Looking for a romantic winter getaway? Cape Cod offers unexpected surprises and nature escapes even when temperatures plunge, requiring snow boots instead of swimsuits.

For those that love to snuggle up in winter and seek the charm of a ski lodge without actually having to ski, there are plenty of cozy inns and bed & breakfasts that fit the bill. But there's more to a winter weekend than sleeping in and hot cocoa by a roaring fire. Don't assume that all activities have shut down for the season. It's true a handful of clam shacks and ice cream stands close in the dead of winter, but most of the Cape is still open for business.

Warm up with local spirits at Cape Cod Beer, which offers tours Monday through Saturday year-round. Stop in for a seasonal pint or tasting flight at the brewery's Hyannis headquarters. Further down Cape, Truro Vineyards is open Friday through Sunday during winter months for tastings (tours are only available in summer). For $10, sample five red or white varieties produced from the Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot grapes grown on the five-acre farm.

Even if you don't consider yourself an outdoor enthusiast, get outside to catch a glimpse of a winter landscape that offers alternative views to those summer postcard images. Take a brisk hike around parts of the Cape Cod National Seashore, the 40-mile stretch of preserved land that winds from Chatham to the tip of the Cape. As long as no nor'easters are blowing in, it's easy enough to find a parking space and stroll the frozen beaches. Hikes out to Race Point Light through the dunes in winter are possible, but be prepared for serious wind chills in the stark environment.

Alternatively, the one-mile loop Fort Hill Trail in Eastham is easily accessible and crosses open fields, offering access to the Red Maple Swamp Trail and open views of the Nauset Marsh area. You might even meet a few early morning bird enthusiasts hoping to see snowy owls perched on bare branches and the occasional Atlantic Puffin on the shore.

On days with fresh snowfall, Uncle Tim's Bridge in Wellfleet looks like a winter wonderland. The wooden bridge that traverses Duck Creek, originally built in 1844 and rebuilt in 2008, makes for a perfect Instagram shot, with the town to one end and wild land on the other.

While winter on Cape Cod is a beautiful sight, let's be honest...part of the appeal of a winter getaway is the delicious dining. Opt to sit by a crackling fireplace at intimate restaurants where New England fare and American cuisine shine.

The Tavern at Dan’l Webster Inn in Sandwich offers New England seafood, fresh meat, salads, sandwiches, and wood-grilled pizza on a menu that changes seasonally. The traditional dining room is warmed by a roaring fireplace to make winter nights

For traditional Italian favorites, head to Alberto's Ristorante in Hyannis. Warm up by the fireplace with a cocktail before digging into homemade pasta, seafood, and house specialties like Osso Bucco and chicken piccata.

Mews Restaurant and Café in Provincetown is a perennial favorite with locals and visitors alike. In addition to seafood, hearty winter dishes, and lighter salads, the restaurant carries more than 200 vodkas from 38 countries, making it the biggest selection in New England.

The Sacred Cod at the oceanfront Chatham Bars Inn features classic pub fare in a warm dining room with a vaulted ceiling. Choose from local oysters, mussels, and scallops in additional to favorites like lobster pie and piled-high gourmet burgers.

Looking for a date night or afternoon plan? Cape Cod Museum of Art in Dennis offers a collection of traditional New England artwork, as well as plenty of contemporary pieces that reflect the region's creative energy today. You'll find weekly events and seasonal exhibitions. For a puzzling night out, head to Riddle Escape Room in Mashpee Commons, where you'll need to put down your phone and solve real-world puzzles and challenges to complete the live-action game. Choose from puzzle themes that include pirate adventures, Paris in the 1920s, 1980s culture, and American military battles. Groups are welcome but must call ahead.

And if you want to bring home a piece of rustic Cape Cod as a token of your winter escape, take a drive along Old Kings Highway (6A) for a day of antiquing. You'll find mom and pop shops and larger storefronts that offer everything from architectural salvage to vintage kitchen pieces.