Top Five Off-Peak Destinations for Winter 2010/2011

by , SmarterTravel Staff
Philadelphia Independence Hall (Photo: Thinkstock/iStockphoto)
Editor's Note: This story was originally published on November 14, 2010. To see the most recent SmarterTravel articles on related topics, please click on any of the following links: airfare, Alitalia, Bing Travel, Bulgaria, destination, Expedia, family travel, Go-today, hotel, Italy, Jaclyn Liechti, Lonely Planet, low season, Marrakech, Mendocino, Morocco, Orbitz, Philadelphia, Rome, Sofia, Travelocity, vacation package, winter.

Want to escape those winter blues on a budget? We've searched everywhere to find the best locations where smart travelers can save top dollar. Our top five off-peak destinations for this winter include options across the globe, from lesser-known ski areas to temperate climates to hot cultural spots.

Philadelphia

While Philadelphia is a popular summer location due to Independence Day celebrations and warmer weather, crowds thin out when the temperatures cool down. However, the City of Brotherly Love still has plenty of cultural attractions—from a zoo to a UNESCO World Heritage site—during the winter months, and lower airfare and low-season promotions make them more accessible.

For example, I compared airfare to Philadelphia during peak and off-peak times and found savings of up to $140.

Route Off-Peak Rate Peak Rate
New York City to Philadelphia $267 $307
Dallas to Philadelphia $305 $445
Portland to Philadelphia $321 $401

Off-peak rates are based on travel from February 8 through 15; peak travel prices are based on travel from July 12 through 19. All fares were found using Orbitz and include taxes and fees.

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This winter marks an especially good time to visit Philly. The city was included on Bing Travel's Top Destinations for 2010 list for its burgeoning galleries and new hotels and restaurants. Besides the always-popular Independence Hall, visitors can tour a slew of new art exhibits that are slated to commence this winter. The brand new, one-of-a-kind National Museum of American Jewish History will open to the public on November 26. And, the Philadelphia Museum of Art's Picasso and the Avant-Garde in Paris exhibit will open February 24, while the Philagrafika festival, the first annual celebration of print in contemporary art, will run from January 29 through April 11. Meanwhile, a collaboration between the City of Philadelphia and the National Park Service, President's House: Freedom and Slavery in the Making of a New Nation, is expected to open in mid-December.

Food lovers will want to visit during Center City Restaurant Week in January, when more than 100 restaurants offer prix fixe menus at bargain prices. And if that's not enough, there are holiday festivities throughout the city, such as tree lightings in Rittenhouse Square and at City Hall, the Holiday Light Show and Dickens Village at Macy's, and the unique Mummers Parade on New Year's Day.

For more information, visit the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors' Bureau's Top 10 Reasons to Love Philadelphia Right Now.

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