Winter Vacations

Winter vacations promise a well-needed escape, whether it’s from a holiday-hectic December, a bitter January, or a drab February. There something about the season that awakens a person’s wanderlust, driving countless people north for the wintery ski slopes or south for the summery skies and warm-weather beaches. Whether you are looking for the perfect family cruise in the Caribbean, a snowy retreat to the slopes of Colorado, a sweater-weather jaunt to Austin’s South Congress Street, or a week exploring southern Spain, T+L can help find the best deals and most engaging destinations for everyone with the winter travel itch.

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World’s Best Après-Ski Bars

Après-ski, the time-tested tradition of grabbing a beer with your buds following a mountain session, is nearly as old as the sport of skiing itself. Back in the mid-1800s, a few snow bunnies in Telemark, Norway, discovered that a drink simply tasted better after taking a few turns down the slopes. Back then, it was grog or aquavit shared among friends at skiers’ homes. Today, no longer a humble house gathering, wintertime mountain merrymaking is a much more elevated affair. “I often say that up until about 15 years ago, all you needed for a successful ski vacation was a hotel, a chairlift, and a bar,” Dan Sherman, chief marketing officer of Ski.com and all-around après-ski expert, told Travel + Leisure. “Après-ski is as much a part of skiing culture as the actual skiing itself. In fact, some people go skiing just so they can après-ski.” Toasting post-shred — no matter the language, location, or libation — is universal. And it doesn’t matter if you’ve aced a black-diamond run, skidded down the bunny hill, or spent the afternoon curled up by the fire. Any and all such daytime activities warrant an invite to lift a glass and kick up your heels as the sun begins to kiss the mountaintops. But perhaps the best part is that après-ski activities can vary greatly by destination and region, meaning you can learn a new tradition with every hill you hit. However, Sherman notes that there are a few universal post-slope truths. “For me, an ideal après-ski scene includes wings, nachos, beer, and a live band,” he said. “However, there are plenty of options in destination ski towns that offer more of a gastronomy and mixology focus.” Want to see it for yourself? From refined to rowdy, we’ve rounded up 21 bars where you can celebrate from last call to first chair.
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The Stylish Western Ski Town Even Non-skiers Will Love

Jackson Hole has always been a little rough-and-tumble, the kind of place that’s more about fresh powder than see-and-be-seen après-ski glitz. But even as it has held tight to that independent, cowboy-country spirit, the area has quietly become one of America’s most stylish wintertime retreats.
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