The Best Winter Daycations - Full-Time Travel

The Best Winter Daycations

9 Daycations to Beat the Winter Blues

In the depths of lockdown, time got really weird. Repeating the same schedule again and again caused the days to swirl into one another. What was missing from our pandemic routine was novelty – the opportunity to experience something new. Enter the “daycation.” More adventurous than a visit to a museum and less of a commitment in terms of money and time than an actual vacation, these local micro-trips helped reawaken our sense of aliveness all through summer.

“We’ve certainly seen a surge in demand for our private outdoor adventures over the last six months,” says Jeff McKee, founder of Adventure IO, an app that lets people book experiences with professional athletes and seasoned experts. “People are getting outside more, finding new hobbies in outdoor recreation, and discovering new adventures and passions in their own hometowns. Our nearby adventures are an awesome way to escape the daily stress that’s come along with this pandemic."

As we stare down the barrel of a long winter, the majority of which will be spent isolated indoors, daycations are perhaps even more necessary. They provide the opportunity to connect with friends and family in an outdoor environment, mitigating the risks while allowing us to share an experience with others. 

“Those everyday adventures were nice to have before, but now they’re crucial,” explains Ruzwana Bashir, founder and CEO of experiences booking platform Peek, which made zero dollars in April but had bounced back by summer with an impressive $50 million in bookings. “Peek’s mission is to connect the world through experiences and I think people are really missing those moments of connection. The reason experiences are great is because you have something to look forward to, then you do it and it’s a really fun day spent with others, and afterwards you have a really great memory. We’re finding moments of joy because it matters.” 

Just because the weather is getting colder doesn’t mean we can’t still participate in outdoor activities. In fact, fall and winter present a whole different set of fun-filled experiences. Read on for just a few we recommend.

Courtesy of Sourced Adventures

Night Snow Tubing & Brewery Adventure (New Jersey) 

Spend an evening careening down the slopes of Mountain Creek, New Jersey, on an inner tube. After you’ve had your fill of thrills, visit a brewery to see the entire beer-making process up close. Finally, enjoy a warming meal at a popular local restaurant before being shuttled back to New York.

$139 per person
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Courtesy of Treasury Cider Garden


Pumpkin/Apple Picking and a Cider Tasting (New York)

Apple and pumpkin picking is a classic fall daycation for New Yorkers in search of nature and wholesomeness. At Fishkill Farms, about an hour’s drive from the city, you can pick your own bounty of produce, then head to the cider garden and sample a flight of the farm’s best tipples while gazing out over orchards.

Cider tasting (including a picnic table with a cider flight and a cheese and charcuterie board for 1-6 people) is $24. Pick-your-own packages start at $30 per group.
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Courtesy of D.J. Osborne

Backcountry Snowmobiling in Utah

Gather a group of up to eight friends and family, and join a professional snowmobile rider for a backcountry adventure in the mountains of Park City. On this 7-hour adventure you’ll ride off-trail on mountain-specific snowmobiles, whizzing over pristine pistes and learning new skills.

$595 per person or $4,500 for a group of up to eight.
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Courtesy of Grayline San Fransisco

Full-day Yosemite Tour from San Francisco 

Take advantage of off-peak season at Yosemite national park, when crowds are smaller but the scenery is just as striking. This full-day excursion includes transportation from SF to the park, a guided tour and three hours of free time to explore. Temperatures range from 50 to 30 degrees in the winter, so bring some thermal layers, and if you’re lucky you might catch Yosemite’s most famous sights – Bridalveil Falls, El Capitan, and Half Dome – dusted with snow. 

$159 per person
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Blantyre hiking trail | Courtesy of Blantyre

Luxury Autumnal Escape to the Berkshires

Luxury travel agency EMBARK Beyond recently teamed up with Tradewinds Aviation to launch leaf peeping escapes for fall. Your quarantine bubble will take a private jet to the Berkshires, Massachusetts, where you’ll explore your autumnal surroundings in a BMW X7 and enjoy a picnic curated by lauded chef Daniel Boulud’s Café Boulud at Blantyre. 

From $6,150 for two people; $950 for additional couples, up to eight people.

Photo by Mattias Olsson

Private Snowboarding Session in California With JJ Thomas (head coach of the USA Snowboard Halfpipe Developmental Team)

Take your snowboarding abilities to the next level with a private coaching session led by JJ Thomas, the head coach of the US Snowboard Halfpipe Developmental Team. As an X-Games Gold Medalist and Olympic Bronze Medalist in the Halfpipe Competition, Thomas has the expertise to help you get to grips with the halfpipe and learn some new tricks. 

$800 for up to three people
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Willamette Valley vineyards | by Dan Meyers

Private Wine Tour of the Willamette Valley, Oregon 

On this private wine tour of the Willamette Valley, a local sommelier will lead your group through Orgeon’s wine region, stopping at some of the top vineyards over the space of 4 to 6 hours. Meet with winemakers, visit the barrel rooms for a peek behind the scenes of the state’s wine industry, and savor a delicious seasonal lunch at a farm-to-table restaurant. 

From $600 depending on the size of the group. Guests will also pay for wine tastings at each location. Normally, the tour stops at 3-4 destinations and tastings are $20-$50.
Book at

Photo by SivaSankara Reddy Bommireddy

Snowshoeing Adventure in Colorado Springs 

Enjoy tranquility and fresh air on this Snowshoeing mountain adventure in Colorado Springs. Strap on a pair of snowshoes, which give your feet a wider surface area so you can float on top of the snow instead of sinking into it, and follow your guide on a half-day winter hike through the Pikes Peak region. It boasts the highest summit of the southern Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. 

$67 per person 
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Jessica Cichra paddleboarding over manatees

Paddle With Manatees in Florida 

Join wellness entrepreneur Jessica Cichra on a stand-up paddleboard adventure in Blue Springs, Florida. Between November and March, this refuge is packed with West Indian manatees enjoying the 72-degree waters. As you carefully maneuver your paddleboard down the river, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to get up close and personal with the gentle sea cows that call this beautiful habitat home. 

$180 for two people
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"This sculpture is called "Transmission" by artist Daniel Popper. Its a reminder that we are all rooted in love, unity and the divine. She stands a towering 28 feet tall and is located on Mojave Moon Ranch in Joshua Tree. The land is private property, so you can see it from the viewing platform off of Sunfair Road. And take it from me, it's best viewed at sunset."

Reel: @johnofah

There's more to Greece than the white and blue buildings and the surrounding Mediterranean Sea. If you're planning a visit, check out these places below!

📍Kokkinopilos. Preveza
📍Verliga Dragon lake, Thessaly
📍Ithaca island, lonian Sea
📍Aoos springs lake, Epirus
📍Lake Prespes, Macedonia
📍Balda di Stringa waterfalls, Epirus
📍Meteora, Thessaly
📍Pelion, Thessaly
📍Lake Zorika, Epirus
📍Mt Lakmos
📍Crete island, Aegean Sea
📍Gistova Dragon lake, Macedonia

Reel: @farawayfarers

Swim or kayak through the limestone cliffs of the Twin Lagoon, a must-visit destination for those traveling to Coron, Palawan, Philippines. It is called "twin" lagoon because it consists of two lagoons separated by a limestone cliff, with one lagoon on top of the other. The water in the inner lagoon is warm and clear, with a stunning turquoise color that makes it popular for swimming and snorkeling.

Reel: @travelifejournal

Take a dip in a series of seven saltwater lagoons located in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. The Lagoons of Baltinache are known for their beautiful turquoise waters and unique geological formations. The high concentration of minerals in the water gives it a unique buoyancy that makes swimming in the lagoons a unique experience.

Reel: @everchanginghorizon

Watching the sun rise above the clouds at Haleakalā National Park is one of the most memorable experiences you could have. Haleakalā is a Hawaiian name that means “House of the Sun” and is an awesome place to watch the clear night sky and stars fade away as the sun lights up the sky and the earth.

Reel: @girlchill_sunset

Just 1 hour from Shanghai by train, Cherry Blossom Valley is a popular tourist destination, particularly in the spring when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. The valley is named after the thousands of cherry blossom trees that cover the area and create a stunning display of pink and white flowers. The trees were originally planted in the 1980s by a group of Japanese experts who were invited to China to help with reforestation efforts. The best time to visit is typically in late March or early April. Get there early to beat the crowds!

Reel: @cyncynti

New Zealand is unbelievable. See it for yourself:

1. Fiordland National Park
2. A classic backcountry hut trip
3. Blue Pools walk
4. Hooker Lake
5. Milford Sound
6. Lake Pukaki

Reel: @kylekotajarvi

Surrounded by lush greenery, towering karst mountains, and the river flowing through, the Detian Waterfall is a popular tourist attraction and a symbol of the close relationship between China and Vietnam. It is the largest waterfall in Asia and the fourth largest cross-border waterfall in the world.

Reel: @sophoebelous

Escape to a serene and peaceful oasis away from the bustling city of Marrakech at Le Jardin Secret—a beautiful and historic garden where visitors can escape the noise and chaos and enjoy the beauty of nature. The garden was originally built in the 16th century and is home to many different species of plants, including exotic flowers, citrus trees, and palm trees.

Reel: @hypermiggzz

For a magical moment and bucket list travel experience, visit the end point of the annual monarch butterfly migration. Starting in August, the monarchs travel 2,800 miles south from Canada, making a temporary home amid the towering trees of the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in Mexico, where the two most popular sanctuaries to view them are el Rosario in the state of Michoacan and Piedra Herrada in Estado de México. Standing in silence while thousands of delicate wings beat in unison is something you'll never forget.

Reel: @juliiathompson

There's just something beautiful about snow covered landscapes like this popular attraction in southwestern Utah. Known for its unique geology, @brycecanyonnps_gov consists of a series of natural amphitheaters, called "hoodoos," formed by erosion of the rock layers.

Photo: @nathanleeallen

As we experience a couple more weeks of winter, we can't help but dream of tropical destinations like Hawaii. The warm water, sunny skies, and consistent waves make it an ideal destination for surfers. Hawaii has a vibrant surf culture and community and is also a beautiful place to explore outside of the water, with lush green mountains, stunning beaches, and unique cultural experiences.

Reel: @christopherballadarez

1. @sequoiakingsnps, California
2. @canyonlandsnps, Utah
3. @olympic_nps, Washington
4. @whitesandsnps, New Mexico
5. Vermillion Cliffs National Monument, Arizona
6. Knik Glacier, Alaska

Reel: @nathanleeallen