15 of the Best Winter Vacations in the USA!

June 21, 2021

Are you looking for the best winter vacations in the US? If so – this list should give you loads of ideas!

Taking winter vacations in the US is tricky – there’s so much to consider! For example, which kind of climate do you want to go for? Somewhere warm to escape the cold, or something cold and snowy – to feel truly festive? The choice is yours after all!

Whichever you prefer, hopefully this list of the best winter vacations in the US will have some inspiration for you! I’ve compiled a list here, of our top rated best winter vacations in the US, for both sunshine and snow. You’ll find the snowy / wintery destinations at the top of the list, and towards the bottom you’ll find slightly milder / warmer destinations. So it’s totally up to you which kind of winter vacation in the US you decide to opt for!

winter vacations in the USA

So let’s get into it… The best winter vacations in the US!


Chicago

First on my list of the best winter vacations in the US, it’s Chicago. A big city that is worth visiting during the winter is Chicago… Of course! Although this place is fabulous year-round, it’s extra charming when it snows! If you’ve never visited the area before, you’ll want to check out the Museum of Science, Millenium Park, and of course, The Bean!

It’s difficult to get bored in Chicago, which is why it’s one of the best winter destinations in the US. If you’re traveling as a couple, make sure to dedicate plenty of time to the area’s food. Deep dish pizza, anyone? This place is absolutely one of our top choices for the best winter vacations in the US.

Read more: What is the coldest month in Chicago?


New York City

No list of the best winter vacations in the US would be complete without the Big Apple! New York at Christmas is truly magical, and is something that everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime.

Aside from the usual tourist attractions like Central Park, Times Square, and Broadway, there are also several winter-themed activities to discover here. Ice skating at the Rockefeller Center is always a romantic winter date idea, and although NYC can get extremely cold, the weather is well worth braving! NYC is amazing, so obviously had to make our list of the best winter vacations in the US.

Read more: A guide to visiting NYC in December


Alaska

Next on our list of the best winter vacations in the US, it’s Alaska. You probably won’t be surprised to see Alaska on our list of the best winter vacations in the US. It is a veritable winter wonderland, after all! Alaska is perfect for adventurous types, as not only does it see intense snowfall during winter, but it allows visitors to explore the area by helicopter! If you love both dogs and sledding, then why not head on a dogsledding experience?

There are numerous tours available, and it’s something that you’re unlikely to find as a tourist attraction elsewhere. If you’d prefer a more relaxed trip, book into a gorgeous cabin and watch the world go by at this amazing winter destination in the USA. This is an unforgettable experience, so had to make our list of the best winter vacations in the US.


Beaver Creek or Vail

If you love skiing, then you should probably put Beaver Creek or Vail on your list of the best winter vacations in the US. Offering ski fiends everything from gentle slopes to intense runs, Beaver Creek or Vail are great places to visit.

If you’re looking to get away from the slopes, then check out the area’s performing arts center or numerous hiking trails. Whatever you enjoy, you can easily spend a week or more at this winter destination in the USA. Just be sure to pack plenty of layers – it gets COLD. This is absolutely one of the best winter vacations in the US.


Washington DC

Another great suggestion for the best winter vacations in the US, it’s Washington. This is an idea for city break lovers – and it’s great tied into a trip to NYC and Boston too. Washington is full of museums, historical sites, and other wonderful attractions. So, if you’re looking to keep busy this winter, then Washington DC is a great place to visit! If you love ice skating, be sure to visit the National Gallery of Art’s Sculpture Garden. Each winter, they set up a glorious art rink which shouldn’t be missed. 


Cibola National Forest

And last on our list of the best winter vacations in the US, it’s Cibola National Forest. It is located in New Mexico, and it’s one of the most stunning winter destinations in the USA. Offering visitors sprawling mountain views, cable car trips, and tramways, it’s the place to visit for those who are looking to escape from the stressors of modern life. If you’re a ski fan, then you’ll be pleased to know that there are tons of ski lodges here. Whether you’d like to get some snow sports done or prefer to enjoy the apres ski experience, you won’t be disappointed.  


Mount Hood

Next on our list of the best winter vacations in the US, it’s Mount Hood. Mount Hood is one of those places that looks like it’s been lifted out of a storybook. Located only 90 minutes from Portland, this winter destination in the USA is the place to be for snow sports and skiing.

Picture the scene: log cabins, fireside chants, and smores. That’s what you’ll be experiencing after a tough day of skiing and hiking! Sure, it might be tiring, but the fun you’ll have will make those aching muscles worth it! This is another wonderful suggestion for the best winter vacations in the US.


Hanover

If you love festivals, then this next suggestion on our list of the best winter vacations in the US will be right up your street! You need to head to Hanover this winter! Since 1911, Dartmouth College have been holding their amazing winter carnival.

With skiing, swimming and general winter excitement featuring in the festival line-up, the annual winter carnival is one of those kitsch things that we feel you should do before you die. If you feel like sheltering from the cold, why not catch a show at the Hopkins Center for the Arts? There’s so much to do here, so just pick up a map and get exploring this winter destination in the USA! It’s an amazing choice for the best winter vacations in the US.


Breckenridge

Wildlife lovers, ski lovers, history lovers… will all adore this winter destination in the USA. There’s always plenty of snowfall in Breckenridge in winter, and it’s one of those amazing winter resorts that has incredible friendly people, and a great atmosphere too!

This is a wonderful choice for the best winter vacations in the US. It’s also known for being a great winter skiing resort in the USA, as it’s such a lovely village with interesting history and good amenities too. There’s plenty to do there!


Boston

Next on our list of the best winter vacations in the US, it’s Boston. Boston is packed with friendly people and excellent attractions, so we felt it deserved a place on our list of the best winter destinations in the USA. Whether you’d rather spend your time ice skating at Bostom Common Frog Pond or would rather check out a craft brewery, you certainly won’t be bored!

If you’re a history buff, don’t leave the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum off your list – it’s a great place to find out more about American history, and what could be better than that? It’s a magical choice for the best winter vacations in the US, and it’s great if you love exploring a bit of history too!

Read more: 16 cool things to do in Boston


Now for some sunny destinations…


San Diego

If you love winter vacations but can’t handle the cold, then San Diego should be at the top of your list for the best winter vacations in the US. With temperatures that sit at around 60 degrees Fahrenheit during the winter months, it’s a great place to visit if your city faces the bitter cold during the holiday season.

With great hikes, biking trails, restaurants, and even surfing on offer, you’ll feel like it’s summer again at this winter destination in the USA! This is definitely one of the best winter vacations in the US for people who love staying warm!


Las Vegas

Las Vegas is an incredible place to visit at any time of year, but it’s growing in popularity as one of the top winter destinations in the USA. In our opinion, it’s definitely one of the best winter vacations in the US!

What makes it different to any other time of year on the Strip, you ask? Well, during winter, the hotels in Vegas have glitzy Christmas displays, and performers tend to put on excellent holiday shows which you won’t be able to catch if you visit outside of the winter period. Aside from its winter-specific activities, Vegas is just a bundle of fun. With casinos, celebrity restaurants and top-tier entertainment making up only a fraction of what you can do here, the possibilities are truly endless! This is a great choice for the best winter vacations in the US – especially if you like your vacations lively and fun-packed.

Read more: 16 fun things to in Las Vegas at Christmas

Read more: 49 things to do in Las Vegas


South Florida

Florida is one of the best winter vacations in the US for anyone looking for sun, sand, and the sea. If you’re looking for a more relaxing trip to South Florida, why not take a cruise down Biscayne Bay? South Florida doesn’t tend to see as many visitors during the winter months, so it is certainly one of the best winter vacations in the US for those who want a quieter getaway. 

Here are some locations you might want to check out; Pensacola beach, Fort Pierce, Weeki Watchee, and Boynton Beach.


Orlando, Florida

Orlando Florida is next on our list of the best winter vacations in the US. Of course, in Orlando you find all the amazing theme parks and rides – and if that’s your thing – then visiting during Christmas is a real treat.

You’ll find special events, amazing shows, extravagant decor, they really go all out at parks like Disney during the winter months. This is absolutely one of the best winter vacations in the US if you love spending your time at theme parks, and it’s great to check out if you have kids!

Read more: 15 beautiful beaches near Orlando, Florida


Scottsdale

If you’re looking to experience something different this winter, why not spend some time in the Sonoran Desert? It’s one of the best winter vacations in the US for people looking for something a little different. Sure, it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but Scottsdale really takes you back to basics.

With an incredible desert landscape, hot air balloon rides, and unbeatable mountain trails, this is one of the top winter destinations in the UK for nature lovers. However, if you’d prefer a more riotous vacation, then check out Scottsdale’s other offerings. This city has some of the best restaurants and shopping in the state of Arizona, so you’ll certainly be able to get your Christmas shopping done! It’s a must experience and a perfect choice for the best winter vacations in the US.

Read more: Fun things to do in Scottsdale for any budget!


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