Looking for the most beautiful places to visit in Winter in USA?
I have asked travel experts to spill the best Winter destinations in the United States to help you decide where to go to have a fantastic winter.
Winter is a wonderful time to get away from home and routine, places are much less crowded and snowy landscapes are beautiful!
You can also choose a beach destination to relax and escape the cold. Whether you choose a location or another, you’ll find your perfect US winter travel destination!
So let’s dive into the best winter escapes in the United States.
Índice / Table of Contents
- 1 30 Unforgettable & Beautiful Places to Visit in Winter in USA
- 1.1 1. Boulder, Colorado
- 1.2 2. Savannah GA in Winter
- 1.3 3. Joshua Tree in Winter
- 1.4 4. Key West, Florida
- 1.5 5. Leavenworth, WA
- 1.6 6. New York in Winter
- 1.7 7. North Pole, Alaska
- 1.8 8. Lake Tahoe in Winter
- 1.9 9. Jackson Hole in Winter
- 1.10 10. Vail, Colorado
- 1.11 11. Seattle in Winter
- 1.12 12. Fairbanks, Alaska
- 1.13 13. Whitefish, Montana
- 1.14 14. Olympic National Park, Washington
- 1.15 15. Breckinridge, Colorado
- 1.16 16. Maui, Hawaii
- 1.17 17. Fort Lauderdale
- 1.18 18. Utah National Parks
- 1.19 19. Washington DC in Winter
- 1.20 20. Keystone, Colorado
- 1.21 21. Philadelphia in Winter
- 1.22 22. Tucson AZ
- 1.23 23. San Diego in Winter
- 1.24 24. Death Valley in Winter
- 1.25 25. Steamboat Springs CO
- 1.26 26. Wisconsin in Winter
- 1.27 27. Red Rock Canyon National Park, Nevada
- 1.28 28. San Francisco in Winter
- 1.29 29. Captiva and Fort Myers Beaches, Florida
- 1.30 30. San Antonio in Winter
- 2 Other Winter Destinations you’ll love:
30 Unforgettable & Beautiful Places to Visit in Winter in USA
Here is my list of the best winter destinations in the US, including cities, parks, natural landmarks, beaches, so you had the best time ever on your next Winter Wonderland in the US!
1. Boulder, Colorado
Boulder has gorgeous views of the beautiful Rocky Mountains, fantastic healthy food and lots of winter activities for the best trip ever. One of the most beautiful places to visit during winter in USA!
The best way to explore Boulder is by foot. The best things to do in Boulder Colorado in winter are shopping at the Pearl Street Mall (an outdoor street mall), located in the heart of downtown Boulder); walking around the University of Colorado Boulder’s college campus; go skiing at the Eldora Mountain and staying at the Eldora Mountain Resort.
If you like hiking, go to the Flatirons! From the top spot, Lost Gulch, you have an absolute stunning view of the Rocky Mountains to the west an unbeatable overlook view of Boulder laid out to the east.
If you’re a foodie, I recommend you to eat a burger at the famous restaurant The Sink and have a craft beer. Do you know that Boulder has a well-earned reputation as a beer crafting capital? It’s Winter Craft Beer Festival is really popular!
Boulder Colorado is a winter wonderland, but don’t forget to pack warm clothes!
2. Savannah GA in Winter
Sunny Savannah makes a great spot for a winter getaway! Even during the coldest months of the year, the highs can sometimes reach into the mid-70s.
River Street makes a classic spot to catch a sunset, and Broughton Street is the place to get your shopping fix in. The Paris Market is a must, especially during the holiday season when they go all-out with fanciful window displays.
Savannah is known for being quite a foodies destination! Stop by Six Pence Pub, Crystal Beer Parlor, or The Olde Pink House (always a classic) for a hearty winter meal. For dessert, head to Leopold’s Ice Cream — their line stretches down the block even when it’s cold outside.
The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist is a draw year-round, but it’s particularly stunning to see their beautiful nativity scene on display during the Christmas season.
The Holiday Tour of Homes is one of Savannah’s most popular holiday events. It’s where you’ll see some of Savannah’s finest homes all decked out in their seasonal best.
January is considered the “off season,” so it’s a good time to look for travel deals. The tulip trees begin sprouting their giant pink blossoms by early February to usher in the warmer spring weather.
In case you hit a rare day where it’s too cold to stroll the Historic District, head to E. Shaver bookseller and curl up in a comfy chair with a steamy cup of tea to read one of their suggested locally authored books.
[NOTE: The Holiday Tour of Homes has been cancelled for 2020 due to COVID-19.]
Erin Terrell Clarkson – Savannah First-Timer’s Guide
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3. Joshua Tree in Winter
Visiting Joshua Tree in January is a great time of year to visit the National Park. The peak season for visiting Joshua Tree is December-May as it is much cooler than in the summer months when the temperatures reach well over 100 degrees.
Joshua Tree is located in southern California near the Mojave Desert. It is named after the Joshua Trees found in the park that are a species of yucca. Most people recognize the Joshua Trees but there are also other varieties in the park that you can see on the Ryan Mountain Trail.
One of the best things to do in Joshua Tree National Park is to go hiking. Ryan Mountain Trail is a moderate hike that is much easier in winter than in the heat of summer. The hike will take two hours and you will gain 1000 feet in elevation on this hike. Once you get to the top you will have expansive views of the park and the mountains surrounding the area.
One of my favorite hikes is to Skull Rock. This hike is only 1.8 miles round trip but you can see this rock that looks like a skull. It’s the perfect photo op in Joshua Tree and quite an easy hike.
Joshua Tree is also known as a light pollution free zone and you can spend your evenings there stargazing. There are several places to go glamping in Joshua Tree that are perfect for stargazing.
Nicole LaBarge – American SW Obsessed
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4. Key West, Florida
When the post-holiday blues set in, it’s time to make plans for a fabulous winter getaway. There are those that enjoy snow sports, but for most someplace warm to shake-off the winter chill, there’s no better place to warm-up than in Key West, Florida.
Key West enjoys a subtropical climate year-round so the water is always warm, and if your idea of cool things to do in Key West includes getting in, on, or under the water, you’ll love it there.
Going snorkeling on a sunset champagne snorkeling cruise is a must. All the gear you need will be provided, and on the way back you’ll sip a glass or two of champagne to toast the sunset. For those seeking something a bit more adventure, there is scuba diving in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Many dive operators offer a PADI certification to help get you started.
Options for anglers seem endless in this fisherman’s paradise. Trips are offered for both inshore and offshore adventures, or you can rent a boat or a jet ski to cruise around the inshore waters.
When it comes to local food, there’s no limit to dining options. Cafes, upscale restaurants, and bars serve just about anything found in the local waters. And be sure to try Key West pink shrimp and of course, a slice of the best Key Lime pie in Key West.
Plan your stay for at least a long weekend. Just remember to make accommodations well in advance. Key West is popular as the perfect warm winter destination in the USA.
Lori Sorrentino – Travlinmad.com
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5. Leavenworth, WA
Leavenworth, Washington, a tiny Bavarian-themed town nestled in the Cascade Mountains, is a must-visit destination in the wintertime. Besides, it’s one of the best Christmas towns in USA.
Leavenworth in winter is gorgeous! Every building in the city’s downtown, from the gas station to the Starbucks, looks straight out of a fairytale German village and during the holiday season, the town becomes even more magical as it transforms into a winter wonderland, festooned with over 500,000 twinkling lights.
The town leans into the holiday spirit, with chestnut roasting, carolers strolling the streets, and a very beloved Gluhwein tent.
Even if you happen to miss visiting Leavenworth during the holiday season, you can still soak up all the wintertime vibes here, by gazing at the snowy Cascade Mountains surrounding the town, mug of mulled wine in hand, next to a roaring fire.
Got those wintertime comfort food cravings? Pick up a bratwurst (with a comically sized self-serve vat of sauerkraut) at München Haus; snag some flaky strudel at the Danish Bakery; and wash it all down with a pilsner from Icicle Brewing Company. Proust!
Jessica Schmit – Uprooted Traveler
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6. New York in Winter
New York is beautiful year round, but the atmosphere becomes pure magic in the winter, when days are shorter and you can truly see its lights shining. That is especially true in December, when the city dresses up for Christmas. Yet, New York city reaches pure perfection when it is under a blanket of snow.
If you are traveling to Christmas in the winter months (end of November to March included) you’ll find no shortage of things to do to keep busy and entertained.
Should you be in town in time for that, make sure to attend the Macy Thanksgiving Day Parade. It’s been taking place since 1924 – almost 100 years! – and screams New York through and through. Starting at 77th Street and Central Park West at 9:00 am, the parade goes all the way to Central Park and Columbus Circle, where it turns on 7th Avenue to get all the way to the store. If you have a chance, make sure to also go for a Thanksgiving meal. Many restaurants in town will serve that – head to Market Table, in the Village, for a delightful experience.
If you happen to visit during Christmas, you can’t miss the Rockfeller Center Christmas Tree and ice rink. New Year’s Eve on Times Square is another must.
If the day is particularly cold, you will be relieved to know that you can escape it by visiting one of the many museums in town. The Metropolitan and the MoMa certainly are two you should not miss; as well as the 9/11 Museum.
Finally, in a city with so many skyscrapers and viewpoints, you should make sure to take in the stunning views. Head to Brooklyn Heights Promenade for some of the most impressive views over Manhattan.
New York is one of the best places to visit in December in USA!
Claudia Tavani – My Adventures Across The World
7. North Pole, Alaska
North Pole is one of the best places to visit in the US during Winter. Specially if you love snow, beautiful landscapes, frozen lakes and cozy cabins.
Besides, winter in North Pole Alaska is the best time of the year to see the Northern Lights. Thanks to longer hours of darkness and clear night skies, winter is the best time to observe this amazing natural phenomenon.
If you want to know where should you go for winter vacation in USA, consider Alaska. You’ll love it!
8. Lake Tahoe in Winter
The best winter destination in the US is Lake Tahoe in California. There are so many things to do in Lake Tahoe in winter!
Lake Tahoe is an adventure-lovers playground and has the perfect mix of snow and sunshine. Forget gloomy cold winter days and instead enjoy bluebird ski days. Tahoe gets on average 300 days of sunshine a year and has some of the best ski resorts in the US.
The Lake Tahoe region has over 13 ski and snowboard resorts around its perimeter. As well as spending your days hitting the slopes the resorts all have various activities and events running throughout the season. You’ll find family-friendly fun like tubing hills, kids clubs, ice-skating, the Kidzone museum in Truckee and holiday-specific events.
As well as keeping the kids entertained, adults will be able to enjoy concerts and festivals with both big-name artists and smaller local acts.
My top recommendation is to stay in North Lake Tahoe. Depending on the time of year and the amount of snow, a drive around the lake is a great non-skiing activity – make sure to visit Emerald Bay, one of California’s top photographed points. The majority of the late-night events happen on the eastern side of the lake, in Nevada where you’ll find Casino’s open all night long.
As is common in California, you’ll find great dining and especially Mexican restaurants. A must-visit is Hacienda in Tahoe City which also does a phenomenal happy hour, perfect after a long day on the slopes.
Lake Tahoe is one of the most beautiful places to visit in winter in USA east coast!
Erin Morris – Curiously Erin
9. Jackson Hole in Winter
Jackson Hole, Wyoming is an adventure-lovers ideal winter destination.
Often billed as one of the most challenging ski resorts in the United States, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is known for its extreme skiing and snowboarding runs. It boasts steep slopes, rugged terrain, and dangerous drop-offs. But even if visiting Jackson Hole with kids, there is plenty to do both on and off the slopes. The resort has a world-class ski school that caters to each person’s and unique ability level.
Off the slopes, there are a lot of other activities to entertain you in Jackson Hole. Go snowmobiling on the Continental Divide for breathtaking, panoramic views of the snow-capped Teton Mountain Range. You can also take a horse-drawn sleigh ride through the National Elk Refuge. The refuge is home to thousands of wild elk that roam freely in the pastures and valley.
For those seeking more of a relaxing mountain escape, Jackson Hole has some of the most stunning views you’ll find anywhere in the United States. The Wild West town of Jackson, Wyoming also has a great variety of locally owned shops, restaurants and breweries to keep visitors entertained.
Melissa – Parenthood and Passports
10. Vail, Colorado
Winter excites me every year as I always love visiting snowy, fun winter destinations. One of my absolute favorite places to visit in the wintertime is Vail, Colorado. Located in a state that is typically quite popular for winter travel, Vail offers the perfect snow-lovers experience!
Obviously, skiing is Vail’s top past-time winter activity and there are definitely ski slopes galore from the bunnies to black diamond runs. However, there are also things to do for non-skiers in Vail as well. These highly recommended activities include dog-sledding (with learning to mush) and snowmobiling up to 12,500 feet to catch a gorgeous view of four mountain ranges and the Continental Divide.
In addition, stay in a ski-in, ski-out resort for the full winter effect. S’mores around the fire pit, building snowmen, and even dinner at Zach’s Cabin where you will arrive and depart via an open-air sleigh ride will complete your memorable winter vacation!
Heather – Trimm Travels
11. Seattle in Winter
Seattle, a seaport city on the West Coast of the US famous for its coffee culture, tech industry, and its unique location between the Puget Sound and the Cascade Mountain range is well worth a visit at any time of the year.
The city is a haven for nature lovers, despite its reputation for rainy weather, and there’s plenty of activities on offer. The city and surrounding areas are filled with greenery all year round, even in the winter due to all the evergreen trees in the area leading to its nickname as the Emerald City.
Top sights include the Space Needle, Pike Place Market Foundation, and the Museum of Pop Culture. Winter specific activities consist of a visit to Winter Wonderland of Leavenworth, the slopes at Stevens Pass, and Teatro ZinZanni.
The city also has a thriving culinary scene with exotic foods to try that include fresh oysters, chicken teriyaki, and triple coconut cream pie.
Definitely, one of he best places to visit in the winter!
Raihaan Is’rafael – A Rai of Light
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12. Fairbanks, Alaska
The term ‘Winter Getaway’ evokes images of sunshine and beaches… but why not consider a little snow and Fairbanks, Alaska magic?
There is an 80% chance of seeing the Aurora Borealis in the winter sky during a 3 night Fairbanks stay. Local hotels even offer “Aurora Wake-up Calls.” Specialty hotels have northern lights viewing rooms, domes or shuttles to prime Northern lights viewing locations.
There are so many things to do in and around Fairbanks. The Alaska Pipeline Viewing Point is less than 15 minutes away. Local kennels offer hourly or half day dog sled rides. Day trips along the Dalton Highway to the Arctic Circle can be booked in advance. Fairbanks also features its own brewery and distillery.
Santa’s House at the North Pole is a 30-minute ride from Fairbanks. Outside is a winter wonderland of ice carvings, reindeer and glowing ice slides.
Chena Hot Springs Resort is about an hour from Fairbanks and has everything a winter fun seeker needs. Chena boasts a Northern lights viewing room and nighttime tours to nearby dark viewing parks.
Dogsledding is available at their on-site dog kennel. The famous Aurora Ice Museum dazzles with illuminated frozen carvings and appletinis served in an ice glass.
After braving the elements, there is nothing like soaking in the hot springs outside under the stars when the weather is 4° and the water is 104°. Watch out for hair icicles.
One of the best winter vacations in the US!
Pro tip: Battery powered socks
FYI: December daylight = about 5 hours
Carol Vasel – Isthisevenaroad
13. Whitefish, Montana
One of the best places you can visit during the Winter time is a small little mountain town called “Whitefish”, Montana.
It is literally a paradise for all things fun and nature. For instance, “Glacier National Park” Is right next to the town of Whitefish, which makes it a perfect destination to visit.
You’ll be surrounded by lush alpine meadows, rugged mountains, forested backdrops, and a huge alpine feature that looms over the sky. And being how it is winter time, you obviously have to do some winter activities right? Which is perfect because the town of “Whitefish” has a place called “Whitefish Mountain Resort” where you can do everything from snowboarding to skiing or even playing in the snow.
If nature isn’t to your liking, you might also be interested in the small mountain town itself.
The town of “Whitefish” is filled with all sorts of fun things. For example, in downtown Whitefish you can find all kinds of stores here selling various handmade arts, jewelry, gifts and more.
Nearby this area, you can even go catch some awesome theater performances at “Whitefish Theatre Company. However, one of my favorite things to do here is using the spa, as they have so many different and unique spa choices for you to choose from.
And if you’re hungry, you might even want to stop by the town’s most famous restaurant called “Loula’s Café” and get a bite to eat.
If you get the chance, definitely come check this place out.
Wayne Dang – The Traveling Asian
14. Olympic National Park, Washington
Combining some of the unique ecosystems such as the temperate rainforest, lakes, beaches and snow-blanketed mountains, Olympic national park is probably the most distinct national park in the whole of the United States.
The greatest part about visiting this place in the winter is that it would be devoid of the usual crowds and you can have a more intimate travel experience. Most of the areas of the park remain accessible, although there are some ranger-led programs. While working in the USA, I visited it a few times and I loved it in winter.
Lake Crescent can be your first stop, if you are coming from Seattle. It has many picnic areas with a great view. You can rent a kayak or canoe, and go for a scenic paddling experience.
The charm of the otherworldly Hoh rain forest is the highlight of the Olympics, which has more than 130 species of mosses, lichens and ferns. Hike to the Sol Duc falls is something I would definitely recommend. Olympic national park has a long coastline with wild beaches, out of which the Ruby and Shi Shi beaches are everyone’s favorite.
And you can’t miss the snow-blanketted Hurricane Ridge. This where you can go for tubing, snowshoeing, cross-country and downhill skiing and snowboarding.
There might be road closures sometimes, so do check about it before planning your visit.
Deb Pati – The Visa Project
15. Breckinridge, Colorado
A great winter destination in the U.S. is Breckenridge, Colorado (90 miles from Denver). It isn’t only a ski town; it is an authentic mountain town with a long history of fur trading and gold mining since 1859.
Breckenridge is one of the most popular ski resorts in Colorado. Besides the 2,300 acres of terrain for advanced skiers and snowboarders at Breckenridge, it also boasts some of the best terrain parks in the world, as well as the highest lift in North America. But there is more to do here in Breckenridge than just ski.
During the winter, you can come and see the International Snow Sculpture Championship or the ULLR fest. ULLR is the snow god from Scandinavian folklore that protects those who participate in winter sports. And what better place to have this festival than in Breckenridge.
For those who don’t ski, there are plenty of town activities from walking history tours, dog sledding, tubing, wine tasting, or enjoying a microbrew.
And after a day spent outside, nothing beats walking into town to sit down at one of the 80 restaurants to eat a delicious meal or spend some time shopping in over the 200 stores all lined up around the town in colorful wooden buildings. Breckenridge is a fabulous destination if you are looking for a winter getaway in the U.S.
Heather Raulerson – RaulersonGirlsTravel
16. Maui, Hawaii
A very popular winter destination in the USA is actually a warm departure from the snow or cold climate at Maui, Hawaii.
Maui has always been a warm winter getaway from the mainland as a short respite from the cold and enjoy all of the good things here from eating the local foods like fresh papaya, mangoes and coconuts to trying delicious warm weather foods like Kalua pork, poi and cabocha pumpkin prepared a variety of ways.
There are many places to be based in the island depending on where you want to be but if you love being central and in the heart of things the main city at Lahaina combines the waterfront, historic harbor and downtown area and lovely beaches and outdoor activities in town or very drive.
Maui is an outdoor lovers paradise with adventure sports, gorgeous nature and natural landscapes, fabulous beaches and water oriented activities like snorkeling, diving, whale watching or even surfing to keep you busy and enjoying sun and fun on the island.
For more inspiration, check out my post on the top 20 things you can do in Lahaina here for fun things to do and see in town and around the area. You’ll love visiting Maui in winter and not want to leave back to where you came from, I promise.
Noel Morata – This Hawaii Life
17. Fort Lauderdale
When looking for winter destinations in the US there is no reason why Fort Lauderdale shouldn’t be on your list. It’s one of the most beautiful warm places to visit in winter in USA!
Whether you are into the beach life, nature or interested in arts and entertainment scene, Fort Lauderdale has something waiting for you during the winter months.
The months between December and April are the best time to visit for many travelers looking to get some winter sun and you can expect temperatures in the high 50s to the mid-80s.
For those who adhere to sustainable travel ideologies you’ll find that Fort Lauderdale provides an incomparable experience for its visitors.
One of the best areas to stay and things to do here is to spend your time exploring the Fort Lauderdale Beach area. You’ll find the same luscious white sands as Miami beach but with much fewer crowds.
There are all the typical amenities you’d expect such as hotels, restaurants, and even a bike rental service. The boardwalk area is safe and offers some exuberant nightlife options as well as things to do with the family if traveling with children.
All in all, Fort Lauderdale makes a great location for anyone looking to escape lower than average temperatures.
Daniel James – Urban Abroad
18. Utah National Parks
Utah is home to five National Parks: Arches, Bryce, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef and Zion, collectively known as the ‘Mighty Five’. With a huge variety of winter friendly trails, low crowds and less expensive accommodation, the Utah National Parks are an awesome winter destination in the US.
Although visitors may need to work around snow closures, southern Utah and the lower elevation parks are a fantastic year round destination. Iconic trails including Angels Landing and the Narrows in Zion, Delicate Arch in Arches, Hickman Bridge in Capitol Reef and Mesa Arch in Canyonlands are accessible throughout the winter.
Bryce Canyon, with an elevation of over 8,000 feet, has the greatest chance of snow but the opportunity to see its signature hoodoo rock columns with a covering of snow is truly magical.
With lower crowds, the trails are often a place of solitude and a welcome contrast to the high crowds at other times of the year. Accommodation prices tend to be much lower during the winter months and there are lots of cozy and traditional options both in and close to the parks.
One of the best places to visit in winter in USA!
Elaine & David – The Whole World is a Playground
19. Washington DC in Winter
Washington DC is one of the best cities in America to visit during the winter.
There is a wonderful mixture of indoor and outdoor activities to keep you occupied for days on end.
In the center of the city is the National Mall, where some of the country’s most recognized monuments are located, including the awe-inspiring Lincoln Memorial.
In the National Mall, you will also find some of the world’s most famous and impressive museums where you can escape the cold. The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History is the most visited museum in the world and is free to enter.
Across the river from the National Mall is the Arlington National Cemetery, where some of America’s most influential and important people have been laid to rest.
There are also plenty of unique things to do in Arlington during winter, with the downtown city center turning into a winter wonderland throughout the festive period. One of the biggest winter attractions are the various ice-skating rinks dotted throughout the city.
If you’re looking for a fantastic city to visit in the US during winter, definitely plan a trip to Washington DC.
Megan C. Starr – Virginia Travel Tips
20. Keystone, Colorado
If you are looking for a fun and affordable winter getaway in the Untied States, I think Keystone, Colorado is one of the best options.
This ski town is less than an hour away from Denver and will transport you to a Winter Wonderland!
Visiting Keystone is ideal for a skiing or snowboarding trip, as there are ski trails available for all abilities from beginner to expert. There are also tons of resorts within walking distance of the mountain with pretty low rates, especially in March.
However, you do not have to be a ski bunny to have fun here. Keystone is also home to many excellent restaurants and breweries.
The nearby town of Breckenridge is an especially great spot for foodies. To get a little taste of winter, you can also ice skate, snow mobile or go tubing at multiple spots in the area. At night, you can relax at the spa or warm up in a hot tub under a starry sky for an especially unique experience. A winter visit to Keystone is the perfect way to enjoy some time in snowy Colorado.
Amy Gilbride – The Florida Travel Girl
21. Philadelphia in Winter
Philadelphia, the historic city has a very lively and colorful vibe in winters.
Philly, as popularly called has so much to do in winters from Ice skating to shopping at the Christmas markets to watching the spectacular holiday decorations.
There are famous Ice skating rinks at the Blue Cross River Rink Winterfest overlooking the Delaware River and at the Rothman Ice rink at Dilworth’s Park.
The Center City gets decorated beautifully during the Holiday season. Walk up to the City Hall for a huge Christmas tree display and other activities. Even Macy’s has a spectacular Magic Christmas tree display lit by about 35000 lights for Christmas.
Apart from the lights, there is Dicken’s Christmas Village that has displays based on the theme of ‘A Christmas Carol’. So even if you don’t intent to shop, head over to Macy’s to enjoy the glitz.
For shopping lovers, there is a Christmas Village in the Center City that is worth visiting with international vendors.
Another popular highlight is the holiday special video at the World’s largest state of the art wall screen at Comcast Center. Walk-in any time to a house full of people gathered to watch the 15-minute spectacular show.
If there is time at your hand, then Longwood gardens make for one of the best day trips from Philadelphia around Christmas. The garden is sparkling with half-million lights and exotic flowers.
Philadelphia is one of the best places for a Christmas vacation in USA!
Neha – Travelmelodies
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22. Tucson AZ
Snowbirds have long enjoyed the warm dry winter climate of Tucson Arizona. But, in addition to the weather, Tucson offers a wide range of activities.
Decide between a relaxed luxury resort stay or one that is full of adventure. Perhaps you are a history buff, an art lover, or a foodie. Well, Tucson will satisfy you as well.
Those looking for a bit of indulgence will want to stay at the Hacienda Del Sol Resort. The resort offers top-notch dining experiences, horseback riding, and hiking. Artsy types can take an on-site tour of the sculpture gardens. If you just want to chill, book an in-room spa service or lounge by one of the pools.
Those choosing to venture off-site will want to take a bicycle tour of the city with Tucson Bike Tours. This is a fun way to get to know the history and infamy of this western town while pedaling through the city’s barrios.
Art lovers should visit the Gallery in the Sun. This is the home of Ettore “Ted” DeGrazia, best known for his images of Puebla children popularized on the 1960 UNICEF Holiday Cards. But DeGrazia was a prolific artist in a wide range of media.
Adventurers will surely want to head in the Saguaro desert for some hiking. While out there keep your eyes open. You may find some ancient petroglyphs inscribed on the rocks.
Visitors to Tucson will be pleasantly surprised by all this southwestern city offers.
Susan Decoteau-Ferrier – GenXTraveler.com
23. San Diego in Winter
If you’re looking for the absolute perfect winter destination in the USA, then you absolutely cannot go wrong with San Diego. As California’s southernmost city (and second most populous), San Diego is a thriving metropolis with a lot to offer visitors — and everything from great restaurants to great beaches are accessible year-round.
Boasting some of the mildest temperatures in the country, San Diego makes for an excellent winter escape for those looking to soak up a bit of warmth and sunshine. Though travelers could easily spend weeks here and not get bored, spending 2 to 4 days in San Diego is also an ideal length of time to get a feel for the city.
Though it may be a bit too chilly to go for a swim in the Pacific, the weather is still warm enough to enjoy the city’s lovely beaches with a fraction of the tourist crowds of summer. If you’re more interested in the cosmopolitan city vibes, don’t miss the opportunity to explore downtown’s historic Gaslamp Quarter and enjoy the restaurants in Little Italy.
And if you’re interested in learning a bit while on your holiday, then head to Balboa Park. This lovely park is home to countless beautiful gardens, seventeen fantastic museums and the world-famous San Diego Zoo.
All in all, San Diego makes for the absolute perfect winter getaway in the United States.
Maggie Turansky – The World Was Here First
24. Death Valley in Winter
The hottest and driest national park in the USA, Death Valley National Park is the ideal winter destination. The Southern California desert park boasts winter daytime temperatures in the high 60s to low 70s, just perfect for getting out of your car to explore.
Winter sunsets in the park are spectacular, and hopefully you will get to enjoy the colorful skies at dusk. Plus, if you enjoy stargazing, Death Valley National Park hosts an annual dark sky festival in February.
Hiking is one of the best things to do in Death Valley National Park, and winter is a great time to venture on longer, more challenging hikes in the park, such as the epic climb to the top of Telescope Peak.
Exploring Death Valley’s colorful canyons, such as Desolation Canyon and Golden Canyon, is also a must-do. Walk on the salt flats in Badwater Basin, explore the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, and check out the vibrant colors at Artist’s Palette. In winter, you can enjoy all of these popular Death Valley attractions in pleasant temperatures!
Dhara – Roadtripping California
25. Steamboat Springs CO
For a Colorado winter destination away from the major tourist towns like Vail or Aspen, head to Steamboat Springs.
The town is a beautiful three-hour drive from Denver or 20-minutes from the Hayden airport.
If you are looking to learn to ski, the Howelsen Hill Ski Area is probably the most affordable place you can find to go skiing. For more advanced skiers, the Steamboat Springs Ski Resort has six peaks and 169 names trails with a large range of difficulties. Around town, you can access many other winter activities like snowmobiling, snow tubing, or ice fishing or you can simply relax at the Old Town Hot Springs, in a hot tub or around a fireplace.
For a truly unique experience, check out Vista Verde Ranch. The all-inclusive luxury ranch has private cabins, gourmet meals, and tons of activities. The staff and facilities will make your winter getaway one you will never forget.
Dan Bagby – HoneymoonAlways.com
26. Wisconsin in Winter
Wisconsin is a very popular winter destination in the United States.
The state is best known for its winter activities such as downhill skiing, snowboarding, winter ziplining, sledding, snow tubing and snowshoeing that are offered at various spots.
The Cascade Mountain located in Portage is one of the best places in Wisconsin to enjoy these adventurous winter activities.
Venturing to Apostle Island would take you through some amazing ice caves. Ice skating and snow sculpting on Lake Geneva are some of the unique activities to enjoy in Wisconsin.
The magical Wisconsin Dells which is known to be world’s waterpark capital, gives you an escape from the winter blues at its temperature regulated indoor water and theme parks.
If you are not a fan of snow or would like to stay indoors on a chilly day, you can still enjoy Wisconsin in the winter and stay warm by focusing on the city’s many indoor attractions including its many museums, live show theatres and cultural institutions. The Milwaukee Art Museum which is popular for its gorgeous architecture designed by the Spanish star-architect Santiago Calatrava is definitely a must visit.
Nothing beats the beauty of Wisconsin’s state parks that have well groomed trails for hiking or for a leisurely walk around the lakes. You would love visiting Copper Falls State Park, Mirror Lake State Park and Devil’s Lake State park for their mesmerizing and serene landscapes.
Also do not miss out savoring on Wisconsin’s specialty fried cheese curds and butter burgers from Culver’s.
Anjali Wadhwa – Cheerful Trails
27. Red Rock Canyon National Park, Nevada
The area surrounding Las Vegas, Nevada may be best known for bright lights and casinos, but it also holds some of the most picturesque nature and desert attractions in the Southwestern United States.
Red Rock Canyon National Park is located just 25 minutes outside of Sin City, but it couldn’t feel farther away. Winter is the best time to visit, because triple digits are a distant memory and the air is cool.
While in summer, the 13-mile one-way loop road around Red Rock might be all you can enjoy from inside of your air conditioned car, winter will open up a number of hiking options through the park’s beautiful trails. You could easily spend several days exploring the breathtaking rock formations and streams around the park.
Another must-see that is found just 20 minutes outside of Las Vegas is the public art installation in the desert called Seven Magic Mountains. Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone created this piece from locally sourced boulders which he painted in vivid neon.
You can easily hit both of these desert attractions in one full day. It’s amazing to see two vastly different sights made of stone in the Nevada desert!
Monica – This Rare Earth
28. San Francisco in Winter
Located in Northern California, San Francisco is easily one of the best winter destinations in the US.
This iconic city is known for its majestic Golden Gate bridge, dynamic waterfront, diverse cultures, cable cars, and colorful Victorian houses. San Francisco receives millions of tourists each year but visiting in the winter means fewer crowds and more affordable hotel rates with plenty of things to do and explore.
The city by the bay is filled with bustling activities to choose from during the winter. Whether it’s to go see the barking sea lions at Pier 39 or the migration of gray whales; marvel at world-class holiday performances and impressive light displays; or experience a festive Chinese New Year parade, there’s definitely no shortage of things to do during your visit.
San Francisco has beckoned food lovers for decades due to its culture of culinary excellence. The diversity of cuisine is unmatched whether it’s coming from a food truck or a Michelin starred restaurant. It’s a place where you can enjoy authentic Thai street food, world-class dimsum, amazing Mexican food and even fresh Peruvian ceviche in a 7×7 mile-square area.
Wine enthusiasts will enjoy visiting the city in the winter for notable wine events such as The San Francisco Chronicle wine competition and Uncorked Wine Festival where you can experience an incredible amount of varietals from different wine producers in one place.
With average temperatures resting in the high 50s, make sure to pack layers to stay warm as well as a comfortable pair of walking shoes in order to enjoy this beautiful city in the winter.
Kristel and Gabriel Glasier – Chef Travel Guide
29. Captiva and Fort Myers Beaches, Florida
Winter is the ideal time to visit Southwest Florida, with impeccable weather featuring sunny days (average high temps in 70s), cooler nights (50s), and low humidity.
One of my favorite winter Florida Gulf Coast destinations is the Fort Myers Beach area—including Estero Island, Sanibel Island, and Captiva Island. The area includes 50 miles of glorious white sand beaches and almost 600 miles of shoreline.
Peak travel season here starts January 15 so winter visits are definitely not a secret. Be a smart visitor by booking your lodging as early as possible, even a year in advance. We love the remarkable South Seas Island Resort which occupies the end of Captiva Island, sitting on a 330-acre nature preserve with 2.5 miles of private beach.
Things to do in Fort Myers Beaches include finding amazing seashells (also visit the National Shell Museum), exploring and hiking in Ding Darling Refuge, kayaking in Estero Bay and the Great Calusa Blueway, watching leaping dolphins on a sunset cruise, and witnessing phenomenal US Gulf Coast sunsets.
Another favorite activity is a boat trip with Captiva Cruises to Cabbage Key, inspiration for Cheeseburger in Paradise and home of the original recipe key lime pie.
One of the warmest places in the US in January!
Charles McCool – McCool Travel
30. San Antonio in Winter
San Antonio TX is an ideal US destination during winter for temperate weather and festive events.
Since winter is off-season, many San Antonio hotels are cheaper and attractions, like the Alamo and local museums, are less crowded. Even the famed Riverwalk is more open, but with the mild climate, you’ll still be able to sit outside and enjoy local Tex-Mex and a margarita!
During the winter and the holidays, the Riverwalk is adorned with 200,000 holiday lights strung from the bridges and trees. Other festive events take place, as well. Visitors will enjoy shopping and decorations at the historic Market Square or watching the Mexican inspired New Year’s Eve events in La Villita and HemisFair Park.
If visiting San Antonio with kids, the family will love the holiday zoo lights and events and decorations at the surrounding theme and water parks.
While San Antonio may not be covered in a blanket of snow, its affordability and festive, Mexican-infused holiday events, along with traditional decor and shopping, make for a unique and fun winter escape.
Victoria – Tori-leigh.com
Other Winter Destinations you’ll love:
- Top 10 Things to do in Boulder Colorado in Winter: An Insider’s Perspective.
- Banff National Park in Winter: The Ultimate 3 Day Itinerary.
- Best Things to do in Leavenworth: A Guide to Washington’s Bavarian Village.
- 32 Best Christmas Destinations: Top Places to Spend Christmas & New Year’s Eve.
What is your favorite winter destination in the USA?
Have you visited other beautiful places in the USA during Winter?
Let me know in the comments and I will add them to the post!