Photo: snowball fight Capitol DC

Snowballs fly in front of the U.S. Capitol.

Photograph by Luke Frazza, AFP/Getty Images

From the January-February 2011 issue of National Geographic Traveler

Readers from Facebook, Twitter, and our Intelligent Travel blog helped us pick ten top towns for deep-freeze fun.

  1. New York City

    “Snow-chilled air quiets the streets, hushing the city into stillness.”

    @SabinaLohr

  2. Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota

    “The minute the lakes freeze over, out come the speed skaters, the ice fishing houses, the wind gliders. Then the winter carnivals arrive and the joggers with trail shoes and ice-laden beards.”

    —Theresa Sprenger Dunn

  3. Lake Placid, New York

    “On a cold winter’s eve you can stay warm by skating on an Olympic speed skating track, sharing it with speed skaters on one side and local kids and families on the other.” 

    —twinpeaks (via blog)

  4. Green Bay, Wisconsin

    “Cheese curds, brats, Kroll’s restaurant, ice fishing, camping, and da Packers!”

    —Chad Veley

  5. Granada, Spain

    “The unchanging Alhambra is always magnificent with the Sierra Nevada mountains full of snow in the background.”

    —Yolanda Garcia

  6. Boston, Massachusetts

    “A fresh snowfall makes every activity more enjoyable, whether it’s skating in Boston Common or walking the Esplanade.”

    —Lauri Lannan

  7. Dortmund, Germany

    “Everybody was outside drinking gluhwein [mulled wine] in stocking-shaped cups even though it was freezing out.”

    —John (via blog)

  8. West Yellowstone, Montana

    “Snow starts in October. Folks snowshoe, ski, or snowmobile to work on streets that are groomed, not plowed, in the winter.”

    —Jan (via blog)

  9. Boulder, Colorado

    “Ski the nearby mountains in the morning; bike ride in Boulder in the afternoon!”

    @coolblueice

  10. Washington, D.C.

    We may be biased, but the nation’s capital has our vote for winter’s capital too. Why? When we get blanketed with three feet of snow (as we did last year), bipartisan camaraderie and friendly snowball fights break out all over town.

    —The Editors

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