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Top 5 Travel Hot Spots for Cold, Snowy Exploring

A man and a woman walking through a snowy city wearing waterproof shoes.

Enough about beaches and tropical vacations, right? It’s all you see on the feed sometimes, as sunny destinations are considered the “ideal” vacation. Yet, what about the rest of the world? 

We’re going to break down the best cold and rainy-weather travel destinations to add to your bucket list, whether you’re planning a COVID-friendly escape in 2021 or dreaming of something for later on. If you are thinking of traveling soon, be sure to check the destination sites to learn about changes regarding the worldwide pandemic. Otherwise, if you’re planning for the future, the world is your oyster! You can find a time of year to do anything with enough planning and destination research. 

Add These Winter Wonderlands to Your Itinerary 

1. Banff, Canada

Image of Banff, Canada in the winter

Let’s start with something close to home, shall we? It’s no surprise that we love Banff! If you’ve never been, it’s a resort town located within Banff National Park in the province of Alberta. There’s a ton to do, both indoors and out. For instance, you can visit the Banff Centre and appreciate the different galleries and museums if you’re wanting to stay indoors, but why would you want to strictly stick to indoors in as breathtaking of a destination as Banff? 

There’s a wealth of things to do outdoors from hiking and exploring the national park to participating in the different sports leagues or clubs. Maybe you’d rather plan a day at the Fenlands Banff Recreation Centre, where you can try your hand at curling or ice skating! In the summer, there’s a well-known weekly Farmer’s Market worth a stop. No matter the season, you’ll likely want to opt for warmer clothes and waterproof shoes that can take on the terrain.

For more, check out Banff’s site to brainstorm things to do on your trip!

2. Quebec City, Canada

Beautiful architecture covered in snow on a foggy day in Quebec City

Still close to home, we’re taking things to Quebec. Come on, look at that snow-kissed, architectural daydream. It’s a winter city with loads to do. From eating at the local restaurants and shopping (check out Quebec City’s site to see where they recommend you start your spree) to visiting the Château Frontenac, the world’s most photographed hotel, you can’t go wrong with Quebec.

Or, if you’re a history buff, check out Notre-Dame des Victoires Church, one of the oldest churches in North America. It’s the only Holy Door in the Americas, which is reason enough to give it a visit. You can still explore the snowy streets of Quebec by opting for a history-focused trip. Learn about the Battle of Quebec or the Battle of 1759, stop by the Citadelle de Quebec (Britain’s biggest fortress in North America!), visit Quebec’s first National Historic Site, the Parliament Building, or stroll along the Ramparts of the only walled city north of Mexico on the continent. 

…The list goes on. 

Many of the activities are outdoors, but more than that, you’ll be on your feet a bit. That’s why you should pack your comfortable waterproof shoes. Hint, hint. 

For more ideas of hot spots in Quebec City, check out their site here. 

3. Ice Castles in Midway, Utah

Overhead view of an Ice Castle in Midway, Utah

Taking things to the U.S., you have to check out the Ice Castles in Utah! The Ice Castles offer an experience where professional ice artists (what a job, right??) place hundreds of thousands of icicles – by HAND – in the ground, crafting breathtaking LED-lit sculptures, tunnels, thrones, slides, and fountains. It’s truly a sight to behold. The Midway Ice Castles are a frozen phenomenon to see in person, as photos don’t do it justice. 

The ground can be slick since the whole attraction is made of, well, ice. You’ll want to pack your waterproof, slip-resistant shoes. The place can also get extremely chilly as it’s a night attraction in the winter, primarily. So, double up on the socks and layers, especially if you don’t think your shoes are up to the task of keeping your toes warm. (We’re going to keep pushing waterproof, slip-resistant shoes for this one.)

For more, check out Midway's website to learn about other things to do in the area.

4. St. Moritz, Switzerland

 Photo of charming St. Moritz, Switzerland at dusk

Time to go across the pond. The town of St. Moritz has had a “passion” for all things winter since 1864, with winter sport havens galore. We’re talking skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, hockey, and more. It is truly a winter wonderland. 

Like the other destinations we’ve highlighted, you can do a lot both inside and out. There are galleries to visit, markets to browse, traditions to participate in, and hikes, tours, or winter sports to experience. If you’re going to Switzerland and you’re not planning to ski, however, we highly urge you to reconsider. Like, it’s a must. 

When it comes to snow sports, St. Moritz is unmatched, as the mountains have hosted two Winter Olympics and five Alpine Ski World Championships. It’s a premium ski and snowboard locale appreciated by the best winter sport competitors. But, if the slopes aren’t your thing, give something like curling or Eisstockschießen (ice stick shooting) a try to get in on the winter sport action. (Again, make sure you pack your waterproof shoes; you’ll be trudging through snow more often than not.)

Learn more about St. Moritz by visiting their website and start daydreaming about this perfect winter vacation spot.

5. Harbin City, China

A massive ice sculpture exhibition that happens annually in Harbin City, China

Have you heard of Harbin? It’s the coldest city in China, especially during the winter months (temperatures get down to -35 degrees celsius! That’s chilly!). Not to overshadow Midway, Utah, but the icy temps are the reason Harbin City can throw the most spectacular ice sculpture exhibition each year. The destination has literally been nicknamed “Ice City”. 

Each year in January, Harbin hosts the largest ice and snow festival in the world, featuring a frozen wonderland known as the “Harbin Ice and Snow World”, with massive ice and snow castles, cartoon sculptures, and an array of snow sports and activities. These ice sculptures shine with bright lights at night in an array of colors, making the magnificent sight even more magical at night. You’ll definitely want reliable, waterproof shoes if you ever find yourself in Harbin City because we all know how unpleasant wet shoes and socks can be.

To learn more about Harbin, China, check out this page. 

Vessi: Waterproof Shoes that Work

Woman wearing Vessi waterproof shoes out in the snow

What do all these precipitation-ridden travel destinations have in common? The need for waterproof shoes that protect your feet from the cold, the water, and the slippery slopes. Plus, you want a shoe that’s comfortable too, right? Traveling typically means you’ll be on your feet, which means you need a good rain shoe like Vessi. 

Not only are Vessi shoes lightweight (making them uber comfortable for long days on your feet), but they’re waterproof, slip-resistant shoes perfect for rainy or snowy days. They fit snug and adapt to your feet, eventually making themselves the perfect fit. PLUS, their waterproof tech helps regulate the temperature of your feet, keeping them cool in the summer and warm in the winter. What more could you ask for? 

Head to to see our different styles and colors available now! 

… Then go plan that wintery trip! (And tag us in the pictures, obviously.) 

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