The Best Winter Vacations in the USA

Winter is among the greatest occasions to see totally different areas of the US at their brightest and most festive. In some elements of the nation, the coziness of the seasonal chill is quintessential to the winter expertise. However in others, winter principally nonexistent, save for a number of vacation decorations!

Listed below are 15 of one of the best holidays you possibly can take this upcoming season:

15. California Desert Journey

alabama hills sunrise
Simply superb.

Although winter frost is normally related to snow-covered timber, the desert is a superb place to go to on this season. Scorching summer season temperatures in California (which generally attain over 120°F!) imply that the cooler seasons make the desert bearable. And there are many them in Southern California, like Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, the Mojave, Dying Valley, and others, for a winter go to. (For a little bit of inspiration, try BMTM’s perfect California deserts road trip itinerary.)

In the event you resolve to go to the state throughout the later winter months, you could have an opportunity to see its panorama spring again to life. Take a look at this BMTM post for one of the best locations to see California wildflowers and superblooms.

14. Idaho Sizzling Springs Street Journey

Idaho is a kind of locations the place you possibly can’t go fallacious, regardless of the season you go to. However when the winter snow decorates the state, Idaho’s scorching springs change into particularly engaging.

Not solely are they the right technique to offset its in any other case chilly climate, however they’re a great way to plan your itinerary. There are scorching springs of all varieties right here, with choices ranging resort stays to the center of nowhere. Professional tip: don’t be afraid to ask locals for some scorching spring perception, as chances are you’ll discover out a couple of hidden gem!

However Idaho has extra to supply than simply its scorching springs — try its extra mountainous elements (like Solar Valley) for snowboarding and snowboarding, or try the Craters of the Moon Nationwide Monument for some lunar-like caves. Greater than sufficient winter festivities additionally maintain guests occupied, as occasions just like the McCall Winter Carnival usher in vacationers all through the season.

13. Colorado Ski Journey

It’s no shock that Colorado is a ski haven, on condition that it’s the state recognized for having essentially the most “fourteeners” (mountains increased than 14,000 ft) within the nation. It actually has its justifiable share of well-known locales, like Aspen, to uphold its repute. However don’t be too intimidated with the professionals you see hitting the slopes — there’s always time to learn!

Colorado additionally presents different actions geared to the winter season, like snowshoeing, sledding, and wildlife watching. Total, the scenic mountaintop views and diversified panorama make Colorado an awesome road trip for the winter.

12. Utah Nationwide Parks Street Journey

little wildhorse
Photograph by Kristen of

For dramatic Southwestern surroundings and a few rock formations that’ll depart you in awe, Utah’s nationwide parks are the perfect winter trip spot. Tens of millions of holiday makers come every year to see the state’s 5 nationwide parks (nicknamed “The Massive 5”), however most of them keep away from the winter months.

Touring throughout Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Bryce Canyon, and Zion Nationwide Parks allows you to absolutely see what Utah has to supply. Take a while to get pleasure from iconic landmarks like Delicate Arch or Moses and Zeus — in case you’re fortunate, you get to see these superb formations coated in snow! Plus, the winter temperatures make climbing a much less sweat-inducing exercise.

For an in-depth take a look at Utah’s nationwide parks, try BMTM’s Ultimate Utah National Parks Road Trip information.

11. Winter Journey to Washington, DC

Many individuals come to the nation’s capital throughout hotter climate (together with throughout cherry blossom season) for varied causes, reminiscent of having fun with the monuments, museums, festivals, and parks. So the chilly winters in DC are much less well-liked for vacationers. However the climate right here is actually chillier than it’s down south, so you should definitely bundle up!

There are lots of locations value stopping by throughout the vacation season, although, just like the Nationwide Christmas Tree. However the metropolis additionally has loads of issues to do within the following months. After all, the Nationwide Mall is a year-round should, however the ice rink on the Nationwide Gallery of Artwork’s Sculpture Backyard can be a favourite for vacationers and locals alike.

10. North Carolina Mountain Retreat

North Carolina’s western metropolis of Asheville is among the greatest locations to have a picture-perfect wintertime getaway. A part of town’s attraction is in its local weather — the area’s gentle winters mixed with the Blue Ridge Mountains give guests a way of log-cabin coziness. Whether or not you wish to discover budget activities in town or fully retreat into the wilderness, Asheville appeals to these wanting a scenic escape.

December is a well-liked time for vacationers to discover the realm, as Christmas at the Biltmore attracts loads of individuals yearly. Throughout this time, the Blue Ridge Parkway additionally normally receives its final batch of hikers earlier than it begins closing for the colder months. Take a look at this map for real-time updates of highway closures on the parkway.

9. Southeast Metropolis Sightseeing

The seashores close to Charleston are a delight within the winter, simply as they’re in the summertime!

Perhaps it’s the climate’s slight chill, however america’ southern cities are way more romantic within the winter. Quaint Charleston shines throughout the chilly season — which you’ll be able to get pleasure from with out the crowds of summer season vacationers! Whereas there, take a carriage trip down its cobblestone streets, which make for a a lot cozier expertise within the winter than within the hotter months. The town can be recognized for its Holiday Festival of Lights that illuminate the realm’s palm timber.

Journey a number of hours south and you can even go to equally charming Savannah. The winter is a superb time to bundle up and discover its walkable squares. Take a look at BMTM’s ultimate Savannah guide for detailed information to town.

8. Surf’s Up in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico sadly doesn’t have almost as a lot trip clout in comparison with different US seaside locations. However the territory’s western city of Rincón is famend for its waves throughout the winter season, which is an ideal time for newcomers studying how you can surf, or extra superior surfers eager to reap the benefits of swell season.

Most guests fly into San Juan, so that you’ll in all probability want a rental automobile for the drive out west. Nonetheless, a automobile can be helpful if you wish to discover the island past its browsing spots. Whereas San Juan embodies a lot of the island’s liveliness, don’t be afraid to go to the japanese islands too. Paddle by means of the bioluminescent waters of Vieques or within the crystal-clear waters of Culebra.

7. Hawaiian Getaway

Hawaii is a paradise regardless of the time of yr. Within the water, browsing and snorkeling reign supreme. Don’t miss out on the chance to view sea creatures snorkeling off the Big Island or explore its coastline. Maui’s Road to Hana can be a bucket record–worthy (albeit barely terrifying) expertise additionally.

Be My Journey Muse has a ton of weblog posts that may provide help to plan the perfect itinerary for your visit to Hawaii. Learn BMTM’s Hawaii packing list to assist with packing, or BMTM’s best things to do in Hawaii to assist plan your journey to those Pacific islands.

6. Upstate NY Wonderland

In the event you love all issues to do with winter wonderlands, head to Upstate New York for an unforgettable snowy getaway. Not solely are there some unimaginable locations to ski and snowboard, however the ice-covered Finger Lakes are particularly lovely within the winter. Bristol Mountain is a neighborhood favourite ski resort within the charming city of Canandaigua on Canandaigua Lake, one of many Finger Lakes.

Take into account renting a cabin or yurt for the weekend, snuggling subsequent to a fireplace at night time, and hitting the slopes for an journey throughout the day. Yurts like this one can be found in several elements of the Finger Lakes and make for a enjoyable wintertime keep.

5. Southern Oregon Journey

Certain, you possibly can go to southern Oregon any month of the yr and have an exquisite time. Nonetheless, winter has a particular attraction right here, with actions that you would be able to’t do some other season however winter. Crater Lake Nationwide Park presents free ranger-led snowshoeing from December to April, or you possibly can lease snowshoes and head out by yourself journey. You may also go cross-country snowboarding all through the park. In any case, you’ll discover a neat technique to see Crater Lake and have enjoyable whereas exploring.

One other place you must try in southern Oregon is Mt. Ashland. This low-key ski resort has terrain geared up for each sort of skier and snowboarder, with trails starting from absolute newbie to superior. You’ll additionally get some breathtaking views of the Cascade Mountains, that are all capped with snow throughout this time of yr.

4. Discover Ice Caves in Wisconsin

The Apostle Islands Sea Caves in northern Wisconsin are improbable to go to any time of yr, however they’re particularly fascinating within the winter. Positioned on Lake Superior, the Apostle Islands Nationwide Lakeshore boasts mainland sea caves which are full of breathtaking ice formations.

To get to them, you need to hike for about two miles spherical journey, strolling on the ice-covered waters of Lake Superior. Due to this tough accessibility, make sure that to verify the climate circumstances and read up on the hike here earlier than you set out.

Even when the climate circumstances don’t allow a hike to the icy sea caves, the beautiful views of Lake Superior from the Nationwide Lakeshore make the journey completely value it. Plus, there are some adorable cabins you possibly can keep in which are excellent for a comfortable winter night time.

3. Keep in an Icy Paradise in Alaska

world ice art championships fairbanks alaska

Fairbanks, Alaska, is totally effervescent over with winter actions, making it one of many coolest locations to go to throughout this time of yr. Go dog-sledding, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, ice fishing, tubing, ice skating, and extra in one of many best possible winter locations on the planet. Plus, you possibly can catch a glimpse of the aurora borealis throughout its peak season!

Certainly one of Fairbanks’s greatest winter sights is Chena Hot Springs, which not solely has some steamy waters however can be house to the world’s largest year-round ice setting, the Aurora Ice Museum. I don’t learn about you, however I can’t consider anyplace extra deserving of the title “winter wonderland” than Fairbanks.

Find more ideas on what to do in Alaska during the winter months here!

2. Iconic Chicago Weekend

Don’t be fooled by the grey climate of a Chicago winter. There’s a lot magic to be loved there throughout the month of December, making it among the finest locations for the vacations. To begin with, the extravagant decorations downtown make for a fascinating ambiance that feels timeless. Additionally, the chilly air makes having fun with a piping scorching deep-dish pizza all of the extra indulgent.

The vacations in Chicago are further particular due to town’s iconic Christkindlmarket, a German-style Christmas market that sells kitschy nicknacks, mulled wine, and particular treats. There are two places on the town: one downtown, and one on the north facet, in Wrigleyville. I feel the downtown one is way more magical due to all town lights.

One other candy factor to do to get into the spirit of the vacations in Chicago is hop on a horse-and-carriage trip by means of downtown. If that doesn’t make you fall in love with the Windy Metropolis, I don’t know what’s going to!

1. Wintry Yellowstone Nationwide Park

In the case of snowmobiling, cross-country snowboarding, or different snowy actions, it doesn’t get extra adventurous than doing them in Yellowstone. In the event you resolve to go to this well-known nationwide park within the winter, you’ll in all probability discover that most individuals are utilizing snowmobiles to get round anyway, so that you would possibly as nicely take part on the enjoyable and rent one yourself!

Winter is a superb time to see a few of Yellowstone’s wildlife as nicely. Catch a glimpse of bison, seasonal birds, and possibly even some bears throughout your go to. The park can be nicely geared up to maintain guests heat with eating places and warming huts sprinkled all through.

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