12/14/2013 01:14 EST | Updated 12/14/2013 01:29 EST

The Best Winter Trips For 2014, As Chosen By National Geographic Magazine


(Relaxnews) - It may be a while before equestrian ski joring becomes an official Olympic winter sport, but according to a list curated by editors of National Geographic magazine, the cowboy sport for skiers is the reason Whitefish, Montana was named one of the best winter trips for 2014.

It’s an eclectic list that conspicuously omits sun-soaked tropical islands for little-known alternatives like Tanzania for its African music festival in February; Oman for a scenic coastal drive; and the beaches of Phu Quoc in Vietnam.

Likewise, instead of typical ski destinations in the French Alps or Colorado, editors point readers to the slopes of Georgia and the Gudauri Ski Resort, described as a strikingly beautiful, winter playground or Le Massif de Charlevoix in Quebec, which offers a 2,526 foot (770 meter) vertical drop.

For those who’ve never been able to reconcile their inner cowboy with their love for the slopes, the Whitefish Winter Carnival Ski Joring Championships is for you.

A variation of the Norwegian sport ski driving, equestrian ski joring involves a horseback rider pulling a skier who holds onto a tow or rope akin to water skiing.

The championships will be held in January.

Perhaps the only predictable and conventional choice on the list is Paris, described as being never more Parisian than in the winter, when tourist crowds are sparse and hotel rates lower than usual.

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