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Debangana Sen Jan 07 2014

Which are the best off-season winter destinations?

Reet Cheema Jan 07 2014
1 person found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

Travel to best off-season winter destinations this season and avoid the crowd to enjoy your vacations to the fullest.Timing is everything they say and even though in travel world any time seems perfect to elope; a traveler knows the pros of travelling during off-season.

Travelling off-season not only offers you great benefits of exploring the beautiful destinations with lesser crowd and more availability of options such as best room in the hotel to best services but also you can enjoy less financial burden on your pocket with heavy discount in room tariffs, air tickets and meals. It won't be incorrect to say that Off-season is the new season for travellers around the world. Here is a list of few international and national best winter off-season destinations to travel to.

Gangtok, Sikkim

January and February are the best months to head to Gangtok if you enjoy cold and chilly weather plus you can see the snowfall too. Even though because of snow, access to many of the tourist spots in the higher altitudes is not possible, you can still indulge in things to do in Gangtok and get a gist of diverse cultures and religions that exist in perfect harmony in this North-Eastern state of the country.

Photo of Gangtok (by Kailas98)

You can explore various beautiful monasteries, stupas and parks in and around Gangtok. Also, its a complete haven for food lovers and shopaholics as you can indulge your taste buds in Sikkimese food which is essentially a mix of Nepalese, Tibetan and Indian cuisine and shop for popular souvenirs, silk paintings, leather goods, etc. Do not forget to visit the 200 year old Enchey Monastery where every year around January, "Chaam" or religious masked dance is performed with great fanfare-for two days. Being off-season, you can enjoy your visit here as the crowd is less and you get best of the deals for accommodation in Gangtok and other activities.

Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh

Dharamsala, the holy abode of Tibetan charismatic leader Dalai Lama is another place to head to if you are looking for best offseason destinations. Not only does this Himachal town, located in the backdrop of the snow clad Dhauladhar ranges, offer the best of the sights but also is a place with variety of cultures filled with incredible experiences.

Photo of Dharamsala valley (by Sonium)

It is an ideal retreat for nature lovers as you can trek through the landscapes of Dharamsala with views of snowy peaks, deodar and pine forests and being off season the place will be less crowded giving you the opportunity of spending some quiet time with nature. Other tourist attractions include Kangra Art Museum which displays the rich past of Dharamsala, War Memorial, shopping at Kotwali Bazar, etc. You can also attend various meditation and yoga workshops too during this time!

Coonoor, Tamil Nadu

Head to this famous hill station in the Nilgiris in Tamil Nadu for having one of the best offseason travel experience. The quiet unpolluted lush green hills of Coonoor with radiant tea plantations, gardens and flowers gives you a rejuvenating mind and body experience.

Photo of Coonoor (by Premkudva)

You can relax and simply indulge in birdwatching, the popular pastime here as the place is a home to an extensive array of birds. You can check out Sim’s Park, a well maintained botanical garden, which is the major attraction of Coonoor and is less crowded during this time of the year. Also, a train ride in in one of the oldest mountain railways in India, The Nilgiri Mountain Railway (Toy Train), should not be missed. Various options for accommodation in Coonoor are available at discounted rates.

Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir

If you want to experience what it is like to be in heaven, head to the valley of Kashmir. Srinagar is a jewel of a destination with its great lakes, exquisite gardens, captivating shikaras rides and ageless Mughal Gardens. Dal lake and Hazratbal Mosque are two major attractions of the town.

Photo of Dal Lake (by Vinayaraj)

You can spend your vacation time relaxing in the waterborne hotels, absorbing the beautiful sights of the lake and also enjoying the delicious, fragrant Kashmiri cuisine. Famous for its handicrafts, you can also go out to shop for Pashmina shawls and stoles, handmade Kashmiri carpets and wooden crafts which are exquisitely crafted here. You can also take an excursion to Pahalgam and the Dachigam National Park if you don't have strict time crunch!

New York City

Winter has a certain charm in New York City and also makes it the best time to indulge in variety of activities and experience the culture galore of the City. New York City is full of things to do in this season with so many concerts and festivals lighting up the city. You can go ice skating in Central Park or Bryant Park or participate in cold-weather parades if you enjoy the cold weather.

Photo of New York City (by robertpaulyoung)

Also, you will be able to soak up some sizzle with hottest Broadway and off Broadway events as its easier to get tickets during this time. If your are a sports freak, get to a Knicks basketball game or try a New York Rangers hockey game. Its also a haven for Shopaholics as January is the best time to take advantage of the great post-holiday clearance sales at New York City stores. For food lovers, head to NYC to dine in the best of restaurants at a great discount during New York Restaurant Week. So, explore the best the city has to offer this season and don't let the winter get you down!

Rome, Italy

Off season is actually the best time to visit the World’s most Seductive city, Rome. The airfares are hundreds of dollars cheaper, hotels have heavy discounts, the pace of life slows down and there is fewer crowd making this period one of the best times for strolling among ruins, monuments and cafes. You also have better chance to mingle with the locals and absorb the atmosphere during off season.

Photo of Rome (by 2pi.pl)

If you go in February, its a complete paradise for a shopaholic as there are big sales in all the big and small clothing stores. Even though the weather is cold and it might rain a few days but its nothing to keep you inside all day. So, pack your layers and start early to visit all the popular sites, museums, operas, etc and absorb as much Rome as possible!

Vancouver, Canada

The coldest, breeziest months of off season can also be the best times to experience the urbanity of Vancouver, Canada. Hotels are largely unoccupied giving you a variety of options to select from with innumerable discount programs combine dining and transportation into huge travel bargains priced at half of summertime costs.

Photo of Vancouver (by Adam Jones)

Also, Vancouver's cultural scene is in full swing during off season which includes film, jazz, folk, and theatre festivals in addition to operas. Superlative skiing and snowboarding facilities, snowmobiling, dog-sledding, ice-fishing and snowshoeing are also on offer at exciting prices during this period!

So, pack your bags and head to one of these winter offseason destinations and pamper yourself with best of deals and services. Not to forget, the places will be less crowded resulting to less hassle and more of a rejuvenating and enriching vacation experience making offseason the new season to travel!

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