Today’s post comes from inspiration for the winter season! I always feel like it’s so common to jump at every chance to take little summer trips but, for some reason, winter vacays aren’t as common. Personally, I love a cozy winter weekend away. There are so many magical places that truly glisten in the winter months during the holidays and afterwards so it’s a shame not to take advantage of them and explore.
There is nothing better than exploring somewhere new with your significant other or with girlfriends and then ending the day bundled up with a glass of red wine by a cozy fire. Edwin and I have explored a handful of new places together in the winter months, often to go skiing! I’ve also had the pleasure of going on girls getaways with friends and my sister in the winter like when Sarah and I went to Manoir Hovey in Canada. It was a winter wonderland!
I’ve have also been fortunate enough to take a few work winter trips like when Edwin and I had the opportunity to stay at Annie Selke’s inn, 33 Main, in The Berkshires. When I went to Manoir Hovey and 33 Main, it was my first time to both weekend destinations and I simply loved experiencing them! Both destinations were unexpected for me so you never know what amazing place you’ll discover next. Keep reading to discover the 6 best winter weekend getaways easy for anyone on the East Coast (in my opinion, though it was hard to narrow down to just 6!).
Best Winter Weekend Getaways: East Coast
Edwin and I went to Kennebunkport a few summers ago and fell absolutely in love with the charming coastal town. We still talk about our first time to Maine with big smiles on our faces with hopes of someday spending more time there in the summer. Maine is magical in the summer but also supposed to be a best kept secret in the winter, particularly Kennebunkport. You might be surprised to hear that Kennebunkport is the “Most Christmassy Town in America” but there are still a lot of reasons to visit Kennebunkport the rest of the winter too (in February, the seaside village is alive & well with its “Paint the Town Red” festival).
Stay at the Kennebunkport Inn for lots of charm and an amazing location in the center of town. Other wonderful options that are open in the wintertime are the White Barn Inn, The Breakwater Inn and The Boathouse Inn. Kennebunkport in the winter is so serene and special. You can walk deserted misty beaches and visit the historic Cape Neddick lighthouse, which is so picturesque when covered in fresh snow. Make sure you pop your head into Seacraft Vintage for coastal vintage finds and pour your own candles at the adorable Sea Love Candles and Co. P.S. follow Jackie Greanie & Paul Havel if you want to see beautiful Maine on your Instagram feed everyday.
Quebec City, Canada
Quebec City is the colonial-era town that every Francophile needs to visit asap to get a healthy dose of French food + culture without traveling across the pond. The charming city is comprised of cobblestone streets, quaint little cafés, and winter wonderland snow. Quebec City has an annual winter carnival that is a must on your winter calendar. I’m dying to make the trip!
Stay at Auberge Saint-Antoine for a luxurious boutique hotel experience filled with spiced wine, “farm-to-fork” dinning, unique bedrooms and more or at the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac on top of a hill for spectacular views of the old city and the Saint Lawrence River (p.s. Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and William Lyon Mackenzie King met at this hotel in 1943 to plan World World II strategy!).
Eat: Bistro Sous le Fort, Chez Muffy, La Maison Smith, Chez Jules, L’Affair est Ketchup, Echaide, and Le Chic Shack. Spend an entire afternoon wandering around Old Quebec City, specifically the Petite Champlain Quarter, window shopping and admiring the gorgeous architecture. You’ll also love the Parc de la Chute-Montmorency, a huge frozen waterfall (bigger than Niagara Falls!). Just outside of the city, you’ll also find cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, dog-sledding, and snowmobiling. Read my whole Quebec City Travel Guide here.
I mentioned above that Edwin and I have traveled to the Berkshires before to work with Annie Selke and her inn. When we went, it was our first time to the area! I was so excited because I had never been to that part of the country before. I did my research before heading up so we could take full advantage of the little slice of quintessential New England winter.
First and foremost, the place to stay is 33 Main in the Berkshires town of Lennox, MA. It is to be extra cozy, comfortable, and luxurious (the bathroom products, oh my!). While in The Berkshires in the winter, ski at Butternut in Great Barrington, stop by the Arcadian Shop to rent snowshoes or cross-country skis, visit the Norman Rockwell Museum for a patriotic afternoon in Stockbridge, and indulge in spa treatments at Cranwell Spa. We loved our meals at Nudel, Brava, and Bistro Zinc. I also suggest shopping at the Annie Selke Shop. Can’t wait to share more on The Berkshires in a full travel guide in a few weeks.
Newport, Rhode Island
Newport, Rhode Island is a New England gem every season of the year but winter is no different! When visiting in the wintertime, the place to stay is Gurney’s. During the winter months, Gurney’s has an outdoor igloo dining experience that I’d love to try! I’ve been to the Gurney’s Montauk location a handful of times but never had the opportunity to stay at the Newport location. Everything about the Montauk location is wonderful so the Newport location is at the top of my list. When in Newport during the winter, be sure to pick up a cozy, festive fair isle sweater at the Kiel James Patrick flagship store.
For a winter ski-in/ski-out weekend away, look no further than Stowe, Vermont. The colonial town is one of the premier ski destinations on the East Coast! Stay at Stowe Mountain Lodge because every room has its own fireplace and private balcony. When not skiing, plan to eat at Harrison’s, Hen of The Woods, Prohibition Pig, Cliff House, Solstice, McCarthy’s Restaurant, and Michael’s on the Hill. It is some of the best skiing on the East Coast.
Asheville, North Carolina
Edwin and I have been to Asheville, North Caroline before in October to take in fall foliage and go apple picking. While it’s a great destination in the fall, it’s also beautiful in the winter… if you’re lucky it will snow while you’re there! Stay at The Windsor Hotel or the Inn at the Biltmore. Without a doubt, eat at Cúrate… it was one of the best meals I’d had in awhile when we went! Also eat at Tupelo Honey Cafe for breakfast, White Duck Taco Shop for lunch, and The Admiral for dinner. Enjoy the local brewery scene at Wicked Weed and be sure to bundle up if you want to sit outside. Lastly, no trip to Asheville is complete without a visit to The Biltmore Estate or a drive along The Blue Ridge Parkway!