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Wintertime Travel: a fresh season for exploration

If you're like us, your summer memories are dotted with travel adventures of those both near and far. And in those memories, you may recall a little summer heat and a few crowds—including those jockeying to glimpse and photograph the world's most famous sites.

Sound familiar?

Summer travel is always popular, with more and more visitors vying for a spot in front of national treasures, panoramic vistas and natural wonders. But, how about a fresh new season for travel—winter!

An expedition during the "off season" can mean an entirely different experience—in a very positive way. And while it may involve chillier temps and snowier conditions—and a different wardrobe for packing—the rewards can be extraordinary.

If natural beauty is what you seek, Mother Nature puts on a dazzling display each winter, when snow, frost, and crisp, clear days create a winter wonderland just waiting to be explored. And though some wildlife take to sheltered warmth during winter, others readily roam openly, making them easier to spot and photograph.

The national parks, especially Yellowstone, are magnificent in winter. The winter landscapes—snow-covered expanses, frosty trees, and white-capped mountain—are sights to behold. Old Faithful continues her always-reliable show, but with the glistening dimension of snow and ice added to the spectacle. Leaves have fallen, making bison, elk, and elusive wolves, easier to spot.

Yosemite and other national parks also offer special wintertime activities designed to showcase the seasonal charms, including hiking, snowshoeing, skiing and ice skating. Then after a full day outside, guests can retreat back to their cozy hotels and lodges to join in convivial conversations in front of roaring fireplaces within comfortable lounges.

If you prefer to head farther north, Churchill, Manitoba in Canada has its share of extraordinary winter wildlife—including the famous polar bear. Each fall, the bears gather as pack ice forms, which is a time that serves as an excellent opportunity to see them in large numbers—and up close. Canadians seem to thrive in winter, and have built lodges and provide numerous activities for visitors to enjoy, so time spent on the shores of the Hudson Bay can be exceptionally rewarding.

And if you want to travel overseas to experience winter—Scandinavians are famous for embracing winter and all that it entails. They love the changes winter brings, and enjoy spending as much time outdoors as possible. Stunning displays like the Aurora Borealis can be seen throughout the year, but with longer days and a stunning landscape of snow and ice, a winter viewing experience is truly unique. Travelers can stay in "ice hotels," go for a sleigh ride, embark upon dog-sledding and ice fishing excursions, then retreat to luxurious accommodations for an evening performance of nature's wonder. It's certainly not your run-of-the-mill travel experience.

Winter travel means a new perspective on the world around you, and a unique new set of opportunities.

Orbridge provides two specialty wintertime programs. Click below to read more on both.

Polar Bears of Churchill
The Wolves of Yellowstone