There’s a reason why Iceland is the “hottest” destination right now. Winter tourism interest is on the rise. We are more adventurous than before, and we no longer look for only warm beaches to get away from all that snow. Warmer climes will always have their unique appeal, but trends are leaning towards exploring what the lands have in store for us in winter.

Cold places are cheaper in winter, so the deals are incredible. Fewer people travel to the colder regions during the winter, so they are less crowded, meaning fewer or smaller queues.

Alaska, for instance, is witnessing a surge of winter tourism. Winter traffic now accounts for 14 percent of the overall visitor market.

The state’s tourism industry is excited about rising demand and is working on expanding winter options and making them more accessible. While more adventurous tourists want to explore deeper and wilder territories, popular winter tourist demand is for the aurora viewing. There are a few places where you can have a fantastic view of the Northern Lights, and Alaska offers us that without having to leave the country.

Even the National Park Service, which includes Denali National Park and Preserve, is promoting winter-season activities. One of its most significant annual events is Winterfest, which includes everything from family-friendly activities to ranger-led snowshoe walks, ski tours and fat-tire bike rides. Those who are willing to spend more can book a stay at the Borealis Basecamp. Here they can watch the astounding aurora from their clear-topped dome accommodations.

While Alaska is doing great, a few other American cities are not too far behind. Chicago now ranks as 2018's best winter holiday vacation destination, according to a WalletHub study. It is followed by Washington, D.C., Atlanta, and Cincinnati for top cold-weather vacation spots. New York ranks fifth, as the interest to see the ball drop on New Year’s Eve is still high.

In previous years, winter sports drew tourists and cold-weather lovers who loved to see snowy sights and enjoy cozy time inside. But winter travel is gaining popularity for a range of travel experiences, from heritage tours, hot springs in the middle of icy climates and, of course, gastronomy.

One of the first countries to make winter travel a hip trend is Iceland. Reeling from the recession, the best way for the country to get back on its feet seemed to be tourism.

Officials designed unique and affordable packages for visitors from all over the world. These included cheap flights, affordable hotels, and incredible sights. They even inserted a quick Reykjavik tour for stopovers between the U.S. and Europe.

Another trendy winter destination is closer to home, Quebec City, Canada. The eastern Canadian city remains blanketed in snow all winter. But elaborate decorations, buildings draped with Christmas wreaths, streets populated with carolers, Christmas markets, quaint cobblestone streets in Old Quebec and welcoming storefronts create the ambiance of an elaborate and charming Christmas village.

Winter travelers who want to get away from the holiday hubbub and enjoy nature in its quiet glory will find a special appeal in these colder climes.