I’ve written before about the benefits of visiting parks in winter, and many of the same perks can be enjoyed at other places people only think to visit when the weather is warm. Cooler weather means places like zoos, historical sites, and other landmarks that are bustling with visitors in the summer see much less foot traffic in the winter, making them quieter, more peaceful, and allowing a slower place while exploring. Just be sure to dress warm and check the times and dates of a location before you visit, as many places adjust their schedules for the winter.
Recently I took advantage of these benefits at the Carolina Raptor Center. Located just outside of Charlotte, it is a non profit organization dedicated to the conservation of raptors by caring for injured birds. There is a hospital onsite where injured birds are brought and treated, and 70% are released back to the wild. Those that can’t be released are permanently housed in the 3/4 mile raptor trail that is open to the public.
Taking pictures of the birds is a little tricky since many of the enclosures are built with chainlink fence, but having few other visitors around gave me plenty of time to find the right angles to capture them. It was a perfect day to visit, sunny, 50 degrees out, snow still clinging to the trail, and Edgar Allan Poe’s birthday.