November 19 2012 by Sam Lowe
Over the years, I have been to the Grand Canyon a whole bunch of times, to London seven times and to Niagara Falls three times. All were wonderful excursions, but the ones I remember with the most fondness all occurred in the winter. I mention this because as one gets older, one also gets tired of fighting crowds. And winter is an ideal time to avoid the masses.
Niagara Falls in the winter goes way beyond spectacular. The falls don't freeze over, but the mist they create does, and it descends upon the trees and the buildings, then turns into a delicate frost that coats the entire landscape in a brilliant white. This turns the area into a fairyland and the really good news is that, if you go there during such frigid times, you can pretty well have the place all to yourself. My first visit was in January; the only other person there that day was a student from Japan. My second and third trips were in summer; the crowds numbered in the thousands.
There are Best Western hotels located on both the U.S. and Canadian sides of the falls.
But if you go there in the winter, here's a note of chilly caution: You'll want to take photos but keep your camera away from the mist or it'll freeze up.
Four of us once decided to spend Christmas in London and it was one of the best decisions we ever made. The stores were all decked out in holiday decor, tickets were readily available for all the top shows, and the double-decker buses were less than half-filled. The shops were filled with holiday shoppers, but the major tourist attractions drew only sparse crowds because it was winter, not a good time for visits by out-of-towners and folks from elsewhere. There was a smattering of snow, but not enough to impose upon our excitement.
London has several Best Western hotels, and you can choose one depending on the area of the city you're staying in: http://www.bestwestern.co.uk/destinations/london-hotels/city.aspx.
The Grand Canyon is always spectacular, but in the winter it is also majestic. It is quiet then, and you can hear your footsteps as they crunch across the snowy trails that border the rim. There is a sense of splendor, caused by the contrast of the snow against the flashy colors of the canyon walls. On a good winter day, a day when most of the tourists have stayed home, the only sounds are the hushed whispers of your own breath and the flutter of the birds that tough it out there year around, so you get the sense that this magnificence was created strictly for you and you alone.
I enjoyed a recent stay at the BEST WESTERN PREMIER Grand Canyon Squire Inn: http://www.grandcanyonsquire.com/.
There will be some people there, of course. The Grand Canyon draws more than five million visitors a year and during the summer, it's easy to believe that think they're all there at the same time. But in the winter, it's just you and a few.