” attitude, apparent by the many winter events that take place during the coldest months of the year. From cross-country ski races to huge outdoor beer tasting events to St. Paul’s famous Winter Carnival, there’s no shortage of things to do in the Twin Cities. There are also several accessible ski mountains, including the recently opened Afton Alps, owned and operated by Colorado-based Vail Resorts.
6) Lake Placid, New York
Nearest Airport: Lake Placid Airport
More Information About Lake Placid: Official Website
When you envision the perfect holiday card, Lake Placid resembles the snow-covered town that may come to mind. A main draw of the area is Whiteface Mountain, one of the top eastern ski resorts with off-mountain activities, making it an excellent choice for non-skiing families. Plus, you can see where history was made; the town was host to the Winter Olympics in 1932 and 1980, including the now infamous “Miracle on Ice” game of USA vs. USSR.
7) Poconos Mountains, Pennsylvania
Nearest Airport: Poconos Mountains Municipal Airport
More Information About Poconos Mountains: Official Website
The Poconos Mountains have been solidified as a classic winter destination. There are plenty of skiing and tubing opportunities, like CamelBack Resort, home to the country’s largest snow tubing park along with a gigantic indoor water park. Once the sun goes down, the fun doesn’t stop as the snow-tubing area goes “galactic” with an LED light show, lasers and music.
8) Blowing Rock, North Carolina
Nearest Airport: Tri-Cities Airport
More Information About Blowing Rock: Official Website
Skiing and shopping are front and center in Blowing Rock, North Carolina. The Main Street of this century-old mountain town has plenty of antique, craft and clothing shops, while the nearby ski areas provide downhill thrills. And you can’t pass up to try out some of the town’s famous fare, including ham biscuits and sweet potato soup at Knight’s on Main.
9) Angel Fire, New Mexico
Nearest Airport: Angel Fire Airport
More Information About Angel Fire: Official Website
With more than 500 acres of slopes, skiers, snowboarders, tubers and sledders are sure to enjoy their stay in Angel Fire, New Mexico. And for those that aren’t interested in skiing, there is a ton of stuff to do in town. The Village of Angel Fire is a quaint little ski town in the heart of the Moreno Valley, where visitors can take horse-drawn sleigh rides, snowmobile tours, and explore the many dining and retail options.
10) Galena, Illinois
Nearest Airport: Dubuque Regional Airport
More Information About Galena: Official Website
Another midwest winter getaway to make the list is Galena, Illinois. With its small-town charm and historic architecture, tourists are sure to be impressed with a visit here. Vacationers can rent a country mansion just outside of town or settle into an authentic log home in Galena. Additionally, the beautiful Chestnut Mountain Ski Resort sits just outside of town, and there are a variety of local wineries—a good way to enjoy après-ski.
Do You Want to Reach the Best Winter Destinations in the U.S.?
Whether you’re someone that wants to learn to fly or a certified pilot who wants to further their education, Inflight Pilot Training can help you gain the freedom to explore these fantastic winter destinations.
We are a leading flight instruction company serving Minneapolis, St. Paul and the surrounding areas. With a reputable training program and an extensive roster of highly skilled, certified flight instructors, we can give you the freedom to fly to the greatest destinations in the country.
For additional information on Inflight training programs, contact us today or call (952) 698-3000.