Winter is an excellent season to travel to have fun, catch up with friends, and do something unique. Throughout your trip, you will share fantastic and one-of-a-kind experiences and discover new things. In addition, you’ll go through it together and get closer, even if something doesn’t go as planned. An experience like this makes lasting friendships and marks the beginning of many more vacations together in the future. Furthermore, traveling with friends may be significantly less expensive than going alone.
Deciding on a destination might be the most challenging part of the planning process when traveling with your crew. And when it comes to winter vacations, everyone has a different purpose. Some of your friends want to ski or enjoy all that comes with a snowy setting, such as nice fireplaces, hot cocoa, mulled wine, crisp air, and snow-draped mountains. Others want to avoid the cold by lounging in the sun and swimming in warm tropical seas. So you can help you start a list of options for that long-awaited trip, here are some of the best winter vacation ideas for a group of friends that will make for an incredible escape!
Telluride in Colorado for Enthusiastic Skiers
Telluride is a town in southwestern Colorado nestled in a secluded canyon in the San Juan Mountains. The Telluride Ski Resort is acknowledged as a premier ski and snowboard destination worldwide. This European-style terrain is ideal for abilities of all levels offering the most incredible skiing and riding in North America. If you and your friends are snow pros, you will enjoy a one-of-a-kind adventure and appreciate the best skiing in Colorado. But when your gang is a mix of experts and beginners, you can spend a day learning and practicing your ski skills by booking a group lesson at the Ski & Snowboard School.
After a day on the slopes, stroll through this National Historic Landmark mining town with clapboard stores, boutiques, gourmet restaurants, and a bustling cultural scene. Or book a relaxing body treatment with a post slopes foot therapy at The Peaks Resort & Spa or soak in the good cheer of one of the many local bars.
Where to stay: Telluride has a broad mixture of ski-in/ski-out hotels and vacation rentals ideal for groups of all sizes. Cimarron Lodge 15 is a ski-in/ski-out rental that sleeps eight guests, designed to experience the best stay for ski enthusiasts. The perfect place for your upcoming winter vacation with friends.
South Padre Island in Texas is for the Outdoorsy Pals
Winter on this little barrier island off the southern coast of Texas is excellent for outdoor activities, with temperatures in the 60s. The Laguna Madre Nature Trail, a famous bird-watching spot, as well as the South Padre Island Birding, Nature Center & Alligator Sanctuary with its five-story viewing tower, make the region a refuge for nature enthusiasts. In addition, you can book a sunset cruise for your group, and the Southern Wave is a big catamaran where you can watch the sunset over Laguna Madre while enjoying a delicious dinner.
Wintertime on this island is the perfect moment to experience sandcastle-building lessons. A fun discipline with up to 10 people is great for spending the day with friends. Also, you can organize a morning horseback ride on the beach.
Where to stay: This island offers beautiful places to stay that suit every budget and need, from luxury beach resorts or high-rise condos. A private beachfront house with a hot tub known as Portofino has enough space for your group and will make the most of your winter vacation in South Padre.
Moab in Utah is for Fitness Fanatic Friends
Moab, with its magnificent natural scenery and relaxing outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain biking, rafting, and more, is the ideal winter holiday destination for you and your buddies to enjoy the vibrant red arches with a delicate dusting of white snow. Though a trip to Arches in the winter may entail chilly weather and icy trails, if you’re prepared and ready for the snowy circumstances, the experience might be spectacular.
Moab, nestled against the La Sal Mountains, makes for the ideal opportunity to get out and try exciting backcountry skiing with your friends. The mountain bowls provide the proper challenge for experienced skiers and more leisurely trails for beginners. And when your group is looking for the most Instagram-worthy spot Arches National Park is the place for you. The glittering snow with sandstone coloration can make for a one-of-a-kind image that you will remember forever. Likewise, hiking together on a popular and more accessible path like Nature Trail can be an adventure you will remember forever. Also, to complete your beautiful journey, you can visit at night for stargazing.
Where to stay: Moab is the perfect spot near Arches National Park and offers many accommodations such as hotels, vacation rentals, or resorts. But if you are searching for the best place to stay with your group, Arroyo Rez is a 3-bedroom home rental that can easily welcome up to 8 guests with gorgeous red rock and mountain sceneries.
Estes Park in Colorado for Movie Buffs
If you are part of a movie lovers group of friends, Estes Park, Colorado, is a fantastic snowy place ideal for an art and culture journey for you. The Stanley Hotel offers historical tours with secrets about founder F.O. Stanley and little-known tidbits tied to The Shining. The Spirited Shining Tour is one of their tours where you can photograph the re-created bathroom and catch a peek of one of the Axes from filming The Shining. Also, you can add the event series Stanley Live to your itinerary and enjoy music concerts, world-class entertainers, and more.
Another must-visit place is The Park Theatre, America’s oldest-running movie theater in Estes Park, and this is a terrific place to have a beverage and take up the Old West vibe. Finally, for the authentic local flavor in the shape of a rustic bar heated by a wood-burning stove, the legendary Rock Inn has excellent comfort cuisine and an outstanding variety of Colorado-made beverages and beer since 1937.
It goes without saying that during this trip, you will be in an adorable snowy mountain village with full access to fun winter activities. Snowshoeing with your buddies at Old Fall River Road will be a memorable daytime activity while admiring the stunning panoramas of Rocky Mountain National Park.
Where to stay: The Estes Valley offers many accommodations to suit your group’s needs. One that will surely exceed your expectations is Cabin 07, a Rocky Mountain National Park vacation rental that features two master suites and a 6-person hot tub.
30A Florida is for Friends Looking for Uncrowded Beaches
Those who head this way are in for sugar-white sands and plenty of sunshine. With daytime highs in the mid-60s and fewer crowds, it’s easy to fill your itinerary for adventure. Winter in 30A is a fantastic time of year to get out on the water and cast a line. Hop on a fishing charter and let a local guide show you and your friends where the biting is at its best.
Winter temperatures are just suitable for cycling to explore the area, and there are plenty of local trails and pathways to check out and places that offer rental bikes. For example, the Timpoochee Trail is a must-try paved pathway connecting communities across 30A and includes various stopping points for savoring ocean views. Likewise, winter events and festivals like the 30A Wine Festival, the Sandestin Gumbo Festival, and the 30A Songwriters Festival are a few you can look out for in the area.
Where to stay: The gorgeous 30A in Florida provides luxurious and comfortable lodgings with a classic community vibe or something a little spicier. The Pinner House is a 5-bedroom gulf-front house in the heart of Seagrove Beach with a private pool and sitting spa with ocean views, the vacation home you’ve always dreamed of for a friend’s trip to the beach.
Iskra Banović is our seasoned Editor-in-Chief at BlueFashion. She has been steering the website’s content and editorial direction since 2013. With a rich background in fashion design, Iskra’s expertise spans across fashion, interior design, beauty, lifestyle, travel, and culture.