This central Virginia city has plenty of indoor things to do, but is close enough to outdoor winter fun in the Blue Ridge Mountains as well. History buffs can delve into the life of Charlottesville‘s favorite son, Thomas Jefferson, at his home at Monticello and the gorgeous University of Virginia campus, which he founded and designed. Visitors can discover more presidential history at James Monroe’s home, Highland. Stroll Charlottesville’s pedestrian Downtown Mall, a brick-paved walkway with restaurants, shops, and music venues. For outdoor activities, two Virginia ski resorts, Wintergreen and Massanutten, as well as Shenandoah National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway (open in winter), are all within an hour’s drive. Check out these incredible winter road trips to plan right now.
Washington: Methow Valley
Soggy Seattle is in the middle of its rainy season, but on the other side of the Cascade Mountains, the Methow Valley delights in a winter wonderland. Although visitors can find downhill and back-country skiing as well, the area boasts the largest Nordic ski trail system in the country, with 120 miles of groomed paths to explore. For an upscale version of camping, stay in the modern, glass-fronted Rolling Huts, or the simple comfort of the Rendezvous Huts. Visitors can also enjoy ice-skating, sledding, snowmobiling, fat biking, and snowshoeing. For a break from all the snow-filled activity, the town of Winthrop offers an Old West-style main drag of shops, restaurants, and a saloon.
West Virginia: Canaan Valley
Tucked into the Allegheny Mountains, this area offers visitors a cozy Appalachian retreat. Downhill skiing and other winter activities can be found at Canaan Valley Resort and Timberline Four Seasons Resort; cross-country skiers can also enjoy the 50 miles of trails at White Grass Ski Center. For more adrenaline-inducing outdoor fun, Blackwater Falls State Park has the longest sled run in the east (over a quarter mile). Aprés ski, the small town of Thomas is one of the hottest new tourist spots in the country, with restaurants, galleries, and the eclectic live music venue The Purple Fiddle.