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What Are The Top Trending Winter Escapes for 2023?

Travel is back on the menu in a big way. The top trending travel destinations have changed over the years though. Sure, the classic destinations still draw millions of winter travelers a year. It’s just that, in 2023, Americans are choosing to spend their travel budget noticeably differently.

American Express Travel has crunched the numbers, and they were revealing. 70 percent of those polled are choosing new experiences over familiar hot spots. 88 percent are looking for personalized experiences, with almost as many willing to spend more to get what they want.

Today, we’re going to highlight some emerging winter travel hot spots, and tell you a bit about why they’re trending right now.

Costa Rica

In truth, Costa Rica has always been one of the most in demand winter destinations. The weather is ideal for those in search of some sun, the beaches are plentiful, and the outdoor adventure excursions are some of the best in the world. Hike an active volcano, explore the dense rainforest, or surf the picturesque waves.

Costa Rica’s eastern coast is dense with national parks to explore, sparsely populated beaches to escape to, and ritzy accommodations. The highlands are home to the Monteverde Rainforest, the country’s most popular cloud forest. There you’ll find some of the best rainforest views the country has to offer alongside tons of outdoor adventure activities including zip lining.

Quebec City, Canada

Those on the hunt for even more winter can cross the border into Canada and enjoy the closest thing to France that North America has to offer. Quebec City is a UNESCO World Heritage site featuring cobbled streets, 17-century architecture, and all the French delicacies a person could ask for. It’s a veritable winter wonderland, with plenty of events, festivals, and wintertime tourist attractions all season long.

Wander the fortified streets of Old Quebec at your own pace or book one of the countless food and history tours on offer. Experiencing Notre-Dame de Quebec Basilica-Cathedral first hand is an absolute must for architecture enthusiasts. The Quebec City Ferry is an affordable way to see the whole city in an unforgettable way.

Park City, Utah

Ski and snowboard enthusiasts need not look far for a world-class winter getaway. Park City is the wintertime hub for Utah locals and the millions of visitors that stop by each year. The main accommodation options are the Park City Mountain Resort and the Deer Valley Resort, both of which offer stunning mountain views and world-class amenities.

Park City played host to the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. As such, the hotspot offers some once-in-a-lifetime Olympic experiences, like bobsledding along an official Olympic track. You don’t have to love downhill adventure sports either. Park City is full of great dining options, shopping excursions, and expertly manicured hiking trails. It also hosts the Sundance Film Festival every January.

Hanoi, Vietnam

The capital and cultural epicenter of Vietnam, Hanoi is a true feast for the senses. It’s home to some of the nicest locals on the planet, and boasts some of the region’s best street food. Walking the twists and turns of Hanoi’s quintessential market district is essential. It’s called the Old Quarter, and it comprises close to 40 merchant-lined streets.

Vietnam is known for its storied history and natural beauty. The Lake of the Restored Sword is a key natural landmark and a favorite among Hanoi visitors. Other popular attractions include Hoa Lo Prison, and the Hanoi Opera House.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Summer in Brazil runs December to March, which makes wintertime trips to Rio ideal. It’s peak festival, soccer, and beach season. February is particularly eventful, thanks to the weeks-long Carnival celebration and the dancing, music, parades, and costumes that come along with it.

Carnival may be the best time to experience the best of Rio de Janeiro, but there’s fun to be had throughout the Brazilian summer. Feast on savory delicacies, walk the shores of Copacabana, take a picture of the world famous Christ the Redeemer statue, or explore Ipanema. Rio de Janeiro is an underrated shopping destination too, with plenty of big brands and local styles to explore.

Sydney, Australia

Sydney is a bucket list destination for a lot of westerners. The surfing, the seafood, the culture, and the natural vistas more than make up for the long flight. North America’s winter months means summer and sunshine in Australia, which is why most tourists plan to land in Sydney between the months of December and February.

Sydney has something to satisfy all tastes. Sports fans can take in a professional cricket match or book a walking tour of the Sydney Cricket Ground. Foodies can swirl and sip their way across a collection of Sydney’s award winning vineyards. Add to that Sydney’s monstrous Blue Mountain, the Sydney Opera House, and the Sydney Harbour, it’s no wonder most visitors plan to stay for more than seven days.

Dubai, UAE

Looking for a sun-soaked alternative to the caribbean? Consider Dubai! The luxurious locale is the most populous city in the United Arab Emirates, and is renowned for being home to some of the best beaches in the world. There’s lots to see and do too! Legoland Dubai, Ski Dubai, and the Aquaventure Waterpark are just the tip of the iceberg.

Dubai is just as famous for its high fashion and luxury shopping amenities. Shopping can be enjoyed at one or both Dubai’s major retail hubs. The Dubai Mall is home to over 200 luxury brands, countless high-end dining experiences and the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo. While Dubai’s Global Village combines some of the region’s best shopping and entertainment options in one unforgettable destination.

Rome, Italy

Travelers are choosing to squeeze more value out of their trips to Europe by visiting in the wintertime. Rome is a popular choice among those looking to get away this time of year. Temperatures in Rome rarely ever go below freezing. Plus, you’ll be able to experience more Rome at a time of year when there’s less tourists. Hotel accommodations cost less in the wintertime too.

As far as culture is concerned, it’s hard for any destination to compete with Rome. The area boasts iconic cultural landmarks including St. Peter’s Square, the Colosseum, St. Peter’s Basilica, the Pantheon, the Sistine Chapel, and the Trevi Fountain. Add authentic Italian food and wine into the mix, and you’ve got yourself one of the greatest winter escapes on the planet.

Your Perfect Winter Getaway Awaits

Winter travel is a way of life. Those bracing for winter weather know the value of a weeks-long sun-soaked vacation. It’s something to look forward to, and it helps break up the monotony and dreariness of the coldest time of the year. You don’t have to see snow on the ground to skip town this time of year either. Many choose to maximize their holiday vacation time by enjoying it elsewhere.

Don’t just dream about it. Use today’s discussion as a launching pad to build out your ideal winter escape right now! The web is full of fantastic and affordable getaways, so don’t stop searching until you find one that rings true.