Robert

Robert

Although Tennessee is decidedly in the South, it's far from the first destination you imagine when you think of late winter travel. Still, Tennessee is an incredible state to visit during January, February, and March—and not just because of lower rates on hotels. Whether you belt out "Jolene" as you fly along the tracks of a Dollywood rollercoaster, warm up with BBQ in Memphis, or look out onto the Appalachians from charming Chattanooga, Tennessee is calling your name this winter.

Dollywood Theme Park

Perhaps you'll fly along the tracks of a rollercoaster, perhaps you won't: In winter, many of Dollywood's rides are open only when the weather cooperates. With this being said, Dollywood is absolutely delightful in the winter, if only due to lighter crowds. Alternatively, relax at your hotel or resort in Pigeon Force, and enjoy spectacular views of the Smoky Mountains, which surround you.

Gatlingburg and the Smoky Mountains

Speaking of the Smoky Mountains, the city of Gatlinburg might be even more well-positioned to enjoy them than Pigeon Forge. When you stay in Gatlinburg, you not only lack the distraction of Dollywood (however delightful it may be), but you're also closer to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which occupies more than half a million of unadulterated mountain scenery, which looks particularly beautiful covered in snow.

Chattanooga and the Appalachian Foothills

With attractions like the Tennessee Aquarium, Creative Discovery Museum, a world-class zoo, the city of Chattanooga would be exciting, even if it didn't sit amid the foothills of the Appalachian mountains. It does, of course, which simply adds nature to the mix of amazing things to do in Chattanooga, in winter and summer alike. Enjoy the view from Lookout Mountain, walk the trail at Rock City, or cozy up to the waterfall inside a cave at Ruby Falls.

Knoxville

That Knoxville is quirky and even kitschy won't come as a surprise to you if you know anything about the city's history, namely that it hosted the World's Fair in 1982. Knoxville, however, is much more than the Sun Sphere, the ubiquitous symbol of this less-than-classic event—and even than its winter highs, which average in the upper 40s and low 50s Fahrenheit. Explore the Knoxville Museum of Art, walk along Gay Street, or get creeped out in the Old Gray Cemetery.

Memphis

Memphis is much more than blues and BBQ, but both of these happen to be at their best during the winter: Blues clubs like B.B. King's Blues Club insulate you from the wind; and barbecue joints such as Central BBQ add a little padding to your body for when you're out in the elements. Plus, rates on even the finest Memphis hotels are much lower than normal, which thereby saves more money for music and meat.

Then again, if there's one big truth about Tennessee, it's that it's much more diverse a destination than it gets credit for, no matter the time of year—these give destinations merely scratch the surface! Can you think of any other Tennessee destinations worth visiting in winter?

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  This article was posted on Leave Your Daily Hell by Robert Schrader.

There are few things more quintessentially American than the landscapes of the West and the emotions they evoke. Whether you come for the pink sunsets, the forlorn-looking cacti or the abandoned ghost towns, traveling in the western part of the U.S. will leaves its mark on you. No matter where in this picturesque region you travel, choose a hotel that matches the rusticness of the surrounding scenery.

Spanish Colonial Santa Fe

Santa Fe has a population of under 70,000, but it's so full of amazing attractions that there are almost as many reasons to visit as there are people from living there! Tour historical structures like Loretto Chapel or the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis, or marvel at something more modern as you walk in the footsteps of Georgia O'Keefe. Many Santa Fe hotels are as scenic and picturesque as the city itself, from the El Rey Inn to the Eldorado Hotel & Spa.

Laughlin's Colorado River Chill

Laughlin is no Las Vegas, but there's still plenty of excitement to be had in this Nevada town—and yes, a couple casinos as well! The Davis Dam, for example, is a smaller answer to the Hoover Dam farther down the Colorado River, while theGrapevine Canyon Petroglyphs document a time long before modern gambling. Hotels in Laughlin tend to be as simple as the desert scenery that envelopes them, but because of this they're cheap, with rooms at Edgewater Hotel & Casino, for example, costing as little as $18 per night.

Bend: Oregon Starts Here

The Oregon town of Bend hasn't achieved the ubiquity of Portland or even Eugene, but there are few better spots in the state to start your trip. Discover the nearby Deschutes National Forest, hike to the top of the Newberry National Volcanic Monument, or immerse yourself in the history of the High Desert Museum. Sleep in a spot as stunning as your surroundings, like the Sonoma Lounge or Pronghorn Resort.

Skiing is Just the Beginning in Aspen

Aspen has gained infamy as a ski hub for the celebrities, but in reality, you don't need to be savvy on the slopes in order to enjoy this Colorado town—you don't even need to be into the outdoors! Aspen has its fair share of culture, for example, such as the Wheeler Opera House and the Aspen Art Museum. Season shouldn't be a deciding factor for you either, as year-round hiking spots like Independence Pass and Maroon Bells prove. Hotels in Aspen aren't cheap, but the views they offer are priceless.

Central California Starts in Fresno

In spite of great attractions like Forestiere Underground Gardens and Chaffee Zoo, the city of Fresno pales in comparison to many of the sights around it, namely Yosemite National Park. The city makes a great hub for exploring that region, however, whether you head inland toward the Sierra Nevada or outward toward the coastal Highway 1 Discovery Route. Fresno is also a low-cost destination, with prices on hotels like Days Inn Fresno as low as $50 per night.

Then again, the American west is as limitless in destinations as the horizon line you see driving through it. Can you think of any other can't-miss places to visit in the Western U.S.?

  Article posted on Leave Your Daily Hell by Robert on February 10th.

If there's one U.S. destination that embodies the four different seasons, it's New England. Here, whether winter blesses you with blue skies or snows a fierce blizzard, you'll experience a beauty that's just as sublime as the fall colors, spring flowers, or long nights of summer. Here are five reason to visit New England before spring, no matter which destination you prefer.

It's Low(er) Season on the Ski Slopes

Although winter's half over, much of what remains is still the relatively low season as far as Vermont's ski slopes are concerned. The majority of the season's visitors flock to Stowe Mountain and the Killington Ski Area during Christmas or early March, you see, which means that late January and all of February are comparably uncrowded. So, get a hotel in Burlington, and get up to the slopes before the cold-loving Spring Breakers do!

Seaside Retreats Are Silent

In the summer, the seaside city of Newport, RI is bustling with tourists—in 2015, over half of Newport's 250,000 visitors came during July, August or September! Winter, by contrast, is deserted, with less than 10,000 visitors coming in either January or February. Whether you take in the colonial charms of Old Newport, or enjoy sea breezes (which will admittedly be very brisk this time of year), you'll have this gem of a city all to yourself if you come before the end of winter.

New York City Might Be Covered in Snow

Snow in New York City is unpredictable—some years get two or three blizzards, while others are completely free of the fluffy white stuff. Still, if you want to have a chance of experiencing the romance of New York in the snow, your best bet is to visit between now and the end of March. TIP: For a stay that's both convenient and affordable, book a hotel in East Elmhurt, near LaGuardia Airport, where many domestic flights to New York City arrive and depart.

Boston Will Be Cheaper

Boston is many things—historical, exciting, highly-educated—but cheap is generally not one of them. To be sure, whether you stay in one of the central city's historical neighborhoods, brainy Cambridge, or suburban Woburn, prices throughout February and into March are some of the lowest you'll find all year, particularly on accommodation. If you happen to get a beautiful late winter snow, it's simply an added bonus!

Maine Lobster is Delicious All Year Round

One false assumption many people have is that Maine Lobster has a season, as is the case with Caribbean lobsters found in the Bahamas and Florida. The good news is that Maine Lobster is an amazing treat all year round. The better news? If you visit in winter your hot, succulent lobster will taste all the more delicious, thanks to sub-freezing temperatures inBangor and other cities in Maine.

These are just five reasons to visit New England in winter—five dozen surely exist! Can you think of any other reasons you'd want to travel to New England between now and the end of March?

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  This post originally appeared on Leave Your Daily Hell's “5 Reasons to Visit New England Before the End of Winter

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