While snowbirds race to tropical destinations in the dead of January, some travelers seek the serene beauty and snug satisfaction of a winter wonderland. Around the country, festivals lend programming and buzzing activity to these chilly backdrops, from milder Atlanta winters to Rhode Island in the heart of February. These gatherings offer some of the world’s best beers, alpine views and gourmet experiences—a perfect antidote to the midwinter doldrums.
In Denmark, the sensation is known as “hygge,” cozy conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being. Braving the cold to attend a wine tasting or stroll through craft markets is the perfect retreat for travelers seeking a diversion when temperatures drop. The adventurous can enjoy scenic outdoor activities while snow bunnies and indoor types treat themselves to relaxation and and good books by the fire.
These winter festivals take place in easy range of Select Registry destinations, where comfort and coziness are an art form:
The Newport Winter Festival
February 16-26, 2018
Few New England towns know how to throw a party like Newport, Rhode Island. Each February, visitors flock to the seaside historic district for ten days of music, food, architectural tours and winter recreation. Take an ice skating lesson on the wharf, warm up with a hot toddy or book a horseback ride on wintry beach trails. The festival includes food and drink competitions where top chefs and mixologists vie for prizes like best chili, best hot drink and cocktail competitions sponsored by premium spirits brands.
The robust slate of programming in years past has included helicopter tours of the coast, cooking classes, live jazz performances and perfume-making workshops. There’s simply no shortage of fun activities to enjoy whether you’re game to brave the outdoor temperatures or wish to stay warm indoors. These Select Registry properties make the perfect home base for your Newport Winter Festival experience:
La Farge Perry House Inn
Newport charm and elegance is at its best at La Farge Perry House. This charming estate was once occupied by renowned painter and stained glass artist, John La Farge and his wife Margaret, the grand-niece of Commodore Matthew Perry. In the heart of historic Newport, experience unparalleled amenities in five timelessly appointed guest rooms. Enjoy a tranquil backdrop within walking distance of the harbor, while experiencing wine and cheese hour or indulging in a delectable complimentary breakfast.
The Cliffside Inn
Nestled in the heart of the historic district, The Cliffside Inn is steps from the historic Cliff Walk, near quiet stretches of sand and sea, and a short walk to Newport’s restaurant and shopping districts. This romantic inn blends deluxe amenities — whirlpool baths, spa showers, fireplaces, grand beds, and imported linens — with refined Victorian elegance.
Hydrangea House Inn Bed and Breakfast
This 1856 property was constructed by the noted Newport architect, Dudley Newton, who earned attention for the famed “Newton Roof.” The Hydrangea House is recognized by the Rhode Island Historical Society for its architectural details and unique character. Step into the charming living area and disappear into a time gone by. Newport's best attractions are an easy stroll.
Stowe Winter Carnival
Mid- to Late January 2018
The Stowe Winter Carnival features rich programming in one of America’s most beloved ski towns. Ice carving demonstrations create frosty masterpieces on Main Street while visitors hit the slopes and enjoy the season’s best après-ski. Film screenings, karaoke and more lighthearted activities pack the two-week extravaganza with plenty to see, do and experience. Play a round of “snowgolf” in costumes or join a six-person team for a heated “snowvolleyball” tournament. The Stowe Winter Carnival invites friendly competition and countless ways to blow off some steam.
Inn at Round Barn Farm
As soon as you step inside The Inn at Round Barn Farm, you'll be charmed by a relaxing environment with beautiful rooms and suites, relaxing gathering rooms, and soothing music. This unpretentious atmosphere allows you to truly leave the cares of day to day life behind while you unwind and relax. Rooms boast beautiful views and Stowe is an easy 40-minute drive for a day of festival fun.
West Hill House B&B
Escape to a quiet haven and experience the serenity of the Vermont countryside at the West Hill House B&B. Located in the Green Mountains of central Vermont, West Hill House is 1 mile from Sugarbush Ski & Golf Resort and 7 from Mad River Glen. Festival goers can reach Stowe in under 50 minutes to partake of Winter Carnival activities, and return to their lightly traveled country road for ultimate relaxation.
Tunes for the Slopes
Atlanta Winter Beerfest
February 2018: Date TBD
In February, beer makers and enthusiasts descend on Atlanta for the Atlanta Winter Beerfest. More than 150 brews are represented as well as wine, cider and amazing food trucks. Live music fills the gathering tents at the Atlantic Station event space as visitors imbibe a “liquor layer” to brave the cooler temperatures. Browse last year’s beer list for more information about the local, craft and internationally renowned makers who may return in 2018.
The Twelve Oaks Bed and Breakfast
Located in the Atlanta Metro Area, this grand mansion was built in 1836 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is considered to be one of the best examples of antebellum architecture in the South and has been featured in numerous books, newspapers, and even in movies and TV shows. A winner of numerous awards, The Twelve Oaks Bed and Breakfast is an enchanting place for couples and a relaxing home base for your Beerfest adventure.
Located in the center of Atlanta in a cozy 1896 mansion house owned by the Atlanta Blue Book Hinman family for its first 100 years, Stonehurst Place offers an authentic local Atlanta experience. Perched high upon the largest residential lot in Historic Midtown, Stonehurst Place is within walking distance from all of Atlanta's most important attractions. The inn has something for everyone: elegant décor, a dramatic front parlor with grand piano, and gourmet breakfasts each day. The interior features the new and the old, beautifully mixed together. It’s cohesive, eclectic, yet timeless.