When planning your next vacation, you’re probably looking at the summer season, especially if you’re traveling to the USA. But by only traveling in the warmer months, you’re missing out on loads of what the states have to offer!
Traveling in winter has many advantages, the first one is that it’ll be a lot cheaper to get where you want to go. Plane, train, and general travel can be very expensive, especially in the peak season.
Save some money and travel when it’s a bit colder and you’ll have a lot more spending money for your holiday! Many states also hold seasonal holidays and events in the wintertime, so for a fun and unique experience you should try to check out as many of these as you can.
Hate the cold weather? Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you have to go on a “cold” holiday! The USA is so big that you can experience all climates, from a hot tropical vacation to a fun skiing holiday.
If you’re looking for some vacation inspiration, you’ve come to the right place! We’ve made this list of the top 29 best places to go in the States in winter.
We have something for everyone on this list, whether you’re looking for a romantic retreat, a winter wonderland, or a well-known spot that you can enjoy with far fewer tourists. Keep reading to find the best vacation spot for you!
One of the most enjoyable cities in the United States to visit during winter in Boulder. The breathtaking panorama of the Rocky Mountains that can be seen from Boulder makes the city a one-of-a-kind travel destination during this season.
The view from Boulder is the biggest draw for tourists during any season, but that isn’t all that the city has to offer.
Exploring the city on foot, going to Boulder’s famed outdoor street mall, the Pearl Street Mall, and going skiing at Eldora Mountain are some of the top things to do in the city.
If you make it to Boulder in winter, you can pay a visit to the renowned Winter Craft Beer Festival in the city and find out for yourself why Boulder is known as the capital of the beer crafting industry.
It’s no wonder that skiing aficionados choose Breckenridge as their December holiday destination in the States because this enchanted location is one of the best ski destinations in the world.
If you have a passion for skiing, Breckenridge is the perfect place for you to vacation. As well as skiing, there are loads of winter and Christmas activities to try in the area.
Take a stroll through the town and take in the lovely sights of the holiday season, including buildings decked out with baubles and other seasonal decorations.
You may also go into one of the local boutiques that line Main Street and buy a memento to commemorate the holiday season.
One of the most well-known and popular destinations to visit in the States throughout winter is Aspen. Aspen, Colorado is known the world over as a premier destination for skiers and snowboarders.
The most popular forms of outdoor recreation in the city are skiing at one of Aspen’s four ski resorts or on Aspen Mountain, snowboarding, and ice skating on one of Aspen’s many ice rinks. On top of that, you can embark on snowmobile trips or sleigh rides.
If you’re looking for activities that are a bit more relaxing, you may get a hot drink at one of the town’s quaint cafes, eat at one of the well-known restaurants, or go shopping at the unique shops.
Everyone heard of the famous Yellowstone National Park, but going in the warmer months usually means that the place is packed with tourists. Not only that, but the heat can be quite uncomfortable for people not used to this kind of weather.
In the middle of winter, Yellowstone National Park is home to some vibrantly colored hot mineral springs. Because of how gorgeous, tranquil, and serene it is during the month of December, Yellowstone National Park is a destination that comes highly recommended for vacations.
While Yellowstone National Park continues to gain popularity, there are far fewer visitors in the park during winter, making it an excellent choice for anyone looking for a peaceful place to spend their holiday.
Old Faithful and Steamboat are two of the most well-known geysers at Yellowstone. Old Faithful is the geyser that erupts the most frequently, and Steamboat is the tallest geyser in the world.
You shouldn’t leave without seeing the Hot Mammoth Springs either, or the nearby waterfalls known as Tower Falls and Lower Falls. Both of these waterfalls are twice as tall as Niagara Falls.
One of the most exciting cities in the United States to explore during winter is New York. Experiencing the city that never sleeps during the Christmas season is truly a magical experience that everyone should try once.
During the colder months, the city comes alive with many winter-themed attractions, and the frequent snowfall will make you feel like you’re in your very own Christmas movie. A fun activity is going for a walk on the snow-covered grounds of Central Park or on the famous High Line.
You can also go to Macy’s to see the world-renowned Santaland, which was made famous by the movie “Miracle on 31st Street”. There’s also the world-famous Christmas Tree located at Rockefeller Center, which might be the biggest tree you’ve ever seen.
Go ice skating on the city’s free rink if you want to take part in some enjoyable winter activities, and then warm up with some hot chocolate afterward and take a walk around the beautiful city.
To get the most out of your time in New York, you should walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, visit some local art galleries and flea markets, and eat some of the city’s famous cuisine.
In the United States of America, one of the top destinations to check out during winter is Washington, DC. Though not a state (it’s instead a 10-mile district known as the District of Columbia), there are loads of fun things to do here in winter.
One of the best reasons to visit this area in winter is that it’s kind of a dead time for tourism, which means that hotel rooms will be less expensive and there will be fewer people visiting the city’s various tourist sites.
Because of this, traveling to Washington, DC in December will not only save you money but also means you can explore the city without having to compete with other tourists.
Just because it’s quiet around this time doesn’t mean that there’s nothing to do though. You may spend your holiday in Washington, DC, exploring the Smithsonian Museum, which is one of the biggest attractions in the area.
Also, these museums are all indoors, so you won’t have to worry about the cold. Take some time to explore the city and take in the holiday decorations, particularly those that have been put up at the White House.
You can also participate in some of the many holiday activities that are offered in the city, such as going to visit the gigantic national Christmas tree or going on excursions that take you through the city’s primary points of interest.
Stowe is often regarded as one of the finest destinations to visit in the United States throughout the winter season, particularly if you are hoping to have a quaint and romantic getaway with your partner.
In Stowe, you can rent a cozy cottage or bed and breakfast and enjoy some quality time with your companions as you rest in front of a crackling fire while sipping cups of hot chocolate.
If you’re a bit of a thrill seeker, Stowe has a lot to offer you as well. You have the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of outdoor winter activities, such as going skiing or dog-sledding.
For a more unique experience, you can take part in one of Stowe’s customary Christmas parades or observe the ceremony where the town tree is illuminated, which brings the whole town together in celebration.
Burlington is one of the best destinations to spend your winter holiday in the United States if you want to experience a truly enchanted Christmas in a picturesque metropolitan setting.
You have a wide variety of options when it comes to activities when you’re here. Visit the Shelburne Museum and the Ethan Allen Homestead Museum to gain further insight into the history of the neighborhood.
Visit the snow-capped Green Mountains for a day of skiing if you want a more exciting vacation. You can also check out the festive lights on the promenade of Church Street that’s reserved exclusively for pedestrians; there, you will find one-of-a-kind shops selling souvenirs.
A trip to the quaint community of Leavenworth in Washington state during the holiday season is sure to be one of the highlights of your time in the States. This winter wonderland has an abundance of activities available, so you’ll never get bored in this town.
Leavenworth puts a lot of effort into decorating for Christmas, and the result is a stunning display of lights and decorations all over the place.
You can spend your December holiday in Leavenworth doing things like going dog sledding or ski jumping, as well as attending the ceremony where the Christmas lights are turned on.
You won’t want to miss out on German food and drinks, and you definitely shouldn’t pass up the opportunity to visit the Nutcracker Museum, which houses the largest collection of nutcrackers in the world.
10. Salt Lake City
People who like the enchantment that can be found in snow-covered landscapes will find that Salt Lake City is another fantastic spot to visit. It’s also the best place to go for those who love snowy outdoor activities
You have your choice of six world-class ski resorts that are pretty close to Salt Lake City to enjoy a day on the slopes. If that’s not really for you though, you can also just sit back and take in the breathtaking views of the snow-capped mountains.
Aside from skiing and other winter sports, there are a lot of winter celebrations and activities that take place during this time. One of these is taking a ride in one of the carriages that will carry you across Temple Square while it’s illuminated with holiday lights.
You can also get a mini history lesson and find out more about how people in Utah celebrated the December holidays in the 1800s by going to This Is The Place Heritage Park.
Don’t forget to pick up some presents and mementos from the city’s many unique boutiques and stores.
11. Bryce Canyon
If you are looking for snow, breathtaking vistas, and a vacation spot that’s easy on the wallet, Bryce Canyon is one of the greatest places to go. During the winter months, Bryce Canyon National Park sees far fewer visitors than usual.
Because of this, the costs of lodging typically drop during this time of year. In addition to this, because there won’t be as many people on the hiking trails in Bryce Canyon, you’ll have more time to explore them and more chances to do so.
Hike around Bryce Canyon and you’ll be rewarded with stunning vistas of the granite formations blanketed in snow.
12. Key West
Key West, Florida, is one of the greatest destinations to visit during winter, especially if you’re trying to escape the winter blues.
Exploring the island is made much easier by the absence of rough seas and the temperate climate, which ranges from a low of about 50 degrees Fahrenheit to a high of about 75 degrees Fahrenheit on average.
Take a tour of the historic mansions on the island, which will be looking especially festive with all of their holiday trimmings. You can also attend the Lighted Boat Parade at the harbor which is the main symbol of the island.
Around Key West, you can go bar hopping, visit some of the island’s well-known watering establishments, or just relax on the beach and watch the sunset.
13. Siesta Key
People who want to have a pleasant winter vacation in December should consider going to Siesta Key, which is located in Florida.
Warm weather, with average high temperatures of 72.5 degrees Fahrenheit and average low temperatures of 60.8 degrees Fahrenheit, makes this itty-bitty island one of the greatest spots to visit in the United States during winter.
There are a lot of activities held in this area that make this a great vacation spot for families.
Fun things to do includes going swimming in the calm seas, going to the playground and shopping in the quaint stores of Siesta Key village, having a picnic at Turtle Beach, or just laying around on the beach.
Because of the appearance of the Northern Lights in December, Anchorage, Alaska experiences its highest number of visitors during this time of year. And as you might expect, there are plenty of trips available in Anchorage that let you see the Northern Lights.
You can ride the Alaska Railroad Aurora Winter Train, which will take you all the way from Anchorage to Fairbanks while providing you with a breathtaking view of the Northern Lights along the way.
The amazing natural spectacle is only one of the reasons why Anchorage is the ideal place to spend winter vacations; the city also offers a variety of other activities.
These include going dog sledding, exploring and looking at local wildlife (even during the winter months!), and hiking a glacier. If you want a warm indoor activity, check out some of the museums in the city.
15. San Antonio
Because of its fantastic water, which stays a comfortable 64 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the winter months, San Antonio is a well-liked vacation spot during this time of year.
In the month of December, there are a lot of activities in San Antonio that are both fun and informative.
Some of these things to do include going to The Alamo to learn about the struggle for Texas freedom, having a stroll along the famed Riverwalk, and eating at one of the restaurants in San Antonio.
Some of the most fascinating things to do in San Antonio include climbing the 750-foot-tall Tower of the Americas at HemisFair Park to enjoy a birds-eye perspective of the city, as well as visiting the Witte Museum to see a collection of dinosaur skeletons.
During the winter months, South Padre Island experiences an average high temperature of 71 degrees Fahrenheit. Because of this, it’s an excellent location to visit if you are looking for a place to get away from the harsh winter weather.
Because fewer people are visiting the island during this time of year, it’s also one of the best choices for travelers who want to enjoy a peaceful getaway.
You may enjoy a stroll on the sand beach, go to Schlitterbahn Waterpark to ride the water slides, take a dip at Laguna Madre Bay, bask in the sunshine, and eat Mexican specialties like nachos and tacos when you go to South Padre Island.
17. Galveston Island
Because there are so many different kinds of holiday-themed events and activities that can be found in Galveston, the city is frequently referred to as the “Winter Wonder Island of Texas.” In Galveston during winter, there is something for everyone to do.
To begin, the pleasant climate makes it ideal for taking strolls around the island’s beautiful beaches with a loved one or for participating in beach activities with members of your family or friends.
You may also go on the attractions at the Pleasure Pier, go for a run on the world’s longest continuous sidewalk, or watch a show at The Grand 1894 Opera House.
These are just some of the other things you can do while you’re in the area. Have an explore and see what else you can find!
18. San Diego
Because of its wonderful climate with highs around, San Diego is a popular vacation destination in winter. This is because the weather is ideal for touring the sights within the city itself.
As well as having a pleasant climate and stunning beaches, San Diego is one of the greatest cities to travel to in the States because prices drop significantly during this time of year.
You can explore the city on foot or by car, see all the beautiful holiday light displays in different neighborhoods, take a stroll through Balboa Park, watch the San Diego Bay Parade of Lights and the Gasland Pet Parade, swim, sunbathe, and surf, just to name a few of the many things you can do in this city.
19. Lake Tahoe
You’ll feel like you’ve stepped into an old Christmas card when you spend winter in Lake Tahoe. It’s an area that’s filled with stunning landscapes and time-honored customs that are associated with Christmas.
At Lake Tahoe, you can choose from a variety of outdoor and indoor activities to fill your time. Snowboarding, skiing, going on candlelit cruises, and watching the sunset from sleigh rides are some of the outdoor activities that people like doing.
You can also gather around the fire pits with other guests to sing Christmas carols while sipping a mug of hot chocolate and warming your hands.
Visit some of the historic mansions in Lake Tahoe, such as Vikingsholm, which is known for being one of the most photographed destinations in the United States.
You may expect pleasant weather and a well-known event in Pasadena throughout December. The climate in Pasadena means that you can go to the beach and enjoy yourself while participating in various beach activities. Isn’t that a wonderful way to spend the winter break?
Additionally, you have the opportunity to participate in the Tournament of Roses Parade, which is considered to be one of the most important events in the city.
Taking place at the end of December, this is an event where participants display their talent for decoration by covering floats with roses. You can be a part of this annual event by volunteering to join teams and provide assistance with the preparations that the teams are making for the competition.
You can also design your float. However, to secure a place for yourself in the procession, you will need to make reservations in advance.
Joshua Tree National Park is a national region that gets its name from the Joshua Trees that are native to the park. This park is not far from the Mojave Desert. Because of the lower average high and low temperatures, December is one of the most pleasant months to travel to this National Park.
Joshua Tree National Park is a fantastic area for going on hikes. You will be able to see breathtaking views of the park and the mountains that are in the surrounding area if you hike the Ryan Mountain Trail.
Hiking to Skull Rock, which is a total of 2.8 kilometers one way, will allow you to capture some very unforgettable pictures of your vacation.
22. Los Angeles
One of the warmest places in the United States to travel to in winter in Los Angeles. In winter, Los Angeles is a wonderful place to visit because of the pleasant weather (highs of 66 degrees Fahrenheit on average) and the abundance of holiday-themed activities.
During these months, some of the many activities that you can do in Los Angeles include traveling to Universal Studios Hollywood and going to Walt Disney Concert Hall to see one of the holiday concerts that are being held there.
You could also go along Christmas Tree Lane and look around. Be sure to check out the Newport Beach Boat Parade when you’re in town.
If you have the chance, don’t pass up the opportunity to visit Winter Fest OC if you are interested in having a traditional winter wonderland experience, even if it’s quite warm outside. You may also go to Descanso Gardens to witness the Forest of Light.
In the winter months, Death Valley National Park is among the most recommended travel locations in the United States. This is because, as one of the hottest places on earth, it’s much more bearable to be in the area when the weather cools a little.
This national park is so large that it covers two states, California and Nevada. Death Valley National Park transforms into the ideal destination for a December getaway in the United States thanks to its average high temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
Put on your walking boots, because you’re going to have some incredible experiences in the Valley. If you stay in the area long enough, you might even be able to catch the infamous New Year’s Eve celebration in Death Valley.
24. San Francisco
Without a doubt, San Francisco is one of the most enjoyable cities in the United States to explore in the winter months. This is because, during this season, San Francisco experiences fewer crowds, lower hotel rates, and a greater variety of things to do and see.
Pay a visit to the magnificent Golden Gate Bridge and the historic Victorian homes in San Francisco. Visit Pier 39 to watch the whales as they travel or listen to the sea lions roar.
In this cultural melting pot, you can sample dishes that are typical of countries and regions from all over the world. For those interested in wine, there is also the well-known San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition as well as the Uncorked Wine Festival.
Williamsburg is a beautiful place to spend Christmas because it mixes historical significance with natural splendor.
The town of Williamsburg has a significant place in American history as it’s the location where George Whyte signed the Declaration of Independence for the United States of America.
In addition, it is the location of William and Mary College, which is the second oldest university in the United States. A trip to Williamsburg is just what you need to unwind and recharge. Take a stroll through the snow-covered streets that are adorned with lovely Christmas lights and other decorations.
Pay a visit to the historic heart of Williamsburg and see the old colonial structures that have been restored to their former glory. You should also visit the art museums in the area to see displays of relics that date back to the town’s colonial era.
26. Santa Fe
Santa Fe is best characterized by its pleasant climate, artistic and historical offerings, and diverse cultural heritage. When thinking about where to go on vacation in the United States winter, you may not first think of Santa Fe, but this area has loads of things to offer you.
Santa Fe is the ideal destination for individuals or families who wish to spend their winter in a charming small town that provides a wealth of opportunities for relaxation, recreation, artistic expression, and intellectual growth.
Take a walking tour of Santa Fe’s historic districts and learn about the city’s old architecture. You might also spend some time learning about the culture of the indigenous people who once inhabited this area.
Make it a point to visit at least one of the city’s many health resorts and spas, as well as the various stores that sell local art and jewelry, and don’t forget to bring some home with you!
For an escape from the harsh cold and winter weather, make a trip to the tropical paradise of Maui, Hawaii. You won’t feel any cold while on this amazing getaway, making this the best place to banish any winter blues.
Mangoes, coconuts, poi, kabocha pumpkins, and Kalua pork are just some of the seasonal specialties that make this area so well-known among visitors.
On Maui, you can choose from a wide variety of entertaining activities. Lahaina, the largest city of Maui, has many attractions, including a historic harbor and downtown area, a tranquil waterfront, and magnificent Hawaiian beaches.
In addition, you have the opportunity to go whale watching, snorkeling, and surfing. During this enchanted warm winter break, another possibility is to do nothing more than laze about on the beach and take in the rays of the sun.
28. New Orleans
New Orleans is one of the best warm spots to visit in the United States during the winter months.
You get to take advantage of the nicer weather, see the city, and pay a visit to its well-known attractions, and then you get to leave before the crowds start to get significantly larger during the busier Mardi Gras tourist season.
In the month of December, New Orleans offers visitors a wide variety of activities and attractions to choose from. You might take a trip to one of Louisiana’s national parks, or you can simply stroll around the city and take in the city’s many ornamental displays.
Be sure to take a look at the artwork that is illuminated in Lafayette Square. Visit the historic Roosevelt Hotel to take in the tens of thousands of holiday lights that adorn the building, in addition to the fifty Christmas trees that have been meticulously decorated.
The pleasant climate, spectacular architecture, important historical role, and key place in the city’s development all contribute to Savannah’s widespread fame. Consider Savannah for your winter travel plans because the temperature rarely rises over 62 degrees Fahrenheit there.
You may have a lot of fun in Savannah by participating in the December boat parade, taking a riverboat trip along the Savannah River for two hours, and going to Forsyth Park and Fragrant Garden. These are just a few of the things you can do.
In addition, the Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum, which is located on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, is an excellent resource for learning more about the state of Georgia’s participation in the civil rights struggle.
Be sure to stop in some of the shops line Broughton Street and take advantage of the holiday lighting. The holiday season in Savannah is enchanted and definitely worth the trip!
We hope that this post has provided you with some fantastic ideas of locations to go to in the United States during the winter months. After all, the United States has a diverse selection of landscapes and towns in which to experience the enchantment of the holiday season.
You have the option of going on a more traditional vacation, such as having snowball fights and drinking hot chocolate in a new city, or you can choose to go on an adventure outside and enjoy the pleasant weather.
Have a wonderful time celebrating the holidays in the United States of America, whichever option you decide to go with.
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