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Aspen, Colorado

We’re big believers in the Aspen Idea, a decades-old notion that the Colorado resort town, set at a #blessed intersection of mountains and water, is the perfect spot to rejuvenate mind, body, and spirit—especially in the winter. When the skis and parkas come out, so do the 40-year-old ports to be sipped by the fire in Hotel Jerome’s Living Room, and the Chanel blankets and O2 treatments at the St. Regis spa. The slope-side Jacuzzi at Little Nell warms up, and everyone burrows into Belly Up for beers and live music. Wait, did we mention that our version of “rejuvenation” is a little…indulgent?

Stay here: Any of those aforementioned hotels are fantastic, as is the Aspen Meadows Resort, where you can have a suite in a Bauhaus-inspired cluster of buildings overlooking the Rockies. It’s also home to the Aspen Institute, where meetings of the minds take place. —Laura Dannen Redman

Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles has near-perfect weather all year round, but those blue skies feel even bluer when the rest of the country is shoveling snow. From December through March, L.A.’s temperatures hover between a comfortable 50-70 degrees Fahrenheit—sure, it’s not beach weather, but you can definitely leave your puffer at home. Head to the revived downtown for The Broad museum, where works by Yayoi Kusama and Damien Hirst are on display, then grab lunch at the historic Grand Central Market (Eggslut and Tacos Tumbras a Tomas are musts). Some of the city’s best architecture, including the Bradbury Building and the Walt Disney Concert Hall, are just a few blocks away. More of a get-your-blood-pumping type of traveler? Tackle the hike in Runyon Canyon Park, home to the highest point in Los Angeles. Trust us, that view is worth the schlep any time of year.

Stay here: The recently reopened Hotel Figueroa is perfect for exploring downtown. The Spanish colonial-style building is a taste of old L.A., with chic design updates and essential mod-cons inside (Sferra linens and in-room iPad concierge included). —Megan Spurrell

Park City (and Deer Valley), Utah

There’s a reason Park City keeps showing up as one of our readers’ favorite towns in the U.S. This former Olympic city—along with the adjacent tony town of Deer Valley—is undeniably one of the country’s top winter sports destinations, with ample opportunities for skiing, snowmobiling, and dog sledding. Rest up between trips to the slope at luxe resorts like the Stein Eriksen Lodge and Montage Deer Valley (a 2018 Gold List pick). And don’t forget about the Sundance Film Festival, which draws filmmakers and film enthusiasts every year to screen the year’s upcoming indie flicks (catch it from January 24-February 3, 2019).

Stay here: The St. Regis Deer Valley is exclusive and impressive any time of year, but we suggest you try and visit sooner rather than later. This season, the resort has two Olympic silver medalists on call to give guests a behind-the-scenes tour of the bobsledding facilities. Even better? The tour is followed by your very own ride in the bobsled, which flies around ten different curves at 70 mph. —Caitlin Morton

New Orleans, Louisiana

This one is a bit of a given: The peak time to visit New Orleans is, in fact, in wintertime. It’s when humidity is low and temperatures mild, and before you hit the madness of Mardi Gras and Jazz Fest—November, December, and January are especially good times to visit. You’ll want to be out and about walking, especially on Frenchman Street, where you can dip in and out of the bars to see some of the best jazz and other live music in town. Because this is a quiet time of year for the city (before the crowds hit in February), take advantage of the slow season and book tables at allll the best restaurants. Our suggestion? Build your days around a strong brunch plan, which New Orleans does especially well, and then let the good times roll, indeed.

Stay here: The new Hotel Peter and Paul, from the ASH design team, is one we’ve been waiting for four years to open. Its 71 rooms are set in a former church in the Marigny, and they’ve “nailed the food and drink options,” writes senior editor Erin Florio, by “partnering with local favorite Bacchanal, which, for our taste, is the coolest wine bar in the country.” —Corina Quinn

Kansas City, Missouri

If you’re willing to brave the notorious midwestern winters (I say: bring it on), you’ll find Kansas City a downright delightful winter getaway. This winter is particularly attractive on the accommodations front. Check into one of the town’s hottest new hotels: 21c Museum Hotel, which is like an art museum you can sleep in, or Crossroads Hotel in Kansas City’s hippest neighborhood. When you aren’t sleeping, get your culture fix at a downtown jazz club Green Lady Lounge or the Kauffman Center, which will be staging The Sound of Music and Swan Lake (among others) in January. And don’t forget about the barbecue—God bless the barbecue. We highly suggest getting your fill of burnt ends and brisket at Q39 and Gates, but make sure to also seek out the city’s lesser-known food specialty: cinnamon rolls.

Stay here: There’s no better place to cozy up than the aforementioned Crossroads Hotel, which opened in October 2018 in a former PBR distribution plant. The rooms’ exposed brick walls and locally-made decor (we’re particular fans of the leather “do not disturb” signs) will make you feel like you’re living in your own personal KC loft apartment, while the jewel-toned velvet chairs in the lobby bar are practically begging for you to curl up for an hour or two. The hotel is also a quick walk from Union Station, art galleries, and restaurants galore, so your outdoor time will be kept to a delightful minimum. —C.M.

Washington, D.C.

Oh, to be in Washington, D.C. for the holidays—or winter in general, really. The gray skies and bouts of snow look especially good against the city’s white monuments, and with the Mall’s large, pedestrian-friendly paths, you can bundle up and culture-hop with ease. Make it a priority to amble over to the Ford’s Theatre, which puts on an annual run of A Christmas Carol for the holidays. Ice skating rinks pop up around town in winter, with one on the Georgetown waterfront and another on the rooftop of the Watergate Hotel. In January, the city has special events commemorating Martin Luther King, Jr.’s, birthday, and its popular Restaurant Week hits in February. Want to stay indoors? Don’t miss a Wizards game at the Capitol One Arena.

Stay here: InterContinental The Willard, without a doubt. Steps from the Mall and monuments, it’s ideally positioned for sightseeing. Being such a historic hotel, too, has its perks: Don’t miss the chance to have tea in Peacock Alley, or to marvel at the decor—the hotel goes all out at the holidays. Plus, there may be no better way to cap off a day of sightseeing than with a Rob Roy at the Round Robin Bar. —C.Q.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

According to features director Alex Postman, “Jackson Hole is pretty much the Western capital of whoop-ass.” The Teton-ringed valley is known for its 3,000 acres of accessible backcountry terrain and some of the most challenging skiing in all of North America—not to mention scenery that is equally thrilling. Even if vertical slopes aren’t your thing, both Teton Village and the town of Jackson offer tons of après-ski diversions, with upscale vintage shops and farm-to-table restaurants popping up alongside classic steakhouses and blanket-and-moccasin stores. Stop by Persephone Bakery for Insta-worthy quinoa bowls, or the Anvil Hotel’s mercantile for a bougie pair of deerskin gloves.

Stay here: The buzz this season is all about Caldera House (pictured), an exclusive, ultra-luxury property spearheaded by billionaire Wes Edens (co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks). The eight suites are decked out in Ralph Lauren fabrics and private balconies with fire pits, and the private ski valet will score you primo slope times. —C.M.

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Santa Fe is sunny and warm most of the year, but the New Mexico capital gets its fair share of snowy weather—snow that looks extra beautiful against the adobe buildings and rock formations. The city’s Plaza is a particular wonderland, with twinkle lights on every tree, farolitos (paper bag luminaries) lining windowsills and walls, and Indian merchants selling jewelry and figurines under roofed walkways. And don’t forget about the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, which should really be visited every month of the year. Winter sports enthusiasts can also make the offbeat city their home base for skiing and snowboarding, with facilities like Taos Ski Valley and Ski Santa Fe just an easy drive away. And if you get really cold, there’s nothing like a state’s supply of green chile to warm you from the inside out.

Stay here: RCA favorite Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi has a tangible warmth to it, with gaslit kiva fireplaces and hand-carved four-poster beds adoring the rooms. The downtown adobe hotel is just a block from the Plaza, but the grilled elk tenderloin and achiote chile–roasted duck breast at in-house Anasazi Restaurant might tempt you to stay put for the evening. —C.M.

Miami, Florida

How do we love Miami? Oh, if we could only count the ways. Though we contest that the city shines in all seasons, we know that the muggy, humid temps during summer are not for everyone—best, then, to visit during winter, when daily highs are in the upper 70s and lows are in the mid-60s. If you can swing it, come for Art Basel, Miami’s biggest event, which sees more than 80,000 attendees come for the art—both from up-and-coming artists and those of world renown—for sale, and turns the city into something of a nonstop party. This is a busy time of year no matter when you go, but because of Miami’s sprawl, things won’t ever feel too crowded: Eat your way through Wynwood and tick off top Miami things to do, breaking only for another (and another) cafecito or some time on the beach.

Stay here: We can’t get enough of the Faena, which has a bit of an Alice in Wonderland feel to it and is archetypal OTT Miami in the best sort of way (the 100,000 square feet of private white-sand beach don’t hurt, either). If you want a spot on Miami Beach that’s lighter on the wallet—like, prices from $95 for a private double lighter—check out the recently opened Generator, dubbed by one of our writers as “Europe’s hostel for grown-ups.”. —Katherine LaGrave

Telluride, Colorado

There’s a reason (okay, many reasons) why Telluride keeps being named the best ski town in the U.S. The Colorado city rises above the pack with its gorgeous location, casual crowds, and ski experiences that are refreshingly free of artifice. Telluride has a whopping 148 trails of varying lengths and difficulties, as well as sublime winter sports like heli-skiing and snowbiking. Before you hit the slopes, pick up a to-go espresso at the Coffee Cowboy; then end your day at The Last Dollar Saloon, a Telluride institution since 1978. For extra bragging rights and Instagram likes, enjoy a five-course tasting menu at Alpino Vino, the highest restaurant in America at 12,000 feet.

Stay here: Opened in November 2016, Dunton Town House sits on a pretty street adjacent to Telluride’s main drag and gondola. The location truly can’t be beat, nor can the interior’s hand-carved antiques, in-room fireplaces, and faux-fir throws—blink, and you’ll think you’re in Austria. Plus, the B&B can only house ten people at a time, which further concretes that “home away from home” feeling. —C.M.