Want to see snow? Here's where to go.

Want to see snow? Here’s where to go.

The weather outside is chilly, but it’s hardly the heart of the polar vortex. Bay area kids need to be bundled up for school, especially when waiting outside for the bus early in the morning. Kids might enjoy the cold weather for a little while, but there’s nothing as exciting as real snow. That’s where a weekend road trip can come in handy. If you’re up for some adventure and you have 3-4 days to take a long weekend, hit the road and try to catch some snow. Your little Floridians won’t believe their eyes.

To help you plan your winter trip, we’ve put together a list of three destinations that usually have winter snow. The trick is to watch weather forecasts carefully. Cross-reference more than one forecasting website. Some areas have live weather cameras that can give you the most accurate look at how much snow is actually on the ground. If you’ve never spent time in snow, be very careful on the road. Stick to clear roads and be very cautious when it comes to ice. Check local thrift stores to find excellent deals on snow pants if the snow on the ground is significant. Your kids will get more time outside if you can keep them relatively warm and dry. Bring more dry clothes than you think you’ll need.

Sugar Mountain

Located in North Carolina, Sugar Mountain is a family-friendly ski area. You don’t need to hit the slopes to play in the snow. Splurge on snow tubing or simply rent a condo near the slopes and play outside in the snow. Ski resorts offer child care for a fee, giving parents the chance to try skiing or snowboarding for an afternoon.

Estimated driving time: 10.5 hours.

Ober Gatlinburg

Located in Tennessee, Ober Gatlinburg is a family-friendly ski resort in the Smoky Mountains. Head to the resort for beginner-friendly lessons and snow tubing, or stay in Gatlinburg to play in snowfall without taking on the slopes.

Estimated driving time: 10 hours.

Stone Mountain

Not up for a drive all the way to North Carolina or Tennessee? If you make it as far as Atlanta, you can check out the seasonal attraction, Snow Mountain at Stone Mountain. Until February 23, guests can play in man-made snow and zoom down a 400 foot hill. Dress like you’re going to playing in real snow. With the chilly temps Georgia has been experiencing this winter you’ll feel like you’re up on a real ski mountain.

Estimated driving time: 6.5 hours.

Image credit: Lindsay T via Flickr